Stranger Things Season 3 is just a few days away, but after reviews hit the internet on Sunday, the wait for July 4 might feel more difficult than ever. So if you’re looking for a way to kill time but you’re not up for a full rewatch of the entire series so far, here’s the one Stranger Things episode to rewatch before Season 3 arrives. (Oh, and don’t worry, this is a spoiler-free article.)
Of course, no one episode can totally sum up the past two seasons of Stranger Things. Also, Season 3 does a pretty good job of reminding you of all the previous important plot points. That said, there’s one episode, in particular, that will recap most of the series while also re-introducing you to a minor character who’s about to play a major role. Season 2, Chapter 5: “Dig Dug.”
If you don’t remember “Dig Dug,” well, we don’t blame you. There’s no denying these episodes bleed together. Sure, there’s the iconic season finales (and the poorly received Season 2, Chapter 7 bottle episode), but for the most part, Stranger Things feels more like watching a long movie than a series of TV episodes.
On that note, here’s a detailed synopsis of Season 2, Chapter 5, courtesy of Wikipedia:
Hopper becomes trapped in the tunnels and passes out. Will has a vision of Hopper’s state, but Joyce cannot figure out its meaning, and she recruits Bob to help. He identifies the network as a map under Hawkins, and where Hopper was trapped. Nancy and Jonathan visit local conspiracy theorist Murray for help. Murray knows the public will not accept their story as-is, but suggests watering down the story to make it more believable, to blame Barb’s death on toxins from the lab. Lucas privately reveals the events of last year to Max to gain her respect, but she rebuffs him. Dustin traps Dart in his basement, and gets Steve to help recapture it. Eleven leaves to find Terry Ives, who is catatonic and cared for by her sister. Eleven is able to communicate with Terry, gaining her memories of trying to rescue her at Hawkins Lab before she was subject to an intentional severely brain-damaging dose of shock therapy. Eleven finds there was another girl trained like her. Joyce, Bob, Will, and Mike are able to rescue Hopper, though lab personnel soon arrive and set the tunnels on fire, causing Will to collapse in agony.
Ok, so there’s a lot to unpack here (Lucas basically recaps the entire plot in an attempt to impress Max while Eleven reveals her own backstory by accessing her mom’s memories.), but if we’re being honest, the most important factor is the rise of Murray Bauman.
Played by Brett Gelman, the conspiracy theorist character had shown up before, but we didn’t really get to know him until Season 2, Chapter 5, when Nancy and Jonathan show up at his house bunker. It was a great moment that gets an even better callback in Season 3.
We won’t get into spoilers, but Murray plays a pretty huge role in Stranger Things Season 3. So if you want a quick refresh on this overlooked character, Season 2, Chapter 5 is a pretty good place to start. And hey, if you’ve got some time, rewatch Chapter 6, “The Spy,” too. (It’s also got some great Murray moments.)
Just make sure not to rewatch Season 2, Chapter 7. In hindsight, Eleven’s solo trip to Chicago was an even bigger waste of time than we originally thought.
Stranger Things Season 3 hits Netflix on July 4.