"Chapter Seven: The Bathtub" is the seventh episode of Stranger Things and the seventh episode of the first season. It was written by Justin Doble and directed by the Duffer Brothers. It premiered on Netflix on July 15, 2016 along with the rest of the season.
Saturday, November 12, 1983
Mike and Eleven are about to share an intimate moment in the basement bathroom when Dustin bursts through the door, telling them that Lucas may be in trouble. Over the radio, Lucas warns them that the "Bad Men" are coming. They then leave on their bikes as they are pursued by Brenner and various other Hawkins Lab agents, driving in "Hawkins Power & Light" vans. During the chase, they reunite with Lucas, but soon find that the agents are not far behind. As they are trying to get away, one of the vans blocks their path. Eleven uses her powers to flip the van, ensuring their escape. Reaching their junkyard base, Lucas apologizes to El for calling her a traitor, and in turn she apologizes for lying. Mike also apologizes, and Lucas accepts his handshake.
Hopper and Joyce arrive at the local police station and demand Callahan and Powell release Jonathan. The officers refuse, and reveal the stash of hunting gear in Jonathan's trunk. Hopper demands to know why he had such items, but Jonathan claims he wouldn't believe him.
Brenner and his agents arrive at the Wheeler house. As they begin searching the residence, Connie Frazier speaks with Karen and Ted. She asks them if they know anything about Eleven, to which they respond no. Karen then becomes furious, demanding to know why they are there. Brenner then steps in, telling her that her son is in danger and asking where he is.
At the junkyard, the kids are discussing Hawkins Laboratory when they notice helicopters overhead. They decide to take refuge in an abandoned bus.
Back at the police station, Nancy and Jonathan tell Hopper about the Monster. As Joyce and Jonathan have a conversation in the hallway, Hopper steps out of his office when he overhears an argument between Callahan and a woman. The woman is revealed to be Troy's mother, who's there to report his arm had been broken by another child. Hopper becomes interested when Troy describes the girl's appearance and asks for more information. Troy tells him about her abilities and that she's always with Mike, Lucas, and Dustin.
While surveying the agents swarming her house, Nancy becomes worried about Mike. Hopper tells her they have not found him yet and asks where he is. She does not know but Jonathan claims he knows a way to find out. Hopper, Joyce, Nancy, and Jonathan go to the Byers house where they use Will's Supercom to contact the kids. However, they debate over if they should answer, fearing it could be a trap. As Hopper is about to give up, Mike answers and tells them their location.
At the Hawk, some employees are cleaning the marquee when Steve arrives. He asks if he can help and begins removing the graffiti from the sign.
In the bus, the kids anxiously wait for Hopper. When they hear someone arrive, they quickly scramble to the front of the bus. Upon seeing that it's agents that have arrived, they quickly go back to hide. Before the agents can enter the bus, they are knocked unconscious by Hopper. He then urges the kids to come with him.
Hopper and the kids meet up with Joyce, Nancy, and Jonathan at the Byers house. Mike, Dustin, and Lucas explain the Upside Down, telling them that Will and Barbara are trapped there. When Eleven fails to find Will and Barb, she proposes that she can find them in "the bath." Dustin calls Mr. Clarke, asking the requirements for a makeshift isolation tank.
The group travel to the middle school, setting up a kiddie pool and filling it with deicing salt. Eleven enters the pool, delving into a deep psychic state. She first finds Barb's corpse, witnessing a slug slither from her mouth, causing Eleven to break down and scream. After she is comforted by Joyce, she finds Will hiding in the Upside Down version of Castle Byers. She tells him that his mother will be coming for him, and he tells her to "hurry." Suddenly, Eleven loses contact and Will vanishes.
Hopper and Joyce decide to go to Hawkins Lab in order to get Will back. Nancy and Jonathan resolve to kill the monster, and steal their hunting gear back from the police station along with a fire extinguisher, while Dustin, Lucas and Mike stay with Eleven at the school. Hopper and Joyce attempt to break into the lab, but are apprehended by agents and security guards before they are able to enter the building.
In the Upside Down, an incapacitated Will is shown singing in Castle Byers, as the monster breaks in.
- Joyce Byers - Winona Ryder
- Jim Hopper - David Harbour
- Mike Wheeler - Finn Wolfhard
- Eleven - Millie Bobby Brown
- Dustin Henderson - Gaten Matarazzo
- Lucas Sinclair - Caleb McLaughlin
- Nancy Wheeler - Natalia Dyer
- Jonathan Byers - Charlie Heaton
- Karen Wheeler - Cara Buono
- Dr. Martin Brenner - Matthew Modine
- Ted Wheeler - Joe Chrest
- Steve Harrington - Joe Keery
- Officer Powell - Rob Morgan
- Officer Callahan - John Paul Reynolds
- Will Byers - Noah Schnapp
- Mary Mack Girl #2 - Shae Britt
- Jen - Jackie Dallas
- Agent Connie Frazier - Catherine Dyer
- Movie Theatre Manager - Charles Green
- Scott Clarke - Randy Havens
- Lead Agent - Tobias Jelinek
- Holly Wheeler - Anniston and Tinsley Price
- Tommy H. - Chester Rushing
- Florence - Susan Shalhoub Larkin
- Carol - Chelsea Talmadge
- Agent Repairman - Robert Walker Branchaud
- Mary Mack Girl #1 - Abigail Whitlock
- Troy - Peyton Wich
- "Fields of Coral" by Vangelis - The group share and discuss their collective knowledge of the supernatural events.
- "Should I Stay or Should I Go" by The Clash - Will sings to himself as the Monster nears.
- "Still Pretty"
- "Time for a 187"
- "Kids Two"
- "Speak of the Devil"
- "Bad Men"
- "Starts to Rain"
- "Run Away"
- "Rolling out the Pool"
- "Castle Byers"
- "They Found Us"
Behind the Scenes
The show-runners Matt and Ross Duffer revealed that this episode was their most purely "fun" episode of the season because of featuring the bike chase scene with the kids, and following up with a "crazy van flip" sequence. Originally, they didn't have a bike chase planned for the episode, but opted to go for it as they felt it fitting to the plot, aside from recalling the famous chase scene from E.T..
They explained that the iconic moment where Eleven flipped the van was "very stressful", because they decided to shoot the stunt practically, without any use of CGI. "Our plan was to shoot the kids with a locked off camera as they biked across the street, and then merge that with a separate shot of a van flipping," Matt said. They tested on parking lots by blowing off explosives under a van. However, during filming, one of the explosives didn't trigger, causing the van to skid down one of the cameras, destroying it while causing production thousands of dollars. The Duffers convinced the line producer to try the stunt a second time. Ultimately, it was a success as the van soared high into the air and they shot the whole scene perfectly, which ended up on the final cut.
- This episode has the shortest running time in the series
- This is the only episode of season one which does not feature The Demogorgon.
- This episode references to a Sensory Deprivation Tank which made its debut in the previous episode and in the prequel comics, Stranger Things: SIX.
- "Stranger Things: The Duffer Brothers say episode 7 is the 'most fun'"EW. July 21, 2016.
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