- Title: Stranger Things – Chapter Three: Holly, Jolly
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Nancy (Natalia Dyer) begins to regret her night of passion with Steve (Joe Keery) as she begins to suspect something awful has befallen her missing best friend Barb (Shannon Purser). The discovery of Jonathan‘s (Charlie Heaton) stalker-esque pictures will both make her further question Steve and provide a clue to her missing friend. While the show threatens to turn Steve into a classic cliche, it seems Stranger Things has larger plans for her boyfriend and more complex plans for the Jonathan/Nancy/Steve dynamic.
While not finding anything conclusive, Hopper (David Harbour) is convinced Hawkins Laboratory is covering up something big the night Will (Noah Schnapp) disappeared. After being doctored security footage, the police chief and his deputy begin searching for more information about Hawkins Lab offering the show’s first clue to Eleven‘s (Millie Bobby Brown) true identity. The episode also begins showing us more detailed flashbacks of Eleven’s time in the facility and just Dr. Brenner (Matthew Modine) was using her for.
The discovery of Will’s body in the ravine seems to close the case, but Joyce‘s (Winona Ryder) refusal to identify the body and the extreme precautions the state (i.e. Hawkins Labs) takes to completely control the autopsy begin to make the chief belief the woman could be right. Of course at this point he hasn’t seen her recent home redecoration involving an absurd amoutnt of Christmas lights which she has used to find a way to talk with her missing son who seems both incredibly close and awfully far away. The discovery of Will is also confusing to Mike (Finn Wolfhard) who believes Eleven lied about his friend still being alive, but it won’t take much for him to be won back over when he hears his missing friend on the other side of the veil.
Although the kids’ adventures still make up a large portion of the episode, “Holly, Jolly” is the first episode where the adult storylines really drive the story. Hopper’s suspicions about Hawkins will lead eventually to answers. Joyce will encounter the creature for the first time. And Nancy and Jonathan will form the beginnings of a partnership which will allow them to learn more about the creature, its home, and just what happened to his missing brother.