Stranger Things is a television-format series created by The Duffer Brothers. It was first released as a Netflix Original series on July 15, 2016.
When a young boy vanishes, a small town uncovers a mystery involving secret experiments, terrifying supernatural forces and one strange little girl.
November 6, 1983. Hawkins, Indiana…
Young Will Byers is cycling home from a "Dungeons & Dragons" campaign at a friend's house, when a terrifying figure suddenly appears, Will tries to escape and hide, but the Monster abducts him to an alternate dimension. Will's friends Dustin, Lucas and Mike begin investigating his disappearance; while looking for Will in the local forest, the boys find a girl with a shaved head in a hospital gown, who they let stay in Mike's basement. They learn her name is Eleven and discover that she has psychokinetic abilities.
Will's mother Joyce becomes transfixed by supernatural events affecting the house electricity - she's convinced Will is communicating with her. As these strange events continue, she witnesses (and is threatened by) the same monster that took Will. Meanwhile, police chief Jim Hopper grows suspicious of the nearby national laboratory and begins researching into the facility's shady history. Mike's older sister Nancy attends a pool party hosted by her new boyfriend Steve, begrudgingly accompanied by her best friend Barb. Jonathan, Will's brother, witnesses the events of the party, taking photos. While alone, Barb is abducted by the Monster.
Hopper researches Dr. Martin Brenner, the laboratory, and a woman, who claimed her daughter was taken by scientists. Steve discovers Jonathan's photographs and destroys them, but an anxious Nancy retrieves the fragments of a photo showing Barb. She goes back over to Steve's house, to look around for Barb - she briefly sees the Monster run through the woods, scaring her and prompting her to flee. What appears to be Will's body is discovered in a quarry; however, Eleven proves Will is still alive, manipulating several radios to project the sound of Will's voice. Examining Jonathan's photo of Barb, Nancy realizes the monster is also visible. Jonathan realizes that Nancy's description of the creature matches his mother's: a humanoid figure with long arms and no face. They team up to learn more about the creature, in the hopes of saving Will and Barb. The two teens look around Hawkins, hoping to find the creature and potentially kill it.
A suspicious Hopper finds and cuts open Will's body, discovering it to be fake. He heads to the laboratory and breaks in, finding Eleven's bedroom and a huge, sprawling gate to an alternate dimension after being knocked out by agents. He wakes up in his own home and finds it bugged. After pulling together all their knowledge and speculation on the supernatural events, the boys search for a hypothetical Gate to the other world, which they've now nicknamed the Upside Down. The boys eventually realize that a fearful Eleven - afraid of the lab and the Upside Down - has been misguiding them while exploring through Hawkins. A fight breaks out, resulting in Lucas being injured by Eleven and the group splitting up.
Throughout the season, Eleven experiences a series of painful flashbacks to the experimentation conducted on her by Dr. Brenner at the laboratory. This culminates with a flashback to an experiment in which she was placed in a sensory deprivation tank. Within an altered psychic state, she accidentally opened the Gate to the Upside Down after making contact with the creature. After sharing what they know, Hopper and Joyce track down Terry Ives, learning more about Eleven and Dr. Brenner. While Lucas attempts to once more find the Gate, Mike and Dustin find Eleven, who saves Mike from falling of the cliff. The trio then reconcile with a hug and return to Mike's house. Lucas sees agents leaving the laboratory, realizing they are on their way to capture Eleven. Mike, Dustin, and Eleven narrowly escape, reuniting with Lucas.
Joyce and Hopper return to Hawkins, sharing their knowledge of the creature with Nancy and Jonathan. Joyce, Hopper, Nancy and Jonathan contact and eventually find the kids, formulating a plan to make a sensory deprivation tank to enhance Eleven's powers - this way, she can psychically view Will and Barb without entering the Upside Down. The group break into Hawkins Middle School and set up their makeshift tank there. Using the tank, Eleven discovers Barb to be dead and Will alive, hiding in Castle Byers, his makeshift fort. Hopper and Joyce break into Hawkins Laboratory to pass through the Gate and save Will, but are apprehended by security. Nancy and Jonathan resolve to kill the monster. In the Upside Down, the monster breaks through Castle Byers, taking Will.
Interrogated by Brenner, Hopper gives up Eleven's location in exchange for access to the Gate. Hopper and Joyce enter the Upside Down, discovering the creature's nest, where an unconscious Will has been strung up with a tendril extending down his throat. After detaching and killing the creature, Hopper and Joyce attempt to revive Will, and Hopper remembers the moment his daughter died - he's determined to spare Joyce from the same grief. Will is eventually found and revived, and the three return through the Gate. Meanwhile, Nancy and Jonathan set up a trap at the Byers house before cutting their hands to attract the creature with their blood. Steve arrives, intending to apologize to Jonathan and Nancy following a previous argument. The monster attacks, and although Nancy, Jonathan and Steve successfully injure and trap it, it escapes to the Upside Down.
