Alas poor Barb, she’s still alive. Maybe. She’s in a weird parallel world which is all overgrown and ruinous with a drained pool and a terrifying monster thing at the bottom. She tries to escape, screaming Nancy’s name, but is dragged in by the monster
So we have parallel world monster?
Nancy doesn’t here - she’s busy having sex with Steve. Though later when she’s ready to go he’s way too sleepy to even say goodbye properly (my circle of friends agrees that this is perfectly acceptable so long as he got the job done before turning sleepy. Because we’re terrible)
She returns home to find her mother not exactly pleased by how late she stayed out with people going missing and all. But can we take a moment to give a nod to Karen Wheeler here? Last week she saw her son missed school, guessed that something was up with him and offered to be a source of comfort and support over his missing friend. No judgement, or condemnation, a clear open willingness to listen. And now her daughter comes home and you know Karen knows exactly what just happened (going home in your boyfriend’s sweatshirt isn’t subtle) and, again, while she’s annoyed she quickly makes it clear she is there to listen, no matter what, about anything.
Karen’s throwing out some A* parenting here. Hat tip to Karen
At school Nancy is feeling pretty self-conscious about having had sex though Steve does seem to be genuinely not being a dick - his friends are though. Completely and utterly. Nancy quickly realises that Barb is missing and after trying to dismiss it becomes steadily more uncomfortable
Her friends also expose that Jonathan has been taking severely creepy and stalkerish pictures of her… and this scene is kind of awful? They rip up his (stalker) pictures and break his camera and leave - and she goes back to him to be sympathetic. The whole scene is spun as “bullies bully the poor outcast” rather than “people are justifiably disgusted and angry at the creeper stalking their friend”. Jonathan is not the persecuted innocent here.
Nancy goes looking for Barb and finds her abandoned car, and definite spookiness around where they had their pool party. When Nancy goes home, she approaches her mother about Barbara.
Next storyline we’re going to drop in on Joyce who is… not doing well with Will’s disappearance. After the supernatural woo-woo of last episode she has decided that Will is talking to her through the light fittings (she’s not wrong… but still). Jonathan is rather obviously worried about his mother deciding the best way to find his brother is to buy more lamps and talk to them and tries to talk her down.