At the cabin, El brushes her teeth and remembers her visit to astral plane and conversation with Billy from earlier. When she goes to the bedroom, Max offers her a choice of comic books and tells El that there's nothing to worry about anymore. El says that what she saw about Heather on the astral plane doesn't make sense, and Max points out that they both saw her and she's fine. Max dismisses El's concerns about Billy and how he seems "wrong", and they talk about Wonder Woman.
The EMTs take Doris away, and Doris screams that she has to go back. Once they leave, Deputy Callahan asks Nancy and Jonathan what happened there.
At the factory, Tom wakes up and finds himself tied and gagged next to his wife Janet. Heather and Billy come over and Heather ungags her father. He tries to get through to her, and Heather says that there is no stopping it and he'll see. Billy ungags Janet and tells her to try not to move, and he and Heather walk away. A walking mass of flesh emerges from the shadows, extends a tentacle down Tom's throat, and pumps something into him. Another tentacle does the same to Janet.
The next day, Jim wakes up on the couch at his cabin and Joyce tends to him. He throws up and once he's done, Joyce gives him aspirin. He tries to get up and realizes that he's naked, and Joyce takes him to his clothes drying off on the porch. They go back inside and Jim says that he didn't get a good look at Grigori, and Joyce says that she wrote down the license plate on his motorcycle. She didn't get all of it, and Jim goes into his room to get dressed and tells her to lower her expectations.
Lucas sends out a "code red" over the walkie-talkie, trying to raise his friends. Max finally answers, tells him to shut up, and turns off her walkie-talkie. Mike, Lucas, and Will are also listening, and Mike calls Max to tell her that something bad happened and they'll explain when they come over to his house. Lucas tries to reach Dustin on the walkie-talkie.
At the mall, Dustin is watching the Lynx loading dock. He spots a key card and goes to Scoops Ahoy to tell Robin and Steve what he saw. Steve offers to take the Russian guard out, but Dustin and Robin aren't impressed. Robin has an idea, gets money from the tip jar, and says that she's going to find a safe way into the Russians' room.
Callahan takes Nancy and Jonathan to the Times and tells him what happened with Doris. Once the deputy leaves, Tom calls them into his office and angrily says that they violated Hawkins' trust in the newspaper. He says that they disobeyed his order to drop the story, lied about being reporters, broke into Doris' home, and Doris almost died. Nancy points out that she would have died without them, and Tom says that Doris is a paranoid schizophrenic. He warns that Doris' family has threatened litigation, and he's firing them.
Max and El ride to the Wheeler house, and Will explains that he felt the same sensation of being around the Mind Flayer several times at different places around Hawkins. El reminds Will that she closed the gate, and Will suggests that they locked it in their reality. He suggests that the part of the Mind Flayer that was in him is still in the world, and Mike figures that they have to assume the worst and the Mind Flayer will attach itself to a new host. El wonders how they can tell if someone is a host.
Jim and Joyce drive to town hall and Jim barges into Kline's office. The sheriff locks the door behind him and tells Kline that Grigori was there the other day and wants to know what his name is. Kline suggests that it could be the maintenance guy, and Jim points out that Grigori was coming out of Kline's office. Jim reminds Kline of how him and his people have found Kline using drugs and having an affair with his secretary, and Kline points out that Jim has drunk on duty and took pills. He threatens to call Tom, and Jim grabs him and slams him into the door. Jim beats Kline for answers, then sticks his finger into Kline's cigar cutter and threatens to cut his finger off. Kline says that Grigori gives him money occasionally, and he works for Starcourt. Starcourt needed property and convinced Kline to persuade some people to sell. Jim demands records of the land purchases, and Kline warns him not to mess with them. The sheriff leads Kline out of his office and Joyce goes with them.
As Jonathan and Nancy drive home, Nancy tells Jonathan that she thinks Tom is on drugs. Jonathan says that it's incredible how she ignored his warnings and now he's fired. He reminds her that they were interns, and Nancy says that it was humiliating. Nancy tells him that he doesn't know what it's like and Jonathan tells her that she doesn't, either. They agree that they don't understand each other anymore.
Nancy returns home with her things and Karen sees her daughter crying as she goes up to her room.
Robin returns to Scoops Ahoy with plans of the mall that she bought from the records office with the tip money. The plans show the air ducts and Robin finds a route from the ice cream shop to Lynx. They remove the grille and even Dustin won't fit. Erica arrives to get more ice cream samples, and Robin sees her and gets an idea.
Mike and the others go to the pool and watch Billy through binoculars. Will suggests that the Mind Flayer likes to hide, and only used Will when it needed him. Mike says that they need to figure out if Billy is the host and goes to the pool building with Lucas and Will. They go into the men's locker room and Mike says that they'll wait until everyone leaves and then get Billy into the sauna.
