After yesterday’s episode of The Stranger, I eagerly stayed up until midnight for the next installment. The Stranger: Part 5 has both thrills and laughs (but sadly no Dane DeHaan!) so let’s not dilly dally. Let’s get to it!
Part 5: 11PM
Clare powers down her phone (which has some horrrrrrrrrrible interface graphics, I must say) and has herself a good steering wheel freakout before driving to the gas station. She dumps the bloody corn knife in the trash and washes her hands in the windshield wiping water for like 2 seconds. Pandemic me is FREAKING THE FUCK OUT, because that blood is still on those hands, Clare. You gotta sing Happy Birthday twice to get the full effect.
She returns to the car and finds some ugly sneaker/sandal hybrid shoes in the back seat of the car. Not exactly the “about to get murdered, but make it fashion!” moment that I was hoping for. Nerve-wracked, she enters the gas station and pretends to look for snacks.
Gas station dude pulls his headphones out all excited, believing that he’s getting a second chance to make a less-desperate impression on Clare. He fails pretty hard, mentioning that he’s in the middle of competing for the 2024 Olympic games. Not the real Olympics. The video game Olympics. Because they do video games now.
Awkwardness ensues when Gas Station dude brings up that this is their second meeting in one night.
“It’s like the plot line of a romantic comedy!” he says.
“You should write it!” he says, which finally gets Clare to turn around. She asks him how he knows she’s a writer. Gas Station dude says that everyone who comes to L.A. is a writer. “Or an actress,” he says, but he know she’s not.
Because she’s not into makeup. Or grooming.
Clare visibly responds to the unintentional insult, but in a real human way, because she’s STILL ABOUT TO GET MURDERED and this dude is making things all normal. I gotta give a major shout-out to Avan Jorgia for playing the hell out of this character. I just love him so much. He botches the whole “You don’t need makeup” spiel in all the right ways.
Clare walks up to the counter and asks about his programming skillz. She wants to find Carl E., or rather “the sex doll passenger”, who Gas Station dude refers to him as.
Clare explains that the sex doll passenger is trying to kill her but then two cops bust into the store. They’re not the cops from before but they’re cops that Gas Station due is familiar with. They ask him how it’s going. Some rather expositional dialogue is exchanged about the new “state of the art” security system, which Gas Station dude says was recently installed “about last week-ish”.
Gas Station dude tells the cops to get themselves some free coffees and then whispers to Clare that she should talk to the cops about Carl E.
Clare mentions her link to the pupusa vendor stabbing, which the cops also tease on their way out the door. Now, I’m sure cops don’t willy nilly discuss current crimes IRL, but this is the key info that Gas Station dude needs to understand why Clare is a complete and utter mess right now.
Well, first he realistically thinks this is some kind of group Youtube prank but THEN the “state of the art” security camera footage switches to camera footage of Gas Station dude’s house.
Gas Station dude checks his phone to check home securite network but he’s locked out. The CCTV footage then switches again to a shot of Clare and Gas Station dude staring into the camera focused on them.
“It’s him,” Clare says. “He’s here.”
Part 5 Thoughts
Spanning only 6 minutes, Part 4 was the shortest episode yet. I can’t say that I was let down but it passed so quickly that I was salivating for more.
I love Gas Station Dude. The trailer made this show seem like a Hush-like predator vs prey situation. It was clear in Part 2, however, that Gas Station dude’s programming knowledge would become important later on.
That time of importance is now. Part 4 of The Stranger gives us a bit of a breather from the horror. We get to know gas Station dude better, though I hope we find his name in the next episode BECAUSE HE’S NOT WEARING A NAME TAG for some reason.
Sadly missing is Dane DeHaan as Carl E., though his presence lingers in Clare’s paranoia, as well as in the technology hacking, which is still freaky AF.