18 TO PARTY*CUT TO THE CHASE*
NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Alex
In 1984, the eighth-graders in a small town called Brighton wait outside the local club Polo’s, hoping to be let in after the older kids get let in. Dean (Nolan Lyons), Peter (Sam McCarthy), and Missy (Taylor Richardson) discuss another kid, Lanky, who Missy says is coming. The boys think there’s no way Lanky could be let in after “what he did” – he’s currently been out of school and in a mental health facility. Kira (Ivy Miller) and the shy James (Erich Schuett) show up shortly after and join the wait. Missy and Kira do not get along and are constantly bickering despite that they used to be friends.
Separately, Shel (Tanner Flood) worries he and Brad (Oliver Gifford) won’t be able to get, but Brad assures him their contact will get them both in for sure. Brad asks Shel if he brought the thing he requested in his large backpack, and Shel says he did. The kids discuss how the parents in the town are all at a meeting discussing the potential UFO sighting, and how they are happy it isn’t Rizzo working the door that night, it will be easier to get it.
Shel is worried he got an F on a test, and the other kids tell him that eighth grade doesn’t actually matter. Lanky (James Freedson-Jackson) arrives, and it’s a little uncomfortable – the kids want to know when he’s coming back to school. He says he can come back whenever, which Kira doesn’t believe. They ask him how it is at the facility, and he says it’s really chill and that sometimes he talks to a doctor about his brother killing himself. He’s also on medication. Lanky says he knows someone who can get them in and leaves.
Kira says Lanky is a psycho, and the kids discuss whether he’s going to come back. The kids talk about how there’s a rumor the school is cursed because seven kids died the year before, including Lanky’s brother by suicide. They scope out the line to see what other students are nearby and trying to get in. The kids are disappointed when they see that it turns out Rizzo (Enzo Celluci) turns out to be the one working the door for the evening.
Amy (Alivia Clark) comes over to say hi to Shel. She’s surprised at the idea that Lanky could come back to school. She tells Shel he should come back to the drama club and do the play with her, but he doesn’t think he can because of soccer. Brad tells Shel that Amy likes her and he should go out with her, or at least fool around with her, but Shel isn’t sure. Brad doesn’t see why he wouldn’t, so he decides to try. Kira says there’s another way to get into the club, and entrance on the roof, but the kids are skeptical.
Shel is nervous about getting home in time the next morning after he stays at Brad’s house because his stepdad has a lot of work for him to do around the house. Amy continues to flirt with Shel, and with Brad’s prodding, Shel asks her if she wants to walk over to the nearby construction site with him. Shel tells Amy how his dad isn’t allowed to pick him up at his house anymore after his dad hit his stepfather’s car and his stepfather hit his dad. Amy tells him about how her dad died, and that she might be moving after her mom was upset by all the suicides at the school.
The kids discuss Russia and the Cold War. Kira reads stories from the paper and is angry about a lot of it, and the other kids ask her why she thinks she’s too good for everyone. James draws sketches of the “Brighton 7”, the kids who died. The kids want to know why they’re so weird. Meanwhile, Amy looks in Shel’s backpack and finds the dirty magazines Brad asked Shel to bring him. She then finds a gun that belongs to his stepfather. Amy is horrified, but he says it’s a BB gun and he and Brad were just going to mess around with it. They fire some BBs, and it seems like a kiss might happen but it doesn’t. Amy heads back to the club.
Some of the kids try to get up onto the roof. Shel comes back and Brad asks him what happened and why he didn’t fool around with Amy. The kids discuss the UFO again, and James tells them it was a prank, that his uncle’s friends did it, but some of the kids still believe it was real. Kira makes fun of Missy for thinking a popular girl is friends with her – it turns out Missy once peed in her sleeping bag at a sleepover and that’s why Kira always calls her “Messy” instead of Missy. Missy then tells Kira how sorry she feels for her since they used to be friends but then she realized how pathetic she seemed.
Brad starts to get agitated with everyone’s fighting and tries to get Dean and Peter to physically fight until they are separated by some of the other kids. Most of the older kids are let in, and the kids get excited that they’re finally going to get in. Lanky returns, insisting he’s doing amazing and trying to get someone to smoke a joint with him. No one wants to, and he recounts finding his brother’s hanging body and seems more and more unhinged as he says it’s the best thing that ever happened to him, his parents bought him a truck. Brad is especially agitated since he liked Lanky’s brother. The other kids are disturbed as Lanky rants and raves and finally Amy says she’ll get high with him and leads him away to the construction site.
Finally, the kids hear the bouncer letting everyone in and so they line up. Shel decides he doesn’t care and doesn’t need to go in, when Lanky runs up and knocks Shel down, takes his backpack, and pulls the gun out. Brad punches Lanky repeatedly, getting the gun away from him, and runs off. Shel is upset, and Amy says she just talked to Lanky and tried to calm him down. She apologizes profusely and Shel kisses her. They’re both excited and kiss again. Shel says he wants to do drama and soccer and do everything. He says he’s going to find Brad and will meet Amy inside.
Shel goes to the construction site and finds Brad shooting the gun and he angrily tells Shel to leave, pointing the gun at him. Shel turns around and goes, deeply upset. Before he gets back to the club, he sees something in the sky and smiles. He runs back to Brad as all the kids are finally let in. When Shel returns to the construction site, Brad shoves him to the ground. Brad tells him how Lanky’s brother used to hang out with his sister and was always nice to him. Shel takes the gun back and tells Brad he saw the UFO. Brad doesn’t believe him, but he follows Shel anyway. Something that appears to look like a UFO moves across the sky.
In 1984, a group of eighth-graders all wait outside the local club, hoping to get let in once all the older kids get let in. While waiting, they discuss their problems, histories with each other, the recent UFO sightings in the area, and the rash of deaths and suicides that have plagued their schools lately. Everything crescendoes when Lanky, a troubled boy who left school after his brother committed suicide, steals a BB gun the shy Shel brought in his backpack and begins waving it around. Brad, who liked Lanky's brother, beats him up and runs off with a gun. Shel finally kisses Amy, a girl who likes him, and goes to find Brad after the other kids are all let into the club. Brad at first spurns him, but Shel sees the UFO lights and convinces Brad to come and see.