Keys and Mom are talking in the living room. Gertie asks Mom if they're gone. See, she has a note from Elliott and Michael that she's supposed to give Mom, but not until they're gone. Gertie! You had one job.
Elliott runs out of the house through a hamster tunnel, right past some government dudes, and straight into the back of the van that's carrying E.T. (Apparently, security became much more lax after E.T. kicked the bucket.)
And who's in the driver's seat of that van? It's Michael, of unsteadily-backing-down-the-driveway fame. He's dressed in a hazmat suit, but has forgotten to put his mask on.
Some would argue that that's the most important part of the disguise. Michael! You had one job.
Michael's quickly discovered by a government guy, so he throws the van into drive and the van is off, taking part of the hamster tube—and two hazmat-suited government workers still in the tube—with them.
Almost immediately they make a quick pit stop for Michael to tell his friends Greg, Tyler, and Steve to get their bikes and meet them at the playground at the top of the hill. His friends spring into action, but not before pausing to make sure they're all wearing choice hats and sunglasses. Because they're teenagers.
Michael drives across town to the playground, while the two government agents stuck in the tube hang on to two lines connected to the back of the van and ride the tube like a giant, plastic water ski.
Mom gets in the car with Gertie—and her party geraniums—to chase her sons. Keys asks where she's rushing off to, and Gertie tells him they're going to the spaceship. Gertie's got a big mouth.
Elliott, E.T., and Michael rendezvous with Michael's friends at the playground. Greg, Tyler, and Steve see E.T. for the first time. They're awestruck and suddenly much more likable.
The government agents (and Mom) catch up to the van, guns blazing, but E.T. and his posse are already gone. They're on their bikes and they're forest-bound, suckers!
Elliott takes the lead, with E.T. once again in his basket. The government is in hot pursuit. The music swells. The boys hit a roadblock. So many federal agents, so many big guns. Game over, man. Game over!
But wait! E.T. does his thing, and all five boys, their bikes, and E.T. take to the sky and away from the authorities. They soar over suburbia and its backyard pools to the forest as the sun sets. Greg and Tyler look like they're going to puke.
The boys arrive at E.T.'s communicator in the forest just as a familiar Faberge egg spaceship descends from the sky. "Home," E.T. says, his heart light glowing red. Mom and Gertie arrive shortly thereafter.
Gertie says a tearful goodbye to E.T., kisses him, and gives him her party geraniums. E.T. tells Gertie to "Be good." Callback!
Michael just stands there, touching E.T.'s head. E.T. says "Thank you." Michael says, "You're welcome." Historically, this is as sentimental as older brothers get.
Then there's Elliott. Oh, Elliott.
E.T. asks Elliott to come with him. Elliott says he has to stay. E.T. touches his heart and says, "Ouch." Elliott does the same through his tears, and then hugs E.T. while his family looks on.
E.T. holds his healing finger up in front of Elliott's forehead. It glows, and E.T. says, "I'll be right here." Another callback! We're so not crying. We know you're not either, Shmooper.
Elliott says goodbye. E.T. picks up his geraniums and boards the ship. The music's once again swollen.
Harvey walks up the ramp like he's going to go, too, but returns to Elliott. Not cool, Harv.
The ramp lifts up while E.T. stands in the doorway.
The doorway closes. The ship ascends and blasts off, leaving a rainbow in the sky, while everybody on the ground watches. Some smile, some cry. And Elliott? He remains stoic.