|"We're in the middle of a campaign!"
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Mike is a member of the Wheeler family, living in Hawkins, Indiana with his mother Karen, his father Ted, and his two sisters Nancy and Holly. Nancy suspected their parents never truly loved one another and that they married solely to have a "perfect nuclear family."
While in kindergarten, Mike met and befriended Will Byers. Later, they became friends with Lucas Sinclair. In the fourth grade, Dustin Henderson arrived at their school and joined their friend group. The four boys would often gather at Mike's house to play Dungeons & Dragons; this hobby was developed as early as 1979. They had a great relationship with their science teacher Mr. Clarke, and they were members of the AV Club he ran. They would take part in the annual science fair, winning almost every year.
On the evening of November 6th, Mike, Lucas, Dustin and Will played Dungeons & Dragons in Mike's basement. Mike, acting as Dungeon Master, summoned a Demogorgon, which ultimately defeated Will's character, although Will did not reveal this to Mike until afterward. While they looked for a missing die, Karen insisted it was time for his friends to leave; shortly after this, Dustin, Lucas, and Will cycled home.
Searching for Will
The next day, Will did not show up to school, which perplexed Mike, Lucas, and Dustin. As they played with Mr Clarke's newly delivered Heathkit, they were summoned by Principal Coleman to talk with Chief Hopper who told the boys that Will was missing. He asked the boys about Will's way home the previous night, and they told him Will had took the road where Cornwallis and Kerley met. The boys casually referred to this road and the surrounding forestry as Mirkwood.
The boys investigated their friend's disappearance that evening, searching through Mirkwood as heavy rain fell; this is where they accidentally encountered an escaped Eleven. The boys brought Eleven to Mike's basement where Mike provided her with clean clothes. After some argument among themselves, the boys allowed her to stay in Mike's basement. Mike made a pillow fort for Eleven to sleep in and nicknamed her "El".
Mike skipped school the next day to accommodate El, providing her breakfast as well as showing her his house. El recognized Will from a photograph and suggested to Mike that bad people were looking for her. After school, Dustin and Lucas came to Mike's house; they discussed Eleven and what could have happened to Will. Lucas said that they should tell Karen about Eleven, but El used her telekinesis to prevent him from opening the door to leave. Later that evening, El attempted to explain Will's situation; she flipped their Dungeons & Dragons board upside down and then placed Will's player piece on top followed by the Demogorgon piece. This gave Mike, Lucas, and Dustin a vital clue as they continued to theorize about what happened to Will.
The following morning, Mike discussed the situation with Lucas and Dustin and decided to meet El after school and commence "Operation Mirkwood" so that she could lead them through the woods to find evidence relating to Will. Before leaving, Mike gave his watch to El and requested her to meet with them at 3:15 pm. After school, the group traveled together to look for Will.
They eventually arrived outside the Byers house, where El said Will was hiding. This statement confused the three boys because, logically, Will could not be there. After seeing police cars race by, they followed in pursuit on their bikes. They saw what appeared to be Will's corpse being dragged out of the local quarry; this lead the boys to feel distraught. Mike, thinking Eleven had lied, questioned her. When she failed to answer him, Mike rode back home in tears and was comforted by his mother. Later in the basement, Mike grieved the loss of his friend. However, El tampered with his radio to project the sound of Will quietly singing, proving to Mike that he was still alive.
The next day, Mike showed this to Dustin and Lucas, who wondered if Will had become a ghost. After further discussion the boys decided to bring El to their school so she could use the Heathkit to communicate with Will, which was much more powerful than the boys' portable radios.
After dressing Eleven in a pink dress and blonde wig to help her blend in, the boys brought her to Hawkins Middle School. Mr. Clarke told the group that they had to attend an assembly for Will's death before they could use the radio. During the assembly, the bully Troy made crude jokes about Will, which angered Mike and lead him to confront him after the assembly. Troy attempted to hit Mike, but Eleven froze him in place and made him urinate on himself, much to the amusement of the boys and their classmates. They continued to the Heathkit. With El tapping into the device, they overheard Will talking to his mother through a temporary portal to the other dimension; however, the radio overheated and caught on fire before anything else could be heard. After returning to Mike's basement, the boys theorized that Will was stuck in the Vale of Shadows, a "dark echo" dimension of death and decay, which El labeled the Upside Down.
