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Chapter Three: The Case of the Missing Lifeguard Recap

At the cabin, Max and El are listening to music and going through teen magazines. Max asks if Mike is a good kisser, and El says that he's her first boyfriend. Her new friend assures her that Mike will soon come crawling back to her, and he's wallowing in self-pity. When Max wishes that she could see their stupid faces, El gets an idea. She astrally projects herself and sees the guys in Mike's basement. Mike asks Lucas why El is treating him the way she is, while Will sets up the D&D table. Lucas and Mike aren't interested, and El quickly drops back to the real world when Lucas demonstrates his farting ability.

Jim comes into the cabin and barges into the bedroom to find El and Max reading teen magazines. He apologizes and El says that Max wanted to have a sleepover. Jim says that it's cool and retreats. Jim pours himself wine and sits down to watch TV, while El and Max make a spin-the-bottle chart to see who El should project to next. They come up with Billy, and El "sees" him backing away from the factory. Billy is kneeling nearby, telling Heather not to be afraid. It's the doppelganger Billy, and El briefly materializes in the factory basement as the doppelganger realizes that she's there. El rips off her blindfold and stares at Max in shock.

The next morning, it's raining. Will dresses up as a GM and turns on fantasy music, waking up Mike and Lucas. He declares the day free of girls and tries to get his friends involved. Lucas asks to take a shower first.

Jim takes a shower and takes aspirin for his hangover. There's a note on the refrigerator from El, saying that she's sleeping over at Max's. Joyce arrives and says that they need to talk, and Jim complains that she stood him up. Undeterred, Joyce demonstrates how the magnets won't stick to his refrigerator. She talks about how she went to see Clarke and he figured a large-scale magnetic field demagnetized the magnets. Jim focuses on how she went to Clarke's house and stood him up, and Joyce suggests that Hawkins Lab is connected. He doesn't believe her, and Joyce asks him to take her there to prove it. Jim sarcastically suggests that they go there that night unless something comes up, and tells Joyce that it will. He goes in the next room to dress and yells that Joyce is inventing things to get worked up about so she can push him away. Jim talks about moving on, and finally realizes that Joyce has left.

Going outside, Jim sees Joyce emerge from his shed with wire clippers to get through the door at Hawkins. He yells that she's not going back there and goes after her.

El and Max go to the Byers' house, and Max says that Billy and girls with him make happy screams when they're alone. Billy's car isn't there, and the girls go into the house. They search the place and find the bathtub filled with melted ice. El finds a fanny pack and a bloody lifeguard's whistle below the sink and holds it up for Max to see.

Jonathan and Nancy develop the photographs he took at the Driscoll house. Nancy assures Jonathan that she's got it and they kiss. They show the photos to Holloway and his reporters, and Nancy tells them that she checked with the farm supplies and they've all had fertilizer, diesel fuel, and pesticide go missing in the last few days. Bruce doesn't believe it and the reporters laugh. Holloway suggests that it could be big and then jokes as well, and tells her that they'll decide what the real stories are. Jonathan tries to reassure her as she leaves, but Nancy walks past him.

At Scoops Ahoy, Erica tries to get Robin's attention as Robin tries to translate the Russian message. The girl wants more samples, and Robin refuses saying she's abusing the company policy. Erica asks for Steve, and Robin tells her that he's busy with spycraft.

Dustin and Steve spy around the mall, looking for Russians. Steve is more interested in seeing who is dating who, and Dustin takes the binoculars and tells him that Robin is the perfect girl for him. The older boy says that Robin is still in school and she's weird, and not his type. Dustin talks about Suzie, and Steve points out that Dustin scored her with his advice.

Will continues with the D&D session, and Mike and Lucas are less than thrilled. The phone rings and Will tells them not to answer it, warning that it's a trap. Mike answers it, hoping that it's El, but it's only a telemarketer. Lucas suggests that they call them, and Will says that they have to play D&D.. Mike and Lucas have their characters set the chamber on fire, killing the monsters and themselves, and a disgusted Will tells them to forget it and goes home. Mike goes after him and says that they're not in the mood, and Will tells him that they're never in the mood. Will says that Mike is ruining everything over El, and Mike tells him that they're not kids. His friend admits that he thought they would always sit in the basement and plays games, and rides off into the rain.

