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This article is about the episode. For the entity, see The Mind Flayer. For other uses, see The Mind Flayer (disambiguation)


"Chapter Eight: The Mind Flayer" is the sixteenth episode of Stranger Things and the eighth episode of the second season. It premiered on October 27, 2017. 

Synopsis

An unlikely hero steps forward when a deadly development puts the Hawkins Lab on lockdown, trapping Will and several others inside.

Plot

The Demodogs invade Hawkins National Laboratory and begin killing everyone inside. Realizing they are homing in on them because of Will being forced to reveal their location, taking Mike's advice, Joyce sedates him. As the demodogs close in, Hopper and Dr. Owens come out through the stairs. As Hopper, Will, Joyce, Mike, Bob, and Dr. Owens take shelter in a security office and strive to escape the lab, they witness the demodogs massacring everybody else from the security footage. Eventually, the building's system crashes, locking the group inside the office. Bob volunteers to get the power and systems back on line, even though the lab is swarming with many demodogs. Before he leaves, he urges Hopper to get the group out of the Lab as soon as the power comes back and not wait for him.

Dustin, Steve, Lucas, and Max track the demodogs to Hawkins Lab, where they meet up with Nancy and Jonathan, who were searching for Mike and Will.

Bob successfully restores all the systems, allowing Hopper, Will, Mike and Joyce to escape.
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Hopper, Mike, Dr. Owens, Bob, Joyce and Will are trapped to watch the Demodogs swarm Hawkins Lab.

Dr. Owens remains behind to guide them all out. As the lab was getting crowded with the Demodogs, Owens orders Bob to hide in a closet. Meanwhile, Hopper and the group safely escape the Lab and wait for Bob. However, Bob is caught by one of the Demodogs as he tried to run and is viciously killed. Hopper attempts to shoot out the Demodogs, but more come to overwhelm them. Joyce screams in terror but Hopper, finding no other alternative, brings her out of the Lab. The escapees regroup with everyone at the gate and they head off to the Byers' household.

As they grieved for Bob's tragic death, Mike reminds them that they cannot let him die in vain. Dustin suggests that the shadow monster has a hive intelligence like the Mind Flayer. Joyce and the others desire to kill it, but Hopper points out that they don't know how to defeat it. Realizing that the shadow creature is controlling Will and the Demodogs, Mike implores the group to interrogate Will to know its weakness.

Tying Will up in his tool shed and trying to disguise the area so that Will has no idea where he is, they question him. Joyce, Jonathan, and Mike share their fondest memories with him in order to snap him out of the creature's possession. Although unable to communicate with words, Hopper soon realizes that Will is using Morse code to tap out a message – "CLOSE GATE." When the house phone rings, Will and the creature realize where they are.

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To everyone's surprise, Eleven arrives and kills the Demodogs.

Despite Will being sedated again, the Demodogs head for the house. As the group starts arming themselves, the Demodogs surround the house.

However, before the Demogorgon dogs could attack, they are each surprisingly killed by Eleven, who then walks through the front door to rejoin her friends. Mike is relieved to see her alive and gets emotional.

Cast

Music

Soundtrack

  • "The Love You Save (May Be Your Own)" by Jack Cook - Max's mom and step-father arrive home and find Max's room empty with the window open.
  • "The Four Horseman" by Metallica - Billy listens to some music while smoking and getting ready for his date. His father and step-mum enter his room concerned for Max's whereabouts.
  • "Should I Stay or Should I Go" by The Clash - Jonathan plays a song that he and Will first listened to together: They then distract him while Chief Hopper figures out the Morse Code with Dustin, Lucas and Max.

Original Score

  • "Eulogy"- The group tries to deal with the events occuring at Hawkins Laboratory; Mike informs the group that Bob was the original founder of their school's AV club.
  • "Looking for a Way Out"- Mike proproses they use Will to find the Mind Flayer's weakness after they first obscure their location.
  • "Soldiers"- The group prepares to disguise the shed for Will.
  • "The Return"- When Eleven finally rejoins with her friends and gets emotional seeing Mike; end credits.

Behind the Scenes

The Duffer Brothers experienced much difficulty in writing the episode, particularly because it featured the tragic death of their favorite new character Bob Newby (Sean Astin). They liked his performance and didn't want him gone, but decided eventually that his demise was the right thing to do narratively.[1]

Motion Capture-Demodog killing Bob Behind the Scenes

Original shot of Bob's death sequence with Kate in motion capture. The final cut had her replaced with a demodog via CGI effects

For the death sequence, they had to shoot Winona and everyone’s reactions first. "Sean was there all day, on the ground, just screaming and pouring everything into this performance every take," Ross explained. "There was something loose about it, because we went handheld and we went slow-motion, and it was more about capturing the moment as quickly as possible." While all the demodogs of the "escape from the lab" sequence were CGI, they needed someone to play the Demodog to interact with Sean in order to film the sequence, and decided to choose one of the show's writer, Kate Trefry.[2] Because of motion capture, she had to be covered in blood on top of Sean with three cameras filming. Matt added that the brutal death was "very intense. It was one of the toughest scenes, emotionally, for everybody."[1]

The Duffers also revealed that the interrogation scene between Will and the group was very different unlike anything they had shot, because it didn't feature any music. "It was an unusually quiet scene for the show," after having a big action scene in the lab, and they praised Finn and Winona's performances for making the scene much more emotional.[1]

Gallery

Notes

  • Sean Astin made his final on-screen appearance in this episode as Bob Newby.
  • In Beyond Stranger Things, the Duffers revealed that Eleven's reunion with Mike at the end of this episode was originally planned to have taken place at the Snow Ball of the season finale.[2]
  • Main cast member Cara Buono (Karen Wheeler) does not appear in this episode.
  • On August 31, 2016, the second season was announced through a trailer published across social media, listing the titles of the nine episodes. However, because the titles were not in order, it is difficult to determine which one belonged to this episode. The official title of the episode was revealed on October 27. 

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "The Duffer Brothers Recap Stranger Things 2, ‘Chapter Eight: The Mind Flayer’"
  2. 2.0 2.1 "11 Insights Into the Making of Stranger Things 2"