At Scoops Ahoy, Erica tells the others that she's not sure if she wants to get into the air duct. They get her all of the ice cream that she wants, and Robin shows her the route to take. Erica tells them that it's child endangerment, and Dustin tries to convince her it's her patriotic duty. She'd rather have free ice cream for life.
Jim drives Kline to his house and takes him in, and he gets the land deeds from his bedroom safe. Kline says that the people are bad news and he hid the deeds in his safe as protection. Joyce discovers that the Russians wanted land near the power plant, and the magnets fell after the power outage. She figures the machine Clarke describes exists, and it's at one of the properties. Jim half-jokingly asks her to work as a policewoman. Kline tries to go out the window. Jim hears him and drags him back.
Karen talks to Nancy, who admits that she wasn't thinking about anyone and just wanted to be right. She tells her mother that she thought she was, and might not want to admit she's wrong. Karen says that it's not easy out in the world and people tell the independent thinkers that they're not good enough or smart enough. Most people stop fighting, and Karen assures Nancy that she's a fighter. Nancy tells her that she gets it from Karen, and Karen tells her that she's proud of her for standing up to the "shitheads" at the newspaper. She says that if Nancy believes in the story, she should finish it and sell it to another newspaper. Nancy agrees and they hug.
Will and Lucas go to the maintenance shed, and as they gather supplies Lucas tells his friend that it was a really cool D&D campaign. His friend says that he doesn't care and they have bigger things to worry about, and finds chains to hold Billy.
El gets a CPR dummy from a storage room, and Mike joins her. He tries to joke, and El glares at him. As she goes, Mike admits that he lied about Nana. Mike explains that Jim threatened him, and insists that El is the most important thing to her. El wonders if she should be with her "species" more and leaves.
Max keeps an eye on Billy through the binoculars and hopes that it's not him.
That night, Robin, Steve, and Dustin get up on the roof while Erica crawls into the air duct.
Kline's wife Winnie returns home from jazzercise, and he yells to her to come up. When Winnie comes up, Kline is handcuffed to a lamp. He tells her to bring him a phone.
Jim and Joyce search the abandoned homes on the property list from Kline's safe.
Erica gets to the storage room at Lynx, kicks out the grille, goes down, and opens the loading door.
After the pool closes, Billy takes a shower. He gets on his pants and hears someone in the locker room. He follows the noise and discovers that the door is locked shut. The lights go out and Mike calls Billy's name. Billy goes after him as Mike laughs, telling him to come get him. He sees a figure through the sauna door window, figures that it's Mike, and goes in. The figure is the CPR dummy with a walkie-talkie taped to its stomach. El telekinetically shoves Billy back and closes the door, and others chain it shut. Billy sees Max with others and mutters her name, and she tells Will to do it. Will turns the heat up on the sauna.
Nancy drives to the hospital and asks to see Doris, claiming to be Doris' granddaughter. Once the receptionist lets her through, Nancy goes to Doris' room and looks at the unconscious woman's medical record.
Steve opens one of the boxes and finds a metal box inside. He opens it, revealing four metal cylinders. He takes out one of them, revealing that it's filled with glowing green liquid. The room shakes and they discover that the door won't open. A metal shutter comes down and the "room" starts descending at speed.
The monitor shows Doris' heart rate accelerating.
Billy yells at the kids to let him out, saying it's not funny. He falls out of sight of the window, screaming, and Will says that the temperature is at 220. Billy says that it's not his fault, and Max goes to the window and asks him what's not his fault. He tells her that he's done bad things and "he" made him do it. Billy talks about a giant shadow, and sobs that it's not his fault. Max says that it's going to be okay and tells him to talk to them. Billy secretly grabs a loose shard of tile, and Will says that he feels the Mind Flayer and it's activated Billy.
Mike tells Max to get away from the door, just as Billy shatters the window and tries to stab her. She backs away, and Billy grabs the chain barring the door. Lucas shoots him in the head with his slingshot, knocking him unconscious, and the lights flicker. Billy pulls himself up, the blackness spreading across his body from within.
Blackness spreads across Doris' body from within and the room lights flicker. She hits the emergency button as Doris screams.
Billy throws himself at the door, trying to break it down. He finally smashes it down and El telekinetically slams him against the wall with a weight. Billy manages to push it away and throw it at El, knocking her down. He grabs her by the neck and chokes her, and Mike hits him with a weight bar. Billy catches the next blow and throws it away, and advances on Billy. El levitates him into the air and then slams him through the wall to the ground outside. She collapses, sobbing, and Mike holds her. Outside, Billy gets up and runs away.
Later at the factory, Billy tells Heather that El knows that it's him and could have killed him. Heather says that El could have killed him but not the others, and looks at all the other townspeople doppelgangers in the basement, standing before the Mind Flayer.
Written by Gadfly on Jul 23, 2019