Steve, Dustin, Robin, and Erica scream as the disguised elevator shoots down the shaft. It finally stops and the electronic lock won't work, trapping them. Erica says that her mother will hunt them down and slit their throats if Erica doesn't make it to her Uncle Jacks' party, but Steve points out that he won't care if they're dead in a Russian elevator. Dustin suggests that they climb out, and Dustin and Steve go out via the roof hatch and realize the shaft has no ladder and it's too far to climb.
Jim and Joyce drive to the Hess farm and see Lynx vehicles parked outside. The couple go in and search the place, and hear a humming noise. Joyce realizes that it's below them and they find a hidden stairway leading down.
Grigori drives up to the farm on his motorcycle.
Joyce and Jim enter the basement and find Alexei and a Russian mechanic working on high-tech equipment. Jim orders them to put their hands up, and they hear footsteps above. Grigori finds the open stairwell door and goes down, gun ready. The mechanic is tied up, and Jim puts his gun to Grigori's head. He tells Grigori to drop his gun, but Grigori figures that Jim is bluffing. Jim says that he will shoot, and Grigori tells him that he won't because policemen have rules. The sheriff gives him to the count of three, and Grigori jumps him. They fight, and Joyce manages to grab Jim's discarded gun. Grigori takes Jim down, but Jim hits him in the knee with a wrench and Joyce tosses him the gun... and misses. The Russian grabs it and shoots, and Jim gets Joyce to cover.
As Grigori runs out of bullets and goes for his original gun, Jim handcuffs Alexey to him and says that he's coming with them. They get upstairs and slam the door shut, get in Jim's truck, and drive away as Grigori frees himself and comes out.
The next morning, Nancy calls Jonathan at 5:48 and says that she's at the hospital with Doris. She asks to speak to Will, and when Jonathan says that he isn't there, Nancy asks if he's safe.
When the police truck breaks down because of Grigori's shots, Joyce is forced to pull over. While Jim checks the radiator, Joyce asks Alexei about the degmagnetized magnets. Jim finally interrupts, pointing out that she hasn't made any progress. He has her try and start the truck, and Alexei calls Jim over in Russian to get him out of the way as the engine bursts into flame. Joyce gets out as the engine explodes, and they head cross-country on foot to meet with Jim's "acquaintance" in Illinois.
In Mike's basement, El enters the astral plane and finds Jim, and says that he's with Joyce. She says that they're going to Illinois, and Max takes her into the bathroom to clean off her bloody nose. Meanwhile, Mike, Lucas, and Will try to figure out what Jim and Joyce are doing. Lucas figures that it's up to them to find Billy and stop him. Mike points out that they have to stop the Mind Flayer, not Billy. He figures that Max and El are in the bathroom conspiring against him. Max yells that they can hear what they're saying and El giggles. Nancy and Jonathan arrive.
In the elevator, Dustin tries to reach his friends over the walkie-talkie but has no success. Steve comes up and Dustin points out that he and Robin were talking. The older boy says that they were trying to figure a way out and had no success, and pisses down the side of the elevator. Robin tells him to redirect, and Erica tries to break open one of the canisters filled with liquid. She tells Robin that they need water, and Robin hears a cart coming.
Two Russian workers arrive and open the elevator door. They smell the urine but pass it off and leave with boxes. The kids are hiding on the car roof, and once the workers leave Steve jumps down and blocks the door from closing with Erica's canister. They get out through the gap just as the pressure crushes the canister. Dustin sees a tunnel going off into the distance, and they start walking.
At the Wheeler house, Nancy tells everyone that the same thing happened to Doris that happened to Will a year ago. She shows them Doris' elevated body temperature on the medical charts, and Mike confirms that Doris had the attack at the same time they tested Billy in the sauna. He figures the Mind Flayer "flayed" Doris just like Billy, and El says that Heather is the same way. Nancy and Jonathan figure that Tom is involved as well since he's Heather's father. They get in Nancy's car, put on their seat belts, and drive off.
Grigori finds the police truck and spots the trio's footprints.
Jim and Joyce argue about Jim blowing up the truck, and Jim figures that she's attracted to nerdy men. Alexei runs off and Jim chases him. They come to a 7-11 and go inside. The trio grab pop and drink, and Jim buys more pop, Slim Jims, and a map of Illinois. Joyce calls Karen to check on Will, while Jim takes Alexei to a rich man's car as the owner, Todd, stops to get gas. Jim tells him that it's a police emergency and he's commandeering the car. He says that Alexei is one of the most dangerous men in the world. Joyce comes over and Jim claims that she's a detective, and she plays along. They drive off as Todd wonders how he can get his car back.
Dustin and the others continue walking and Dustin figures the green liquid is more than poison. Robin and Dustin figure it's being used to power something, and Steve and Dustin figure that the Russian base is connected to the Upside Down. They all hear Russians talking over Erica's walkie-talkie and they figure the signal is close... and that it can reach the surface.
