In Pittsburgh, a group of masked figures run out of a building and get into their getaway van. As they drive off, a police car gives chase. One of the robbers tells the driver to pull into an alley going the wrong way. They narrowly avoid the oncoming cars and get clear, only for more police cars to come after them. The robbers tell one of the women, Kali, to do something, and she tells the driver to head into a tunnel. As the police follow them, Kali concentrates and the police officer in the lead car, Adams, hallucinates the tunnel collapsing in front of them. They brake to a halt, slamming into each other. he staggers out sick, and discovers that the tunnel is intact.
Kali and the others drive out the other side, and Kali wipes the blood from her nose. On her wrist is a bar code: 008.
In Hawkins, people are preparing for Halloween. At home, Dustin is looking around his house. He finally finds the quarters he needs and calls Lucas on the radio. He then calls Mike, who hasn't gotten any quarters. Mike sneaks into Nancy's room and takes her quarters, and when she comes in tells her that he'll pay her back. He runs out and rides off on his bike before she can stop hm.
The friends meet at the arcade, and Joyce drops off Will. She tells him to be careful and to have fun, and Will joins his friends. Dustin plays Dragon's Lair but gets killed. When he says that he's tops on the other games, Keith corrects him. Dustin runs over and discovers that a new player, MADMAX, has topped him. They ask Keith who MADMAX is, and he says that he'll tell them if Mike sets up a date for him with Nancy.
As they argue, Will looks outside and sees a storm gathering. He turns and discovers that everyone in the arcade is gone. The arcade turns into an overgrown ruin from the Upside Down and Will goes outside. Mike calls to him, and everything snaps back to normal. They go back inside to play.
The next day, Jim arrives at the police station and investigative reporter Murray Bauman is waiting for him. Murray says that they need to talk, but Jim doesn't want to hear it. The deputies laugh as Murray says there's a Russian spy presence in Hawkins, and there have been reports of a girl with psionic abilities. Jim gives him five minutes, and Murray says that there have been rumors of a girl with a shaved head seen around town. he figures that it's tied into Barb's disappearance, but Jim is less than impressed. He's interrupted when he gets a call from the local pumpkin patch owner, Merril, that his pumpkins have been contaminated by his vengeful neighbor. Jim tells Murray that he has to tend to business and leaves.
Steve and Nancy are parked outside of the school, and Nancy goes over his essay for early application to college. He asks her to help him that night at his house, and Nancy reminds him that he was going to come to dinner. Steve figures that he might be better off working for his dad in insurance, and he'd be there for Nancy's senior years. They kiss just as new kid Billy pulls up in h it hot rod. He and his sister Max get out and the local girls check out Steve's ass.
Will goes to his locker and discovers that some has left an article of him with the words "Zombie Boy" written on his photo. He goes to class where Mr. Clarke talks about the human brains. The principal brings in Max, and the boys figure that she's MADMAX.
Joyce is working at the general store when Bob Newby comes in. He asks if they have pumpkins in any other colors go into the back, and kiss. Joyce finally says that she has to get back to work, and says that she'll see that night at the house for movie night
Jim drives out to the pumpkin patch, which is filled with rotting pumpkins. Merrill says that his neighbor Eugene is responsible, and figures that Eugene sent one of his field hands out. Jim notices something moving in the nearby field and goes to investigate. A crow flies up but there's no one there.
Tina is handing out invitations to her Halloween bash, and Nancy gives one to Jonathan and tells him that he's going. He refuses but Nancy says that he can't sit alone home on Halloween. Jonathan says that he's going trick-or-treating with Will, but Nancy figures that he'll be home by 8 by himself. As they arrive at Nancy's locker, Steve grabs her and they kiss. Jonathan walks away and Nancy notices him going.
Dustin and the others watch Max skateboarding. She drops something and goes inside, and the boys run over. Dustin digs in the garbage and finds a note telling them to stop spying on her. Principal Coleman comes over and tells Will that Joyce is there. Everyone looks at Will as Coleman takes him outside to where Joyce is waiting. Mike and the others watch, and figure that Will is always quiet when he has to go in.
