STRANGER THINGS - While trying to ignore increasingly weird happenings and with Richie invading his home, Jared experiences an even bigger upset when he meets Wade, who claims to be his real father.
Richie takes a shower while loudly singing to music. Jared bangs on the door, asking him to turn it down or change the song, but Richie ignores him. Jared goes to the kitchen, where the table is a mess and pours cereal. Maggie asks what is wrong, to which Jared expresses his disdain over Richie playing the same song when he showers every day. Maggie thinks his actions are charming. She likes having a real man in the house instead of just a mopey, smelly teenager. He asks how long Richie plans to stay. Maggie assures Jared that Richie is only staying until she gets her share of the insurance money. Jared worries the cops will find out Maggie is responsible for the fire, which would get them all arrested. She thinks he worries too much, and they banter before she warns him not to mess things up for her. He quips that Maggie does that all by herself. She thinks Jared's being jealous. When she's out of earshot, Jared mutters that he's desperate.
He takes the trash out and watches another oil truck speed by before smoking. He goes to the woods, where he passes fallen statues and battered towers. A raven stands by the broken statue, and he watches the Raven sing along with the music he is listening to on his headset. When he takes off his headset, the raven only squawks.
Jared heads to an abandoned building in the woods where he sees a group of girls and Sarah, his new neighbor, hanging out. She is spray painting on the side of a trailer. He remarks that Sarah's fitting in with the locals. She asks if he skates, and he instinctively claims that he does before correcting himself, not knowing why he said yes. She asks if she brought any snacks and makes the gesture of smoking. He does have actual snacks, which they share as she explains her personality is hardcore resistance with a dash of sparkle. He noticed that and her friends called for her, outing her name as Sarah.
Jared goes home and sketches Sarah in his notebook. Richie comes home and asks where his carburetor is, to which Jared explains that it was taking up too much space on the table. Richie angrily grabs Jared by the sweatshirt and slams him against the wall claiming that he takes up too much space. Jared dares Richie to punch him as Jared knows Richie is all talk. Richie angrily hits the wall, remarking that one of them has to leave and it won't be him. Maggie emerges and asks what the boys are doing, prompting Richie to lie. She remarks they are out of food, and Jared explains to Richie that money is tight until he finds a job. Richie produces a wad of cash and gives some to Jared, telling him to buy groceries for Maggie on his treat. Jared is reluctant to accept the money, but Maggie wants pancakes. Richie remarks that the trio is family now, so he doesn't need to worry about it.
Jared goes to the store with Crashpad, who thinks it’s a bad idea for Jared to start dealing again without knowing who rolled him. He offers the money he earned from selling his profile, but Jared declines even though he appreciates the offer. They spot Phil Nelson in the store as he’s getting things for a party. Phil invites the boys over for the party. He then introduces them to his friend, Wade, who is the same man Jared saw at the bus stop. Wade recognizes Jared as Maggie’s son, to which Phil explains that the three of them were close back in the day. But Wade has been gone close to twenty years now. Wade alleges that he sees the resemblance between Wade and Phil. Crashpad and Phil wander off, leaving Wade to admit that Jared doesn’t look anything like Phil. He cryptically states that Jared has Wade’s eyes. A confused Jared tries to understand, but Wade merely smirks. He tells Jared to ask his mom about it before leaving. Jared also notices two customers looking at him.
Jared comes home to hear his mom shouting and Richie sitting at the table. Jared hurries to his mom's door, ready to kick it in out of the fear that Maggie is in trouble due to her screams. Richie stops him, saying that she ditched him to argue with her imaginary friends. This outburst has been going on for twenty minutes. Jared hears her scream for them to get out of her head.
Jared and Crashpad attend Phil's party that night. They notice the visible age difference between them and the rest of the partygoers. They stand by a fire, where Crashpad admits that Wade is cool. He clarifies that while Phil is cool, it's different from Wade. Wade wanders up to them, asking if Jared and Crashpad are drunk yet or not. He wants to show Jared his motorcycle in the garage.