At Will's funeral, the boys discussed the possibility of alternate dimensions with Mr. Clarke. He described scientific ideas and concepts, utilizing the metaphor of the flea and the acrobat. He mentioned that a gate between dimensions would have adverse affects on the electromagnetic field in their dimension. Later that day, Dustin experimented with a compass, noticing that the needle did not point towards true north, and the boys guessed that there must be a gate nearby influencing the electromagnetic field, like Mr. Clarke had said.
The group followed their compasses believing it would lead to the Gate. However, Eleven was manipulating the compasses for the boys' safety because she considered it too dangerous. When the boys realized that El had been doing this, they argued about her; Mike was more sympathetic and trusted her, while Lucas was critical of her manipulation. The two boys ended up fighting; Eleven used her powers to push Lucas off Mike and into the air, injuring him. This angered Mike and left El upset; she vanished from the scene.
On the run
A rift grew between Lucas and the two other boys as they continued to argue about Eleven. Mike and Dustin went in search of El, while Lucas attempted to once again find the Gate.
While Mike and Dustin continued searching for El, they were ambushed by a revenge-seeking Troy and his best friend James, who both brandished knives. They were chased to the cliff-side overlooking the quarry. Troy threatened Mike by telling him he would cut out Dustin's teeth unless Mike jumped from the cliff.
Finding no other alternative, Mike decided to jump. As he did, Eleven returned and intervened. Using her telekinesis, she levitated Mike back to the cliff-side before injuring the bullies who then fled in terror. As El fell to the ground due to over-exertion, Mike reached her and asked if she was okay. El apologized, claiming she was the monster for having opened the Gate. Mike comforted her, saying she wasn't the monster because she saved him. Mike, Eleven and Dustin then reconciled, sharing an embrace together before returning to Mike's house.
The three had to leave Mike's house quickly when Lucas informed them over the radio that the 'bad men' where coming. They reunited with Lucas as they cycled away. However, as the agents were closing in on them, Eleven used her powers to throw a van, letting the group escape and evading Dr. Martin Brenner and the agents of Hawkins National Laboratory. Mike and Lucas then reconciled.
The group hid from agents in an abandoned bus in the Junkyard. Chief Hopper found them, taking them to the Byers household to meet with Joyce, Jonathan, and Nancy. Together they broke into the middle school and created a makeshift sensory deprivation tank for El to use to enhance her psychic abilities. They learned that Will was alive but barely surviving in the Upside Down.
Showdown with the Demogorgon
While Hopper and Joyce infiltrated the laboratory and Nancy and Jonathan set a trap for the Demogorgon, the boys and Eleven remained at the school. Mike talked to El about their future life together. He invited El to be his date to the Snow Ball school dance. When he explained the Snow Ball, El didn't understand that people go with "someone that you like". In order to help her understand, Mike kissed her, revealing his feelings for her, and El accepted his invitation.
As part of an agreement with Dr. Brenner to gain passage through the Gate, Hopper revealed El and the boys' location to laboratory officials. Agents broke into the school, capturing El and the boys. Eleven killed most of the agents using biokinesis to crush their brains; however, this drained her of energy and strength and caused her to collapse. Without her protection, they were recaptured, but the Demogorgon, attracted by pools of blood spilling from dead bodies, burst through the school wall via a temporary portal. The surviving agents were distracted and were forced to release El and the boys.
The four took Eleven and ran in panic to Mr. Clarke's classroom, where Mike tried to comfort her by promising that he would go to the Snow Ball with her. The Demogorgon broke in and attempted to kill them. El intervened using telekinesis to pin the Demogorgon against a wall while also immobilizing Mike to prevent his intervention. El looked back at her friends and told Mike goodbye before turning to face the Demogorgon. She used the last of her remaining power to disintegrate the Demogorgon, disappearing to the Upside Down in the process. Mike was left in tears as the boys frantically looked for her in the classroom.
