After a weekend break, I return with Part 8 of my recap series of Quibi’s horror thriller, The Stranger. Tension suffered when Clare and Gas Station dude banded together, but Part 7 reacquainted us with the menacing Carl E. In Part 8, we pick things up after Clare and Gas Station dude jump off the back of the train.
Part 8: 2 AM
Clare says she can’t see. Gas Station dude takes Clare’s hand and they wander through the dark tunnels, searching for a way out. (I had to enter another room to watch this scene because it suffers from a lot of Game of Thrones season 8 contrast issues.)
Also, where the hell is Carl E.? He was only a train car behind when they jumped out of the train and yet Clare and Gas Station dude have time to hold hands and woefully look at some some sad homeless people in the subway tunnels before finding a platform to escape out of.
Gas Station dude gives Clare a boost but she gets deterred by the sound of coyotes. The coyotes approach and growl menacingly like Twilight werewolves. Honestly, coyotes aren’t known for attacking people (there is currently only one recorded coyote attack of an adult that led to death), so I don’t exactly know if subway coyotes are more aggressive than regular coyotes. My ex-bother-in-law was out smoking once and bunch of coyotes ran up to the fence in my backyard, wanting to attack him, so let’s just say this coyote interlude was pretty tense for me.
But why, though? Why waste time on this? We’re supposed to be scared of Carl E. here, not reliving that subway scene in Cloverfield all over again.
Clare says not to run from the growing coyotes, but then a train approaches. Gas Station dude manages to scale the platform off-screen. He reaches for Clare and narrowly lifts her to safety. (Her dumb shoes from Part 5 don’t help, FYI.)
“Every other city in the world has rats for vermin. We have coyotes,” Gas Station dude says, delivering more exposition, even though he’s wrong.
They gasp sexily on the nasty platform for a while. Pebbles also meanders off, so when Clare and Gas Station dude finally get back to their escape plan, Clare has to find the dumb stupid dog first.
SO MANY DIVERSIONS. I HATE IT.
They locate Pebbles in an old ticket station(?) behind some secret wall full of power cables. Carl E. is coming, though! We know this because we hear gunshots and the sounds of coyotes dying.
With no other choice but to head down the tunnel, Gas Station dude and Clare follow it down to a heavy metal door. Gas Station dude shoves it open, busting into a POPPIN night club, the interior design of which is totally my jam. Classy wallpaper and old-timey sconces and stuff. I’d party there.
The music doesn’t bother Pebbles, who is now clasped tightly in Clare’s arms. Stupidly, though, neither Clare or Gas Station dude close the secret metal door behind them. The two lose sight of each other in the rave of nightclub dancers. Then Carl E. enters through the WIDE OPEN SECRET DOOR THAT NOBODY ELSE NOTICES.
The camera slows, capturing the full barrage of people and nightclub lights. Clare looks for Gas Station dude but only finds Carl E.
Fade to black.
Thoughts on THE STRANGER: Part 8
I hate what it took to get us here, honestly.
Episodes 5-8 disappointed me. The tension faded. We got some stupid meet-cute stuff, which was kind of fun but not warranted. We also got the ridiculous “woke” fiasco that was Part 6.
I predict that Gas Station dude will remain lost next episode. Hopefully this will lead for better episode that focuses primarily on Clare and Carl E. again, WHICH I WOULD VERY MUCH APPRECIATE. I hope we get a few answers on Clare’s background and some answers as to who Carl E. really is.
And if Dane DeHaan could do a little more than just glare menacingly, that would be great.
This episode existed primarily as yet another transition. It gave us some non-essential coyote-based thrills. Fun, yes, but also a waste of precious screen time. Like, we only get 8-10 minutes of storytelling here, and they’re really gonna waste it on coyotes?
The Stranger, Part 8 takes us back to L.A. The threat rebuilds itself yet again. We get to see Carl E. in the flesh again. Hopefully these last four episodes keep Carl E. and Clare face to face.