At the school, Dustin attempts to find food as Mike and Eleven share an intimate moment. However, agents arrive and storm the school, but Eleven kills many of them, crushing their brains. As Brenner recovers a weakened Eleven, the wounded monster, attracted by the bloodshed, enters the school and attacks Brenner. The boys escape with Eleven and hide in a classroom with Mike trying to calm her, but the monster finds and attacks them. However, before it could harm the boys, Eleven pins the creature against a wall, looks back and says goodbye to Mike. In a painful and self-destructive act, Eleven dissolves the creature into a thick mist in which she too vanishes. Mike is left in tears as Eleven vanishes. Will is hospitalized and reunited with his family and friends. Hopper is reluctantly picked up by a black government car.
One month later, Nancy has gotten back together with Steve, and they've both befriended Jonathan. The four boys play D&D in Mike's basement, where Mike has kept Eleven's pillow fort in perfect condition in regards to her memory. Hopper leaves eggos in a concealed box in the woods. Will coughs up a slug-like creature in his bathroom sink and has a momentary flash into the Upside Down, though he doesn't reveal the event to his family.
In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a group of criminals killed a man. They flee in a van but are pursued by police. They escape from police when the group goes under a tunnel, where rocks fall and block the opening. However, it is revealed that the rocks were only a vision in the mind of the lead policeman. Back in the van, it is revealed that a girl named Kali, a member of the gang, has caused the vision. She is bleeding from her left nostril and we see a tattoo marked "008" on her wrist.
Back in Hawkins, the boys go to the Palace arcade, where they find that someone with the name "MADMAX" has beaten Dustin's high score in "Dig Dug" by over 100,000 points. At the arcade, Will experiences an "episode", where he finds himself in the Upside Down version of the arcade. In the episode, he sees a large "shadow monster". The next day at school, they meet a new student from California named Max, who immediately captures the affection of Lucas and Dustin. Dustin believes she is "MADMAX" but Lucas is skeptical. At Hawkins High, Max's stepbrother Billy arrives, and begins to compete with Steve for the title of "King". Will, who has been experiencing the episodes frequently, is taken by Joyce and Hopper to Hawkins Lab, where he is seen by Dr. Owens, the new head scientist. Meanwhile, Joycehas begun seeing Bob Newby, a classmate from high school and the manager of the local RadioShack. Nancy and Steve have been having regular dinners with the Holland family following Barb's death. Nancy, who is still grieving Barb's death, learns that the Hollands (who are unaware Barb is dead) are selling their house to afford to pay an investigative journalist named Murray Bauman to find Barb; Nancy feels responsible and guilty. Mike has been trying to contact Eleven for 352 days in a row after her disappearance, though unsuccessful. Later, Hopper goes to a cabin in the woods, where it is revealed he lives there with Eleven, who is alive.
Flashbacks show that after killing the Demogorgon, Eleven turned up in the Upside Down. She escapes through a portal and goes to see Mike at the Wheelers' house, but flees into the woods after seeing government agents at the house. More flashbacks show that Hopper finds her and sets up his grandfather's hunting cabin as a place for them to live. Back in the present, Eleven wants to go trick-or-treating, but is told "no" by Hopper as it is too dangerous. Hopper is called in to a pumpkin patch after reports of rotting pumpkins. Nancy wants to tell the Hollands the truth, but is persuaded out of it by Steve. They attend a Halloween party, where Nancy gets drunk and berates Steve, putting the blame for Barb's death on them and saying she doesn't love him. Steve leaves, upset, and Jonathan finds Nancy and takes her home. The boys go trick-or-treating and are joined by Max, who was invited by Dustin and Lucas. Will has brought Bob's video camera to record the experience. Will has another episode and tells Mike about the vision, but requests him not to tell anyone. Mike admits to Will that he has been unsuccessfully trying to communicate with Eleven. Eleven tries to contact Mike, who was also simultaneously calling her using his Supercom from the basement, but is unsuccessful. Dustin returns home after trick-or-treating to find a small, strange, slug-like creature in his trash can, which he determines is a pollywog.