Nancy and the others arrive at the Holloway house, and no one answers the doorbell. El telekinetically opens the door and they go inside. The temperature is turned down, and they find the kitchen counter covered in household chemicals. They figure that eating chemicals is a new substance, and Mike suggests that they're making a new substance. Continuing the search, they find Tom's blood on the rug and Nancy remembers that he had a bandage on his forehead when he talked to them. She figures that Tom was attacked and dragged to the garage. There's discarded rope, and Jonathan deduces that Billy and Heather tied up Tom and Janet and took them somewhere. Nancy remembers Doris saying that she said she had to "go back", and figures it was to the place where it started. Mike suggests that they let Doris lead them there.
Grigori follows the footprints to the 8-11 and sees Todd talking to the police. The Russian goes in, buys some snacks, and beats the cashier until the man tells him what Jim did.
Jim drives Todd's car to Murray's shelter and tells Joyce that Murray was a journalist. Murray checks them on a surveillance camera and Jim yells at him to open the door. He comes out aiming a shotgun at them and understands Alexei's Russian. Murray leads them in and scans Alexei for trackers. When Jim objects, Joyce whispers to him that Murray is crazy and Jim's plan isn't going to work. When they argue, Murray tells them to take their lovers' quarrel elsewhere and they insist they're not lovers. Joyce chews him out and tells him to stop acting like a jackass and asks Alexei what he's doing to her magnets.
Dustin and the others come to an inhabited section of the base and find a central room filled with Russian scientists, technicians, and soldiers. They quickly hide before they get spotted, and Erica says that she saw the comm room. Steve leads them through the crates, staying out of sight, and they slip into the room as a comm officer leaves. There's another officer inside, and he reaches for his gun. Robin talks to him in Russian and when the officer hesitates, Steve tackles him. The fight and Steve knocks the comm officer out with a radio mike. Dustin congratulates him on winning a fight, takes the keys from the officer's belt, and argues with Erica. Robin sees a flickering light and goes up a flight of stairs, and find a door with a flowing object in the room beyond. She comes back and gets the others, and they go in see a control room overlooking a chamber with the laser device holding open a rift to the Upside Down. Technicians are powering the laser with the canisters.
That night, Nancy and the others arrive at the hospital and try to walk past the receptionist. She asks where they're going, and Nancy says that she's going to visit her grandmother with her family. The receptionist says that only two visitors are allowed at a time. As Nancy and Jonathan take the elevator up, Nancy tells Jonathan that she didn't mean what she said to him when they got fired. Jonathan says that he was wrong and Nancy smiles.
As they wait, Mike tries to get candy from a vending machine. It jams, and El telekinetically frees it. Mike thanks her and as they get the candy, Lucas tells Mike that El's offering an olive branch to El. When Mike doesn't get it, Lucas tells him that he'll distract Max so Mike can talk to El alone.
Nancy and Jonathan see a red light flashing above Doris' room, and the duty nurse is gone. They go in and discover that Doris is gone, and the lights flicker. Tom walks in behind them and says that Doris has gone home, wipes the blood off of his hands, and Jonathan hits him in the head with a vase. The two teenagers run out and find Bruce waiting in the hallway for them... and he's also Flayed. Jonathan and Nancy run into the stairwell and bar the door behind them.
Mike sits down with El and offers her M&Ms. She takes some and smiles, and Mike compliments her new look.
Bruce walks after Nancy and Jonathan, who run past the unconscious bloody staff. They duck into a construction area and find a phone. As Jonathan locks the door, Nancy tries to call out... but the receptionist is talking to a relative. Bruce breaks into the room, grabs Jonathan by the throat, and shoves Nancy to the floor. He tosses Jonathan to the floor and beats him with a metal stool, and Nancy stabs Bruce in the back. Bruce pulls them out and Nancy runs out, yelling for help. She grabs a fire extinguisher and ducks into a room.
Jonathan tries to pull himself up, but Tom comes in and asks where he's going.
Bruce comes in after Nancy, who is hiding behind a curtain.
Tom picks Jonathan up and slams him to the floor.
Bruce enters the room and moves aside the curtains one at a time, looking for Nancy.
Tom slams Jonathan's head into the floor, knocking him unconscious, and grabs the scissors.
Nancy slams the fire extinguisher into Bruce's head. Tom feels the impact and drops the scissors, and Jonathan wakes up and grabs them. Bruce drops to his knees and Nancy hits him again, while Jonathan stabs Tom in the neck. The lights flicker throughout the hospital, and Will realizes that something is wrong.
Tom and Bruce convulse, and they both melt into liquid flesh. The liquid oozes away and the teenagers follow it. The two masses merge and become one figure: the Mind Flayer.
Written by Gadfly on Jul 25, 2019