SOME SPOILERS AHEAD.
This episode made me realise what Eleven’s journey for this season was, if only because the word was repeated about three times in its run; Eleven’s search for a “home.” It was really when her aunt told her that she could stay with her and her mother, near the beginning, and called the place “home” that it became obvious to me, but even more so when Kali said the same.
When Eleven caught her aunt on the phone my first thought was that she called Hawkins Lab. I was so relieved when it turned out that she was trying to find Hopper. Not that, to Eleven, that was any better. She was still mad at him. I kind of wished that she hadn’t over heard, just so that Hopper would have gotten the message at some point (he had his own stuff going on at the time, ya know, fighting demogorgons) and come for her. But if she hadn’t, she wouldn’t have run and meet Kali and friends and come to appreciate the home she had with Hopper in Hawkins.
I was so glad when she found Kali and they embraced each other as sisters and bonded on the roof. They’d found each other again and were happy. But Kali went and spoiled it by manipulating and using Eleven.
I do feel like she was sincere and genuinely cared for Eleven, but she saw her as an asset and powerful weapon in taking down her enemies. Not much better than “Papa”, really. Although I did understand why she did what she was doing and empathised with her, but she was still wrong and did not in any way need to twist Eleven into becoming a murderer like herself.
I hated watching her teach Eleven to fuel her power with her anger, the same way that she did. To use her powers to hurt others. That’s not our Eleven. She protects people, hurting or killing others only if doing so means achieving that objective. Sure, channeling her anger did make Eleven more powerful, but I think we’ve seen enough media in which that is the case to know that that isn’t the way to get more powerful at all.
Mick was the only voice of reason on Kali’s team. With Eleven there, Kali had gotten impatient, reckless and irresponsible in her quest to kill the personnel from Hawkins Lab who had a hand in her abuse. I don’t blame Eleven for thinking that Ray was alone; we know how her powers work, that she sees only the person she is looking for. But Kali doesn’t know that. She didn’t take the time to understand Eleven’s powers and how they work. So it was no surprise that there was someone else there.
Good on Ray’s daughter’s for calling the police first thing. And for existing in the first place. Ray was as good as dead before Eleven saw their photo with him. Our Eleven has a heart and she could not rob them of their father, no matter how much Kali tried to push her to kill him. When Kali berated Eleven for knocking the gun out of her hand I thought that she was about to kick Eleven out of the group.
Instead, she did something worse. She further tried to manipulate Eleven by creating an illusion of “Papa” that echoed the words she had said to Eleven. For a split second I thought that he was actually there. Right then Eleven should have left, I think. Just because Kali used him against her.
It wasn’t until Eleven checked in on Hopper that I realised that the episode had gone back in time a little. I like that it was Hopper that she visited and not Mike, just because I really like that she considers their little house in the woods to be her home. I really love their father/daughter relationship. Mike is her one true love and all, but for much of this season it wasn’t her relationship with him that I cared about. It was her relationship with Hopper.
I think that even if she hadn’t seen that Hopper and Mike were in danger, Eleven would have gone home when she did. It was a great catalyst, but her thinking about Mike and the rest of the group and her memories with Hopper, to me, showed that she was ready to go back. I did feel sorry for Kali, having to let Eleven go after just having gotten her back. But Eleven’s place was not with them.
- Back to Eleven!
- Oh, so Kali can use her powers on multiple people at once.
All 9 episode of Stranger Things are currently available for streaming on Netflix.