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How STRANGER THINGS Could Turn Into the X-MEN

So how did we all feel about Eleven jetting off to the big city to hang out with the punk rock bandits? “The Lost Sister” is the most divisive episode of Stranger Things 2, and, honestly, most people seem to hate it. Or at least think it was misplaced in the show’s timeline because it kills the momentum of the Hawkins story and acts like a backdoor pilot to some other show happening in the universe. The biggest problem seems to be that it was the least Stranger Thingsiest episode of Stranger Things.

If you’re one of the fans who truly loathed the detour into Midwest Avengers territory, you may be in for a bumpy ride with where Stranger Things is headed.

When the third season was announced, and the prospect of a potential fourth season was raised, the Duffer Brothers told Vulture that it would be difficult to maintain the pace of having something bad happen to the Hawkins A.V. Club once a year, adding that, “they’re going to have to get the fuck out of this town!”

This season, Eleven did exactly that, showing us that there are more like her living among us.

We’re fully expecting a time jump for Stranger Things 3 since they don’t want to pretend like the child actors aren’t aging at a normal rate, but it also makes sense that they need to expand the scope of the show so that it isn’t a retread of the same monstrous force fighting the same sleepy town.

Plus, you don’t toss an episode like “The Lost Sister” into the mix if you’re not intending to let the story expand beyond the Hawkins city limit sign. The episode is about Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) finding a new home only to realize her home is back in Hawkins, but its biggest job was fully introducing us to Eight/Kali (Linnea Berthelsen). It confirms the plausible existence of at least ten other psionic subjects besides Eleven, shows us a different mental ability, and kicks the door wide open for an X-Men-style team up to fight the biggest, baddest version of the Mind Flayer.

Even if the show stays close to Hawkins, there’s no way that another full season (let alone a fourth) could sustain an attack on the same scale where Eleven is the only superhero they have at their disposal. With the Mind Flayer still waiting to crash more school dances in the safe comfort of its home in the Upside Down, it will be frustrating if the storyline stays as flat as an Indiana pumpkin patch. Yes, Eleven’s powers could and should get stronger, and so far Kali is only one who’s helped her do that. Another sign that, to grow, outside interference is necessary.

What’s more, Ross Duffer commented on “The Lost Sister,” saying, “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.” He also likened her journey to Luke Skywalker’s hiatus from Han and Leia, but the bottom line here is to expect more risks.

We shouldn’t be surprised if Berthelsen gets signed on for more work in Stranger Things 3. It’s well within the realm of possibility that she syncs back up with Eleven to convince her to go revenging some more only to be persuaded to stay in the one-grocery-store Hawkins to help fight the Mind Flayer instead of all the mini-bosses. She and Jonathan would have a lot to talk about.

We also shouldn’t be surprised if Stranger Things 3 introduces us to a Four or a Seven or a Nine with diverse but complementary telepathic powers. Kali’s existence proves there are more out there, and if the enemy’s power is going to grow, it makes sense that Eleven would need to amass a team like her to fight it. Slingshots and buckshot aren’t going to cut it.

Which leads us to the question of Dr. Brenner (Matthew Modine) whose survival is hinted at strongly this season. In the face of the Mind Flayer, he seems like a paltry antagonist, but he’s also far more of a personal enemy than the Lovecraftian sky monster. He’s a villain who has directly touched and injured the lives of several main characters, which makes him a more satisfying baddie to take down than nameless CGI evil.

If he’s really alive, that’s all the more evidence that a vengeful crew of former lab prisoners could band together to rise up in retribution against him. Marooning him in the Upside Down would be poetic, and it would mean closure for a lot of traumatized children.

Stranger Things has to expand its scope, and “The Lost Sister” offered a pathway to doing so. That path most directly leads to more gifted people with numeric tattoos on their wrists. Their inclusion would almost certainly mean a superhero team forming. They probably won’t get matching uniforms or anything (yellow and blue spandex doesn’t go with slicked back hair), but Kali and her misfit crew offered us the biggest hint at where characters who still have to defeat the Mind Flayer could be headed.

Images: Netflix

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