Dustin Henderson stashes the thing he found in his garbage can in the trap of his Ghostbusters costume, sneaking it past his mother into his room. He drops the thing into his turtle tank, revealing a small, round, bipedal amphibious creature with no facial features save for a mouth, which he names d'Artagnan, or "Dart" for short. He feeds it Three Musketeers and finds that it avoids the tank's heat lamp. Dustin falls asleep reading about reptiles, and Dart shudders in his tank before letting out an unearthly hiss.
Eleven is found by Jim Hopper when she searches his lockbox for food. In the present day, she forgives him for his absence on Halloween when he makes her a breakfast from Eggos and candy. Eleven wants to see Mike Wheeler, having concluded from his most recent call that he needs her, Hopper swears she will see him soon, but Eleven reminds him that he has often promised her that with no results. She smashes a plate across his chest with her powers and storms off to her room. Dustin stops at the library and checks out several books on reptiles. Bob Newby drives Will Byers to school and mentions him staying up late. He tells Will a childhood story of being terrified of a clown at a local carnival and having it appear in his dreams for months, but it went away when he stood up to it.
At school, Lucas Sinclair tells Max Mayfield a fictionalized version of what happened to Will in 1983. Scott Clarke tells his students the story of Phineas Gage, a man who had a tamping rod shot through his brain and survived, but his personality changed severely. Dustin comes in late and orders the boys and Max to meet him in the A.V. room at lunch, and Dart is shown rattling around in his Ghostbusters trap. Phil Callahan and Calvin Powell show Hopper their marked locations of the rot spreading throughout the town's rural areas, and Hopper identifies the specific area it comes from. Restless, Eleven considers trying to contact Mike again but decides against it. She remembers Hopper first bringing her into the cabin, which belonged to his grandfather and is mainly used for storage. Over a period of time, the two fix up the cabin to be livable, set up the morse code radio, and rig it with tripwire. In the present, Eleven violates all three of Hopper's set rules about her safety and leaves the cabin.
Billy Hargrove taunts Steve Harrington as they play basketball before Nancy Wheeler pulls Steve aside. He recounts the things she said to him on Halloween, and when she is unable to tell him she loves him, he tells her that "I think that you're bullshit" and leaves. Dustin shows the group Dart, unsure if he is even a reptile. Will recognizes it by its noises as a creature from the Upside Down. Over lunch, Bob mentions to Joyce that his video camera had slight dings on it, and noticed Will being harassed on Halloween when he watched the tape. He admires Joyce's willingness to defend her son when she reacts with anger. Hopper shows Sam Owens the patterns he charted stemming from Hawkins National Laboratory. Owens reluctantly agrees to look into it. Jonathan Byers claims to Nancy that Steve asked him to take her home, actually covering for him. Nancy expresses worry that she may have meant what she said to him and is tired of pretending everything is normal, and Jonathan empathizes with her. He expresses his idle worry over Will not being the same, musing that things can never truly go back to the way they were. Nancy notices a nearby student playing a tape and gets an idea to take down the lab, asking Jonathan to skip the rest of class with her.
Eleven wanders into a backyard, coming across a mother and her toddler daughter and remembers Hopper claiming her mother is dead. She uses her powers to distract them when noticed. Joyce watches the tape from Halloween and notices the camera starts to fizzle when Will experiences his episode. She notices a dark shape highlighted by the TV static when she pauses it, and finds that when she traces it and compares it to Will's drawing of the creature in their yard that they bear a striking resemblance. As Billy leaves the school with a female classmate, she refers to Max as Billy's sister, which he firmly tells her to not do. Dustin, Lucas and Max are stopped short from showing Dart to Clarke when Will tells Mike his realization about the creature and they stop the trio. The boys reconvene in the A.V. room (with Max excluded) and Mike theorizes that Will's episodes may be real glimpses into the Upside Down. Lucas and Mike want to take the creature to Hopper, but Dustin knows Dart will be killed. They let Dart out of the trap to test his behavior and he sprouts two more legs from his side. Mike attacks it and is stopped by Dustin, and Dart escapes into the school when Max, annoyed at being left out, picks the lock on the door and opens it just as he flees.
