Dumb Things Everyone Ignored In It: Chapter Two

In 2019, we got the follow-up to 2017's highly-successful It, an adaptation of Stephen King's 1986 novel of the same name. A fairly long book, even by Stephen King's standards, the movie was split into two parts. The first covered the events of the book set when the characters were children. It: Chapter Two covers the characters as adults, 27 years later.

Unfortunately, It: Chapter Two wasn't as well received. It was just shy of three hours long, the pacing was all over the place, and the titular character had surprisingly little screen time for, y'know, being in the title. The cast got a lot of praise, but the film overall? Not so much. One thing the sequel did continue successfully, however, were the strange, unanswered questions audiences were left with after the credits rolled. Let's dive into this sewer drain of dumb things.

Stanley must be part elephant in It: Chapter Two

When we pick things up in It: Chapter Two, it's 27 years after the original film. The kids from 1989 are now grown-ups in 2016. Everyone except Mike has moved away from Derry, Maine, and started their adult lives. They've all lost touch, so when Pennywise returns, Mike begins calling the Losers to let them know the time has come to stop the creature.

Most of the characters are unable to remember Derry, with Richie remarking he forgot he ever lived there until shortly after arriving. Mike does, but this is because he never left the town. Proximity to Pennywise is key to remembering. As they spend more time in Derry, their memories return.

The exception to this is Stanley Uris, who commits suicide immediately after Mike's call. At the movie's end, the Losers receive a letter from Stanley, explaining he killed himself so Pennywise couldn't use him against the group. The film doesn't address why Stanley is the only character besides Mike who seems to remember Pennywise while the other characters have trouble even remembering Stanley's last name. It's like as soon as Mike calls, a switch is flipped and he instantly remembers, which honestly could have been really helpful for getting the Losers Club back together.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

It: Chapter Two features the most chill Chinese restaurant in history

In It: Chapter Two, The Losers Club reconvenes for the first time at a Derry Chinese restaurant. There, they start to reestablish the group dynamic, which is basically taking turns making fun of Eddie. They catch one another up with their lives, and Mike explains why they're all there.

But even the deliciousness of Chinese food can't fight off Pennywise's evil. He torments the Losers during their dinner, first tampering with their fortune cookie messages to reveal Stanley has died. This quickly turns into, well, a circus as the fortune cookies begin to hatch into otherworldly creatures that attack the group. A black, viscous fluid collects on the table and spills over the edges. Mike begins smashing the table with a chair, shouting that it's not real and can't hurt them. The hallucinations abruptly stop when a server appears and sees Mike bashing the table, which has no monsters on it from her perspective.

In the next scene, the crew is calmly walking out of the restaurant. What? There was a guy in there smashing your furniture to bits and the people with him were screaming. No one even called the police and had them ask some questions? No, instead the restaurant staff seems wholly unconcerned with what went on in their dining room. Did they at least pay for what they trashed?

A warm welcome

It: Chapter Two opens with an infamous scene from the novel, where a gay couple is assaulted by Derry locals who are under Pennywise's influence. This kicks off the story's plot, as Mike hears about the crime and goes to check it out. Once there, he finds a popped red balloon, a sure sign Pennywise has returned. Curiously, he also spots some red graffiti reading "COME HOME," as though It is taunting the Losers. Mike returns home and begins calling them up.

But hold on a second, why would Pennywise want the Losers to come back? It really doesn't matter to him either way, he preys on children, not adults. Later in the film, we find out it's the end of Pennywise's 27-year cycle and he's about to go into hibernation again. Why would he risk bringing back the people who bested him 27 years before instead of just running out the clock? They'll be senior citizens by his next cycle.

Near the end of the movie, Pennywise says he dreamed of them for 27 years, but it's hard to tell if he's being honest or just trying to scare them because that's what he does. Even if that's true, why wait until he's about to go back to sleep to summon them again? Remember in the previous movie he was around for an entire summer, he had plenty of time.

Eddie's inexplicable road rage in It: Chapter Two

When we're first reunited with Eddie Kaspbrak, he's living in the big city and working as an insurance company risk analyst. This is very fitting considering he was raised by a mother terrified of anything happening to her son, a trait she quickly passed down to him, making him anxious and, well, constantly assessing risk. Eddie is careful about nearly everything he does, and he's clearly settled into a routine in his life, as we find out he's married to a woman who seems to be exactly like his overbearing mother.

Avoiding risk is like Eddie's defining character trait, and it's one of the things Pennywise uses to prey on him in both films. The haggard, disfigured bum known as The Leper is like Eddie's fears come to life. He has no stated motive, is visibly ill, and presumably highly contagious. He's seriously a walking anxiety nightmare. All of this is just to underscore how Eddie sees and interprets the dangers around him.

