The seventh episode of
But even though Eight’s real-life
And yet when faced with the choice to kill an evil man or spare two young girls the pain of losing their father, Eleven proved to be the most human of them all. Yes, she has killed before, but only to protect herself and those she cares about. She’s no killer. She’s not the weapon they built her to be.
Eleven’s time in Chicago helped her realize her real home and family are back in Hawkins. That’s where the people who love her are, and they are in trouble. This was a slow building episode, much like the whole season, but the payoff was there at the end. Her decision to go back to Hopper and Mike was a great, powerful moment because Eleven’s journey has always been the heart of the show.
She has battled monsters, both human and Demogorgon. She has been treated like a monster, too. But she has kept her humanity through everything. Eleven’s powers make her dangerous and different, but she won’t use them to hurt people, she’ll use them to save them. She’s so much better than the people who want to weaponize her, and that includes Eight whose first instinct was to utilize her “sister’s” abilities for her own. Eight was no different than Papa.
But despite Eleven’s great moment of self discovery, getting to it felt like a slog, and that is partially because of this episode’s placement in the episode order. Episode six, which ended with the “demodogs” climbing out of the hole in the lab, was the biggest “holy shit” moment of the season.
And then they killed all of that momentum by plopping in this standalone installment, which was slow itself. Leaving Hawkins and the show’s small town setting for an episode where Eleven finds herself in Chicago was a great, fun idea to change things up. But it wasn’t about her existing in a new world, it was mostly spent talking about her powers in a warehouse or robbing a very Hawkins-like gas station.
The powerful ending proves the show did something right here, but when the last episode finally gave us something big and exciting, it made everything here feel even slower. Like we had finally arrived at the fireworks factory, only to find out it didn’t open for another hour.
Simply swapping the placement of this episode with the last one would have gone a long way to fixing the pacing issues of “Lost Sister” and the season at large. It might have given away the surprise of what happened in that hole, but so what? It would have whetted our excitement for what exactly had gone wrong while we watched Will tell them about that spot in the tunnels.
You can do a slow burn and tell a great story–sometimes those are the best stories–but what you can’t do is let us think the slow burn is over and things are about to blow up, only to then slow everything down again.
What did you think of this episode? Tell us in the comments below.
CATCH UP ON EVERY EPISODE OF STRANGER THINGS 2!
- Episode 1 –
Stranger Things 2gets off to a surprisingly somber start
- Episode 2 –
Stranger Thingscharacters try to get back to normal
- Episode 3 – What do you do when your bully is a transdimensional being?
- Episode 4 – The real and figurative monsters plaguing Hawkins
- Episode 5 –
Stranger Thingsexplores the tropes of trust and truth
- Episode 6 –
Stranger Thingsgoes Aliens
- Episode 7 – Why Eleven is the heart of
Stranger Things 2
- Episode 8 – All the
Jurassic Parkreferences this season
- Episode 9 – Where does the
Stranger Thingsfinale leave its characters?