Jared is clueless about motorcycles, so Wade offers to take him riding before he flies to Vancouver. Jared refuses the offer. Wade asks what his mom said about their resemblance, but Jared admits that Maggie is clueless that they spoke. He refuses to believe that Wade is his father, as his mom has no reason to lie about Phil being his father. Wade admits that Phil was mature and loved Maggie, so she did what was best for Jared and lied. The topic of Maggie being crazy surfaces. Jared hopes her crazy is not hereditary. Wade presses that if Jared hears voices or other strange things, he can tell him. Jared lies about not having heard anything. Wade asks if Jared knows that his grandma Sophia was sent to a residential school. Sophia passed her baggage onto Maggie, which explains her situation, though that does not mean Jared has to bear it. Jared is surprised that Grandma Sophia was a member of the residential school. Wade ominously states that Jared is clueless about a lot - including when he was born. Jared knows he was born in the back of a pickup truck, but Wade retorts that Jared doesn’t know half of it. Jared quips that Wade doesn't either, but he does as he was there.
Phil stumbles in with beers. Wade makes a toast in Haisla, with a saying that means “know thyself”.
Jared comes home to see Richie with his friends drinking without Maggie. He goes outside to find Maggie and lights her cigarette for her. They sit by the fire, and Jared asks about the night he was born. She is surprised by his question, but he insists on knowing. She explains that she was driving from Terrace when she went into labor. She pulled over in the middle of nowhere and gave birth to him in the back of her truck. He asks about the nearby totem. She quickly corrects that it's an ancient face carved into a tree, not a totem. In Heiltsuk, it's known as Mamathlteeasa, as long ago, their people carved faces into trees to mark territory. He wants to learn more about the tree and who was there with her, but she snaps about him giving her the third degree. He tells her that he met Wade, who claims to be his biological father. Jared pushes that Wade told him he was with Maggie the night Jared was born. She brushes it off as Wade being an old snag, and he is jealous. Maggie tries to smooth things over with Jared, who refuses her hug as he is upset. She warns him to stay away from Wade.
Maggie drives down the street at night. She lights a cigarette as memories resurface. In a flashback, Maggie is laboring in the bed of her truck with Wade helping her. The baby is born, and Maggie holds him close to her as Wade wraps him in his jacket. He sits Maggie up, and she hands him the baby. Wade stands and begins to carry the baby away with him into the woods. She shouts after him demanding to know where he’s going. Maggie tries to walk after him despite having just given birth. Wade stops and turns to look at her as she demands her baby. His eyes flash black at her, though Maggie continues to follow him. She screams at him ferociously, and he begins to cough up blood. Maggie staggers forward as Wade falls to his knees, his eyes bleeding. She takes her baby back and leaves him by the tree, sputtering blood. She sobs as she carries her baby away.
In the present, Maggie arrives at Phil's house, where she sees Wade on the steps. She remarks that she killed him. He states that Maggie looks good. She asks what he is, but he coolly says that he just came to see his son. Maggie retorts that Jared is her son and not Wade's. He remembers them being good together, but she feigns forgetting their relationship. She presses that she barely remembers him at all. She came to warn him to stay away from her and Jared, or she will kill him for good. She turns and leaves as he smiles after her.
Jared and Crashpad walk together, and Jared admits he doesn’t think his mom told him the truth. Crashpad recommends talking to Phil, but Jared can’t do that to Phil. Jared plans to grovel for his old job back. They arrive at the Tasty Bucket. He calls for Tony, who is yelling at employees for being too slow. Tony worries that his mom will make a scene again, but he promises she won’t. Tony needs a delivery driver, but Jared doesn’t have a car. He orders a bucket of thighs instead.
Phil is in his garage looking through old baby stuff when Jared enters with the bucket of thighs. Phil plans to reuse things from when Jared was a baby, as he kept it all. He shows Jared a baby photo, but Jared asks about Wade instead. Phil explains that Wade, Maggie, and himself were tight back in the day, but Wade moved to Vancouver before Jared was born. Wade always thought he was too big for the city of Kitimat. He trusts Wade as he’s a good guy, even though he plays up the cool act. Wade pulls up, trying to get Jared to go for a ride with him. He’s reluctant at first, but Phil urges him to try it. Wade tosses him a helmet, and they drive away.
