At Hawkins Lab, Joyce is handcuffed to a chair in an interrogation room. She yells for someone to let her out, and Brenner finally comes in. He says that they know she’s been in contact with Will and asks when and how. Brenner says that six people have been taken and they don’t understand the monster, but they can predict its behavior. He warns that the monster will take more sons and daughters, and he wants to save them all... including Will. Joyce says that she knows who he is and what he’s done--faking Will’s death and leaving him in the Upside Down. She tells Brenner to go to hell.
Hawkins and the other agents interrogate Jim and demand to know what he’s done. Jim says that he knows everything, and they ask for specifics. The police chief says that this time they messed up and they’re covering their tracks by faking Benny’s suicide and Will’s death. He claims that he gave the information to a reporter, and they prepare to give him an overdose. When Connie says that he made a mistake by coming back, Jim tells her that he knew what happened. He says that they’re going to help him and Joyce find Will, and then they’ll forget what happened.
At the middle school, Mike realizes that Nancy and Jonathan left. Jane says that they went to kill the monster.
Jonathan and Nancy drive to the Byers house and string up the Christmas lights. They then plant the beer traps in the hallways, anchoring them to the floor, lay down a trail of gasoline, rig traps, and load the revolver
Brenner visits Jim and offers him a cigarette. He asks where Jane is, and Jim asks for his word that no one will harm the boys. A few minutes later, guards take Jim to Joyce’s room and free her. As they escort the two adults out, Jim says that he came to an agreement and they’re going to keep silent. The guards have them suit up and then they go down to the gate chamber.
Connie tells Brenner that he’s making a mistake. He says that the monster is gone and they’re not going to find Will as they leave.
Jim and Joyce go through the gate to the Upside Down. As Jim tries to calm Joyce down, he remembers being with his wife and his daughter Sara, and Sara having trouble breathing.
Jonathan grabs some kitchen knives and he and Nancy review their plan. They then cut their hands.
Lucas and Dustin remind Mike that they’re still fugitive, and say that they should stay together and guard Karen. Dustin goes to get some chocolate pudding for Jane.
As Nancy bandages Jonathan’s hand, Jonathan says that Joyce told him the lights would blink when the monster comes. She takes his hand and Jonathan starts to say something to her... and Steve knocks at the front door. Nancy answers the door and tells Steve to leave, and he admits that he messed up. He wants to make things right, and notices the bandage on her hand. Realizing that something is wrong, Steve barges in and sees the traps and the lights. Nancy draws the gun and tells Steve to get out, just as the lights flicker. The monster smashes in through the ceiling, and Nancy fires at it. Jonathan grabs her and Steve and they run down the hallway to Will’s room. The monster makes noises outside in the hallway, and after a moment everything goes silent. Nancy and Jonathan go out and realize that it set off the trap. However, there’s no sign of the monster.
Jim and Joyce continue o0n and find an open podlike object. They come to the ruins of Fort Byers and Jim finds a stuffed animal among the wreckage. It’s the same animal that his daughter Sara had when she was dying of cancer. He remembers crying with grief when he was alone, and then calls to Will.
The teenagers go back to the living room and Steve insists that it’s all crazy. He grabs the phone but Nancy yanks it away and tells him to leave. Steve runs to his car but sees the house lights flicker.
In the house, Jonathan and Nancy try to spot the monster. The lights go out and the monster grabs Jonathan. Nancy shoots it and the monster advances on her. However, Steve runs back in, grabs Jonathan’s spiked baseball bat, and hits the creature. He knocks it into the second trap and it closes on the monster’s legs. Jonathan lights the gasoline and the monster bursts into flames.
Jim and Joyce hear the creature shrieking.
Jonathan sprays the flames with the fire extinguisher. Once the smoke clears, they realize that the monster is gone.
Jim and Joyce find the Upside Down version of the Byers house and go inside.
The Christmas lights slowly come back on in the real world.
Jim finds the char marks and realizes that the monster was hurt. He follows the blood trail.
The Christmas lights lay out a trail, and Jonathan realizes that Joyce is in the Upside Down. He calls her name and Joyce faintly hears him. The teenagers go outside and see the yard light flicker, and Jonathan figures that it’s not the monster.
Dustin and Lucas find the lunch lady’s secret stash of chocolate pudding. Meanwhile, Jane asks Mike what pudding is. He tells her that once things are back to normal, she can live at his house and his parents will take care of her. Jane asks if Mike will be like his brother, and he hastily says he won’t because it’s different. She realizes that he’s lying, and Mike suggests that they go to the school dance together. He suddenly kisses her and she stares at him in surprise... and then smiles.
