"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.
After finding Eleven in the woods, the boys bring her back to Mike's house for the night. Lucas thinks this is a terrible idea and suggests they tell Mike's mom Karen Wheeler right away, but Mike points out that would just get them all grounded, since they were not supposed to be out looking for Will Byers. Mike gives her clean clothes and builds her a pillow fort to sleep in.
The next day, Mike nicknames her "El" and brings her breakfast. He tries to get Eleven to sneak out of the house and to the front door to make it look like she stumbled upon the house, and that way his mom can help. Eleven rejects his idea, telling Mike that "bad people" are looking for her, and that telling someone about her whereabouts will only make things worse.
Meanwhile, Joyce talks to Chief Hopper about the creepy, static phone call she received. Hopper is reluctant to believe her story, but admits the charring on the phone from the surge of electricity is weird. Later on, Joyce heads to her workplace to buy a new phone and demand two weeks pay in advance from her boss. He shows some sympathy for Joyce after he realizes her kid is missing, and gives in.
Back at Mike's house, Mike, instead of going school, acquaints Eleven to his house. Eleven notices a picture of the four boys and points at Will. She knows him, but just before Mike can ask more questions, his mom comes home (Mike was supposed to be at school). Mike rushes Eleven to hide in his bedroom closet, which freaks her out. Eleven has a flashback is shown where she is being dragged to a dark cell in the Hawkins National Laboratory. Mike comforts her, and Eleven trusts him enough to close the door. Although she begins crying in fear after remembering an event when she was confined in a cell by her Papa, Eleven becomes surprised to see Mike keeping his promise as he opens the closet again.
Later, Mike explains Dustin and Lucas the situation regarding El and her knowing about Will's disappearance and urges them to help her. Lucas, unconvinced, tries to tell Mike's mom about Eleven, but Eleven stops him by using her telekinetic abilities to close Mike's bedroom door. At this, Lucas and Dustin begin to trust her too.
At night, Mike, bringing Lucas and Dustin to the basement as well, brings food for Eleven and asks her if she knew where their friend Will is. Eleven doesn't know what the word friend means and so, Mike explains it to her. Eleven then uses the boys' Dungeons and Dragons set to show them Will is hiding from a monster. The cops find a drainpipe in the woods which leads to the Hawkins Laboratory, and they believe Will might have crawled through it.
Joyce receives another creepy, static call which surges with electricity and burns her again. The lights in her house begin to turn on one by one, leading to Will's bedroom. Suddenly, one wall begins to move and takes on some weird shapes. Joyce quickly runs out of the house and into her car, but later turns and goes back into the house.
This all happens while Barb, Nancy's friend, feels left out as the third wheel at Steve's party. Barb sits near the pool by herself, with Jonathan taking her picture before leaving. Jonathan fails to notice the mysterious monster as it abducts Barb.
- 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.
- "Cops are Good at Finding"
- "Hazmat Suits"
- "No Autopsy"
- "In Pursuit"
- "The Upside Down"
- "Photos in the Woods"
- "Something in the Wall"
- "This Isn't You"
Influences and references
- See also: Cultural influences and references
70s and 80s cinema
Although Steven Spielburg'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.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Stranger Things episode 2: The Duffer Brothers on finding their Eleven" Entertainment Weekly. July 16, 2016.
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