The last episode ended with the discovery of Will's body. This one starts almost right where it ended, with the cops talking to Joyce and Jonathan. Hopper explains what they think happened, some story about it being an accident, but Joyce immediately tells him that her son isn't dead. Of course, her explanation about the lights and monster coming through the wall only sounds crazy to all present. It doesn't help that she's obviously emotionally compromised. Hopper tries to console Joyce with a story about how he used to see and hear his daughter after her death. Joyce defines his story as grief, but she insists that what she is experiencing is different and that she isn't crazy either. Hopper encourages her to rest before checking to confirm Will's body the next day. Hopper starts to leave but ends up staying in his truck in the yard. Jonathan cries in his bed. Joyce grabs an ax from the shed, presumably ready for whatever comes next.
Mike is in the basement looking at pictures, presumably drawn by Will, when he gets annoyed by Eleven playing with the handheld radio. He uses the opportunity to go off on her about how she led them to find Will and he turned out dead and how friends do not lie. Eleven focuses on the radio, and suddenly we can hear Mike's voice singing, "Should I Stay or Should I Go." Mike tries to talk to Will but is unable to get through. Eleven confirms to him that it was indeed Will. Ooh.
Back at the Wheeler home, Karen checks on Mike who lies in bed. She gives him permission not to go to school, and he asks to just stay home. Assuming he is grieving over the death of his bestie, she agrees. When she leaves, he hops out of bed, fully clothed. Smooth move, Michael. He radios Lucas.
Hopper sits in the Coroner's Office where he learns that the coroner was sent home and that someone from State did the autopsy.
Joyce and Jonathan watch through a window as Will's body is uncovered. Jonathan gets sick, but Joyce asks for more confirmation in a birth mark.
Jonathan and Hopper sit in the waiting room talking about Joyce and her current trip to crazy town. Hopper comforts Jonathan, agreeing with him that his mom is tough. Joyce interrupts their moment by bursting into the waiting room, followed by someone wanting her to sign her confirmation. She insists that the "thing" on the table is not her son and runs out with Jonathan in pursuit.
At school, Nancy confesses her fears about Barb to Steve, even describing the weird thing she saw (the monster). Steve freaks out, worried about getting in trouble about his party more than he is about Barb. Nancy gets upset and leaves him in the alley.
Jonathan follows a walking Joyce in his car, trying to get her to get in. He gets out to follow her, telling her that they need to deal with what's happening. Joyce insists that the body is not Will's, making Jonathan upset. Joyce says that she is not going to stop until she finds Will, but Jonathan yells that he's going to have a funeral for Will.
Eleven plays with the radio, trying to show the boys that Will is on the other end, but the signal keeps getting lost aside from some whimpering sounds. While Dustin admits that it sounds a lot like Will, Lucas still isn't convinced. Mike decides that they need a stronger radio for Eleven to work with, and they think about the radio they used at school. Only problem? Lucas points out that getting "the weirdo" (AKA Eleven) into the school could be difficult. Initiate the makeover! Mike applies make-up while Lucas and Dustin find a dress and blond wig. Eleven comes out in her new get-up, shocking the boys, even eliciting a "pretty" from Mike, but he quickly adds a "good" to the end. "Pretty good." Eleven checks out her new look in the mirror and agrees that she looks "pretty... good."
Three men in hazmat suits walk down the hall at Hawkins Lab, one of whom is Doctor Brenner. One of them goes through the scary oozing hole, a metal cord attached to him.
Nancy is called out of class to be questioned by Officers Powell and Callahan about Barb's disappearance with her mom there. She tells them about the thing they saw, but they think that's crazy and think that maybe Barb ran away since her car is missing. They hypothesize that Barb was jealous of Steve and Nancy's budding relationship. Really???
Hopper talks to the coroner about being kicked out from doing the autopsy on Will's body. The coroner finds their reaction strange considering Will is just a local boy and not a celebrity. Hopper watches his television where a state trooper calls the event an "isolated incident."
Eleven and the boys ride bikes to the middle school where they try to get into the audio-visual room. Mr. Clarke catches them and reminds them about a school assembly that's about to happen for Will. When he asks who Eleven is, they say she is Mike's second cousin, Eleanor, there for the funeral. He asks where she is from, to which she replies, "Bad place." The boys quickly tell him she's from Sweden.
They enter the in-progress assembly awkwardly.
Nancy and Karen go home, and Karen confronts Nancy about her night out again. Ah, so Mom is not so clueless after all. Nancy brings up how worried she is about Barb and how no one is listening. Though Karen claims she is, Nancy stomps off to her room, anyway.
Nancy puts together the ripped up photo of Barb she got from Jonathan in the last episode. In the background she finds the first real evidence of the monster. Dun dun dun.
Back at Hawkin's lab, Brenner and the scientists are able to speak to the man that was sent through the hole. He describes his surroundings until there are strange noises and he talks about something else being there. Brenner orders him brought back by the metal cord while he screams to be brought back. The line starts being jerked around and suddenly drops. They continue reeling him in, but all that arrives is the bloody part of the suit the line was attached to.
Jonathan looks at coffins. Nancy meets him, asking him about the photo. He says he didn't see anything. Nancy tells him she saw some weird man or something. She says, "It was almost like he didn't have..." and Jonathan completes the sentence with something his mom had said earlier... "Didn't have a face." Ooh. Truth is coming out.
Hopper sits undercover in a bar talking up a random guy. Except he isn't so random. He's the guy that found Will's body. And Hopper calls him out for some of the lies he's saying. When the guy tries to blow him off, Hopper gives a taste of justice, hosting a mini-interrogation outside. The man admits that he was told not to let anyone get too close to the body. Hopper sees a random black car watching. When he runs toward it, both it and the man leave.
Joyce, desperate to hear from her son, blasts "Should I Stay Or Should I Go" and calls for him to show himself.
Eleven and the boys settle into the radio room where El has a flashback to a day when Brenner made her search for a man based on his photo and to listen to what the man is saying. In a separate room, a man is saying words that Eleven begins to repeat. Back in the school, she is focusing hard, and the lights go out. A stomping type noise blows through the speakers.
Joyce turns the music off, hearing the footsteps as well. She hears Will crying for her through the wall, and the kids hear his voice through the radio. Joyce runs outside, but he isn't there. The kids call to Will through the radio but he can't hear them. Joyce pulls off her wallpaper to reveal a fleshy opaque wall beneath it. Behind the wall is Will. Joyce asks where he is. He says it's like home but dark, empty, and cold. (Ew.) The kids continue to hear the conversation in the school. Joyce promises that she will find Will but tells him to run because the monster is coming after him. He leaves, and the wall closes over. The radio in the school explodes, and the lights (and the fire alarm) come on.
Joyce takes an ax to her wall but she only makes a hole in her house.
The boys help Eleven, who is weakened from using her powers.
Jonathan and Nancy develop the photo in the photo lab at school so they can more clearly see the monster. They theorize that if his mom was right about the monster and if Will is alive, then maybe Barb is as well.
Joyce's ex-husband arrives and embraces her. That can't be good...
Hopper returns to Hawkins Lab where he uses pliers to break in.
What a crazy and revealing episode!
Shepherd the adventuring scientist. Never go through slimy holes, children.
Uh uh uh uh stayin' alive. Will. Because he isn't dead. Hurrah!
Will. Because he could be dead by the end of the episode, and we just don't know it. Also, Barb, though things weren't looking great for her last time we saw her.