And yet, when we first see him in It: Chapter Two, he's driving like he lives in the Grand Theft Auto games. He's driving way too fast on a city street, changing lanes without signaling, and constantly not looking at the road, which causes him to get into an accident as soon as Mike calls him. It's like we're watching a completely different character. It makes zero sense based on what we know of Eddie.

Everyone's an Oprah in It: Chapter Two

Between It and It: Chapter Two, Mike stayed behind in Derry, but the rest of the Losers went out, started families, and found careers. Bill is now a famous horror author working with Warner Bros. on turning one of his novels into a movie, and it seems this isn't the first. Bev is a fashion designer, and apparently a high-end one as Bill says his wife (a Hollywood actress) has half of her closet filled with Bev's clothes. Ben is the CEO of a fancy architecture firm. Richie is a stand-up comedian, big enough to draw a packed theater crowd. Oddly, the only two Losers who left and didn't get wildly famous were insurance risk analyst Eddie and Stanley, whose job is not specified but who has a pretty nice house. So they're both doing all right.

What are the chances the majority of the Losers Club would all turn out to be hugely successful, household names? Bill and Richie both encounter strangers who know them. Bev and Ben, not so much, but they're more behind-the-scenes people.

True, small groups of friends can all turn out successful, but how many of them grow up fairly poor and come from the same town in Middle-of-Nowhere, Maine? It almost makes it difficult to believe they'd have any interest in going back to Derry whatsoever, but, y'know, demon clown.

It: Chapter Two's blast from the past

Pennywise's visions and hallucinations are just that — they're not real, as established in the Chinese restaurant scene. If Pennywise is physically there, it seems he can affect the real world and manipulate things, but otherwise he's limited to illusions. This is even used against him in the final battle, so it's clearly a rule that most of what Pennywise does is just smoke and mirrors.

But how do you explain Henry Bowers? When last we saw him, he fell down a well, presumably to his death, but in the early moments of It: Chapter Two, we see he survived this and was arrested for killing his father. Twenty-seven years later, he's a patient at a mental institution. Upon seeing a red balloon float by a window, Bowers becomes agitated and is put back into his room, where he finds a red balloon under his bed, followed by the corpse of his teenage crony, Hockstetter, who bears the knife Henry was so fond of in the first movie.

If we assume this was an illusion, where did the knife come from? It's real, Henry uses it to escape, and later attacks Eddie with it. This, then, raises a big question — was that actually Hockstetter's zombified corpse? How long was it hiding under the bed? Did it just wait patiently for him?

They call him Stuttering Bill

In the first movie, young Bill has a pretty strong stutter, and like most stutterers, he gets worse when he's under stress. We hear Bill repeating a speech therapy phrase throughout the film, meant to help him get the stutter under control, so he is receiving treatment. And so, when we see Bill again 27 years later, there's no trace of the stutter. Hooray, modern medicine!

But something strange happens after he returns to Derry that can only have a very weird explanation: Bill's stutter comes back. Now, that's not to say this is impossible, and it could be due to stress, but we see Bill very stressed out early in It: Chapter Two when he's having trouble finishing his screenplay, and there's no stutter there. In fact, the stutter doesn't return until the Losers are discussing Pennywise, which leads to a bizarre question. Does Pennywise somehow cause Bill's stutter?

The film seems to be implying Bill's stutter went away because he got away from Pennywise. It's during the conversation when the Losers are discussing how their memories began to return as soon as they got back to Derry that it reemerges. Did Bill forget his stutter and he's just now remembering it? Does that mean Pennywise always caused it and he's somehow been cruel to Bill for his whole life, even before they encountered each other?

Who is Mrs. Kersh in It: Chapter Two?

In It: Chapter Two, each of the surviving Losers has their own segment where they remember an old encounter with Pennywise and experience a new one as well. (It's a lot of screentime.) Beverly is first to undergo this as she visits her old apartment to see if her dirtbag father is still kicking around. When she first arrives, she thinks the door says "Marsh," but it actually says "Kersh" and when Bev knocks on the door, she's surprised to see a stranger, Mrs. Kersh.

Mrs. Kersh invites Bev in and offers her some refreshments. She then looks around the old apartment a little before remembering the anonymous postcard Ben gave her in the first film, sealed away inside a wall. She nonchalantly rips up the baseboard to get at it, which is frankly pretty rude, but okay.

Just before Bev plans to leave, of course, things go bananas and Mrs. Kersh turns out to be some manifestation of Pennywise. During this segment, Kersh mentions her father, who was a circus clown, and Bev actually has a vision of this man who appears to be Pennywise without makeup. Now, we know a clown isn't It's real form, but it's the human form we've always seen, so who is that man? Did Pennywise steal his human appearance from a real person or something? The movie never comes back to this, so we don't know.

