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Chapter One: The Vanishing of Will Byers Recap

November 6, 1983 – Hawkins, Indiana

Inside of the Hawkins National Laboratory--U.S. Department of Energy--alarms go off and a scientist runs down a corridor, panicked. He reaches the elevator and pounds on the button, and looks nervously back the way he came. The door opens and the scientist ducks inside, and waits for the door to close. The hallway lights flicker and something above the scientist chitters and then grabs and drags him up.

A group of boys are playing Dungeons & Dragons and the dungeon master, Mike Wheeler, unleashes a demogorgon on them. The three boys playing—Lucas Sinclair, Will Byers, and Dustin Henderson, argue about what to do. One of them finally rolls the dice and it runs off across the floor. Mike’s mother Karen comes to the top of the basement stares and tells them that it’s time to call it a night. Mike runs up after her and begs for 20 more minutes, but Karen refuses. When Mike appeals to his father Ted, Ted tells him to listen to his mother.

Downstairs, the other boys find the messing dice and pack up. As one of the boys, Dustin, Leaves, he waves to Mike’s sister Nancy in her room. He offers her a slice of leftover pizza, and Nancy slams the door in his face.As Dustin goes outside where the others are waiting, Dustin tells Mike that Nancy has a stick up her butt. Lucas says that it’s because she’s dating Steve Harrington, but Dustin says that she used to be cool. As the others ride off, Will admits to Mike that he missed the die roll and the demogorgon got him. The garage lights flicker, and Mike walks inside.

Lucas rides off, and Will and Dustin race to Dustin’s place. Will rides ahead of him and Dustin finally has to give up.

Dustin rides past the laboratory and his bike lights flickers. He sees a silhouette ahead of him and goes off the road, and crashes. The figure comes down after him and Will runs off into the forest. He gets to his home and goes inside, calling to his mother Joyce and brother Jonathan. Neither one is home, and Dustin looks out the window and sees the creature in the back yard. He calls for help but the creature comes on the line. It frees the inside chain from the outside, and Dustin runs out the back to the work shed. He loads a gun and aims it at the door, waiting for the monster to burst in. It rises up behind him and a few seconds later the light bulb flares and then goes back to normal... revealing nothing in the shed.

The next morning, Jim Hopper wakes up when the dog barks and realizes how late it is. On the TV, a newscaster is talking about the series of power outages that swept through Indiana. Jim goes out on his porch overlooking the lake to take a smoke and then showers up. He takes some pills and washes them down with a beer, He puts on his police chief’s uniform and heads out.

At the Byers home, Joyce is heading for work and finally locates her keys. Jonathan is making breakfast, and Jonathan says that he didn’t get Will up yet. Joyce goes to Will’s room but discovers that he’s not there. She asks Jonathan if Will got home, and her son admits that he got in late from work and doesn’t know. Joyce says that Jonathan can’t take shifts when she’s working, and Jonathan figures that Will stayed at the Wheelers. His mother calls Karen and confirms that Will didn’t spend the night. Joyce says that Will just left early for school and quickly hangs up.

At the middle school, Mike, Lucas, and Dustin arrive and don’t see Will. They figure that he went to school early and he’s inside. The school bully, Troy, and his friend come over and call the trio “freaks.” They tell Dustin to crack his shoulders and he obliges. Once they walk, off, Mike and his friends go inside.

Nancy arrives at school and her friend Barbara Holland comes over and asks if Steve called. She figures that Nancy will be one of the cool kids now that she’s made out with Steve a couple of times. Nancy insists that they just made out a couple of times, but Barbara doesn’t believe it. There’s a note from Steve in Nancy’s locker, telling her to meet him in the bathroom. When she goes there, they immediately kiss but Nancy says that she has to go as the bell rings. Steve suggests that they do something that night, and Nancy says that she has to study for a test. Despite that, she asks Steve to meet her that night at 8.

Joe arrives at the station and greets his officers. The receptionist, Flo, tells him that Joyce reported that Will is gone. Joyce is in Joe’s office. She insists that Will isn’t hooky and has Joe file a missing persons’ report. Joyce talks about how her ex Lonnie called Will a fag, but says that Lonnie had nothing to do with Will’s disappearance. Joe doesn’t believe it, and Joyce finally says that she’ll call Lonnie and see what he knows.

Dr. Matthew Brenner and his team arrive at the energy lab and the scientist in charge assures him that the wing where the “incident” took place is quarantined. The men don protective suits and arm themselves, and take the elevator down. There are strange plant-like black organisms clinging to the walls. They reach the main chamber and find a large plantlike gap in the wall. Brenner figures that it came from there, and the girl can’t have gone far.

