Mike, Lucas, and Dustin take Jane back to Mike's basement and try to get her to tell them anything about who she is. When Mike gets her clean clothes, Jane immediately starts to strip off old shirt that she's wearing and the boys direct her to the bathroom to do it privately. Mike tries to close the door, Jane stops him and says, "No."
Once the boys are alone, they discuss Jane and figure that she has something wrong with her mentally. Lucas figures that she escaped from the local insane asylum, and he and Dustin both want to tell Karen. Mike reminds them that they weren't supposed to be out, and says that they'll have Jane go to the front door and ring it, and then Karen will know what to do. Then the next night they'll go back out to look for Will and find him. Jane comes out and Mike makes her comfortable in a makeshift hideout, while Dustin and Lucas leave.
Mike asks Jane what her name is, and she shows him the "011" tattoo on her arm. She points at herself and Mike introduces himself, and suggests that they call her "Ell," short for "Eleven." Jane agrees and says, "Good night, Mike" as he goes upstairs to his room. She lies in the darkness, shaking.
The next day, Jonathan makes Joyce breakfast. She discusses plans to make the "Missing" posters for will, just as Jim arrives at their door. He tells her that the search parties didn't find Will, and he confirms that Joyce got a phone call. Joyce shows him the phone, which is charred on both ends, and Jim admits that it's weird. She insists that Will called and he was scared, and doesn't believe that it was a prank call. Joyce says that she would know her son's breathing, just like Jim would know his daughter's, and then realizes that she's gone too far. After a moment, Jim says that he's having Lonnie checked out even though Joyce says that he's wasting his time. Jonathan goes after Jim and asks to go with him so that if Will is there, he won't hide when he sees a cop. Jim tells him to stay with Jonathan and drives off.
Mike quickly eats breakfast and secretly pockets a few waffles. He taunts Nancy about secretly studying with Steve, and she kicks her brother under the table. When Mike goes downstairs, Jane is examining his walkie-talkie. He gives her the waffle to eat and asks her to go to the front door and ring the bell, and they'll pretend to meet each other again. Jane says, "No," and that she's in trouble with bad people. She puts two fingers to her head in a shooting motion and then points at Mike. Karen calls for Mike to come up, and he tells Jane to stay there until he comes back.
At the lab, Catherine tells Benner that the incident happened less than two miles away and Will is still missing. They listen to Joyce's call to Flo that Will called and something attacked him.
The search party continues through the forest, and Jim joins them. He tells Callahan and Powell what happened, and Callahan asks Powell if Jim and Joyce were together before. Powell just ignores him.
At school, Nancy and Barbara review the questions for the test. Steve comes up and assures Nancy that she's got it, and invites Nancy at his place while his parents are out of town. As they talk, Jonathan comes in and starts putting up a poster. Nancy goes over and offers her condolences, and assures him that everything is thinking about him. She says that Will is fine and leaves when the bell rings. As Jonathan leaves, the school administrator announces that there'll be an assembly on the football field in support of Will and his family.
In science class, Dustin and Lucas wait for Mike to arrive and figure that after they get Jane back to the asylum, they can focus on finding Will.
Once Karen leaves, Mike goes back home and takes Jane upstairs to get her some food. She looks at the photos of his family and says that Nancy is pretty, and Mike invites her to sit in his father's Lazy boy.
As Jonathan drives home, he remembers listening to The Clash on the stereo with Will.
As the brothers listen to the music, they hear Joyce and Lonnie arguing downstairs. Jonathan closes the door and assures his brother that it's okay not to be normal.
Jonathan drives out of Hawkins.
Joyce arrives at the store where she works so she can buy a new phone. Her boss Donald rings her up and she asks for a two weeks' advance. When Donald hesitates, Joyce reminds him that she's been working there for ten years and never missed a shift. She says that she doesn't know if she'll ever see Will again, and demands the phone, two weeks' advance, and a pack of cigarettes.
Brenner and his team go to Joyce's house and check the outside using Geiger counters. They find radiation in the work shed and traces of the monster's fluids.
At home, Mike shows Jane his toys but she's more interested in his science trophies. There's a photo of Will, and Mike realizes that Jane recognizes him. Before she can say anything, Karen returns home with Holly. She hears Mike and calls to him, and he hides Jane in his bedroom closet. He promises that he won't tell his mother about Jane, and Jane hides in the darkness, remembering.
Two orderlies take Jane down a hallway. Brenner watches as she yells for her father. The orderlies toss her in a cell and lock her in. Crying, Jane crouches in a corner.
Mike tells Karen that he's sick. She assures him that she's not mad at him, and figures that he's upset because of what happened to Will. Karen says that he doesn't have to hide anything from him, just as they hear something move upstairs. Once he's alone, Mike goes to his room and finds Jane crouched down in the closet. Crying, she promises that everything is okay.
Joyce goes home and installs the new phone. She then sits down and waits for Will to call again.