Psychedelics are not a good way to convey information

After the Chinese restaurant, Mike brings Bill back to his apartment to explain his plan. To get Bill to truly understand, though, he spikes Bill's drink with a powerful psychedelic drug so Bill can see firsthand what Mike learned from the local Shokopiwah tribe. Now, this is ridiculous because how would Mike even know Bill would see the same thing he did instead of, say, a bunch of pink elephants? But there are even weirder problems with this.

First of all, why would he drug Bill instead of just, y'know, telling him the plan? Keep in mind Bill was already onboard, more so than the other Losers, with stopping Pennywise. It also seems like in the time it took for Bill to experience his vision, Mike could have simply explained the plan and showed him the Shokopiwah urn he's stolen. It wouldn't have given us a scene with a bunch of cool, trippy effects, but it sure seems more practical.

Ostensibly, the reason Mike chooses to drug Bill is so he can experience the Shokopiwah attempting the Ritual of Chüd in the past. But even this leads to a strange plot hole. We find out much later on that Mike withheld information from the Losers. The original ritual failed and all the participants were killed because it just plain didn't work. Somehow, Bill sees everything except that part. How very convenient!

You've literally done this before, Bill

To help complete the Ritual of Chüd, each of the Losers must find a specific token that corresponds to their past together, fighting against Pennywise. Bill stumbles across his old bike, Silver, in a pawn shop window, which itself is pretty eyebrow-raising, but it's a movie, we'll roll with it. Afterward, Bill sets out to his old neighborhood to find his childhood home.

There, he encounters the very storm drain where his younger brother Georgie was attacked and abducted by Pennywise 27 years earlier, which got the Losers prying into Pennywise's business in the first place. Bill yells into the storm drain, challenging Pennywise (which probably looked pretty silly to anyone who happened to be observing) when he hears Georgie's voice. Bill immediately tries to rescue Georgie by reaching into the storm drain, but nearly has his arm torn off by It, who created this illusion.

There's something weird about this, though. Bill knows that Pennywise uses illusions to scare people. He's done this very thing with Bill before, showing him visions of Georgie, and Bill has not fallen for it at all on multiple occasions when he was young. But for some reason, he buys it completely here. And it's even a fight that he picked! Never mind that the Georgie vision is still a child, 27 years later. Bill dives right in, arm-first, falling for the most obvious trap ever.

Walking away from a crime scene is not wise

While Bill is at his childhood home, he runs across a boy he's already met since returning to Derry. A fan of Richie's stand-up, the Losers encounter a kid named Dean in the Chinese restaurant and almost immediately scare the crap out of him. Turns out, Dean lives in Bill's old house. He tells Dean not to listen to any voices from the sewer. In a creepy moment, Dean admits that he hears voices from the bathtub drain sometimes.

Later, Bill realizes that Pennywise plans to kill Dean. Unfortunately, just like with Georgie, Bill is helpless to stop Pennywise, who violently kills Dean in front of him in a funhouse hall of mirrors. Bill is distraught and vows to destroy Pennywise immediately, with or without the Losers, heading to the house on Neibolt Street for the final confrontation.

It seems like Bill might have forgotten that he was just witness to a murder, though. He simply walks away. He presumably didn't stop to inform anyone about Dean's death, since he isn't immediately questioned. So that means Bill is walking away from a crime scene where a boy was brutally murdered. Bill, the famous horror writer that townspeople probably remember. At the very end of the movie, Bill is a free man, but like, what happened when police found that body and started investigating the celebrity who briskly walked away from it?

It: Chapter Two: Life is but a dream

In the film's climax, several of the Losers are separated and stuck in their own Pennywise-fueled hallucinations. In Bev's, she's in a bathroom stall that's slowly filling up with blood. During this, people from her past poke their heads into the stall for some quick one-liners to up the fright factor.

One of these pop-ins is young Henry Bowers. Bowers terrorized Bev and the other Losers for a summer, so this makes perfect sense. What he says is extremely weird, though. He says, "Here's Johnny!" in a manner that mimics Jack Nicholson in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining. You know, the one based on a novel by Stephen King. The same Stephen King that wrote It. While it seems like it's just an It Easter egg for fans of King, it also raises a very uncomfortable question — does Stephen King exist in this universe? If not, who wrote The Shining? Did he still write It and somehow base it on these events?

Also, since Bill is a horror writer, does that mean he knows King, or is at least familiar with him? He didn't seem to notice that the pawn shop proprietor who sold him his childhood bike looked exactly like him, if so. To be fair, this works out in King's books, where he himself is sometimes a character who receives his stories from a higher power and writes them while in a trance, but still.