Nancy and Jonathan set a meeting with Mrs. Holland over the phone to talk about Barb while Hawkins Lab staff listen in. Hopper and Owens watch as his men take samples of the infected soil and pumpkins, the latter telling the former to think of a cover story to tell the town and keep the area clear. Hopper gets a call from Powell, who is at the scene where Eleven used her powers in front of the mother. He leaves quickly. Eleven arrives at Hawkins Middle, smiling as she sees Mike's bike. The boys split up and search the school, Mike encountering Max also searching for Dart in the gym. She asks why he clearly does not want her around, and he tells her the group does not need a new member, accidentally referencing Eleven and inadvertently revealing he does not want a new girl replacing her. As she skates circles around Mike on her board and he briefly warms to her, Eleven follows his voice to the door of the gym and sees the situation with no context. Enraged, she trips Max using her powers and becomes heartbroken when Mike helps her up. Realizing Eleven might be nearby, Mike hurries out of the gym to where she just was, but does not see anyone.
Joyce calls to talk to Clarke, and drives to the school when she hears he is not in. Will finds Dart in the toilets, whose noises force another episode. A wave of shadow pursues him and he flees outside. Dustin finds Dart and hides him under his hat when he hears Mike and Lucas approaching. Remembering Bob's advice, Will turns around to face the shadow, a tendril of the monster, and screams at it to go away as it reaches for him. Undeterred, the monster's tendril touches him, inserting bits of itself into his eyes, nose, and mouth.
- "Whistle On the River" by The Mercy Brothers - Dustin grab his pile of library books and makes a run for it; as Bob drives Will to school, he tells him about a nightmare he had as a kid.
- "You Don't Mess Around with Jim" by Jim Croce - Flashback to Hopper playing a record for Eleven; montage of Eleven and Hopper cleaning up the cabin and him teaching to use the radio for Morse code messages.
- "Go!" by Tones On Tail - Eleven leaves the cabin; Steve and Billy wrestle on the basketball court; Nancy shows up at the court to confront Steve.
- "The Ghost in You" by The Psychedelic Furs - Jonathan tells Nancy how he ended up taking her home from the party, then they talk about how things have changed since Will disappeared.
- "Clean Cut American Kid" by III Repute - While Nancy and Jonathan talk, a classmate starts listening to music on his walkman.
- "Cookin'" by Al Casey Combo - Joyce phones Bob at Radioshack for help with playing his video camera.
- "How I Feel About You" by Jumpstreet - As Nancy and Jonathan head to her room, Karen Wheeler stops them to say hi.
- "She Wants Me to Find Her" - Eleven and Hopper find each other in the woods.
- "Hopper Sneaks In" - Dustin brings Dart to school.
- "In Pursuit" - Hopper connects the dots.
- "In the Woods" - Eleven witnesses a mother and child playing on her way to the school and experiences a flashback between her and Hopper.
- "The Upside Down" - Joyce discovers footage of the monster Will drew.
- "Night Of The Seventh" - Mike prevents Dustin from showing Dart to Mr. Clarke.
- "Spiked Bat" - Nancy contacts Barb's mother and sets up a meeting.
- "Dispatch" - Hopper discovers that Eleven has left the confines of the cabin.
- "Kids" - Eleven watches as Mike and Max interact.
- "Possessed" - Will finds Dart.
- "Joyce And Lonnie Fighting" - Dustin finds Dart and hides him away. The others are unsure where Will is.
|For this subject's gallery, see The Pollywog/Gallery.|
- On August 31, 2016, the second season was announced through a trailer published across social media, listing the titles of the nine episodes. Along with "MADMAX," "The Pollywog" is one of two known season two chapter titles that did not change as of October 9, 2017.
- In an interview, Gaten Matarazzo revealed that Dustin will bond with a polliwog-like creature that's "not from this planet or this dimension." The creature that he was referencing was later revealed to be Dart.
- In the Beyond Stranger Things after-show, the Duffers revealed that in an early outline of the episode, Will would have been evil by this point and would have killed Bob.
- In another interview, Noah Schnapp explained that the confrontation between Will and The Mind Flayer was filmed in a green screen at night, making the scene very hard for the actor "cause I was just yelling at absolutely nothing."
- "Stranger Things season 2: Who's in danger? Who's new? The plot revealed!" Entertainment Weekly. February 9, 2017.
- "Noah Schnapp Breaks Down His Hardest, Scariest Stranger Things 2 Scenes" Vulture. June 12, 2018.
|Episodes of Stranger Things|
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