The search party reaches the ravine and finds nothing. Flo calls Jim and tells him that he needs to get to Benny's diner. When Jim, Powell, and Callahan get there, they find Benny's corpse. He's apparently shot himself, and Jim tells his men that Benny was his friend.
Jonathan drives to Lonnie's place and Cynthia answers the door. The teenager shoves past her and checks the rooms, looking for Will. Lonnie comes in and introduces Jonathan to Cynthia, and tries to hug his son. However, Jonathan shoves him away.
After school, Lucas and Dustin ride to the Wheeler house and Mike takes them to his room. Mike says that Jane knows about Will and figures that the same bad people after her took Will. Lucas grabs Jane by the shoulders and asks her where Will is, but she doesn't say anything. Mike refuses to tell Karen, but Lucas insists. When he tries to open the bedroom door, it slams shut on its own and locks. Jane says, "No" as her nose bleeds.
Lonnie shows Jonathan the car he's been remodeling and insists that Will isn't there. He figures that Joyce just forgot where Will was, and that Jim is still police chief. Lonnie tells Jonathan to get Joyce to move to the city and hopes that he can see his son more. He points out that Joyce isn't watching Jonathan either and says that he might not be the asshole. Jonathan gives him a poster and leaves.
At the station, Jim talks to one of Benny's regulars, Earl. Earl says that he and Benny were planning to go fishing, and he saw him the day before. The older man says that he saw a kid trying to steal foo from the kitchen, Jim gets a description and Earl confirm that it wasn't Will. However, he admits that he didn't get a good look at the kid and it could have been Will if he had a buzzcut.
At home, Nancy calls Barbara and tries to convince her to go to the party with her. She then joins her family for dinner, and Dustin and Lucas are there with Mike. Karen notices that everyone is distracted, and Nancy brings up the assembly. She convinces Karen to let her go and suggests that she take the boys, and they all say they aren't going. Jane comes down the stairs behind Karen, and Mike sees her and chokes on his milk. Dustin pounds on the table, distracting Karen so that she doesn't see the girl.
The search parties continue their search around the diner. Stokes finds a piece of cloth near a small drainage tunnel, and Jim figures that Will might have crawled in. They follow it and discover that it leads to the energy lab.
The boys bring some food down to Jane and they say that they just want to find their friend. They explain about friends and spit-swears.
Nancy has Barbara park three blocks away from Steve's house, and insists that Steve doesn't just want to get into her pants.
At home, Jim gets out of bed, leaving his sleeping girlfriend Sandra in bed. He goes out on the porch, and Sandra wakes up and joins him. Jim wonders if she feels cursed and points out that there hasn't been a suicide in Hawkins since 1963. She asks him to come back inside, and Jim asks for a minute alone.
In Mike's basement, Jane picks up Will's D&D miniature and says that it belongs to him. She then flips over the map to its blank side, puts the miniature in the middle, and says that Will is hiding. When Mike wonders who his friend is hiding from, Jane puts out the miniature of the Demogorgon.
Jonathan drives to where Will crashed his bike and starts taking pictures with his camera. He hears a scream and runs to investigate, and comes to Steve's house. Steve's friend Tommy H. is tossing is mock-threatening to throw his girlfriend Carol into the pool. Steve drinks a beer while Nancy and Barbara look on. He dares Nancy to show them how it's done, and Nancy chugs a beer. She invites Barbara to try, and Barbara cuts herself trying to puncture the can. She goes into the bathroom to clean up, while Jonathan takes more photos. Tommy shoves Carol into the pool and then jumps in after her, and Steve shoves Nancy in and jumps in.
At the Byers house, the phone rings, waking up Joyce. She answers it and hears Will breathing. As the lights flicker, he calls to her but then electricity chars the receiver and the line goes dead. Furious and frustrated, Joyce throws the phone away and breaks into tears. The lights flicker again and Joyce realizes that it's a signal. The tape player starts up in Will's bedroom and Joyce goes in. There's no one there, and the light in the lamp flares up. The tape player shuts off and the light goes out, and something starts to emerge from the wall. Screaming, Joyce runs out of the house and gets into her car. As she starts the engine, the tape player starts again. Joyce braces herself and then goes back inside.
At Steve's house, everyone goes in to dry off. Tommy takes Carol to the parents' bedroom, and Steve goes to get some dry clothes. Barbara comes out and Nancy suggests that she go home, insisting that she's fine. Her friend warns that it isn't her, but Nancy insists that she's fine and goes upstairs after Steve.
As Nancy looks out the window of Steve's bedroom, Jonathan takes a photo of her. She asks Steve to give her some privacy while she changes, but then calls to him to turn around and undresses. Steve comes over and kisses her, while Jonathan sees Barbara sitting by the pool and takes a picture of her.
Barbara is on the diving board dipping her feet in the water. The blood from her cut drops into the water, and the lights flicker out. Something lunges out of the darkness, and when Jonathan looks up from reloading his film, he realizes that Barbara is gone. He figures that she went back inside and heads back to his car.
Steve and Nancy end up on Steve's bed.
The lights by the pool come back on.
Written by Gadfly on Aug 28, 2016