Holly, Jolly is the third episode in the Netflix series Stranger Things, and a lot of stuff happens in this installment. We learn more details about 11’s origin. We find out what happened to Barbara. Joyce discovers that maybe you can communicate with the Upside Down world, and throughout all of this we see references to the decade that this show take’s place in, the 1980s.
The themes of this episode are hope and heroism. It starts darkly, but we see people starting to rise to the occasion, with Joyce trying to establish contact with Will, Chief Hopper getting to the bottom of the bigger mystery, and Nancy not giving up on her missing friend. In the end things turn dark, but we now know what kind of people these characters are and what we can expect from them in the next 5 episodes.
While putting this series of posts together, I have been discussing the show with a lot of my friends who want to know what modern show Stranger Things is most like. I like to tell them that the show is very much like The Americans. It is set in a specific time period, but it does not exist simply to celebrate that period. Instead it uses the time period to help drive the story forward.
So let’s take a look at Stranger Things, Chapter 3 Holly, Jolly, dissect it, and find all those wonderful eighties references. Spoilers are contained within this breakdown, so if those offend you, or you have not see the show, turn back now.
While this is some of the references to the eighties, it is not all of them. Some are repeating elements from past episodes that have already been covered, while others I am sure escaped even my keen eyes. So if you spot something I missed, why not share them in the comments?