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The Upside Down is the eighth and final episode of the first season of the Netflix original series STRANGER THINGS.

Synopsis

Eleven struggles to reach Will, while Lucas warns that "the bad men are coming." Nancy and Jonathan show the police what Jonathan caught on camera.

Plot

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Joyce in interrogation

After getting caught sneaking into the Hawkins Laboratory, Hopper and Joyce are being interrogated by Dr. Brenner and his men. Brenner reveals to Joyce that the scientists at the Laboratory don't understand the monster's behavior, and Brenner needs Joyce's help to stop it. Joyce tells Brenner to go to hell. In another room, Hopper is being interrogated and reveals everything he knows about Eleven and the Laboratory's experiments. However, Brenner's men want to inject him with drugs so it looks like Hopper is a junkie who lost his mind and doesn't know what he's talking about. Hopper then makes a deal with the agents so that Joyce and Hopper can leave and find Will.

Nancy and Jonathan are off the find the monster and end it once and for all. The two are armed with weapons and set up a bear trap inside the Byers home to catch it.

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Joyce and Hopper heading to the gate

Meanwhile, Joyce and Hopper set off to find Will inside of the Upside-Down, and they put on special suits to protect their bodies from the toxic atmosphere. Inside the gate, Hopper recalls a memory of his late daughter, Sarah, having trouble controlling her breathing after Joyce experiences some shortness of breath as they begin to search for Will. Joyce and Hopper reach the Upside-Down's version of Castle Byers, where Hopper notices a small stuffed tiger laying on the ground. The stuffed tiger triggers another flashback where the late Sarah is holding the same tiger when Hopper was reading to her in a hospital bed as she dies from cancer.

Back at the Byers house, Nancy and Jonathan are able to lure the monster into the house with their blood. They lead the monster towards the traps, but the monster does not fall for it and disappears. Steve then shows up in a panic to talk to Jonathan and make amends. Nancy tells Steve to go home, but Steve bursts into the house and sees what's going on. He freaks out, and Nancy pulls a gun on him and tells Steve to leave.

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Jonathan pinned down by the Monster

Suddenly, the lights flicker, signaling the monster is coming back. The monster pins down Jonathan, almost killing him, but Steve returns to the house and assaults the monster with a baseball bat with nails sticking out of it. The three lure the monster into the bear trap and light the monster on fire, but when the fire goes out, the monster is nowhere to be found.

Mike is talking with Eleven at the school where they are hiding out. Mike tells El that everything will be okay, that his parents will take her in and she'll be like family. Mike says she won't be like a sister to him, as he asks El out to the school dance and kisses her. Brenner's men finds the boys and Eleven hiding in the school. The agents corner them in the hallway, but El uses her powers to make the agents bleed from their eyes until they fall to their death. This drains El so much that she won't wake up and the boys are helpless and Brenner approaches and the boys are captured.

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One of Brenner's men shooting the Monster

Suddenly, the monster starts crawling out from the brick walls. Brenner's men attempt to subdue the monster with gunfire, but it doesn't slow down the monster as it jumps on Brenner and seemingly kills him. Eleven and the boys are able to escape in time to a science classroom.

Meanwhile, Joyce and Hopper find Will lifeless in the Upside-Down with a long slug-like creature down his esophagus.

Back at the school, the lights start flickering as Mike attempts to talk to Eleven. Mike promises to go to the school dance with El, as the monster storms in the classroom where Lucas takes out his slingshot to stop the monster. Before the monster gets too close, El summons enough power to slow down the monster and pin it against a wall. El looks back at Mike and says "bye" before using all her power to turn the monster and herself into ash.

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Slug-like creature in Will's esophagus

In the Upside-Down, Hopper and Joyce need to preform CPR on Will. Hopper recalls a memory where he watched Sarah die in the hospital as the doctors try to use CPR to revive her. Hopper is pounding on Will's chest to start his heart again until he gasps for breath. Joyce and Hopper breathe a sigh of relief.

Will is recovering in the hospital where Joyce, Jonathan, Mike, Lucas, and Dustin all see him and fill him in on what happened while he was gone. As Hopper leaves the hospital, he is stopped by a car which signals him to get in.

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Eleven says "bye" to Mike before killing the Monster

One month later, the four boys are playing Dungeons and Dragons in Mike's basement. Mike still has Eleven's basement fort set up and clearly misses his lost friend. Jonathan arrives and picks up Will from the Wheeler home. While Jonathan and Will are leaving, Nancy gives Jonathan a Christmas present and a kiss on the cheek. Will opens up the present in the car, and it is revealed to be a camera.

Later, Hopper ventures out into the woods and places some ego waffles in a snow-covered box in the forest.

Back at the Byers home, Joyce, Jonathan, and Will and enjoying their family dinner as Will excuses himself to go to the bathroom. Will coughs up a black slug into the sink, and the bathroom lights flicker as his surroundings go from his bathroom to the Upside-Down.

Gallery

Notes

References

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