Bob encourages Will to stand up to his fears. Nancy is able to persuade Jonathan to help her tell Barb's parents the truth. Hopper asks Owens to investigate the pumpkins. Dustin brings the pollywog to school, which he has now named D'Artagnan from The Three Musketeers novel. Will describes his episodes, and the boys conclude Dart is from the Upside Down. Dart escapes from the AV room, and the boys and Max scramble to find Dart. Mike, in the gym, gets into an argument with Max, as Mike is angry at Max because Lucas and Dustin want to bring her into the party. Eleven leaves the cabin to look for Mike, and interprets Mike's argument as flirting. She uses her powers to knock Max over and leaves. At the Byers house, Joyce discovers an image of Will's vision, including a vague outline of the shadow monster, on the video Will recorded while trick or treating. After seeing the tracing of the outline matches with a picture Will drew, Joyce goes to the middle school. Will finds Dart, but this triggers another episode, where he comes face to face with the shadow monster. Will follows Bob's advice and confronts the monster, but the monster forces a tentacle down Will's throat.
Will awakens from the episode to the concern of Joyce and his friends. Joyce takes Will home, but he begins acting strangely, and begins drawing scribbles on multiple pages. Joyce calls in Hopper, and they find the scribbles line up, which form a network of vines. Hopper recognizes an area and leaves. Nancy and Jonathan arrange a meeting with Barb's mother, but are caught by undercover lab agents. They are taken to the lab, where Owens shows the two the Gate to the Upside Down and admits Barb's death. He tells them they have been tapping phones (how they discovered Nancy's meeting with Barb's mom) to keep other governments from learning about the portal. When they are released, Nancy reveals she recorded the confession. At the cabin, Eleven has an argument with Hopper, and later finds his research into her biological mother, Terry Ives, and attempts to contact her with her powers.
Mike worries about Will and goes to check him at the Byers house after requesting Dustin and Lucas to search for Dart. Hopper goes to the pumpkin patch, where he digs a hole, which leads to a tunnel in the Upside Down. He becomes trapped and passes out. Will sees a vision of Hopper's state, but Joyce cannot figure out the meaning of the vision. She enlists Bob for help, as his nickname in high school was "Bob the Brain". Bob is able to identify the tunnels as a map underneath Hawkins, and is able to roughly locate where Hopper was trapped. Lucas tries to get closer to Max, but Billy warns her to stay away from him. At Dustin's house, he finds Dart has broken from his cage and ate his pet cat; Dustin then finds that Dart is a baby Demogorgon. Nancy and Jonathan go to Murray Bauman with the tape. Murray knows the public won't accept the story as-is (with monsters), but suggests watering down the story. Murray and Nancy decide to change the story to say that Barb died from toxins from the lab. Murray sends the tape to the Chicago Sun-Times (where he was previously employed). Lucas tells the events of last year to Max in an attempt to gain her respect, but she doesn't believe him. Dustin lures Dart to his storm cellar and traps him. He goes to the Wheelers' house to find any of the boys, even asking for Nancy, but none of them are there. On his way out, he runs into Steve, who is coming to apologize to Nancy. Dustin enlists Steve for help, and tells him to get the bat of nails from last season. They attempt to kill Dart, but instead find his shed skin and a tunnel dug. Eleven goes to Terry's house, where she is able to communicate with her powers. She gains Terry's memories of Eleven being taken at birth and Terry's attempts to rescue her before she was subjected to shock therapy. Eleven finds there was another girl at the lab like her. Joyce, Bob, Will, and Mike are able to rescue Hopper, but lab personnel arrive and blaze the tunnels with flamethrowers. When the fire is set, Will collapses in agony.
Will is rushed to the lab where he displays memory loss, unable to remember Bob or Hopper. Owens speculates that the shadow monster is like a virus that has infected Will and that any damage to the tunnels might be lethal to him. Nancy and Jonathan spend the night at Murray's, where he prods them about their relationship. The two later have a romantic encounter. Dustin and Steve decide to lure Dart to the junkyard, and Dustin calls Lucas for help. Lucas brings Max, and the four ready the junkyard to trap Dart. Max opens up to Lucas and explains Billy's attitude is due to his father marrying Max's mother. Dart appears at the junkyard with creatures identical to him, and the group learns that there are packs of them. The group hide in the bus, and Steve later attacks them with the bat, but the creatures all run away suddenly; Steve speculates they are going somewhere. At the lab, Will views pictures of the map taken by lab agents, and points out a location that the shadow monster wants to avoid. Owens sends in a team to investigate, but the pack attacks the team and enters the lab. They realize that the monster has been manipulating Will.
Meanwhile, Eleven goes to Chicago in search of the girl in Terry's memories, who is revealed to be the psychic girl from the events in Pittsburgh, a woman named Kali. The two connect, where Kali shows Eleven her powers. She explains to Eleven that her gang is attempting to kill the lab scientists who worked under Brenner for what they did to her, and introduces Eleven to the group. Kali tells Eleven to channel her anger, which strengthens her powers. The group goes to the home of a lab worker who performed shock therapy on Terry, who claims Brenner is alive. Eleven decides not to kill him after learning he has kids, and the gang is forced to flee. Eleven has a vision of Mike and Hopper in grave danger at the lab and leaves to return to Hawkins.
