The final episode of Volume 1 picks up with Steve being attacked by the weird bat things after swimming through the gate and into the Upside Down. Just when it looks like our beloved Steve is about to meet his end, Nancy, Robin, and Eddie save him before he’s killed. At one point, Steve even takes a bite out of one of those bats as he’s fighting back.
A colony of those pesky bat monsters head their way, so they run into the woods. They find a brief hiding spot, and Steve is starting to feel weak. Nancy comes to the rescue with a makeshift bandage. They share a look. We all know that that look means.
They know they need to get their hands on some weapons to fight off these monsters in the Upside Down. Nancy has guns at her house, so they head there. On the way, Steve thanks Eddie for saving him. Eddie brings up Steve’s “very Ozzy” moment with the bat and Dustin. “The kid worships you, dude,” Eddie tells Steve, who is elated to hear this about Dustin.
Dustin Figures Out Vecna’s Powers
Eddie gives Steve the pep talk he’s been needing about Nancy. “But Wheeler, right there, she didn’t waste a second. Not one second. She just dove right in,” Eddie says. “I don’t know what happened between you two, but if I were you, I would get her back because that was as an unambiguous sign of true love as these cynical eyes have ever seen.” Stancy forever!
In the real world, Dustin is trying to get in touch with Steve, Nancy, Robin, and Eddie while basically under house arrest. This gives Dustin some time to figure out Vecna’s motives. Dustin soon realizes that with each kill, Vecna is making a psychic connection with his victims. He’s also opening more gates every time he kills. He believes that Vecna is the Mindflayer’s “five-star general.”
Nancy, Steve, Robin, and Eddie make it to the Upside Down Wheeler house, and Steve begins to hear Dustin’s voice. Meanwhile, Nancy can’t find her guns. She discovers that her diary stops on November 6, 1983, the day Will went missing. The day the gate opened. “We’re in the past,” Nancy says.
Meanwhile, Steve is screaming for Dustin. The Upside Down crew finds a way to get through to Dustin through the lights. Erica is the first one to notice. The crew sends an SOS signal, and Dustin realizes they went through Watergate.
Brenner and Owens are still monitoring Eleven, who has yet to get her powers back. Brenner tells Eleven that she’s regressing. She can’t hide from the truth if she wants Nina to succeed. “I saw what I did. I am a monster,” Eleven cries. Brenner says that only by facing all parts of ourselves can we become whole again. He asks her to trust him again and “journey with me into the past one last time.” Eleven agrees.
In Russia, Hopper and Dmitri are still trying to figure out how exactly they’re going to escape. Dmitri warns that to get back to the people they love, they’re going to need a miracle. Murray and Joyce are en route, but they’ve faced some major hiccups. Hopper, Dmitri, and other prisoners are brought to face off with the Demogorgon. During the fight, Murray and Joyce make moves against the Russians and get to the control system. Dmitri and Hopper manage to escape just after Hopper stabs the Demogorgon. Hopper and Joyce share a poignant reunion.
Peter Ballard Is One
In the past, Brenner confronts Two in front of everyone and collars him. He asks Two why he attacked Eleven. Two denies everything, so Brenner tases him and forces everyone to watch. After it’s over, it’s clear the other kids are furious at Eleven over what happened. Just before things get too intense, Peter shows up to help. Peter reveals to Eleven that Two and the others are going to try and kill her. He claims Papa “will allow it to happen” and has been planning it for some time now.
A shocked Eleven wonders why Brenner would do this. “You frighten him. He knows you’re more powerful than the others, and he also knows he can’t control you. That’s all he wants. Control,” Peter says. Peter insists that Eleven has to escape today, and she needs to listen to exactly what he says. When she asks him why he’s helping her, Peter says, “Because I believe in you. It is time you are free from this hell.”
Eleven sneaks away from one of the orderlies and goes to the basement to meet Peter. He shows her a way out but reveals it’s only going to be her escaping today. He tells Eleven that he’s trapped in the Hawkins Lab and shows her a chip embedded in his neck that Brenner has dubbed Soteria. Soteria weakens him and tracks his movements. Eleven offers to take Soteria out.
After Eleven rips Soteria from Peter’s neck, the guards arrive. They come face-to-face with the guards, and Peter reveals who he is for the first time: One. He uses his powers to kill the guards and shows his 001 tattoo on his arm. “Like I said, we’re alike. You and I,” One says. He urges Eleven to wait in the supply closet for him. She later hears screams on the security radio. As she walks through the label, she sees all the carnage One has caused. In the main room, she watches One kill Two with zero hesitation.
Vecna Comes For Nancy
Dustin, Lucas, and Erica steal Holly’s toy to connect with the Upside Down crew. Nancy reveals that they can’t get back through Watergate because it’s guarded. Dustin explains that Watergate isn’t the only gate. There’s a gate at every Vecna murder site. The Upside Down crew takes Nancy’s bikes to Eddie’s trailer. Dustin grabs Max once she’s out of interrogation, and they head to Eddie’s trailer.
Nancy, Steve, Eddie, and Robin find the gate where Chrissy died. A hole opens up by some prodding on Dustin’s end. Dustin, Max, Lucas, and Erica make a rope so the four can get through. Robin goes first and then Eddie. “See you on the other side,” Steve says. Nancy replies, “On the other side.” When Nancy climbs through, she falls into the pool where Barb died. Steve is trying desperately to wake her up, but Max knows what’s happening. Vecna has come for Nancy.
Nancy sees Barb’s decomposed body in the pool. Vecna calls out to Nancy and taunts her about what happened to Barb. Blood begins to pour into the pool. Nancy manages to climb out, and she hears the clock chiming. Vecna tells her she was so close to the truth with Victor Creel.
Vecna’s Identity Revealed
After One’s massacre, Eleven begins to cry. One shows no remorse. “You think you need them but you don’t,” One says. He tells Eleven that he knows what it’s like “to be different. To be alone in this world.” Through Eleven and Nancy, One reveals that he’s Victor Creel’s troubled son, Henry Creel.
Back in the day, One discovered a nest of black widows at Creel House. He found them “endlessly fascinating” and comforting. “They are gods of our world. The most important of all predators,” One continues. These black widows feed on the weak and bring balance and order. However, One believes the human world was disrupting this harmony. He became fed up with the world he lived in. “Everyone is just waiting. Waiting for it all to be over. All while performing in a silly, terrible play, day after day,” One says. He decided to make his own rules and restore balance to a broken world. He terrorized his parents, and he knew that his mother was aware that he was the one causing this mayhem.
One killed his mother and sister. However, he didn’t know his limits at the time and it nearly killed him. His father was arrested. When he woke up from his coma, One was placed under the care of Brenner. When Brenner realized he couldn’t control One, he decided to recreate him. Others were born. “You were born,” One says to Eleven.
One believes he’s saving Eleven. If she comes with him, she’ll be free. “We could reshape the world,” One says. Eleven refuses to join him, and that’s when the tide turns. They go head-to-head. One gets the upper hand on Eleven and starts to try and kill her. Her bones begin to crack, but then Eleven summons all of her pain and power to fight back. Eleven makes One completely disintegrate and opens the gate to the Upside Down through One. As One falls into the Upside Down, Vecna is born. Vecna’s been in the Upside Down since his battle with Eleven in 1979, just waiting and plotting his next move. Bring on Volume 2!