Stranger Things Season 1 Recap

Stranger Things is back for Season 2! Eleven and the Upside Down are back in our lives as if they never left. But it has been awhile since Season 1 came out so there might be a few things you forgot. And that’s an issue because each moment in Stranger Things is important. So before you go and binge the season, here are some of the key moments from last season. *SPOILERS*

Will Byers Vanishes:​

While biking home one night, Will Byers vanishes in the woods leaving only his bike behind. Chief Hopper and his team search extensively to find Will, but they can’t find a trace of him anywhere. Eventually, this search leads Hopper to Hawkins National Laboratory, which is creepy and super secretive. Meanwhile, Will’s friends conduct their own search for their missing friend since the police don’t seem to be getting anywhere. Their search brings them to Eleven, a shaven-headed girl who has escaped from the mysterious lab. She has powers that she’s grown up using primarily in Cold War laboratory experiments and to fight the Demogorgon. The boys take Eleven in, and she hides out in Mike’s basement and enjoys an unhealthy amount of Eggo Waffles.

Will Contacts His Mom from the Upside Down:


Everyone (including Joyce) thinks Will’s mom is going crazy because she buys a bunch of Christmas lights and starts trying to communicate with her son through them. But the smart woman that she is, Joyce paints letters on the wall and finally gets a message from her son in the Upside Down. Meanwhile, another person, the oh so iconic Barb, Nancy’s best friend, gets taken by the Demogorgon while sitting on the diving board. A little while later, Jonathan looks for his brother with Nancy in the woods. While there, Nancy stumbles upon a weird tree, crawls inside (WHY?), and ends up in the Upside Down. She freaks out after almost being attacked by a scary creature, but she discovers the link between the Lab, the Upside Down, and that the door to the Upside Down goes BOTH ways. Eventually, Jonathan hears her cry and drags her back to the woods where she is sufficiently traumatized.

Will’s Body is Found and We Find out Hawkins National Laboratories Secrets:

Will Byer’s body is found floating in the quarry and the search for him ends in sorrow for the town. For his mother, however, nothing adds up so she heads down to the morgue to check out his body for herself. The administrators there will not let her close up to the body, which is quite suspicious, so she tricks the guards and goes to her supposedly dead son. Except it isn’t her son; it’s a weird doll type thing stuffed with cotton. The mystery continues, then, for the missing Will. Luckily, as we know, he’s trying to communicate with his mother. While all this is going on, we learn about the Lab that Eleven grew up in and about all the horrible experiments Brenner conducted on this poor girl. To say she had a rough childhood would be an understatement.  Also, Chief Hopper sneaks into the Lab and finds out about some of the weird stuff that’s been happening there.

The School Scene:

We can’t forget that huge scene with all of the major characters at the school. The boys, Joyce, Chief Hopper, Nancy, Steve, and Jonathan get to the school to create a sensory deprivation tank for Eleven to traverse the dimensions. There was the sense of immediacy and panic as Brenner and the men from the Lab were trying to get them all, yet Eleven, like the badass she is, was able to travel to the upside down mentally to find Will and determine Barb’s fate (deceased, unfortunately). After Eleven tells Will’s whereabouts, Joyce and Chief Hopper go to the Lab and enter the Upside Down. They have to wear those hazmat suits so they don’t get the bad gases from the other dimension, but they eventually find Will.

Eleven Fights the Demogorgon:

All the while, there is a major fight going on at the school between Brennan and the kids, which eventually turns into everyone versus the Demogorgon. Brenner dies in the ensuing chaos, but the kids manage to find a classroom, Mike finally kisses Eleven, and then Eleven proceeds to use her super telekinetic powers on this crazy powerful creature. She successfully gets rid of the monster… but she disappears as well. Meanwhile, Joyce and Chief Hopper manage to get Will out of the Upside Down and to the medical attention that he so desperately needs. This bittersweet tale ends with the disappearance of a beloved new friend and the emergence of a lost old one.

The Aftermath:

After the series of events that went down at the school, it’s Christmas time and everyone is seemingly back to business as usual. The Byers’s Family is together again, Steve and Nancy are a happy couple, and the boys are back to playing their board games. But, there’s a slight difference in the air. Eleven is still gone, Nancy is sad about Barb’s death, and the biggest change of all: Will is throwing up slugs and gettings visions of the Upside Down! There is a hint that Eleven is hiding around somewhere, as evidenced by the Eggo waffles Hopper leaves in the box. But, only Season 2 will give us the answers to our remaining questions.

While not covering every single detail of Season 1, this recap hopefully jogged your memory of many of the important parts of the season. I know I had forgotten a lot of these moments, but now I’m ready and more excited than ever for Stranger Things Season 2. Can things get any...stranger?? We’ll see.