When Eleven awoke, she stumbled along the hallways of the Middle School to find Mike. Eventually, she found a portal to the real world. Once she was back in the real world, Eleven found her way to the Wheeler residence. She saw Mike being interrogated by the police through a window, catching his attention and making the officers suspect she was nearby. Eleven was forced to leave and hide in the woods.Mike, Dustin, and Lucas were the first visitors aside from Jonathan and Joyce to see Will in the hospital. The three of them were overjoyed to see him safe and sound. They caught up with Will, telling him about all the events which transpired in his absence.
In the days that followed, Mike spent a lot of time at his home's basement, sitting in the tent and waiting around with his walkie-talkie, waiting for any sign from Eleven. He continued to visit Will every day while he was in the hospital, but when Will was finally released to go home, he along with his friends were temporarily forbidden from seeing him. On November 26, Steve and Nancy looked in on Mike who was in tears. Seeking to distract Mike from his worries, they asked how Will was doing as well as the mechanics behind Dungeons and Dragons.
One month later, the four boys once again played Dungeons & Dragons. Mike summoned the Thessalhydra, but this time his friends' characters triumphed over the enemy. As Will was picked up by his brother Jonathan and Lucas and Dustin play-fought, Mike missed Eleven and looked back longingly at her old pillow fort, which he had kept in perfect condition in her memory.
1983 - 1984
Following her disappearance after the showdown with the Demogorgon, Mike tried to communicate with Eleven. He called her every night from the blanket fort using his Supercom. Unfortunately, he never got any responses.
Before the storm
On the evening of October 29, 1984, Mike was sitting in Eleven's blanket fort when Dustin contacted him asking how much money he had for the arcade. After stealing money from Nancy's piggy bank, he, along with Lucas and Dustin, went to the Palace, with Will joining them soon after.
When Dustin lost a game of Dragon's Lair, Lucas gloated about still having the top score. Dustin countered that he still had the top score in Centipede and Dig Dug, but Keith, an arcade employee, informed him that was no longer the case. Checking the scores, the boys discovered that an unknown person using the alias “MADMAX” had beaten Dustin's scores on both. Keith stated he would tell them the identity of MADMAX in exchange for a date with Nancy, though Mike refused these conditions as he did not want to prostitute his sister. As they were arguing, Will began having an episode, being in an abandoned version of the arcade in the Upside Down. Concerned, Mike noticed, and was able to snap Will out of it by calling his name. He then led Will back inside.
In Mr. Clarke's class the next morning, the boys witnessed a new student, named Max, arrive. Because of her name's similarity to the alias used at the arcade, they suspected she was MADMAX, and they decided to spy on her after school. Will was called out as Joyce had come to take him for a medical exam, which prompted Mike, Dustin and Lucas to speculate about his health. That night, Mike tried contacting Eleven from the pillow fort for the 352nd day in a row. As he was about to give up, he heard what he believed to be Eleven, however, the voice faded as Dustin began talking. He told Mike that their assumption of Max being MADMAX was correct, but Mike, disappointed upon realizing the voice wasn't Eleven's, disregarded the information and turned the Supercom off.
The next day, the boys went to school dressed in their Ghostbusters costumes, only to discover that no one else had dressed up for Halloween. That night, as the boys were trick-or-treating, Max jumped out and scared them with her Michael Myers costume. She then joined them in their trick-or-treating. Mike wasn't happy about this, and reluctantly walked ahead, leaving Will behind as he began having another episode. Mike eventually found him, again snapping him out of the episode and taking him back to his house.
Back in the Wheelers' basement, Will told Mike about his vision, detailing how he saw a huge shadow-like creature in the sky. Mike promised that he wouldn't tell anyone about Will's vision as Will did not think that the others would understand.
Later, Mike tried contacting Eleven again, revealing that he wished she was there. Eleven, who was simultaneously visiting him in her mental void, was about to make contact. Before she could do so, Mike, unaware of her presence, left.