Back at the lab, the pack of Demodogs overwhelm the lab, killing many of the workers. Outside the gates, Nancy and Jonathan have arrived at the lab, and encounter Steve, Dustin, Lucas, and Max, who have followed the screams of the pack to the lab. Mike is able to convince Joyce to sedate Will. Mike, Will, Hopper, Joyce, Bob, and Owens flee into the security room, where they are trapped. The power goes out, and Bob, knowing how to reset the power, volunteers to do so. Bob successfully activates the power, and Owens stays behind in the room to guide out the group. Mike, Will, Hopper, and Joyce are able to escape to the lobby. Bob makes it to the lobby, but is caught and killed by the pack. The remaining four regroup with the others outside the gate and go to the Byers' house. The group deduces that the shadow monster is a hive mind controlling Will and the pack, and if they kill it, its influence on those they control will end. Mike, who previously deduced that the shadow monster is using Will like a spy, tells the group, who decide to remodel the tool shed so Will doesn't know where he is so the shadow monster cannot spy. Will awakens, where Joyce, Jonathan, and Mike share their fondest memories of Will in an attempt to get him to snap out of it. Will doesn't respond vocally, but taps out a message in Morse code, which reads "CLOSEGATE". However, the house phone rings, leading to the monster to identify their location. As the pack moves in, the group barricades themselves in the Byers' house, armed, but the pack is surprisingly dispatched by Eleven, who has returned to Hawkins. Mike and Eleven get emotional to see each other alive after a year and embrace together.
The group briefly reunites with Eleven. When Eleven convinces Hopper that she can close the gate, Mike points out that it may also kill Will. Joyce remembers something Will said about the monster in the lab, "he likes it cold", and decides to burn the monster out. Hopper and Eleven go to the lab to close the Gate. Before leaving, Eleven promises Mike that he will not lose her again. Meanwhile, Joyce, Jonathan, and Nancy take Will to Hopper's cabin. The group turns on the fire and heaters, and are finally able to purge the virus from Will after Nancy prods him with a hot iron. At the Byers' house, Mike, concerned about Eleven, convinces the group to burn the tendrils at the tunnels to distract the demodogs from attacking Hopper and Eleven. But Steve rebuffs the plan and refuses. Back at Billy's house, his abusive father reprimands him for losing track of Max, and sends him to find her. His search takes him to the Wheeler's house, where Mrs. Wheeler gives him Joyce's address. He goes there, where after a tense confrontation with Steve, goes inside. After seeing Max with Lucas still, Billy grabs Lucas, but Steve attacks Billy and they have a fist fight. Billy knocks Steve unconscious, but continues to punch him. Max grabs the syringe Mike brought from the hospital, and injects Billy with it, and threatens him into obedience with the nail bat. Max steals Billy's keys. Steve awakens in Billy's car, where Max drives the group to the tunnels. Steve and the kids enter, where they cover the heart of the tunnels in gas and ignite it. Since the tunnel is ignited, the Demodogs become distracted and return to the tunnel, leaving the lab unguarded and so, Hopper and Eleven enters the gate without facing any of them. Meanwhile, the kids go to leave, but encounters Dart. However Dustin is able to calm him down and the group escapes. When Eleven tries to close the Gate, the Mind Flayer senses her strength and sends the Demodogs to attack her. As Hopper defends Eleven from the swarming Demodogs, Eleven is able to channel her anger, and closes the Gate, killing the remaining monsters in the process.
A month later, the lab has been shut down by the government following the publication of Nancy's tape. The Hollands hold a proper funeral for Barb. Owens meets with Hopper in a bar, where he gives Hopper a forged birth certificate listing him as the father of "Jane Hopper" (Eleven). Steve drives Dustin to the Snow Ball, the annual Hawkins Middle winter dance, where he meets with the party. A slow dance starts, and Will is asked to dance. Lucas asks Max to dance. Dustin asks multiple girls to dance, but is rejected. Nancy, who is serving punch at the dance, sees Dustin alone and upset, and dances with him. Outside, Joyce talks with Hopper. Eleven shows up, where she dances with Mike. Lucas and Max kiss, and Eleven and Mike kiss right after. The students enjoy themselves at the dance, unaware that the shadow monster is still alive, towering over the school in the Upside Down.
In 1984, the Soviet Union unsuccessfully attempt to create a Gate to the Upside Down. Soviet general Stepanov gives one of the scientists a year to complete the objective.
