Stranger Things: Season One recapped


Jeromy Mackey, Staff Writer

The success of Stranger Things was monumental and unexpected.

Before the first season was comprehensively released on July 15, 2016 through the ever-growing streaming service Netflix, people in the public knew very little about the sleeper hit about to be released by Matt and Ross Duffer.

The show went through a troubled pre-production phase with most of the major primetime television networks rejecting the Duffer Brothers’ pitch. The networks believed that a show as focused on the children as Stranger Things is would not be very successful.

Ironically, it was the performances given by these child actors that captivated audiences across the country, and propelled the careers of stars Millie Bobby Brown, and Finn Wolfhard (who recently portrayed Richie in the box office smashing revival of It.) Now the fans of the show anxiously wait for the full release of the second season on Oct. 27.

For those fans who have a muddy recollection of the last summer’s season, or for those who want to start right away on the second season, I have briefly recapped each of the eight episodes, so SPOILER ALERT!

Chapter One: The Vanishing of Will Byers

The mystery begins when a young boy from the town of Hawkins mysteriously disappears in the early 1980’s. Speculation begins to rise as some townsfolk think that a recent occurrence at the local United States Department of Energy plant might be connected to the disappearance of the young Will Byers.

Will’s classmates and Dungeons & Dragons cohorts, Mike, Dusty, and Lucas vow to find Will and save him. During the beginning of their quest, they encounter a strange girl who has had her head shaven ad wears a torn hospital gown. Even stranger is the odd tattoo on her arm simply bearing the numerals, “011.” Not knowing her name, and not receiving much information from the girl herself, the boys affectionately call her “Eleven.”

Chapter Two: The Weirdo on Maple Street

Mike decides to secretly house the enigmatic Eleven in his basement without the knowledge of his parents. Joyce Byers, who is the mother of the missing Will, begins to receive strange phone calls in addition to seeing her walls move and morph in impossible ways. She talks to the chief of police, Jim Hopper, who, although believes Joyce to be a hysteric grieving mother, becomes much more interested in the case after Joyce’s strange statements. At a party, a girl named Barbara, is taken by the same creature we only briefly glimpsed when it took Will in the first episode.

Chapter Three: Holly, Jolly

Barbara is shown in a darkened and alien version of the pool she was at when she was taken by the creature. This is our first glimpse at the other world where the creature resides. Meanwhile, Eleven promises the boys that she knows where Will is hiding, but when she takes them there it is just the fort that Will built, which the boys already know about. Joyce thinks that her son is communicating through lights in the house, so she buys Christmas lights and paints letters underneath them so that Will can talk to her.

Chapter Four: The Body

Everyone’s theories about Will’s body is found in a local query. Joyce refuses to accept it is him due to her adamant belief that Will has been communicating with her through lights. The boys make a huge discovery when Eleven’s tinkering with their walkie talkie allows for Will’s voice to be heard singing “Should I Stay or Should I Go” by The Clash, a song he and his brother enjoyed together. In this episode we see many of the skeptics like Hopper begin to realize that there may be some truth to Joyce’s supernatural theories about her son’s location.

Chapter Five: The Flea and the Acrobat

After Hopper finds out that the body they found was a fake filled with stuffing, he begins to force himself deeper into the treacherous Hawkins Laboratory. He is knocked out and returned to his trailer which he quickly learns has been bugged. The boys begin referring to the area that Will and Barb were taken to as the “Upside Down.” Nancy, a friend of Barb’s and a love interest of Jonathan Byers, finds a gate to this Upside Down, while the boys get frustrated with Eleven’s secrets.

When Lucas attacks Mike, her powers of telekinesis are revealed when she flings Lucas through the air and she runs away from the boys.

Chapter Six: The Monster

The fight between Lucas and Eleven causes a split between the boys and Lucas leaves Dustin and Mike to find eleven on their own. They are finally reunited when Eleven saves Mike after a local bully forces him to jump off the cliff as he held Dusty at knifepoint. Eleven breaks the boy’s arm and this use of her power causes Chief Hopper to investigate her past further. He learns that many children were abducted from their parents who were involved experiment that the head scientist at Hawkins Lab ran.

Chapter Seven: The Bathtub

The lab learns that Eleven is being held at Mike’s house and the group flees and reunites with Lucas. Eleven tells them that a certain chamber, technically called a sensory deprivation tank but the boys and Eleven call it “the bathtub,” would enhance her psychic powers enough to find Will.

With the help of Chief Hopper, the boys, Joyce and Jonathan Byers, and Nancy, Eleven is able to create this chamber and locate Will in the Upside Down. However, the monster, called the Demogorgon by the boys after a monster in D&D, becomes aware of them and so do the Dept. of Energy baddies.

Chapter Eight: The Upside Down

Chief Hopper is able to locate Will by going through the first entrance to the Upside Down created in Hawkins Laboratory. Eleven sacrifices herself to kill the Demogorgon at the Hawkins High School. All seems well until the show flashes forward to Christmas time at the Byers’ household where Will is looking in the mirror has the world flashes between the real world and the Upside Down.