Joyce, this is Hawkins, okay? You wanna know the worst thing that’s ever happened here in the four years I’ve been working here? Do you wanna know the worst thing? It was when an owl attacked Eleanor Gillespie’s head because it thought that her hair was a nest.
There’s something I’ve been wanting to talk to you both about. I know this is a difficult conversation, but I care about you both very much. And I know that you care about each other very much, and that’s why it’s important that we set these boundaries moving forward so we can build an environment, where we all feel comfortable, trusted, and open to sharing our feelings. Feelings. Jesus. The truth is, for so long, I’d forgotten what those even were. I’ve been stuck in one place. In a cave, you might say. A deep, dark cave. And then, I left some Eggos out in the woods and you came into my life and… for the first time in a long time, I started to feel things again. I started to feel happy. But lately, I guess I’ve been feeling distant from you. Like you’re pulling away from me or something. I miss playing board games every night, making triple-decker Eggo extravaganzas at sunrise, watching westerns together before we doze off. But I know you’re getting older, growing, changing. And I guess, if I’m being really honest, that’s what scares me. I don’t want things to change. So I think maybe that’s why I came in here, to try to maybe stop that change. To turn back the clock. To make things go back to how they were. But I know that’s naive. It’s just not how life works. It’s moving. Always moving, whether you like it or not. And yeah, sometimes it’s painful. Sometimes it’s sad. And sometimes, it’s surprising. Happy. So you know what? Keep on growing up, kid. Don’t let me stop you. Make mistakes, learn from them, and when life hurts you, because it will, remember the hurt. The hurt is good. It means you’re out of that cave. But, please, if you don’t mind, for the sake of your poor old dad, keep the door open three inches.
Nothing is gonna go back to the way that it was. Not really. But it’ll get better. In time.[to Joyce]
You have something that I never had. You have people that know what you’ve been through. You have people that care about you. Right here. In Hawkins.[to Joyce]
It is important to me that you feel safe. That you and your family feel safe. I want you to feel like this can still be your home.
I think it must be hardwired into us to reject our fathers. So we can grow and move on. Become something of our own.
You know, I think, despite everything, I mean, despite the arguing, I think we make a pretty good team.[to Joyce]
Eleven, Doc Owens. Doc Owens, Eleven. She’s been staying with me for about a year and she’s about to save our asses. Maybe when this is all said and done, maybe you could help her out, too, you know? Maybe you could help her lead, like, a normal life. One where she’s not poked and prodded and treated like some kind of lab rat, you know? I don’t know, just a thought. But, think about it.