After destroying the Demogorgon., El wakes up in the Upside Down. She staggers through the alternate school, calling to Mike. El sees a light in the distance and goes to investigate, and discovers that it's a portal to the real world. There are government men on the other side, and El ducks out of sight so they don't see her. Once they go, she reaches through and discovers that the real school is on the other side. El concentrates and fully opens the portal, and steps through.
El makes her way to Mike's house but sees the police outside. Inside, government are telling the Wheelers to not talk about what happened. Mike says that he doesn't know where El is and wouldn't tell them if he did know. One agent says that what El told him isn't true and she's a dangerous individual. Mike stares out the window, where El is watching. The agents go outside and search for El, but she's gone.
In the forest, El hides as the agents search for her.
At the cabin, Jim is making French toast and turns to see El wearing a sheet for Halloween. She points out that they wouldn't see her if she was wearing a costume, and Jim tells her that he doesn't care. Jim warns that it's a risk and they don't take risks, and tells her to eat breakfast. El sits down and sulks, and Jim says that he'll buy some candy and they'll sit around, eat it, and watch scary movies. She agrees to do it and makes Jim promise that he'll be there at 5:15. Jim ruffles her hair and they smile.
At the Byers house, Joyce checks on Will and discovers that he's gone. Jonathan is making breakfast, and has no idea where Will is. Joyce finds him in the bathroom peeing and once he's done, she gets him into his Ghostbusters Halloween costume. She notices his sketches of the Demon and asks what they are, and Will says that it's nothing. Joyce wonders if he had another episode, and Will claims that it's a sketch for a story that he's writing.
All of the parents take photos of their sons in costume. Mike complains that Lucas came as Venkman instead of Winston, and Dusty notices that no one else is wearing costumes. Everyone laughs at them as they go inside, and Max skates by. Dustin asks if they're going to do it, and Lucas points out that they look like nerds. They freeze up and Max walks away.
Joyce shows Jim Will's sketch and the area outside of the house that matches the area in the sketch. She wonders why Will lied to him, and figures that what Will is seeing is real. Jim says that they're flashbacks, and warns that all the doctors will tell Joyce the same thing about Will suffering from trauma. He tells Joyce that nothing will go back to the way it was, but it will get better in time. They share Jim's cigarette and he reminds her that they used to do the same thing in elementary school. After a moment, Joyce says that she just wants it to be over.
At Hawkins Labs, a soldier puts on a protective suit and enters the portal to the Upside Down. Owens and his people monitor him through his helmet camera as he goes to the equipment that they've set up and replaces a burned-out part. Owens reviews the tapes of his sessions with Will.
Nancy and Steve are in the library working on their homework, and Nancy goes to sharpen her pencil.. She sees a girl that looks like Nancy and remembers what happened to her friend. Steve finally comes over and asks if Nancy is okay, and she tells him that she can't keep pretending that everything is okay. Nancy wants to tell the Hollands the truth, but Steve warns that the government could jail them or destroy their families if they tell anyone the truth. He says that they should just go to Tina's party and pretend that they're teenagers, and Nancy agrees.
After school ends, Dustin and Lucas approach Max and introduce themselves. She knows that they've been stalking her, and they claim that they were concerned about her safety. Max knows that they're wearing Ghostbuster outfits, but isn't impressed. Dustin suggests that she go trick-or-treating with them, and she walks off without answering as Dustin calls after her.
El is watching TV at the cabin and changes the channels with her mind. As she watches a soap opera, El hears a chittering noise and looks outside. A squirrel is on the feeder, and El stares at it, remembering.
El telekinetically slams a squirrel into a tree, killing it, and cooks it over a fire. A hunter comes up and asks who she is and why she's there, and El telekinetically lifts a burning piece of wood and kills the man. She takes his coat and runs off.
El hastily closes the blind.
Jim arrives at the police station and parks next to Eugene's truck with his poisoned pumpkins. Inside, Eugene says that Merril poisoned his pumpkins, and he has an alibi for when Merril accused him. The man tells Jim that he didn't actually see Merril poison the pumpkins, and Jim points out that it's a cold October. Eugene says that he's been raising a pumpkins a long time and none of them have seen anything like it. He tells Jim that Merril hit a lot of pumpkin fields, and Jim takes down the names.
Max goes over to Billy's car and Billy says that he's late. He tells her that she's skating home, but Max gets in the car and he drives them both home. Billy complains that Hawkins is shit, and when Max says that it isn't so bad, he opens the window and says that it smells like cow shit. She says that they're stuck there and mutters that it's Billy's fault. Billy screams at her to say whose fault it is, and speeds up the car. The boys are riding down the road ahead of them, and Max tells Billy not to hit them. He speeds up and swerves at the last minute, knocking them off the road.
