Stranger Things 2 creators defend polarizing Eleven episode

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Warning: The following post contains spoilers from Stranger Things 2.

Move over Team Taylor vs. Team Katy: There is a new pop culture debate brewing in 2017. If you’ve watched Stranger Things 2, you most likely have strong feelings about episode 7, “The Lost Sister.”

It’s a “bottle” episode that takes Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) to Chicago on a quest to find her “sister” Kali (Linnea Berthelsen). Kali is the head of a gang who takes murderous revenge against the men and women who imprisoned her and Eleven in the Hawkins lab. It’s an episode that never cuts back to Hawkins and mostly focuses on brand new characters.

Creators Ross and Matt Duffer knew that this risk would lead to debate. “Whether it works for people or not, it allows us to experiment a little bit,” says Matt. “It’s important for Ross and I to try stuff and not feel like we’re doing the same thing over and over again. It’s almost like doing a whole little other pilot episode in the middle of your season, which is kind of a crazy thing to do. But it was really fun to write and cast and work on.”

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And while it’s a jarring departure from previous episodes, the Duffers say it was necessary. “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. The Mind Flayer is going to take over Hawkins.”

Adds Ross, “That Eleven story line overall is sort of the biggest risk we took. We’re going to continue to do risks moving forward to keep us on our toes. I didn’t want her to just magically save the day. Just like Luke Skywalker, she needed to go off on her own and learn something about herself.”

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