A girl walks through the forest wearing a medical shift. She comes to a diner and watches the owner take out the garbage. Once the man goes inside, the girl--Jane--goes inside. Jane slips into the kitchen and sees a basket of fries, and eats one. She gulps down the rest and the owner sees her. Jane grabs the basket and runs, but the owner Benny Hammond grabs her and mistakes her for a boy because of her close-cropped hair.

At school, Mike, Lucas, and Dustin meet with the science teacher Scott Clarke after class. Scott says that the ham radio came in and it will pick up transmissions all the way from Australia. As they call Australia, Principal Coleman comes in with Joe and asks to talk to the three boys. Joe and Officer Callahan interview them and they say where they saw Will last. The boys offer to help look, but Joe tells them to go home immediately after school and they reluctantly agree.

Karen finds Mike at his secret hideout in the woods and offers to take him to the new movie, Poltergeist.

Joyce and Jonathan go to the hideout but no one is there. They yell for Will but get no answer.

At the diner, Benny feeds Jane and watches her gulp down a hamburger. He figures that she ran away and asks if her parents hurt her, but Jane doesn’t say anything. Benny takes the hamburger away from her until she answers some questions, and he introduces himself. They shake hands and Benny notices a tattooed “11” on her arm. Jane finally points at herself and says “Eleven.” Benny gives her the food back, and then calls Social Services and figures that Jane has been abused.

In the dining room, Jane hears a rusty fan turning and making a grating noise. She stares at it and it stops turning.

Joe, Callahan, and Deputy Powell drive out to where the boys last saw Will and call to him. They find his bike and figure that he crashed, but wouldn’t have left it behind.

At the energy lab, operators monitor local calls and transmissions. They listen in as Joyce calls Lonnie and gets his girlfriend Cynthia. Meanwhile, Jonathanmakes up “Have you seen?”: posters. Cynthia hangs up on Joyce, and Joyce calls Lonnie’s answering machine and asks him to call her back because Will is missing. As she hangs up, the cops pull up outside and Joe shows Joyce and Jonathan Will’s bike. He explains how they found it, and figures that Will might have come home. Joe finds a dent in the wall where the door swung open, and hear the dog outside, barking at the shed. The police chief looks inside and finds the open box of shells, and the lightbulb goes out. Using a flashlight, Joe finds a hole torn in the back and jumps as the light comes back on and Callahan comes in. Joe tells Callahan and Powell to have Flo get a search party together.

That night at the Wheeler house, Mike and his family are having dinner. Mike insists that they should be out helping to search for Will, but Karen refuses to discuss it. Nancy says that she and Barbara re going to study at Barbara’s house, but Karen refuses to let anyone leave until they know Will is safe. Mike says that she wants to hang out with her new boyfriend Steve. Her parents ask who Steve is, and Nancy goes to her room. Mike says that he’s the only one who cares about Will and storms off.

The search party checks the woods and Scott tells Joe that Will is a great student. Scott introduces himself to Joe, and Joe talks about his daughter Sarah who was fascinated by scientist. Now Sarah lives with her mother in the city. Another searcher tells Scott that Sarah died a few years back.

Mike goes to his basement and calls Lucas on the radio. They admit that they’re both worries about Will, and Mike convinces Luke to help him search for Will. As Mike rides away, he sees Steve climbing up to Nancy’s wind and turns away in disgust.

Nancy is in her room when Steve knocks at the window. She warns that her parents are keeping her in, but Steve climbs in.

At the diner, Benny is watching dishes as Jane eats some ice cream. She smiles and Benny says that it looks good on her. There’s a knock at the door and Benny says that he’ll deal with them. He answers the door and Connie Fraser with Social Services introduces herself. Jane overhears them talking and when Bonnie brings Connie in, Connie shoots him dead. Jane sees it and runs out the back, but two more armed agents cut her off. Brenner and his men come in the front, and when they arrive at the back, they find the two agents unconscious on the floor.

Mike, Lucas, and Dustin ride their bikes to where Will went off the road. It starts to rain,

Steve is helping Nancy study for her science test and suggests that they pay strip flash cards. She refuses to play but eagerly responds when Steve kisses her. Steve starts to undress her and Nancy tells him to stop because her parents are there. She figures that he’s just there to have sex with her, and he assures her that she isn’t4 a slut. They go back to studying.

At the Byers house, Joyce looks at Jonathan’s photos of Will and admits that she’s been too busy to be there for him. Jonathan breaks into tears, blaming himself for not being there for Will, and Joyce assures her son that it’s not his fault and Will is close. The phone rings and when Joyce answers it, she hears heavy breathing at the other end but no one talks. She figures that it’s Will, and sparks of electricity shoot from the receiver. The line goes dead and Joyce insists that it was Will.

The boys continue searching and Dustin figures that Will ran into something bad. Mike hears something moving in the brush and they spin around. It’s Jane, who stares at them and they stare at her.

Written by Gadfly on Aug 27, 2016

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