A car pulls up outside and Mike runs out, figuring that it’s Nancy. It’s Brenner and his people, who move in on the building. He runs back to the gym and warns the others, and a minute later Brenner and his people come in. There’s no sign of the children, and the soldiers search the school
The kids are heading out when the soldiers find them. They run but more soldiers cut off their escape. Connie prepares to shoot them, and Jane uses her telekinesis to crush their brains inside of their skulls. Jane passes out from the effort and won’t wake up,
Jim and Joyce follow the blood trail into the Upside Down version of the town, and realize that it’s heading for the middle school.
Brenner and more agents arrive and tell the boys to step away from Jane. More soldiers grab them and drag them away, and Brenner goes to Jane and tries to wake her up. She opens her eyes and sees the soldiers holding the boys. Brenner promises that he’s going to take her home and they’ll make everything better. She calls to Mike and the lights flicker. Mike realizes that the blood from the dead soldiers is drawing the monster.
The wall breaks and the monster comes through into the real world. The soldiers release the boys and open fire, and the boys carry Jane away. Meanwhile, the monster leaps on Brenner.
Jim and Joyce enter the school and find skeletons in the creature’s residue. Among them is Barbara’s body. Joyce finds Will with a creature attached to his mother. Jim pulls the creature out of Will’s mouth and shoots it.
The boys take Jane to the science classroom and lock the door. Mike tells the unconscious Jane that they’ll be home soon and they can go to the dance together. Jane wakes up and asks him to promise, and Mike does. The monster roars outside and continues attacking the remaining soldiers. The gunfire stops and then the monster smashes through the door. Lucas grabs his wrist rocket and shoots the monster, and it advances on them. The monster finally slams back... and Jane steps forward. When Mike tries to stop her, she telekinetically shoves him back and advances on the creature. She turns and looks at the boys, and says, “Goodbye, Mike.” She then says “no more” and tears the monster apart. Jane disappears as well and the boys call to her. There’s no response.
The adults set Will down and Jim administers CPR. He begs Will to come back, and remembers the doctors trying to revive his daughter without success. After a moment, Will gasps and starts breathing on his own.
As the police secure the school, Ted and Karen arrive. They find Mike sitting in an ambulance, and Karen hugs her son in relief.
Later, Will wakes up in a hospital room and finds Joyce and Jonathan at his bedside. They assure him that he’s home and safe, and Jonathan gives him a new mix tape.
In the waiting room, everyone sits and says nothing. Dustin and Lucas doze off, and Mike stares into space. Jonathan comes in and tells them that Will is awake, and the boys run to his room and hug their friend. They start telling him everything that happened, and Will starts coughing. He says that the Demogorgon got him, and Mike says that their new friend killed it and she’s gone. Nancy watches from the door and then leaves when she remembers Barbara.
As Jim leaves, a c pulls up. A man opens the door and motions for Jim to get in, and he does before the car drives off.
One Month Later
The boys are playing D&D in Mike’s basement. They agree that Will should fireball the monster, and he kills it. The boys cheer but then complain that the campaign is too short. Jonathan comes down to take Will home. As Lucas and Dustin mock-fight, Mike looks over at Jane’s now-abandoned fort.
Up the in the kitchen, Karen tells Jonathan and Will to wish Joyce a merry Christmas. Nancy gives Jonathan a wrapped box but says that it isn’t really a Christmas present. She kisses him on the cheek and Jonathan wishes him a Merry Christmas. Out in the car, Jonathan lets Will open it. Inside is a new camera and Jonathan says that it’s pretty cool.
Inside, Nancy sits with Steve by the Christmas tree. He confirms that she gave Jonathan the camera.
At the station, Jim is leaving the office holiday party. Flo wishes him a Merry Christmas as he goes. On the way home, Jim pulls off the road, gets out, and walks to a box in the woods. He opens it and puts in a Tupperware container with some party food... and some frozen waffles.
At the Byers house, Jonathan is taking photos with his new camera. Joyce is preparing Christmas dinner and her sit down to eat. However, Will says that he has to wash his hands and goes to the bathroom. Once he’s alone, he coughs up a black slug that slithers down the drain. He turns on the water and gets a brief glimpse of the Upside Down. Will then goes back to the table and assures his family that he’s okay.
Written by Gadfly on Sep 4, 2016