"Chapter Two: The Weirdo on Maple Street" is the second episode of Stranger Things and the second episode of the first season. It was written and directed by the Duffer Brothers and premiered on Netflix on July 15, 2016 along with the rest of the first season.
Dustin Henderson, Lucas Sinclair, and Mike Wheeler bring 011 to Mike's house after finding her in the woods. They find that she has a strange understanding of social norms, not bothering to go somewhere private to change clothes when Mike gives her something to wear, the boys stopping her before she can undress. Mike shows her to a bathroom, where she insists on closing the door fully. Lucas is mistrustful, theorizing she could be an escapee from a nearby asylum. He and Dustin want to tell Karen Wheeler, but Mike reminds them they were not supposed to be out after dark and that they will all get in trouble. He plans to have her pose as a missing child that stumbled upon the house for his mother, who will call Social Services. After Lucas and Dustin leave, Mike sets up a blanket fort for her to sleep in, and she shows him her tattoo when he asks for her name. When he mentions his name is short for Michael, he decides to call her "El", short for "Eleven". They say good night to each other, and Eleven falls asleep, despite the storm.
The next morning, Jim Hopper arrives at the Byers house to inform Joyce Byers they have not yet found her son. She shows him her fried phone, which Hopper attributes to the storm, despite Joyce's insistence that Will was on the other end. Having not heard from her ex-husband, Hopper decides to go and talk to him himself. Jonathan offers to go in Hopper's place, but Hopper orders him to stay and support his mother. Mike takes an extra Eggo waffle for Eleven for breakfast, and tells her about his plan to get her back home safely. Eleven refuses, insisting that "bad" people are looking for her that are willing to kill him.
Martin Brenner listens to a recording of Joyce calling the police, insisting that Will was on the other end. The manhunt for Will continues, and Hopper tells Calvin Powell off when he cracks a joke about Joyce's eccentricity. Phil Callahan jokingly asks if she and Hopper have had relations before, and Powell smirks knowingly. Steve Harrington invites Nancy Wheeler to a small party at his house that night, his popular and crude friends Tommy Hagan and Carol Perkins in attendance. They notice Jonathan putting up missing posters for will, which all but Nancy are jocular about. She awkwardly offers him her condolences. Lucas and Dustin notice Mike is late for class.
Mike has actually ditched school, waiting for his mother to leave before doubling back to watch over Eleven. Mike shows her his TV, pictures of his family, (Eleven refers to Nancy as "pretty") and his father's recliner. While he drives to Lonnie's, Jonathan listens to The Clash's "Should I Stay or Should I Go", which makes him think about a time he and Will listened to the song in his room while Joyce argued with Lonnie over the phone. Joyce goes to her job at Melvald's General Store to buy a new phone, getting an advance from a sympathetic Donald Melvald. A repairman checks to see if the Byers are home before signaling to a van, from which Brenner and several scientists, all in suits, emerge. Using a scanner, Brenner finds a surge of power coming from the shed, and notices a dark liquid running down a plank of wood.
Mike shows Eleven around his room, and she notices a photo of his friends. Mystified, she points to Will, shocking Mike. Before he can get information out of her, Karen returns home. Terrified that Mike will tell Karen about her, Mike calms Eleven by explaining the concept of a promise as "something that you can't break" and promises not to tell her. He hides her inside his closet, closing the door fully. Inside, Eleven has a flashback to Brenner (who she calls "papa") ordering her thrown inside a small, dark cell. She begs for him to open the door before giving up. Mike tries to lie that he is sick, but Karen assumes he is distressed about Will, and tells him that he can always talk to her. Mike finds Eleven in tears when he opens the closet, but she promises that she is alright.
Searching Sattler Quarry, Hopper warns Callahan not to get too close to the edge of the cliff, as the fall would mean certain death. He gets a call from secretary Florence, informing him of a situation at Benny's Burgers. The police arrive to find Benny Hammond dead, his body staged as a suicide. Powell remarks that the influx of situations must remind Hopper of his time as a city cop, but he responds that he did not know most of the people he investigated, and Hammond was his friend. After school, Lucas and Dustin go to Mike's the former incredulous that Eleven is still there. Mike tells them about her identifying Will, and asks if it is a coincidence that they found her where Will disappeared. When he repeats her worries about the "bad men," Lucas tries to leave the room to tell Karen, but when he tries to open the door, it slams shut on its own. The boys turn around to see Eleven with her nose bleeding.