El and Max go to the pool and show the manager the fanny pack. He confirms that it's Heather's and says that she's not there. El sees Heather's photo on the bulletin board and Max asks if El can find her from that. The girl grabs the photo, and they go into the locker room and turn on the showers to provide white noise. El astrally projects using the photo and finds the Holloways' mailbox. A red door appears nearby and El goes through it. A bathtub filled with ice is on the other side, and Heather rises up from the water and begs El to help her before she falls back under. The bathtub turns into water and El sees Heather being pulled through the water-floor. She returns to the real world, gasping and sobbing.

Jim and Joyce go to the old Hawkins site and Jim cuts the chain on the door open. Joyce remembers one of the Demo-Dogs killing Bob, and tells Jim that she's fine. They continue on, unaware that someone is watching them via a surveillance camera.

Dustin spots a suspicious-looking man with a duffel bag, and Dustin and Steve follow the man to a Jazzercise studio. He takes a boom box out of the duffel bag and starts the exercising with a group of women. Steve is impressed by the women: Dustin isn't.

Robin continues trying to decipher the Russian message. A delivery man with Lynx Transport drops off a box, and Robin realizes the company logo is a silver cat like in the message. She runs out as Steve and Dustin return, and she finds a Chinese restaurant when the message refers to "a trip to China sounds nice". She deciphers the rest of the message, and Steve and Dustin come over and ask what she's doing. Robin explains that she cracked the code.

Bruce and the other reports play a joke on Nancy using a rubber rat. She goes into the darkroom and tells Jonathan that the reporters want proof so they should get some: the rat Doris captured. Jonathan reminds her that Holloway told them to drop the story, and says that it's stupid to get fired over the story. Nancy insists that they won't get fired. Jonathan agrees to go with her.

Joyce and Jim continue through Hawkins and discover all of the cavities have been filled with concrete. Jim tells her that it's over, and assures Joyce that she's not losing her mind. He says that he's been on edge since the last invasion, and assures Joyce that he's keeping a close eye on things so she and her family feel safe. Jim knows that Joyce is preparing to sell her house, and asks if the boys know. He sits down with her and says that after his daughter Sarah died, he had to get away and ended up back in Hawkins. Jim tells Joyce that she knows that there are people in Hawkins that care about him. Jim and Joyce hear something moving in the darkness and Jim goes to investigate. He finds a door just closing and draws his gun.

Mike and Lucas ride their bikes to the Byers house and knock on the door, calling to Will to come out and talk. Will is in his fort in the woods, reading a comic book. He finally tosses it side and looks around at the relics from his D&D games with the others, and tears up a photo of when they dressed as the Ghostbusters, saying that it's stupid. Will goes out and knocks his fort apart, and then collapses, crying.

Nancy and Jonathan go to the Driscoll house and she doesn't answer the door. The door is unlocked and they go in and go to the basement, More fertilizer bags are on the floor, and the two teenagers hear growling noises. They go around the corner and find Doris eating fertilizer.

After the mall closes, Dustin, Steve, and Robin watch a truck back up to the Lynx loading dock. The guards are armed, and a man brings up boxes that the teenagers figure are filled with chemical weapons. Dustin and Steve fight over the binoculars and drop them, alerting the guards. The kids duck down and Steve briefly holds Robin's hand. A guard comes up but by the time he has, the trio has fled back into the mall.

Jim continues searching Hawkins and finds an open office door. He kicks his way in, and Grigori grabs him from behind. The Russian soon knocks Jim unconscious. Joyce comes in a minute later and finds the unconscious Jim, and she sees Grigori down on his bike, driving away.

El and Max ride to the Holloway house, El identifies the mailbox, and they go inside. Billy is at the dinner table with Holloway and his wife Janet, and Billy introduces them to his sister Max. El asks where Heather is, and Heather comes out with fresh-baked cookies. Max says that the manager at the pool was worried when Heather didn't come in, and Billy says that she wasn't feeling well so they took the day off. Heather says that she's feeling fine and asks the girls if they want a cookie.

As El and Max ride off, Billy "remembers" El sealing the Upside Down rift at Hawkins.

Will feels the itchiness on the back of his neck. He gets up and looks around as Mike and Lucas arrive, and tells them that the Demogorgon is back.

Billy goes back to the dinner table and tells the Holloways that everything is fine. Janet nervously knocks over a wine glass, and excuses herself to lie down. She collapses in the hallway, and Holloway goes to check on her. Heather hits him over the head with a wine bottle, then takes a rag with chloroform from Billy and knocks her father unconscious.

Written by Gadfly on Jul 21, 2019

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