Dustin brought a strange creature, which he had named D'Artagnan, to school the following day, showing it to Mike, Lucas, Will, and Max. He explained he had found it in his trashcan and that he believed the creature to be some sort of pollywog. When Dustin concluded that he had discovered a new species, Lucas suggested that he show the creature to Mr. Clarke. However, after noticing it resembled a slug he had thrown up the year before, Will realized Dart originated from the Upside Down and informed Mike.
Before Dustin could show Mr. Clarke, Mike took Dart and urged everyone to meet again in the AV club room, excluding Max. When Dart started to emit a screeching sound, the boys tried to open the proton pack, but Dart broke free and they witnessed it growing a pair of hind legs. Mike then tried to attack Dart, which caused it to flee and run loose throughout the school.
As Mike was looking for the creature, he encountered Max in the boys' locker room. She followed him to the gym, where she tried to convince him to let her join the party as their “zoomer” by performing some skateboard tricks. While this was happening, Eleven, who was at the school in order to see Mike, witnessed them together. Jealous, she used her powers to pull Max's skateboard out from under her, causing her to fall. As Mike helped her up, Max explained that it felt like a magnet had pulled her board. Suspecting Eleven to be the cause, he quickly ran through the gym's doors, however, Eleven was gone.
Will eventually found Dart in a bathroom; it screeched, causing Will to run away. Soon after, Dustin arrived to retrieve Dart. When the others arrived, Dustin hid Dart under his hat and lied, saying he had not seen it or Will. Mike found Will out in the field as he was having another episode. However, this time he did not snap out of the vision, even as Joyce tried to pull him out of it. While everyone watched on helplessly, Will was being overwhelmed by the shadow monster. After the creature had finished its attack, Will finally woke up.
The following morning, Lucas, Mike, and Max – who had no knowledge of the creature's location – searched for Dart in a dumpster behind the school. Later, Mike grew worried upon noticing Will's absence and tried calling the Byers' residence in order to check up on him, but received no response. He then told everyone, sans Max, to meet in the AV room. There, he explained to Dustin and Lucas that, on Halloween night, Will had a vision of a shadow-like creature. He then decided that he would go to Will's house to acquire more knowledge while Dustin and Lucas would look for Dart, since catching him could provide a vital clue on what was going on with Will.After school, Mike went to the Byers' house to check on Will where Joyce initially didn't allow him inside. When Mike mentioned the shadow monster, however, she let him in.
Will explained his connection with the shadow monster, saying he was able to see what the monster saw. Mike tried to make the best of the situation, saying that it was a good thing because Will's connection to the Shadow Monster could lead to them figuring out how to stop him. He also assured Will that they wouldn't let the monster spy back on him.
November 3Mike was awoken the next morning by Will, who had witnessed Hopper trapped beneath Hawkins through his connection with the Shadow Monster. While they were able to figure out where Hopper was in Will's drawings, they did not know the actual location. Just then, Bob arrived, and because of his talent in solving puzzles, Joyce enlisted his help. Bob realized that the drawings were a map of Hawkins, and was able to pinpoint Hopper's location. Arriving at the location, Joyce and Bob descended into the tunnels while Mike and Will waited above ground, who witnessed the agents arriving. Eventually, Hopper was found entangled in a mass of vines. After freeing him, soldiers from the lab arrived and urged them to leave shortly before burning the tunnels. Suddenly, Will collapsed and as Mike tried to ask him what was wrong, Will began convulsing on the ground. Mike went along with Joyce, Bob, and Hopper to Hawkins Lab, where Will was quickly treated.
When Will awoke, he could not remember Dr. Owens, Bob, or Hopper, and was barely able to remember Mike. In a test involving a severed vine from the Upside Down, Owens asked if Will could feel anything as another scientist used a blowtorch to burn the vine. Through this, they determined that Will had some sort of “virus” that connected him to all other infected hosts in a hive intelligence.
