It’s a tearful reunion for Mike and Eleven. Then Hopper admits that he’s been keeping her hidden. Mike yells at him but it turns to crying soon. He’s got a lot of emotions. Eleven talks to the others and then goes to see Will with Joyce.
She opened the gate and now she’s going to have to close it. Billy is looking for Max and ends up hitting on Mike and Nancy’s mom while he’s at it. The folks at the Byers house brainstorm. They have to cut off the shadow monster and it will kill the army. Only problem is, Will is part of the army. So they have to flush it out of his system.
Hopper sends Jonathan and Joyce to the cabin with Will. Nancy and Steve talk. He suggests she go with Jonathan. Eleven and Mike say their goodbyes before she heads out with Hopper to close the gate. Nancy does go with the Byers.
On the ride, Hopper and Eleven talk about where she’s been and what he’s done wrong. He’s worried he will lose her like he lost his daughter. That’s why he’s been so protective.
Dustin stows the dead monster in the freezer. Mike wants to help Eleven. He doesn’t know how. But eventually he comes up with a plan. Create a diversion in the tunnels. Steve is not interested though. He tells them in no uncertain terms that they will not be leaving.
Billy shows up and threatens Lucas and yells at Max and fights Steve. Max drugs him to knock him out and then they take his keys and leave. Nancy and the Byers family gets to the cabin. They light a fire and crank the heat.
Eleven and Hopper get to the lab. It’s go time. Steve wakes up in a car full of kids and flips out. They don’t stop. Will wakes up sweating and starts screaming. Joyce turns up the heat. Steve reluctantly heads into the tunnels with the kids.
Inside the lab, Hopper comes across Owens. He patches him up and tells him to think about helping Eleven lead a normal life when this is over. In the tunnels, they find the hub and douse it in gasoline. Jonathan wants to turn the heat down. He thinks it is killing his brother. Nancy notices something. The monster taking over.
Hopper and Eleven find a monster. He moves in to shoot it. Steve lights the tunnels on fire. Nancy jabs Will with a branding iron. All of the monsters move out toward the tunnel fire. Will is free. Jonathan sends word to Hopper. It’s time to close the gate.
They head down to the gate on the service elevator. Mike trips while they are running and the vines get him. Eleven starts to close the gate. The others get Mike free and are confronted by Dustin’s pet creature. He feeds it candy and they get away.
Using the anger technique that Kali taught her, Eleven works on the gate. While they are getting out of the tunnels, the monsters swarm. They don’t stop though. They are headed for the gate.
It’s getting to be too much. Eleven is failing. But she digs deeper and manages to close the gate. The army of monsters falls. Hopper hugs her and tells her she did good.
A month later the lab is shut down because of a chemical leak. Barb’s parents get the closure they deserve. Hopper meets with Owens. He’s got paperwork for Eleven. He suggests giving it a year though. Hopper asks about one night.
The kids are all getting ready for a dance at the school. Dustin even does his hair. Steve gives him a ride and admires Nancy from afar. She’s chaperoning. So is Jonathan. They smile across the room. A slow song comes on. Lucas and Max dance. Another girl asks Will to dance.
Dustin asks around but no one is willing to dance with him. Nancy sees him and asks him to dance. She gives him a pep talk. Girls are dumb at that age but they’ll wise up in a few years.
Joyce is lurking outside when Hopper strolls up. He asks how she’s doing and they hug it out. Mike is sitting alone when Eleven walks in. He tells her she looks beautiful and asks her to dance. They all enjoy the dance. In the Upside Down, the shadow monster is still watching the school though.
The poor Byers family. They can’t win. At least things are looking up now though. Everyone is happy, except Steve but he’ll bounce back. I liked that the kids thought to create a diversion. That was a good plan and most likely saved Eleven. She seemed to recognize Owens though. I wonder if that will come up in future seasons.