One year later in Hawkins, Mike and Eleven are in an intimate relationship, something which Hopper is struggling to accept. The new Starcourt Mall has become the focal point of the town and the Party. Will begins to sense that something is wrong after a power outage but wants to believe that its nothing. Nancy and Jonathan have taken up jobs at The Hawkins Post. Nancy is attempting to make a good impression but is unfortunately weighed down by her sexist superiors. Dustin returns home from summer camp where he claims to have met his new girlfriend named Suzie. Billy has become a lifeguard at the Hawkins Community Pool where he is admired by a group of middle-aged women, with Karen Wheeler among them. Hopper begins to turn to Joyce for advice for confronting Mike and Eleven about their relationship. Stevehas begun working at an ice cream parlour called Scoops Ahoy at the mall, where he is attempting to charm up women. His co-worker Robin Buckley pokes fun at his feeble attempts. As Joyce is preparing a speech for Hopper, he asks her for dinner. Joyce claims that she has plans, leaving Hopper disappointed. Dustin leads the Party to Hawkins’ tallest point, where they plan to build his new powerful radio which they plan on using to contact Suzie. Mike and Eleven claim to have a curfew which prohibited them from joining the rest of them. Rats are shown to be gathering at an abandoned steel works, where they all begin to explode into pieces. Billy asks Karen out on a date at a motel, which Karen agrees to. Suzie doesn’t respond to Dustin when he tries to contact her, leading Lucas and Max to believe that Suzie doesn’t exist. They decide to wait for her to respond anyway. Joyce begins to have flashbacks of Bob upon returning from work and watching TV on her own. The magnets on her fridge mysteriously fall off simultaneously without her knowledge. While cleaning up, Nancy receives a call from an elderly woman named Doris Driscoll concerning a story about infected rats. Hopper confronts Mike and Eleven while they share an intimate moment, but rather then follow Joyce’s advice, he decides to do things his way by getting Mike alone and threatening him while taking him home. After what seemed to be a few hours of Dustin attempting to contact Suzie, Lucas and Max decide to leave him. Will follows them not long after, leaving Dustin feeling alone and dismissed. He doesn’t feel this way for long as he receives a Russian transmission. Karen is about to leave for her date before she has a change of heart. Billy is already on his way before a creature seemingly attacks his car as he is driving past Brimborn Steelworks, leading him to crash. He is then dragged into the steelworks down a flight of stairs by vines.
Billy is released from the Steel Works and immediately finds the nearest telephone booth and dials 911 before experiencing a vision in the Upside Down in which a group of clones of himself cryptically order him to build an army. Early the next day, Eleven calls Mike to find out why he hasn’t shown up yet. Mike lies to her by claiming that his Nanna is extremely sick and that he can’t see her for the entire day. El can tell that he’s lying which makes her confused. Hopper, seeing that his plan worked, proceeds to visit Joyce at work once again to gleefully tell her this and to take another crack at asking her out, which succeeds this time. Nancy gets out of work and brings Jonathan along on her secret diseased rats case. Dustin reunites with Steve and is introduced to Robin. Dustin asks Steve for help in translating the Russian transmission. Eleven pays Max a visit to talk about Mike. Upon hearing her story, Max tells her to ignore his calls and threaten to dump him if he doesn’t explain himself. Meanwhile, Mike turns to Lucas for help. As Lucas is reassuring Mike, Max takes Eleven out to ‘have some fun’. At the pool, Karen attempts to apologise to a visibly disorientated Billy. He verbally dismisses her after imagining attacking her physically as he walks away from her. Every single one of his senses seem to be attacked by his surroundings. Back at Scoops Ahoy, Steve and Dustin are struggling to translate the transmission. Robin walks in on them and desperately offers to help out of boredom. Nancy and Jonathan arrive at Mrs. Driscoll’s house to inspect and ask questions about the ‘diseased‘ rats that have been devouring her fertiliser. She suspects that they have rabies. Protests are shown to be taking place at city hall while Hopper takes a meeting with Mayor Larry Kline, who orders him to get rid of them. Max and El go shopping at the mall. At the same time, Mike, Lucas and Will are also shopping for a present for El. Joyce becomes increasingly suspicious of the constantly failing magnets and decides to go ask Scott Clarke about it. Nancy finds another lead for the case as Jonathan takes photos of the rat Mrs. Driscoll caught and begins to believe that there is something seriously wrong with it. Billy’s state reaches it’s worst as he tries to avoid the sun by taking a cold shower. Heather Holloway, one of his coworkers, asks if everything is okay, which reads to Billy as “take me to him”, leading him to attack and kidnap her. El and Max are on a shopping spree while the boys struggle to find a suitable gift. They eventually bump into each other. Eleven confronts him for lying and dumps him. Hopper arrives at his dinner with Joyce, only to discover that she has yet to show. Scott gives a theoretical reason for why Joyce’s magnets have stopped working, which involves an extremely expensive and high-powered machine that could be running nearby. Robin finishes the translation: “The week is long, the silver car feeds, when blue meets yellow in the west.” They also discover that the transmission was made there in the Mall. Hopper drunkenly leaves the restaurant after Joyce doesn’t show. Billy brings a gagged Heather to the steel works, where she is confronted by a fleshy creature.