Jonathan does not find Will at Lonnie's, who insists that Jonathan come live with him, which he is vehemently opposed to. He leaves Lonnie with one of Will's posters, "in case you forgot what he looks like." Hopper interviews of friend and patron of Hammond's named Earl, who insists that Hammond was acting normal as of late. He mentions Eleven, who he mistook for a boy. Hopper shows Earl a picture of Will and asks if the "boy" could have been him with a buzz cut, and Earl murmurs that it may have been. Over dinner, Nancy convinces Karen to let her go to Steve's party, pretending she is going to an assembly for Will. Dustin sees Eleven descending the stairs, and awkwardly distracts everyone by "spasming" and banging the table. Searching the area around Benny's Burgers, Scott Clarke finds a drainage pipe with a hospital bracelet discarded nearby. The search party follows the pipe to see it leads to Hawkins Lab.
The boys bring Eleven leftovers for dinner, and Dustin and Lucas apologize for their rude behavior, Lucas still a little mistrustful. They explain the concept of a friend when she asks. Hopper wonders aloud to a woman he is sleeping with if he is cursed, as there has not been a suicide in Hawkins for twenty years and a missing person in sixty. Sitting at Mike's Dungeons & Dragons board, Eleven picks up the cleric figure, identifying it as Will. She flips the board upside down and places the cleric on it, saying he is "hiding." When Mike asks what from, she places the figure of the Demogorgon next to the cleric. Searching for Will, Jonathan snaps pictures of the places in Mirkwood where his bike was found. He hears a scream, but realizes it is just Steve's party when he hurries to it. Barb Holland, who Nancy has brought along and is clearly out of place, cuts her hand when trying to open a beer. Jonathan takes pictures of the party from afar.
Joyce, having been waiting by the phone for hours, receives another call. Will's voice says "mom?" and the lights flicker, before the phone shocks her and fries itself again. The flickering lights lead her to Jonathan's room, where "Should I Stay or Should I Go" is playing. The lights and music abruptly cut and the wallpaper begins to distort in the shape of a humanoid, causing Joyce to flee the house. The power comes back on and Joyce goes back into the house.
As Nancy goes upstairs with Steve, Barb tries to stop her and tells her that this "isn't you." Nancy ignores her and tells her to go home. Nancy and Steve end up having sex, which Jonathan takes a few pictures of before focusing on Barb, sitting dejected over Steve's pool. Blood from her cut splashes into the water and the lights flicker, before a monstrous figure appears behind her and they both vanish.
- 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
- Lonnie Byers - Ross Partridge
- Barbara Holland - Shannon Purser
- Officer Callahan - John Reynolds
- Will Byers - Noah Schnapp
- The Monster - Mark Steger
- Benny Hammond - Chris Sullivan
- Cynthia - Stefanie Butler
- Earl - David Dwyer
- Agent Connie Frazier - Catherine Dyer
- Scott Clarke - Randy Havens
- Lead Agent - Tobias Jelinek
- Mr. Melvald - Charles Lawlor
- Sandra - Bethany Anne Lind
- Holly Wheeler - Anniston and Tinsley Price
- Tommy H. - Chester Rushing
- Florence - Susan Shalhoub Larkin
- Carol - Chelsea Talmadge
- Agent Repairman - Robert Walker Branchaud
- "Go Nowhere" by Reagan Youth - Jonathan listens to music while starting his drive to Lonnie's place.
- "Should I Stay or Should I Go" by The Clash - Jonathan hears this song as he drives, remembering when he and Will listened to the song together. The song later plays on the stereo in Will's room.
- "Deck The Halls" by Chicks With Hits - Joyce drives into town to buy a new telephone.
- "Jingle Bells" by The Canterbury Choir - Joyce asks her boss, Donald, for an advance on her paycheck.
- "Dark Stars" by Mark Glass - Jonathan parks outside Lonnie's place.
- "I'm Taking Off (Shield Your Eyes)" by Space Knife - Jonathan shoves past Cynthia and searches through Lonnie's house.
- "Body Language" by Alexander Baker & Clair Mario - Nancy and Barb talk over phone.
- "Tie A Yellow Ribbon" by Brotherhood of Man - Nancy has Barb pulling her car over.
- "Raise A Little Hell" by Trooper - Steve opens the front door, letting the girls in.
- "I Melt With You" by Modern English - Music playing at Steve's pool party.
