Review by J.T. Johnson
We have a rather unique episode today as this one only follows one of our heroes. While everyone else is dealing with the shadow monster in the lab, Eleven is still on her path of self-discovery. The big question will be whether or not she gives into a desire for revenge or if she’ll reenter the fight with the monsters of the Upside Down alongside her family! Let’s get to it.
QUOTE OF THE EPISODE
“They cannot save you, Jane!” Kali
After learning about another girl that was with her at the lab, Eleven thinks that this is what her mother wanted to show her. After going through some files, Eleven finds the girl and tries to make contact with her in the dark place. At first, she has trouble finding her but when tries again later on, she sees her and we discover that this is the same girl from the season premiere.
Aunt Becky tries to get in touch with Hopper and when Eleven sees this, she runs away to find the girl on her own. The cold open ends and the opening credits roll. From there, we pick back up with Eleven on a bus heading to the other girl’s location in Chicago, Illinois.
Eleven soon finds the other girl in a warehouse along with the gang that she was with in the premiere. The other girl’s name is Kali and unlike Eleven, she can make you see things that aren’t really there. After proving who they are to one another, Kali explains that she’s been going after those that brought harm to them at the lab.
Kali wants to use Eleven’s ability to find another person who used to work at the lab. Before they get to that, though, we see that telepathically Eleven did receive Hopper’s message, showing that this episode takes place at the same time as ‘The Spy’. Once that’s over, the gang plans to find one of the scientists involved in their experiments.
Kali helps Eleven develop her powers further and tells her that she is stronger than what we’ve seen so far. She proves this by making Eleven pull a train car to them. Kali makes Eleven focus on her anger and, sure enough, the train begins to drag towards them.
The gang then plans to go after someone that Eleven found in her mother’s memories. Eleven gets a makeover and the gang heads out to get the orderly. Once there, they try to attack the man, but Eleven has a change of heart when she sees that the man has kids. She then prevents Kali from taking the man out and since his kids called the cops, they have to make a quick exit.
Back at the hideout, Kali confronts Eleven about letting the man leave. She shows Eleven a vision of Dr. Brenner to try and convince her that these bad men deserve their form of vigilante justice. Eventually, they are found by the cops and have to make another exit from their hideout. Unlike last time, though, Eleven decides to leave Kali and the others behind.
Eleven saw a vision of Mike and Hopper in trouble at the lab and she chooses to return to Hawkins in order to save her friends. She chooses her family over a life spent trying to get revenge and the episode ends.
This is the episode that plenty of people didn’t like when the season premiered. They thought that it came out of nowhere and felt out of place. I will concede that the episode is unique in that it sticks almost exclusively with Eleven.
However, I really enjoy this episode as it deals with Eleven not only learning more about her past but also about her abilities. She has to deal with the anger of what was done to her and she seeks out Kali, her darker and more conflicted “Yoda” if you will. The episode makes Eleven choose between trying to find those responsible for what happened to her and the family that she has received since leaving the lab.
Despite their differences, Eleven still loves Hopper and Mike and wants to see them safe. She knows that if she returns, they have a better chance against whatever it is that they’re up against. It also allows Millie Bobby Brown to show off her considerable skills as a young actor. She is the true hero of this series and she proves it with this episode.
Yes, it does come a little out of left field, but its purpose is served as she heads back to take on the threats that her family is currently up against. With this episode behind us now, we’re in the home stretch and there’s only two more days left before “Stranger Things 3” is unleashed. That also means that we only have two episodes left of “Stranger Things 2” and I’ll see you tomorrow for yet another recap and review!
Join me tomorrow as we take a look at ‘Chapter 8: The Mind Flayer’!