At Hopper‘s cabin, Eleven uses her powers to eavesdrop on the boys. Hopper drunkenly enters her room thinking that Mike is present, only to find that it’s Max. Relieved, he allows her to stay the night. El proceeds to spy on Billy next, coincidentally at the same time he was delivering Heather to the creature. What El witnesses disturbs her on an extreme level. The next day, Will is in a festive mood as he declares a ‘day without girls’ at the Wheeler house, a day that entails a game of Dungeons & Dragons. Joyce pays a disgruntled Hopper a visit in order to fill him in with her suspicions about the magnets and how they could be connected to the lab, though he dismisses her instantly. Despite this, Joyce forces him to investigate the lab with her. El and Max investigate Billy’s room, where they find a bloody lifeguard’s whistle. Robin is continuing the translation while Steve and Dustin comb the mall for Russian spies. Back at the Wheeler house, Mike and Lucas are showing little to no interest in Will’s campaign, which leads to him giving up and storming out of the house. Mike tries to make amends, but Will dismisses him and bikes out in the rain. El and Max go to the pool to return the whistle and kit they found. They discover that the owner, Heather, is not present. El finds a photo of her and uses it to find her in the void, where she is found in a tub of ice, begging for help. Hopper and Joyce arrive at Hawkins National Laboratory, which triggers a flashback of Bob’s death in Joyce’s mind. Dustin spots what he believes to be an “Evil Russian”, who turns out to simply be a Jazzercise instructor. Robin finally figures out the message. Nancy’s story is ridiculed by her boss Tom Holloway and their colleagues, including Bruce Lowe. Even more determined, she convinces Jonathan to come with her back to Mrs. Driscoll’s house to find more evidence to present to Tom. Joyce and Hopper find nothing, leading Joyce to believe that she is going crazy. Hopper reassures her by feeling the exact same way. He also reveals that he is aware of Joyce‘s plan to leave Hawkins and attempts to softly reason her against it. However, they are interrupted by a noise made not far from their position in the lab. Mike and Lucas follow Will back to his house to apologise, but he isn‘t there. He is sitting in Castle Byers where he emotionally reminisces of old times, which leads to him destroying the fort in tears and anguish. Nancy and Jonathan arrive at Mrs Driscoll’s house, only to find her eating fertiliser while making monstrous noises. Steve, Robin and Dustin witness a transgression between what they assume are Russians, which involved the moving of boxes into a secret room guarded by armed men. They accidentally create a loud sound, which alerts the Russians to an individual’s presence. The three of them make it out of there before being found. At the lab, Hopper is searching for the source of the noise, which introduces itself by surprise-attacking him and beating him to the ground before making his get away on a motorbike. Joyce witnesses him fleeing, finding Hopper unconscious. El and Max arrive at Heather’s house, only to find her and her family (her parents Tom and Janet) having dinner with none other than Billy. Heather appears to be well, though she and Billy were acting a little strangely, and the girls make their way out. Right as they’re leaving, Billy recognises El as being the girl that shut the Gate the year previously through the Mind Flayer’s memories. Right at that moment, Will begins to sense the Mind Flayer’s presence again, which leads him to finally informing Mike and Lucas (when they found him) that he has returned. At Heather‘s house, Janet passes out. While Tom is distracted, Heather hits him across the head with a wine bottle and drugs him.
