Cold Open: Barb wakes in the shadow world, covered in goop, and hunted. The scene is juxtaposed between Barb being hunted by the Monster and Nancy having awkward relations with Steve. Barb tries to make it out of the empty pool that is covered in evil mucky vines. Barb looks like she might make it out, but the monster grabs her legs and yanks her into the doom. Poor Barb.
Post-coitus, Nancy can’t wake Steve up and wonders if she is just a notch for him. Nancy goes home and is confronted by her mom. Nancy, you are running for sociopath levels of douchebaggery.
We arrive at Joyce’s house of insanity. Creeper wakes up to his mom talking to herself. Joyce tries to explain to Creeper that it’s fine because she can talk to her dead son through the Christmas lights. Creeper is truly devoted to his mom.
Basement: The boys prepare to look for Will, with El as their guide. Lucas brings practical things: compass, knives, and a slingshot. Dustin – the fat kid – brings snacks. Groan. They devote a lot of time to Lucas’ wrist rocket; this better payoff later! Dustin emotes that none of their weapons matter because they have El the Jedi with them. There are a number of great shots in this show of ladies trying to hold back their disbelief- this is no exception. Dustin tries to make his point how Yoda El is by having her levitate a toy Millennium Falcon. Her expression is priceless! We see later that levitating a toy is small potatoes for El.
High school: Nancy is concerned for Barb. No, just kidding; she’s worried people think she’s a skank.
Hop takes his deputies to the Evil Modine’s Government Facility. He gets some static from the guard, but Hop smooth talks his way through the gates – that’s how it’s done son!
El’s hanging out alone at the house, levitating the Falcon as an afterthought. She heads upstairs and has a PTSD flashback of Evil Modine having her use her Mojo to crush a coke can. She does and her nose bleeds.
Joyce heads to her job and gets christmas lights, christmas lights, and more christmas lights. Donald does his best to not say anything horrible for a moment and mostly succeeds.
Evil Modine’s Government Facility: Hop and his deputies are being shown around. Hop sees the tunnel that he believes provided ingress for Will. Hop notices video cameras and asks to see the tapes. They oblige him with some doctored tapes. Hop notices immediately that there’s no rain in the background of the video. This begins Hop’s inexorable journey down a path from which he cannot return. After Hop and the deputies leave, we push in on the vent that leads down to the basement portal to the shadow dimension.
Mike’s house: El is exploring Nancy’s room. A life of a normal girl is laid before her. A life with girlfriends and music boxes that was stolen from her by Evil Modine.
High school: The boys are looking for rocks for the sling shot. They get bullied by the world’s shortest bullies … again. Mike gets shoved and literally takes it on the chin. Creeper is developing his pervy photographs and gets totally busted by another student photographer.
Joyce’s house: Joyce has finished decorating her home for Insane Homes and Gardens: Christmas Issue.
Hop goes to the library and we discover that at some point he slept with the librarian and never called back. She sasses him, but he and the deputy continue researching and discover MK Ultra and a connection to Dr. Brenner. Side Note: MK Ultra was actually a real thing. The US Government sought out highly intelligent children and had them exposed to drugs. One of their notable alumni was none other than The Unabomber; they left a lot of wreckage in their wake. For the budding creatives out there, if you are writing a historical fiction of any kind, tether your story to something that actually happened; it will allow your entire story to ring true. Hop is convinced that these government people have Will and suspects the boy might not even be dead. He sees that Brenner is linked to a number of missing children. Hop is gonna lay down a smackdown! BTW, Hop’s slow arc back to the living is brilliant, brilliant, brilliant!
I am going to make a critique about this scene. Hop pulls into the library parking lot front-end first; cops and uniformed people don’t do that. It makes egress that much more difficult. If you’re a director, back the cop cars into the spaces. Thanks!
Karen shows up at Joyce’s house with a casserole and tries not get too much crazy on herself. Karen’s toddler sees the lights blink on. She follows them to Will’s room and begins to see the monster push through the wall. She’s gonna need some therapy!
High school: Nancy, showing a scintilla of humanity, calls up Barb’s mom and then lies that she saw Barb at school. Side note: Gentle Readers, if you have a “friend” like Nancy in your life, save yourself some anguish and cut them out like the cancerous tumors that they are.
Creeper sees the photographer colleague with Steve and his crew. They mock creeper and take his creepshots. Nancy arrives to see this. She watches as Steve breaks Creeper’s camera. Nancy notices a picture of Barb and shows renewed concern.
El is near power lines waiting for the boys to arrive. She sees a cat and flashes to when Evil Modine tried to make her kill a cat with her mind because I assume … Evil Modine is a “Dog Person.” He orders goons to drag her into solitary. El kills one by smashing him against a wall and the other with a neck break that she does with her mind! YIKES. After El dispatches the goons, Evil Modine shows her what appears to be the first real affection that she has ever seen and says, “Incredible.” CHILLING!!!! Side note to Mike: Mike, if you ever plan on breaking up with El, DON’T!
High school: Nancy is hanging with her lame group and decides to try to look for Barb.
El and the boys are walking the woods. Mike tries to play off his chin wound as an accident, but El gets him to share and Mike teaches her the term “Mouth-breather.”
Nancy finds Barb’s car. She hears rustling and briefly sees the monster who only kills at night. Ahem.
Joyce tries to talk to her son through the lights. Then, she writes the alphabet on the wall in a move that starts 10,00o gifs and communicates with Will Ouija Board style.
Nancy goes to her mom and admits that Barb is missing…. Finally!
Hop is called to the quarry. They leave in a hurry.
El leads the boys to Will’s house. She has tracked him there through her mojo, but can’t explain the concept of parallel transdimensional movement and the boys get annoyed. Sirens are spotted and the boys see Will’s body recovered from the quarry.
Joyce is talking Ouija board style to Will and he tells her to R U N!!! Then, the monster with no face pulls its way through the wall and she leaves.
The Quarry: When the boys see that it is Will’s body, they get pissed at El, because they thought she would be able to find him alive.
We hear Peter Gabriel singing Bowie. *Sniff* Creeper arrives home and hugs his mom as the police sirens approach to tell her the grave news.