- "Hazy Shade Of Winter" by The Bangles - Nancy makes out with Steve while Barbara is taken by the Monster. Plays into end credits.
- "Eleven" - Mike sees the tattoo of Eleven and asks her about her name. Also plays while Eleven lies on the bed.
- "Cops are Good at Finding" - When Jonathan says that Will is good at hiding, Chief Hopper replies back that cops are good at hiding.
- "Lay-Z-Boy" - When Mike introduces Eleven to Mr. Wheeler's chair in the living room, nicknamed Lay-Z-Boy.
- "Hazmat Suits"- The scientists of Hawkins Lab search Joyce's house and shed.
- "Are You Sure?"- When Mike's mom is coming home and Mike requests Eleven to hide in the closet.
- "No Autopsy"- Mike returns to Eleven hiding in his bedroom closet.
- "In Pursuit"- When Hopper is arriving at Benny's Diner where he sees the corpse of Benny. Also plays when Mr. Clarke finds a piece of Eleven's hospital gown presuming a trace of Will.
- "Friendship"- The kids explain to Eleven the concept of friendship.
- "The Upside Down" - Mike asks Eleven where Will is, and Eleven flips the D&D gameboard upside-down and places two figures on it.
- "Photos in the Woods"- Jonathan searches for Will where his bike was found.
- "Something in the Wall" - When Joyce sees the wall "move" and runs to the car in fright.
- "This Isn't You" - When Barb starts to feel like the third wheel by Nancy's conversation between them.
Influences and references
- See also: Cultural influences and references
70s and 80s cinema
Although Steven Spielberg's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is referenced throughout the first season, the allusions to the film are at their most prominent in "The Weirdo on Maple Street". The Duffer Brothers have said: "Just as E.T. is about the connection between E.T. and Elliot, [The Weirdo on Maple Street] is about the connection between Eleven and Mike."
In the film, Elliot feigns illness to stay home from school and be with E.T. He shows E.T. his toys, including Star Wars figures. Mike does exactly the same, showing her his Yoda figurine. When alone, Eleven explores the Wheeler house, becoming mesmerized by the television; E.T. did the same in Elliot's home.
The shooting style, music and cutting pattern of the scene when Eleven sees the picture of Will is closely modeled after a scene from Peter Weir’s 1985 film Witness, when Samuel Lapp (Lukas Haas) points out the evil Lt. James McFee (Danny Glover) to Det. Capt. John Book (Harrison Ford).
When Lucas speculates that Eleven is a psycho escapee, Dustin says "like Michael Myers," referencing the killer in Halloween, John Carpenter’s iconic 1978 horror film.
Lucas says Eleven might be an escapee from Pennhurst State School and Hospital – "the nuthouse in Kerley County," referencing the real-life psychiatric hospital which closed in 1987.
When Mike points out that they can’t tell their parents about Eleven because they weren’t supposed to be out tonight, Lucas says their houses would become Alcatraz, referencing the maximum high-security federal prison on Alcatraz Island which operated from 1934 to 1963.
- During filming of this episode, Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven) showed up to set covered head to toe in glitter, halting production for 30 minutes.
- This is actually the first episode in which we get to actually know about Eleven and her powers.
- At the beginning of a scene showing Jonathan driving, listening to the Clash on his car stereo, you can hear the last few seconds of the song "Go Nowhere" by the band Reagan Youth. The show is set in 1983, but the song was not recorded and released until the following year, 1984.
- The regular police officers are using period-correct walkie talkie radios, however the Chief's radio is a modern Motorola digital radio that was first marketed in the mid-late 2000s. This is most obvious at the quarry scene when he answers the dispatcher.
- There is a yellow 1986+ Ford Festiva at the high school, a 1985-88 Chevy Nova and the back end of an early '90s Dodge Van in a few episodes. Also Dustin's bike as 3 piece cranks and Mike's bike has pegs on the back, neither available in 1983
- When Jonathan Byers takes the 3 flash photographs near the crime scene tape, a loud sound effect suggesting the flash firing is used for each photo. By Steve's pool, when he is taking the covert photos without the flash, the same sound effect is used each time he "clicks" the shutter. There should just be a click.
|For this subject's gallery, see The Weirdo on Maple Street/Gallery.|
- "Stranger Things episode 2: The Duffer Brothers on finding their Eleven" Entertainment Weekly. July 16, 2016.
|Episodes of Stranger Things|
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