Back in the infirmary, Will informed Mike of a way they could possibly stop the Shadow Monster. Using images that the lab personnel had taken of the map, Will directed the scientists to an area, stating “he doesn't want me to see there.”
As soldiers traversed the tunnels, Will revealed that the Shadow Monster made him deceive the soldiers. Realizing it was a trap, Mike tried to warn the scientists, but it was too late; the soldiers were ambushed and killed by a pack of Demodogs. Shortly after, Demodogs began invading the lab. To prevent the Shadow Monster from knowing their location, Mike urged them to sedate Will.
Once Will was unconscious, the group took refuge in a surveillance room, where they witnessed the lab being overrun by Demodogs before the power went out. To restore the power and allow them a way out, Bob volunteered to go down to the basement and reset the breakers. Once the power was restored and the doors unlocked, Mike, Joyce, Hopper, and Will made it to safety while Owens stayed behind to guide Bob. Just when it seemed Bob was safe, he was tackled and killed by several Demodogs. Outside, the group met up with Nancy, Jonathan, Steve, Dustin, Lucas, and Max. Together, they escaped the lab.
At the Byers' house, Mike was unwilling to just sit and wait for help, and started speculating with Lucas, Dustin, and Max about the Shadow Monster's weakness. When they realized that the Shadow Monster controlled everything in a hive mind, they compared it to the Mind Flayer, a monster from Dungeons & Dragons that similarly controls the minds of its victims. They also speculated that, if they killed the Mind Flayer, they would kill everything it controlled.
Mike then proposed that, in order to discover the Mind Flayer's weakness, they'd have to take Will someplace he couldn't recognize and try to get through to him. After making the backyard shed unrecognizable, they attempted to interrogate Will. While the Mind Flayer had taken over a majority of Will's mind and body, a part of Will managed to subconsciously signal to them in Morse code. Deciphering his message, they discovered the way to stop the Mind Flayer; closing the Gate. Soon after, the phone in the Byers' kitchen rang, giving away their location.
Reunion and burning the tunnels
As the house was being surrounded by a pack of Demodogs, the group armed themselves. Before the pack could attack, however, Eleven arrived and eradicated them. Mike became relieved to see her alive and the two embraced each other. After an emotional reunion with Eleven, Mike discovered that Hopper had been hiding her the whole time and angrily blamed him; though they quickly reconciled.
When Eleven assured that she could close the Gate, Mike pointed out that it might also kill Will. So, together, the group came up with a plan: Joyce, Jonathan, and Nancy would exorcise the Mind Flayer from Will's body while Eleven and Hopper would go to the lab and close the Gate. Before leaving, Eleven promised Mike that he will not lose her again.
While waiting at the house, Mike, who was concerned about Eleven, planned with Lucas, Dustin, and Max and decided they'd distract the Demodogs by burning the tunnels so Eleven and Hopper could safely reach the Gate. Before they could begin their plan, Billy arrived looking for Max. Steve tried to intervene, but the two ended up in a fist fight. With one of the syringes used to sedate Will, Max was able to puncture Billy's neck, making him lose consciousness. Using Billy's car, Max drove the group to the pumpkin patch where the entrance to the tunnels was located. Making their way to the hub, they doused the entire area in gasoline and set it ablaze.
On their way out of the tunnels, Mike was caught by the vines. As Steve helped him out, the group encountered Dart. Recognizing Dustin, Dart did not attack and was easily distracted by Dustin giving it another Three Musketeers bar, allowing the group to escape. Since the tunnels were burning, the group hurried to escape, but Steve and Dustin fell behind. Surprisingly, instead of attacking them, the Demodogs were relocating somewhere else. Mike and the others presumed that they were going for Eleven. As the group reached out of the tunnels, they witnessed the lights glowing brightly, indicating that Eleven managed to close the Gate.
The Snow Ball
On December 15, Mike attended the Snow Ball with his friends for the first time and waited for Eleven who arrived shortly after. When Mike and Eleven reunited again, Mike stated that she looked beautiful and asked if she wanted to dance. Eleven agreed, and they danced together and shared a kiss.