They stop at a light, and an older woman stares at Wade then watches him speed away. Wade takes them to a cliff that overlooks the river. Jared tells him what his mom said about him being jealous of Phil, to which Wade agrees - but only because Phil got to raise him. Wade knows Jared needs proof and offers to give it to him. Jared follows Wade into the woods. Wade remembers the stars being out the night Jared was born. They were driving to the hospital, but Jared was eager to come out. Wade pulled over, laid a sleeping bag on the truck, and out came Jared. He cut the umbilical cord with a Leatherman. He shows him a tree with a face carved into it as proof that he was there that night. Wade turns to Jared and calls him son.
Jared sits outside his house smoking and drinking a beer. He notices the flashing headlights of a car and goes over to see Sarah. She offers him a smoke, which Jared accepts. He asks about her foster family, which she claims are nice enough, but they are nothing alike. He asks why Sarah's had so many foster parents. She is looking for her birth parents, though Sarah isn't unsure about their identities. She moves town to town by causing trouble and making child services send her to a new family. They share a look, and they kiss. When she does, fireflies circle her head. Jared panics as she can't see the fireflies. He quickly leaves the car.
Maggie is in a bar playing pool with Richie when Wade saunters in with his pool cues. She reminds him of her warning, and Wade asks if Jared knows who Maggie is. Maggie doesn’t want him to know anything, and Wade threatens to tell him. She kisses him as a ruse to pull a clump of his hair out. She then leaves with Richie. They go to the truck where they have sex.
A woman stands at the pool table, the same woman who saw him at the stoplight earlier in the day. She recognizes him as Weeg’it, but he corrects that his name is Wade now. Edna, the woman behind Georgina, makes her presence known. Their faces are red and scabbed. Wade knows the man is Albert and asks about their new skins, which marks it easier for them to pass. Wade knows that will only last for a few days by the looks of them. Georgina asks why Wade has returned, to which he lies that he needed a new scene. Albert thinks it’s odd that Wade has come back in his condition. Georgina asks about the boy, to which Wade lies that Jared is just a friend. Georgina warns that they have been waiting a long time and will not let Wade wiggle his way out. He assures them that when the time comes, he will do the right thing. He reminds them that no one knows when that will happen.
Jared awakens with a start to see his mom standing over his bed smoking. She asks him to never leave her then walks out.
Albert hoses a decayed and rotted corpse that resembles more of a human skin suit than a person.
The next morning, Jared visits Phil who remarks on the earliness. Jared wants to see Wade but he isn’t there at the moment. Phil is glad he stopped by but it’s not about money, but rather a surprise. The increase in disability cheques fell through but the social worker came through with a motorized scooter. He doesn’t need it for his back, and even though he has a new kid coming, Jard is his firstborn so he doesn’t want him to feel left out. Jared remarks that Phil will be a great dad to the baby and rides the scooter to the Tasty Bucket.
He approaches Tony who still has the delivery job and hires him back as a delivery driver. Jared rides the scooter to the abandoned warehouse where he tries to hide from Sarah. He apologizes for last night as he was stoned, but she states it’s already forgotten. She’s raising awareness for anti-pipeline protests. The government is trying to force a pipeline through unceded lands. Jared doesn’t think the protest is going to go over very well here as people are relying on the gas terminal for jobs. He isn’t pro-pipeline but just observant. She declines his help so he drives off.
Richie watches sports as Jared comes home looking for Maggie. Richie blasts the TV over Jared, as he hasn’t seen her since this morning when she took off. Jared receives a text from Wade asking if he’s ready for another ride. Jared is down so Wade offers to pick him up.
Maggie sits on the clearing speaking an incantation in Heiltsuk over a small fire, while Wade drives through the windy roads. She drops the clump of Wade’s hair in the fire and continues chanting. She breaks a twig over the fire and Wade swerves off the road.
- Joel Oulette as Jared
- Crystle Lightning as Maggie
- Craig Lauzon as Phil
- Gail Maurice as Georgina
- Anna Lambe as Sarah
- Nathan Alexis as Crashpad
- Kalani Queypo as Wade
- Stephanie Aubertin & Lexie Mitchell as Skateboard Friends
- Kirsten Johnson as Edna
- Darren Hynes as Albert
- Mark Camacho as Tony