Holly, Jolly is the third episode of the first season of the Netflix original series STRANGER THINGS.


Eleven recalls her time in the lab. Nancy's search for Barb makes her an unlikely ally. Hopper makes an otherworldy discovery. Joyce communes with Will. The boys make haste to the quarry.


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Barb dragged back into the pool

While Nancy and Steve are making out on Steve's bed, Barb is shown in what looks like another dimension in Steve's empty pool, but overgrown and in ruins. Barb climbs up the pool ladder and screams Nancy's name, but she is not heard and the mysterious monster drags her back into the depths.

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Eleven and the Coca-Cola can

Meanwhile, Mike, Dustin, and Lucas decide to meet Eleven after school and she'll lead them to where Will is hiding. Before this happens, Eleven decides to explore Mike's house. She looks around at Nancy's room then watches their TV. While switching channels, Eleven notices a commercial for Coca-Cola, which triggers a flashback. Eleven is shown in the Hawkins Laboratory where she is forced to use her telekinetic abilities to manipulate a Coca-Cola can. Eleven succeeds, however, her nose begins to bleed as Dr. Martin Brenner smiles behind a glass.

In another flashback, Eleven is hooked up to a machine monitoring her brain waves. The scientists force Eleven to kill a cat with her abilities, but she cannot bring herself to do so. Dr. Brenner has her put in solitary confinement, as she screams "Papa!" when the scientists drag her down the hallway. They throw her into solitary confinement, but before they can close the door, Eleven telekinetically kills the two guards. Dr. Brenner comforts Eleven as her nose and ears are bleeding, then calls her "Incredible".

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Police arrive at Hawkins Laboratory

Chief Hopper manages to get into the Hawkins Laboratory, but doesn't find much evidence of Will's disappearance. However, when he is shown the security footage from the night of Will's disappearance, Hopper notices there isn't any rain in the footage despite the huge storm which occurred that night. Hopper tells the other cops that he suspects the staff at the laboratory are lying.

These events causes Hopper and two other cops to visit a library and search for any newspaper which mentions "Hawkins National Laboratory". He reads enough information on Dr. Brenner in the old newspaper archives to suspect him of involvement in Will's disappearance.

Meanwhile, Joyce's Christmas lights start flickering, which leads her to a crawl space with more lights in her hands. Will begins speaking to her through the lights, with one flicker as "Yes" and two flickers as "No". He then tells Joyce that he is alive. She asks if he is safe, but Will replies no. Since their communication is stuck to one word answers, yes and no, Joyce paints the alphabet on her wall and uses the Christmas lights as an Ouija board.

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Joyce communicating with Will

Nancy comes home and reveals to her mother that something terrible happened to Barb. In the library, Hopper discovers the "MK-Ultra" program which involved Dr. Brenner. Hopper wonders if Will was in the wrong place at the wrong time and witnessed something he shouldn't have.

In the woods, Eleven leads the boys to Will's house and says he is hiding there. None of them believe her, as Will would have been found already. Suddenly, police cars and an ambulance rushes by, and they head off to follow.

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Joyce's makeshift Ouija board

Back at the house, Joyce has Will spell out where he is. Will lights up "RIGHT HERE", which distresses Joyce. Will then spells out "RUN" as the mysterious monster starts crawling out from the wall to take Joyce. Joyce runs out of the house as all of the lights begin flickering erratically.

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Will's lifeless body

Meanwhile, Chief Hopper and the police are led to a body of water in the canyon. A body can be seen being pulled out of the water, which everyone assumes is Will. The three boys and Eleven doubt that the lifeless body is indeed Will, but they catch a glance of it, and realize it is him. They watch on devastated, and question Eleven as to why she said Will was alive. Eleven can't give Mike any answers, which causes him to run home to his mother's arms.

Simultaneously, Joyce is running down the road away from the monster and encounters Jonathan. They then begin to hug.