June 28Mike and El were kissing passionately in El’s room when Hopper noticed and tried to intervene, prompting her to telekinetically close the door. When Hopper entered the room, they tried to act innocent, though he was thoroughly unconvinced. After departing from the cabin, Mike spoke to her via walkie talkie and promised he’d see her immediately the following day.
Mike arrived at the Starcourt Mall where Lucas, Max, and Will were waiting for him. The Party headed toward Scoops Ahoy where Steve helped them sneak into the cinema through the back doors to view an early screening of Day of the Dead. During the film, there was a sudden power outage across Hawkins, resulting in the entire mall losing power. The power returned shortly after, allowing the Party to resume watching the film. Will felt a strange sensation at the back of his neck. Sensing something was wrong, Mike inquired if Will was alright, to which he responded that he was fine
At the Henderson house the following day, Mike and the other Party members hosted a special surprise for Dustin to celebrate his return from summer camp. Dustin presented many of his inventions from summer camp, including Cerebro, a powerful ham radio he created to contact his girlfriend, Suzie. However, in order for it to work, it had to be located in a place of high elevation. While on their way up a hill to assemble the radio, El and Mike created an excuse to leave so they could spend time together.
That night, the couple were having another make-out session when Hopper interrupted them with the intent to have a “heart-to-heart” about boundaries. He failed, instead coming up with a lie about Mike’s grandmother being sick in order to get Mike to leave. As Hopper drove him home, he told Mike to start spending less time with El, otherwise, he would stop allowing them to date.
Due to Hopper’s threat, Mike didn't head to the cabin the following morning like he had promised El. When she called asking why, he responded that his grandmother was still sick. When El saw through his lies, he insisted he was telling the truth and ended the conversation. Later, Mike told what had happened to Lucas, who was disappointed by his actions and advised him to get El a gift to make it up to her. Mike, Lucas, and Will went to the Starcourt Mall to find a suitable present, however, their search yielded no results. The boys were preparing to leave when they unexpectedly met El and Max. El confronted Mike but instead of telling the truth, he continued to lie, resulting in her breaking up with him.
That evening in the Wheeler basement, Mike and Lucas discussed their break ups and came to the conclusion that they had done nothing wrong, because “girls act on emotion, not logic” and are a “different species”. Unbeknownst to them, El had witnessed their conversation while spying on them in the Void.
The following morning, Mike and Lucas were woken up by Will, dressed in his Will the Wise costume urging them to play a campaign of D&D. When they did not take the campaign seriously, Will became upset and stormed out. Mike followed him outside where he tried to make Will understand, stating they were growing up and they could not spend the rest of their lives playing games in the basement. This had the opposite effect, causing Will to leave. Mike and Lucas later followed him to the Byers house in order to apologize. When they finally found him next to the partially destroyed Castle Byers, Will announced that the Mind Flayer had returned.
A Threat to the Mind Flayer
Mike alerted El and Max the following morning, urging them to head over due to a code red situation. Once the Party had assembled in the basement, Will proposed that the part of the Mind Flayer that had possessed him the year prior was still in their world and had attached itself to a new host. When El relayed all that she had seen, they began to suspect that the new host may be Billy. While spying on Billy at the Hawkins Community Pool, Mike came up with a plan to trap him in the sauna to confirm his status as a host. When El entered a supply closet to retrieve a swimming mannequin for the plan, Mike followed and attempted to talk to her. El rebuked him, stating she should spend time with her “own species”. This caused Mike to realize that she and Max spied on him and Lucas; leaving Mike in a state of shock and disbelief.
Once the pool had closed and Billy was alone, the group enacted their plan, luring him into the sauna. Once he was trapped, the group looked on as Billy became more and more unstable due to the increasing heat and the Mind Flayer’s influence. When Billy was fully under the entity’s control, he escaped the sauna. While El was able to hold him off initially, he managed to overpower her, grabbing her by the neck and strangling her. She was saved by Mike, who struck Billy in the head with a barbell. When Billy tried to go after Mike, she retaliated by throwing him through the wall, which resulted in Billy’s escape.