While Max seems convinced that everything is fine, El still feels uneasy. At the same time, Mrs. Driscoll is taken to hospital while screaming “I have to go back!” repeatedly. Tom And Janet wake up in Brimborn Steelworks where they become under the control of the Mind Flayer. Hopper wakes up the next morning in his cabin, where Joyce brought him. They try to identify who the attacker was, and Joyce notes that he didn’t have a car. Mike, Lucas and Will try to gather the whole party together, though they were unsuccessful in contacting Dustin, whom is currently deciding with Steve and Robin how they are going to get in to the secret room in the mall. While trying to come up with suggestions, Robin leaves with an idea, telling the other two to stay put. Tom Holloway fires Nancy and Jonathan for the mess they have created. El and Max reunite with the boys as Will is explaining his suspicions and theories about the Mind Flayer. Based on last year’s events, he believes that it has most likely chosen a new host. Arriving at city hall, Hopper questions Mayor Kline about his attacker, as he now recalls seeing someone resemble his figure the last time he was outside the Mayor’s office. Kline claims to not remember him. This leads to verbal threats on both sides, before it turns to violence on Hopper’s side. Kline eventually reveals that the man works for Starcourt Mall and has bribing him for properties throughout East Hawkins. Hopper demands to see records of this. Jonathan shows anger towards Nancy for getting them fired on the way home. The argument is concluded with the fact that they “no longer understand each other”. Robin presents her idea to use air ducts, something they soon discover none of them can fit into. The Party draw their attention to Billy and his odd behaviour, which Max is still in denial about. Regardless, they form a plan involving a sauna that will prove whether or not he is a host. At Scoops Ahoy, Erica Sinclair is elected to enter the air ducts which, after a fair bit of persuasion and bribing, she agrees to. Hopper and Joyce arrive at Mayor Kline’s mansion with the Mayor himself leading the way. He leads them to a safe in his bedroom, which provides a variety of addresses to bought properties. Joyce is predicting that the machine Scott Clarke was talking about could be located at one of these properties. Nancy has a heartfelt conversation with her mother about her situation. Karen tells her that she should finish her story and prove that she‘s right. While the Party prepares for their plan, Mike attempts to apologise to El, but to no avail. The same happens between Lucas and Will. Kline’s wife comes home to find her husband handcuffed to his bed, screaming for a phone. At the mall, Robin’s plan works perfectly, as Erica was able to climb her way through to the room, allowing the other three inside. Back to the pool, Mike lures Billy to the sauna, where Eleven locks him in. Will turns up the heat, and they wait. Nancy arrives at the hospital to see Mrs. Driscoll in order to look through her records. At the mall, Steve begins to open up the boxes, which they find are filled with crates of green radioactive material. The walls begin to shake, and before they can leave, they discover that they are in an elevator, which begins to go down at a rapid speed. Mrs. Driscoll’s heart rate is beginning to increase as Nancy continues to write notes. At the pool, Billy breaks down in sobs, claiming to Max that “he” made him do it, claiming that he tried to stop “him”. Will senses the Mind Flayer’s presence and tells Mike this, who tells Max to get away from the door. She does this just in time for Billy to smash through the window and attempt to assault her. Lucas shoots him in the head with his slingshot, which sends Billy backwards before he starts convulsing as the lights flicker. The lights in Mrs. Driscoll’s hospital room also begin to flicker as she (to Nancy’s horror) becomes covered in black veins. She begins to scream at the same time Billy does as he breaks down the door. Eleven uses her powers to restrain him, which works for a short period of time before he breaks through and grabs her by the neck. She is saved by Mike, who attacks him with nearby weight equipment. Billy goes for Mike instead before being levitated in the air by Eleven and thrown through a brick wall. Mike comforts a now weakened El as Billy retreats in agony. Heather tends to Billy at the steel works. It’s revealed that they have infected at least 20 of Hawkins’ residence.
Steve, Dustin, Robin and Erica have found no way to escape the elevator shaft. Hopper and Joyce come across a farm as one of the listed locations, where they find two Russians in an underground room. They attempt to question them before Russian agent Grigori arrives. Him and Hopper have a showdown, which ends with him and Joyce escaping with one of the Russians in captivity. Nancy calls Jonathan from the hospital early next morning, demanding to know where Will is. She claims that he may be in danger. Outside the cabin, Hopper is trying to get his broken down truck working again as Joyce tries to question the Russian, who is a scientist by the name of Alexei. Hopper’s efforts end in the engine exploding, leaving the three of them no choice but to walk aimlessly through the woods. Their objective is to go to Illinois, where an “acquaintance” of Hopper lives who can speak Russian. Eleven hears some of this while spying on him in the Void, and relays it to the rest of the Party, who have regrouped at the Wheeler house. They are completely unsure of what their next move should be. They are soon joined by Nancy and Jonathan, who are looking for Will. Beneath the Starcourt Mall, Dustin tries to contact the ground level through his walkie-talkie, but to no avail. Finally, the elevator doors are opened by a pair of Russian soldiers, who are there to collect the crates. The kids make their way out as the doors are closing. They then begin to set out through a long tunnel passageway. Back at the Wheeler house, Nancy begins to connect her story with what the Party has discovered. This leads to them believing that Mrs. Driscoll, Tom and Heather Holloway are all Flayed along with Billy. They proceed to investigate the Holloway house. Grigori finds Hopper’s truck, where he finds footprints. Hopper, Joyce and Alexei find a gas station, where they hijack someone’s car. While walking through the tunnel, Robin begins to question why the Russians have so much interest in Hawkins of all places. Steve and Dustin have their own suspicions that they choose to not share with the other two. The Holloway house is found to be extremely cold and vacant. They also find many chemicals. They concur that the ‘flaying’ is happening at a specific location. Will brings up the idea of having Mrs. Driscoll lead them there from the hospital. Grigori interrogates the gas station clerk as Hopper, Joyce and Alexei arrive at the residence of Murray Bauman. Steve, Dustin, Robin and Erica stumble upon a room full of soldiers. They manage to make it to the comms room, where Steve manages to takes out one soldier. They grab his key card, but before they leave they decide to inspect an odd-looking room nearby. They discover that the Russians are trying to create a Gate to the Upside Down. The Party arrives at the hospital, but only Nancy and Jonathan are allowed to visit her. While they wait, Lucas encourages Mike to try to repair his relationship with Eleven. Nancy and Jonathan make amends for their fight on their way up. They find that Mrs. Driscoll is not there. They instead find Tom Holloway and Bruce Lowe, who has also been Flayed. They proceed to attack them. Mike compliments El’s dress as he offers her M&Ms. Meanwhile, Nancy And Jonathan are racing through the hospital. They eventually get separated, with Bruce going after Nancy and Tom chasing Jonathan. After a series of beat downs and chases, both Tom and Bruce are defeated. Their two corpses proceed to melt into fleshy goo. The two piles move by themselves before they reach each other and collude, becoming one big fleshy monster.
