Netflix’s Stranger Things
Season 2: “Chapter Seven – The Lost Sister”
Directed by Rebecca Thomas
Written by Justin Doble
* For a recap & review of Chapter Six, “The Spy” – click here
* For a recap & review of Chapter Eight, “The Mind Flayer” – click here
Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) comes back to the world, after seeing her mother’s visions. She saw “the rainbow room” in a facility run by Dr. Brenner. In the room, along with little El a.k.a Jane, was a girl with darker skin— perhaps the girl we saw at the beginning of the season escaping the law. She tells her aunt Becky (Amy Seimetz), who shows her files Terry (Aimee Mullins) kept while looking for her daughter all those years. In the files is a picture of the girl. Now, El believes she has to find her. They’re like sisters separated at birth, in a sense.
She uses the picture of the girl to try reaching out. In the darkness of the astral plane, she sees a fire burning. Someone’s sitting next to it. At the same time, Becky’s reaching out to someone on the phone. This gives her niece a bad feeling, so Eleven runs off on her own again taking the bus to Illinois.
Arriving in the city, El’s by herself like a grown up. Stark juxtaposition with life in that cabin in the woods with Chief Hopper (David Harbour). She enjoys it, though she’s there on a mission, not vacation. Eventually she comes across the seedier parts of town. She happens upon a building where there’s a gang of punks hanging out, the same ones we saw in Chapter One. She asks around about her sister, whose name she hears is Kali (Linnea Berthelsen). When one punk gets nasty, Kali emerges. She and Eleven meet for the first time. They see the numbers inscribed one each other’s arms: “Sister.”
By themselves, the sisters talk. Kali warns everyone seems as “monsters,” even the people who seem like friends. They talk about their gifts, which are quite different from one another. Kali can manipulate the minds of others, making them see what she wants. It “doesn‘t have to be scary,” she can also show people beauty and wonder. A wonderful reunion between these long lost sisters, as El feels welcome. We just have to see how she fits in with the gang.
Meanwhile, on the astral plane, Eleven hears Hopper call out to her, as he did in the previous episode. He talks to her over the radio, apologising for what’s happened between them. He clearly cares for her like a daughter, and it pains her to hear the sadness in his voice.
Kali’s gang respects her greatly for helping them. They take care of “bad men.” So, her sister wants to bring her in on the next job as a method of catharsis that might help heal old wounds. This begins first with Eleven honing her powers. Kali urges to “find that anger” which will help unleash her greatest powers. Ever the budding teenager, our girl uses jealousy over seeing Mike (Finn Wolfhard) with Max (Sadie Sink) in the gym. Little sweetie.
After that, the gang’s decided on seeking out Ray (Pruitt Taylor Vince), the ECT man for Brenner, using El’s powers. She does her astral plane bit, then they further track the address she figures out. The gang are prepared to do some damage. El gets a punk makeover and her own baby-faced mask to join them.
The gang break into Ray’s place and starts finding all the valuables and cash. The sisters reveal themselves to Ray, asking if he remembers them. Then El starts kicking his ass. He tells her Dr. Brenner’s (Matthew Modine) out there— alive and well. Eleven chokes him brutally with her power until she sees the man has children. Those same kids are calling the cops, too. Kali pushes her sister to kill him, but El won’t do it.
Back at the hideout, Eleven struggles with this life. She and Kali don’t see things the same, the latter’s much angrier. Not that there’s no reason to be angry. However, anger can cloud the mind, which El’s learned on occasion. Kali says the choices are either hide or fight. She manipulates her sister’s mind to show her a vision of Brenner in hopes it’ll convince her to stay and find revenge. But El can’t help thinking of her friends back in Hawkins. She goes into the astral plane to look at Hopper and Mike who are about to be attacked at the DoE.
There are bigger problems. Cops are headed for the gang’s hideout. Men with guns bear down on the place, so Kali grabs her sister, the rest of the gang, and they all hide in plain sight. Kali manipulates the cops into seeing nothing but an empty room. The gang’s able to make it outside to the van, though they’re up against serious firepower. Kali again gets them out.
Yet this is the end of the line currently for the sisters. Eleven knows her friends “are in danger.” She can’t sit by while they’re in trouble. She knows she’s the one to save them. So, the gang and El part ways, which affects Kali deeply.
An intensely emotional episode focused on Eleven. I loved Millie Bobby Brown’s performance, as well as that of Linnea Berthelesen. Made the episode better than it was, really. Not a favourite of mine. Still, it was good.
“Chapter Eight – The Mind Flayer” is next.