The following day, Max, Lucas, Mike, El, and Will gathered in the Wheeler basement; they discovered that Hopper and Joyce were heading to Illinois through El’s abilities. When Nancy and Jonathan arrived and explained Doris Driscoll had exhibited behavior identical to Will’s when he had been possessed by the Mind Flayer at the same time as Billy’s sauna test, they concluded that Doris had also become “Flayed”-- a host to the Mind Flayer -- and suspected there were potentially several more. This lead to the realization that Heather and her parents had also become hosts.
At the Holloway residence, they found that the inhabitants had consumed several household chemicals. When they investigated further, they surmised that Heather’s parents had been attacked, tied up, and taken to an unknown location where they were flayed. Will then proposed that they use Driscoll to find the source--the location where the flaying was taking place.
At the cabin, Mike and Max got into an argument over El’s wellbeing, resulting in Mike confessing his love for her. Immediately after, El entered the room and announced she had found Billy situated in his room. While everyone agreed it was a trap, El made the decision to return to Billy in the Void and through his memories, discovered Brimborn Steel Works to be the Mind Flayer’s lair. In doing so, however, she allowed the Mind Flayer to learn their location as well.
Seeing that the Mind Flayer was headed toward the cabin, the group prepared for battle. In the assault, the Mind Flayer grabbed El by the leg with one of his tentacles. After being freed from the creature’s grasp, El severed the Mind Flayer’s head in half, temporarily incapacitating him and allowing the group to escape.
The group went to Bradley’s Big Buy to dress El’s wound and gather supplies. When they were alone together, Mike confided in El about his feelings for her. Just as he was going to tell her how he felt, he was interrupted by Dustin calling on the walkie-talkie. However, the signal kept cutting out due to Dustin’s walkie-talkie having a low battery. After El located Dustin, the group headed to the mall where they arrived just in time for her to save the Scoops Troop by throwing a car at the Russian soldiers. When El collapsed, it was revealed a piece of the Mind Flayer was still stuck under her skin. Using her powers, El managed to remove the piece. Just then, Hopper arrived along with Joyce and Murray.
Battle against the Spider Monster
Once everyone was briefed on the situation, the group came up with a plan: Hopper, Murray, and Joyce would infiltrate the Russian bunker to shut down the Key and close the Gate with the aid of Dustin and Erica, who would be driven to Cerebro by Steve and Robin. Nancy, Jonathan, and the remaining Party members would seek shelter at Murray’s warehouse in Illinois.
In the Starcourt parking lot, Nancy discovered that the car wouldn’t start due to the car missing its ignition cable. With Billy blockading the mall’s parking lot, the group was forced to retreat back into the mall. While trying to get in touch with the Scoops Troop for emergency transportation, they realized they could use the ignition cable from the car El had thrown before.
Immediately after retrieving the component, the Mind Flayer crashed through the glass roof into the center of the mall. After successfully evading the creature, Mike, El, and Max managed to escape through the back doors located in The Gap, while the remaining group escaped through the front out to the car, distracting the Mind Flayer in the process. When the trio made it to the front, they were intercepted by Billy, making them turn back the way they came and alerting the Mind Flayer to El’s presence. Billy eventually caught up to them and knocked all three unconscious, taking El to the Mind Flayer while leaving the others behind.
When they awoke, Mike and Max made it back inside just in time to witness Billy sacrificing himself to protect El and the Mind Flayer’s ensuing demise. Mike and El were reunited and Mike watched as El tried to comfort distressed Max over Billy's death.
In October, Mike and El were forced to part ways as she and the Byers family left Hawkins. Before she left, they made arrangements to see each other on Thanksgiving. Will told Mike that he would never join another party, resulting in a big smile from Mike. Mike suggested to Eleven that she and Will return to Hawkins for Christmas as he thought that it would be fun to open their presents together on Christmas Day. He was very upset about Eleven and Will leaving Hawkins and sought comfort from his mother Karen, who gave him a hug.