"Chapter Five: The Flea and the Acrobat" is the fifth episode of Stranger Things and the fifth episode of the first season. It was written by Alison Tatlock and directed by the Duffer Brothers. It premiered on Netflix on July 15, 2016, along with the rest of the season.
Hopper breaks into the lab. He enters a quarantined section but is stopped by a locked door requiring a key card. He is then confronted by the Hawkins head of security, along with another guard. Hopper punches the head of security and steals a key card from the guard. Making his way further in, he finds Eleven's room and notices a drawing of Eleven and Brenner. He then proceeds further in and comes across the Gate before he is knocked unconscious by an agent.
The boys return to Mike's basement and begin theorizing that Will is somehow stuck in another dimension similar to the Vale of Shadows which is a "dark echo" dimension of death and decay. El labels it as the Upside Down.
Hopper wakes up back at his house and is confused. He feels his neck for where he had been pin pricked. He then goes searching through his home and ends up destroying most of his house before he finds a microphone in a light.
Jonathan and Nancy talk after the funeral about how to find Barb as a worker from Hawkins come to the school after spying on a recording of Will.
Will's father Lonnie comes to town and convinces Joyce that she has imagined everything since Will's disappearance. Later, she discovers he is only interested in suing the company responsible for managing the quarry where Will's body was found, and she demands he leave.
After Will's funeral, the boys ask Mr. Clarke about dimensions. He says that inter-dimensional travel is presently impossible for humans due to the amount of energy needed, but a space-time tear could create a gate for passage. Returning to Mike's basement, Dustin reveals to Mike and Lucas that if the Gate was created it would disrupt the electromagnetic field, throwing off compasses, and that by following their compasses, they should be able to find the Gate.
Callahan and Powell arrive at Hopper's trailer and reveal how state police have found Barbara Holland's car at a bus station. Hopper later calls his ex-wife Diane, telling her that he doesn't regret the seven years they were together.
During the search, El remembers being weighed down in a sensory-deprivation tank to relay information from a Russian spy, but while under she comes across the creature. Scared of finding the Gate, El directs the compasses away from the laboratory. When Lucas notices the distortion, he confronts her. Mike defends her, and a fight ensues between Mike and Lucas. El telekinetically flings Lucas off Mike, but Lucas is knocked unconscious as a result. Once he has recovered, he storms off. Mike and Dustin also notice that El is gone too.
After looking at Jonathan's photo of Barb, Nancy realizes the Monster is also present in the photo. She is convinced that the Monster is responsible for Barb's disappearance. Nancy and Jonathan decide to search for the creature on their own, using the Byers house, Steve's house and where they found Will's bike, to triangulate the creature's position. While searching, Nancy and Jonathan find a wounded deer. As they prepare to kill it out of mercy, it is suddenly dragged away in the shadows. Upon following a trail of blood, Nancy comes across a fleshy portal in the base of a tree. She crawls through to the Upside Down, witnessing the creature feasting upon the deer. She tries to quietly flee, slowly walking backwards; she accidentally treads on a tendril, making noise and alerting the creature to her presence. The creature gives chase, and Nancy panics. Hearing her screams, Jonathan looks for her as the portal begins to seal up.
- 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
- Deputy Powell - Rob Morgan
- Lonnie Byers - Ross Partridge
- Officer Callahan - John Paul Reynolds
- Will Byers - Noah Schnapp
- The Monster - Mark Steger
- Elevator Scientist - Andrew Benator
- Hawkins Head of Security - Pete Burris
- Pastor Charles - Bill Eudaly
- Jennifer Hayes - Kaylee Glover
- Scott Clarke - Randy Havens
- Lead Scientist - Hugh B. Holub
- Lead Agent - Tobias Jelinek
- Mr. Melvald - Charles Lawlor
- Russian Agent - Andre Pushkin
- Florence - Susan Shalhoub Larkin
- Diane - Jerri Tubbs
- Principal Russell Coleman - Tony Vaughn
- Agent Repairman - Robert Walker Branchaud
- Elegia by New Order - Instrumental music on the morning of Will's funeral.
- Green Desert by Tangerine Dream - Hopper tears apart his trailer looking for listening devices.
- Nocturnal Me by Echo & The Bunnymen – Jonathan tries to find Nancy. Plays into end credits.
- "Hopper Sneaks In"
- "What Else is There to Do?"
- "Breaking and Entering"
- "In Pursuit"
- "Joyce and Lonnie Fighting"
- "Walking Down the Tracks"
- "I Know What I Saw"
- "Fresh Blood"
- "Inside the Black Room"
- "Eleven is Gone"
- The scene in which Jonathan and Nancy are about to kill the deer out of mercy resembles a similar scene in the video game Until Dawn. In the scene, Jessica and Mike find a deer and try and give it a mercy kill before the deer is dragged away from them by a monster.
- This is the first episode in which Eleven, Mike, Dustin, and Lucas refer to the alternate dimension as the Upside Down.
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