Steve, Dustin, Robin and Erica are found by the Russians. Steve and Robin give the other two time to hide before they‘re captured. Back at the hospital, Will senses the Mind Flayer‘s presence as the lights begin to flicker, alerting the others. Upstairs, the fleshy monster chases after Nancy, who locks herself in a separate room. The monster is able to bypass the room very quickly and is about to finish her off before Eleven bursts open the door with the others and uses her powers to throw the monster out of the building. It proceeds to retreat through a drain. The next day, Mayor Kline’s Fun Fair begins to take shape. Kline meets with Grigori, who gives him one day to find Hopper. At Murray’s Warehouse, Alexei is refusing to talk without his specific demands, which drives Hopper up a wall. Over time, Alexei realizes that his best bet is to side with the Americans rather than his comrades. Dustin fills Erica in on the events of the last two years as they journey through air ducts, which leads to an argument over whether or not Erica is a nerd. A Russian officer, Ozerov, is convinced that Steve and Robin are working for a higher power. Steve tries to tell him otherwise, but he doesn’t believe him and proceeds to have tortured until he talks. Nancy, Jonathan and the Party have regrouped at Hopper’s cabin, where El is searching for members of the Flayed through the Void. Mike and Max argue over El’s rights before she tells them that she found Billy. At Murray’s Warehouse, Alexei, through Murray’s translation, begins to communicate to Hopper and Joyce what him and his comrades have been doing. Joyce tries to call her kids while Hopper reassures Alexei that he will get him to his Key, though Alexei claims that access to the Key is impossible. Dustin and Erica commandeer a cart and a taser as Robin screams for help. She and Steve attempt to free themselves of their binds, which fails. They share a tender moment before Ozerov comes back with Dr. Zharkov, who infects a needle into Steve’s neck. Billy is simply sitting in his room. The Party believes he is setting a trap, so Eleven comes up with a new idea. When she tries to reach him, she succeeds in accessing his memories, where she witnesses his child self sharing a moment with his mother. Hopper sends a distress call to Dr. Owens before him, Joyce, Alexei and Murray head back to Hawkins. Ozerov interrogates a now lucid Steve, who tells him about Dustin and claims that he’s ‘long gone’ right before an alarm goes off, distracting Ozerov while Dustin and Erica enter and take down Dr. Zharkov with the taser. Eleven continues to see more of the abuse Billy suffered at the hands of his father. She sees more and more before she finally reaches Brimborn Steel Works. She seemingly exits the Void, only to find that she is alone. Billy enters the cabin, claiming that he knows where she is, and that everything him and the rest of the Flayed have been doing has been for her. He claims that he is going to end her, her friends, and then everyone. Eleven leaves the Void in shock and despair. The Flayed gather at the steel works, where they all melt into goo to become one massive spider-like monster.
The last chase begin throughout Starcourt as the group are on the run from the massive Mind-Flayer, meanwhile, Hop and Joyce are driving around with Alexei and Bald Eagle, as Russian Terminator chases them.
After some exposition, the whole group meet up after Alexei had died.
They split as some go back the Russian base and others stay in the Mall. Eventually, Billy remembers his past as the Mind-Flayer is right in front of Eleven and saves her, during this, Hop dies as Joyce needed to turn on self-destruct in the accelerator which he was still in.
In a post-credit scene, it shows a new, human-looking demogorgon is Russian prison, and a small look shows Hop to be alive and well… in Russia.