Jim drives to Eugene's place and shows him the dead and rotting pumpkins. They go out into the forest and Jim finds a tree that is covered in goo. Powell and Callahan call and report that they've found the same thing at another field. Jim tells them to track the rot and see how far it goes, and then marks the rotting trees.
Sean is wearing a vampire costume, and shows Jonathan how to run his video camera. Joyce tells Will to stay with Jonathan, and the two of them head out. Jonathan wonders what Joyce sees in Bob, and Will complains that he can't go trick-or-treating by himself. He points out that Nancy isn't watching Mike. They arrive at the Wheeler house and Jonathan tells his brother that he can go by himself as long as he stays in the neighborhood and is back by 9. Will agrees and joins his friends, and Jonathan takes out the flyer for Tina's party.
At Tina's house, Billy is chugging beer from the keg. His friends tell Steve that they have a new Keg King, and Nancy starts drinking the punch with alcohol. When Steve protests, Nancy tells him that they were going to be stupid teenagers for the night.
At the Byers house, Bob puts on a record and gets Joyce up to dance with him. He assures her that Will is fine, and Joyce says that she can't function when Will is away from her. Bob suggests that they move out of Hawkins together, and Joyce warns him that it's not a normal family. He says that it could be and they hug. The doorbell rings and Bob goes to the door to give the tricker-or-treaters candy.
The boys go to a house and the woman thinks that they're exterminators. Once they get their candy, they head on and argue about candy bars. Max jumps out wearing a Michael Myers masks, scaring them, and then tells them to come with her to get candy.
Jim continues planting markers in the forest. He hears something in the pumpkin field and prepares to draw his gun. It's Eugene's grandson, who fires a popgun. Jim checks the time and realizes that it's well past 5:15m, he pays the boy for his candy.
El is watching TV when the radio goes off. It's Jim, sending a Morse code message that he'll be late.
El comes to a box and finds an Eggo inside. After looking around, she takes it and runs off.
Max and the boys go to Loch Nora in the expensive part of Hawkins, and collect full-sized candy bars. Will takes video of everything, and Mike complains to Will that Max is ruining the best night of the year for them. Boys in costume scare Will, calling him "zombie boy", and he finds himself back in the Upside Down. The Demon rises up and Will runs into a nearby house as the giant creature moves toward him. He hides, and Mike finds him and asks if he's okay. The others arrive and Mike tells them to keep trick-or-treating while he takes Will home.
Jonathan arrives at the party and a goth girl, Samantha, introduces herself. He looks around and sees Nancy drunkenly dancing with Steve. She staggers off to get some more punch, and Steve tells her that they've had enough. They argue and Nancy spills the punch on her sweater. Angrily, she goes to the bathroom to rinse it off. Steve follows her and offers to take her home, and she tells him that he's bullshit because he's pretending that everything is okay when they killed Barb. Steve is hurt when she says that they're acting like they're in love, and Nancy insists that it's all bullshit. Angry, Steve walks out and Jonathan sees him go.
At the Wheeler house, Will tells Mike that he's stuck between the real world and the Upside Down. He describes the Shadow Demon that was coming for him, and doesn't know if it's real or stress. Will asks Mike not to tell the others, and Mike says that El would. He explains that it still feels like El is around and he's going crazy, and Will tells him that he feels the same. They agree to go crazy together.
Jonathan drives a passed-out Nancy home and gets her to her bed. He takes off her shoes and covers her over, and Nancy mutters Jonathan's name before passing out again.
Jim arrives at the cabin and knocks on the door. El doesn't let him in, and Jim calls through the door apologizing for being late. She finally opens the locks, and Jim goes in to find her watching TV in the next room. Jim says that he lost track of time, but El doesn't open the door and Jim sits down and calls out that he's going to eat all the candy. Inside, El keeps flipping through the channels. She turns the TV to a blank channel, puts on a blindfold, and concentrates.
El finds herself in a black void and sees Mike talking to her on the walkie-talkie. She kneels down and calls his name, and strokes his face. Mike is unable to see her in his basement, gives up, and walks away. El removes the blindfold, her nose bleeding, and cries.
Dustin arrives home and hears the creature moving in the garbage can. He realizes that it's not the family cat, and removes the lid... and stares at what's inside.
Written by Gadfly on Nov 2, 2017