In October 1984, a psychic girl with a tattoo reading "008" is part of a criminal gang in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In Hawkins, the town prepares for Halloween. A new girl at school, Maxine "Max" Mayfield, captures the boys' attention. Joyce is dating her old high school classmate Bob Newby, Hopper investigates a field of pumpkins mysteriously rotting, and conspiracy theorist Murray Bauman investigates people who sighted Eleven, believing her to be a Russian spy. Mike and Nancy deal with their respective losses of Eleven and Barb, and Will has been experiencing episodes of apparent hallucinations of the Upside Down and an enormous, tentacled shadow monster. Joyce and Hopper take Will to see the lab's new director Dr. Sam Owens, who has been giving Will routine medical exams ever since his return. Owens theorizes that Will's episodes are PTSD brought on by the anniversary of his disappearance. The gate in the lab's basement has been growing, worrying Owens. Nancy and Steve have dinner with Barb's parents, who still believe that their daughter to be missing and who have hired Murray to find her. Hopper goes home to a cabin in the woods where he secretly lives with Eleven.