One night, Mike brings El home from a date at the movies and pulls up by Hopper’s place ten minutes before curfew, as he usually does. Just as they’re saying goodnight, Mike leaning forward to kiss his girlfriend (the fact that he can use that word still sends him spiralling into lovesick fervour), the opening notes of Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now come sounding through the speakers of the car he’s borrowed from Karen. El’s eyes widen with delight and she quickly turns the volume up, so loud that Mike is sure it’ll wake the neighbours—not that the Hoppers have neighbours—they still live in a secluded spot by the lake. El grins up at Mike and he grins back. They both love this song.
And neither notices the soft glow of a cigarette on the front porch, behind which Jim Hopper sits, watching their flailing arms, mimed microphones, nad exaggerated facial expressions, illuminated by the headlights of the car. Smirk on his lips, Hopper thanks whatever god is listening that he can’t hear them singing over the volume of the music; neither his daughter nor her boyfriend are particularly vocally talented. He is glad, however, to see El so happy and carefree; glad that she’s free to be silly and having fun with a boy he knows loves her very deeply.