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The Thing Reference You Likely Missed In Stranger Things 4 Part 2

Contains spoilers for "Stranger Things" Season 4, Episode 9

Going for any amount of time in "Stranger Things" without some reference to a golden nugget of the '80s is like seeing Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) go an hour without a nosebleed. It's just kind of weird after a while. Whether it's the fashion, the banging selection of music, or the films from the era, it's as essential to the show as the otherworldly creatures and props inhabiting it (which even the cast are impressed by). Thankfully, in the epic second half of "Stranger Things" Season 4, we get a double dose of love for cult horror legend John Carpenter via two separate groups of Hawkins heroes.

Firstly, there's a nod that's pretty much in your face thanks to one of the show's latest newcomers, Eddie (Joseph Quinn), and his choice of disguise while he's committing a crime. Zipping through his trailer park to find a getaway vehicle, our favorite Dungeon Master dons a Michael Myers mask from Carpenter's 1978 classic "Halloween" to keep a low profile. Meanwhile, in Russia, there's a slightly more discreet nod to the legendary filmmaker by way of Murray (Brett Gelman) and his weapon of choice that ends up saving Hopper's (David Harbour) only recently rescued bacon.

Murray's flamethrower is a hot homage to The Thing

As Hopper puts the final stages of his plan to destroy the remaining Demo-creatures that have escaped the Upside Down into place, he hits a snag when the leader of the pack shortens the gap between itself and our favorite former police chief. With nowhere left to run and the feral flora-faced beastie closing in, the day is saved thanks to Murray and a fully stocked flamethrower. Seeing the conspiracy theorist have a moment of chaotic glee might bring a smile to your face, but for fans of Carpenter's classic cold-based horror films, it'll warm your heart even more.

With the snow-covered setting and Murray raining fire down on it, it's hard not to get flashes of Kurt Russell taking similar action in the 1982 film "The Thing" (which, by our "Stranger Things" count, was released four years before these events took place). Considered one of the best sci-fi horror movies ever made, "The Thing" sees American researchers in Antarctica infiltrated by an alien that can imitate other life-forms. As paranoia rises with the body count, helicopter pilot R.J. MacReady (Russell) straps on a flamethrower to destroy the space invader once and for all (or so we hope).

Although MacReady isn't as enthralled about it as Murray, "The Thing" is a perfect film for "Stranger Things" to be harking back to here. The only question is, will we see Murray fire it up again in the show's final season? To quote MacReady, "Why don't we just wait here for a little while? See what happens?"