Joyce drives Will out of town and asks if he's feeling any better. After a moment, a distracted Will says that he is. Joyce tells him to tell them what he felt and saw, and she'll be there with him so it will be okay. They pull up to where Jim is waiting outside of the government facility. They go inside and put Will through medical tests. Dr. Sam Owens comes in and chats with Will, and asks about the episode he had. Agents monitor Will as he describes his vision at the arcade. Owens pushes him for details, and Will's EKG readings go up as he says that he sensed evil and it wanted to kill everyone else.
After the session, Owens tells Joyce and Jim that it's going to get worse before it gets better. He explains that it's the anniversary of the event so Will will have more episodes and personality changes. Owens tells Joyce to treat Will normally and let him lead the way. He assures her that the former government people are gone, and he assures Joyce that he's on her side. Outside, Joyce complains to Jim and Jim says that post-traumatic stress is real. He asks about Bob and Joyce says that they're good. Jim rather unconvincingly says that he's happy for her and tells Joyce to call him if things get worse. As Joyce drives away with Will, Jim looks up and Owens waves to him
As Jim goes, an assistant tells Owens that they're ready for him and he goes to an underground lab where a soldier with a flamethrower dons a protective suit and enters an airlock. He enters the next chamber and approaches the Upside Down portal, and uses the flame thrower on the organism in front of it.
Dustin and Lucas watch the arcade and Billy drops Max off. Brother and sister argue and Billy drives off as Max gives him the finger. She goes inside and plays DigDug, and Dustin and Lucas keep watching her.
That night, Karen tells Mike to pick out his toys for the yard sale. Mike says that they already took away his Atari, and Karen points out that he's been acting up recently. Ted vaguely joins in.
Steve and Nancy go to the Holland house and have KFC with Barb's parents. Nancy asks about the for sale sign in their yard, and Mrs. Holland says that they hired Murray to look into Barb's disappearance. Mr. Holland says that Murray is going to do what Jim hasn't been capable of doing, and finding Barb. They hope that they'll find Barb, and they're selling the house to pay for him. Mrs. Holland says that for the first time, they're hopeful. Nancy excuses herself and goes to the bathroom, upset. There's a picture of Barb on the counter, and Nancy turns it down and cries.
In the basement, Mike picks his toys for the yard sale and keeps his favorites. He looks over at the nest where El stayed, picks up his radio, and calls to El. Mike says that he's still there and asks her to say something if she's still out there. He gets no response and puts down the radio. Dustin calls in and asks what he's doing on the channel, and says that Max is MADMAX. Mike irritably shuts down the radio, and Dustin tells Lucas that they stick with the plan. Lucas worries that Mike might not agree but Dustin doesn't care. He rides to his house and hears something digging in the garbage. Dustin figures that it's the cat and goes inside, and something shakes in the garbage can.
Bob takes video of Joyce, saying that it's the future. Will is drawing a picture of himself as Zombie Boy when Jonathan comes in and tells him to pick what video they watch. He sees the sketch and Will tells his brother that he's Zombie Boy. Will insists that everyone treats him like he's going to break, and says that it just makes him feel like more of a freak. Jonathan insists that he isn't, but Will says that he is. After a moment, his brother tells him that he is a freak but says that being a freak is the best and he's the same. Jonathan tells Will that he always hangs out with him because they're best friends. Bob comes by and looks at the videos, picks one, and goes.
As Bob and the Byers watch the movie, Jonathan and Will are bored while Bob and Joyce laugh. The phone rings and Joyce jumps, and Bob tells her to let it go.
At the facility, a technician is at his console when the alarms go off.
Will goes to the bathroom. Afterward, he hears something rumbling and hears the storm outside. The front door opens, revealing the Upside Down, and Will goes outside. Something vast and tentacles appears in the sky.
Jim drives out to the forest and avoids the tripwire that he set. He knocks at the door of a cabin, and El unlocks the doors. Jim goes to the refrigerator and gets a beer, and discovers she's set out TV dinners. El complains that he didn't signal because she's late, and he tells her that he won't be again.
Written by Gadfly on Oct 29, 2017