**Warning: Spoilers Ahead!**
If you binge watched the entire second season of Stranger Things on Netflix over the weekend, you’re not alone. Millions of other fans did too. And most people liked it. We certainly did, even if wasn’t quite as good as Season One (living up to that was an impossible task anyway).
On strange episode of the season, though, really threw viewers for a loop. In episode seven, entitled “The Lost Sister,” we watch Eleven go on a journey to nearby Chicago in an attempt to find Kali aka Eight, the girl she shared a room with when imprisoned in Hawkins Lab as a child. Eleven meets and bonds with Kali, and is introduced to her gang of other degenerate punks.
It was an interesting look at some of Eleven’s mysterious backstory, but it also felt like a serious interruption of everything else going on. Stranger Things has never really ventured outside of their fictional little town, and the delay in action caused by “The Lost Sister” was noticeable, even for those who powered through all nine episodes in a single day (or weekend).
Even though the episode is being called the “worst in the series” so far, Stranger Things creators Matt and Ross Duffer defended the outlier episode as necessary in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.
“Whether it works for people or not, it allows us to experiment a little bit. It’s important for Ross and I to try stuff and not feel like we’re doing the same thing over and over again,” said Matt. “It’s almost like doing a whole little other pilot episode in the middle of your season… But it was really fun to write and cast and work on. Our test of the episode was we tried to pull it out of the show just to make sure that we needed it because I didn’t want it in there as filler — even though some critics are accusing us of doing that.”
But Eleven’s journey kind of fell apart, like the ending didn’t work, without it. So I was like, whether this works or not, we need this building block in here or the whole show is going to collapse. It’s not going to end well.”
Ross later compared Eleven’s journey of self discovery to Luke Skywalker’s training on Dagobah in The Empire Strikes Back, in that she needed the time to learn something important about herself — possibly that she’s not filled with a murderous rage like Kali is.