The Flea and the Acrobat is the fifth episode of the first season of the Netflix original series STRANGER THINGS.


Hopper breaks into the lab while Nancy and Jonathan confront the force that took Will. The boys ask Mr. Clarke how to travel to another dimension.


Will's father Lonnie comes to town and convinces Joyce that she has imagined everything since Will's disappearance. Later, she discovers he is only interested in suing the company responsible for managing the quarry where Will's body was found, and she demands he leave.

After Will's funeral, the boys ask Mr. Clarke about dimensions: He says that inter-dimensional travel is presently impossible for humans due to energy beyond threshold, but a space-time tear could create a gate for passage. Returning to Mike's basement, Dustin reveals to Mike and Lucas that if the gate was created it would disrupt the electromagnetic field, throwing off compasses, and that by following their compasses they should be able to find the gate.

During the search, El remembers being weighed down in a sensory-deprivation tank to relay information from a Russian spy, but while under she comes across the creature. Scared of finding the gate, El directs the compasses away from the laboratory. When Lucas notices the distortion, he confronts her. Mike defends her, and a fight ensues between Mike and Lucas. Seeing this, El telekinetically flings Lucas off Mike, but Lucas is knocked unconscious as a result. He recovers and runs away.

After looking at Jonathan's photo which shows Barb, Nancy realizes the monster is also present in the photo. She is convinced that the monster is responsible for Barb's disappearance. Nancy and Jonathan decide to search for the creature on their own, using the Byers house, Steve's house and where they found Will's bike, to triangulate the creature's position. While searching, Nancy and Jonathan find a wounded deer. As they are about to perform a mercy kill on it, the creature drags it away. Upon following the trail of blood, Nancy comes across the flesh-like substance from the portal in the base of a tree. She is able to crawl through to the other side and after entering, she sees the creature feasting upon the deer. She tries to flee but steps on a root, alerting the creature to her presence. The creature gives chase. Hearing her screams, Jonathan looks for her as the hole starts to close.