The following contains spoilers from Stranger Things Season 4 Episode 6, “The Dive” streaming now on Netflix.
Previous episodes of the Netflix hit stranger things showed an excellent blend of warmth, horror and compelling mystery. While fan-favorite character Eleven was sweet, charming, and undeniably powerful, the mystery girl’s origins were largely unknown and fans wanted answers. Unfortunately, those answers came in the form of a Season 2 that left a lot to be desired, and at first glance, stranger things Last season seemed to avoid those mistakes.
In the episode titled “The Lost Sister,” Eleven takes a road trip, rediscovers her roots, and reconnects with an important figure from her past. While its premise seems like a recipe for success, the episode is far from being a fan favorite and might be the most controversial episode yet. As horror and suspense mount in Hawkins, Eleven meets her mother, travels to Chicago and befriends lovable troublemakers Axel, Funshine and Kali – aka Eight.
As an early childhood friend of Eleven and a former test subject at the Hawkins Laboratory, Kali immediately bonds with El and calls her a “soul sister”. While the episode is entertaining and serves to fill in several gaps in Eleven’s story, fans felt that this was a major departure from what was made stranger things so successful. The episode, which took place in an unfamiliar setting with an all-new cast of characters, only further alienated her from most of the season with her odd placement.
Despite her lukewarm reception, fans wondered what became of Kali, especially after the start of season four, which seemed to avoid any mention of her. Plunging headlong into the horror genre, the opening of stranger thingsIn the penultimate season, a much younger elf massacres both her captors and other test subjects for initially unknown reasons. As the horrifying fate of a fortune known as Ten unfolds before viewers, Kali – and her loving bond with Eleven – is seemingly extinguished.
When, how or even if Kali escaped the wrath of her “sister” is initially unclear to the viewers. And assuming she did, it remains unclear why this horrifying event wasn’t mentioned when they met again. However, fans point out that Kali found her freedom long before El’s massacre took place. Although this is never said outright, it is is alluded to.
In the infamous debut episode, Kali says that one day she entered the Rainbow Room and found Eleven gone. She later reveals that her own great escape took place afterwards when her powers became strong enough. The reason for El’s disappearance is never made clear, but fans have long speculated that El had moved after her birth mother, Terry Ives, tried to rescue her.
After apparently being dropped for an entire season, Kali is finally mentioned in the sixth episode of season 4. Eleven is snapped through several early childhood memories when the sinister Dr. Brenner tries to regain her powers. A companion who seems to favor Eleven mentions Terry’s rescue attempt, which took place “when Eight was still here,” and calls the viewer back to an image of a younger El and Kali innocently playing together in a rainbow-splattered room.
While it initially seemed so stranger things avoiding his biggest black spot and thereby damaging continuity, there seems to be a reasonable, solid, and unequivocal explanation for Kali’s absence during Season 4’s horrid opening. While the show avoids delving too deeply into the relationship, perhaps for fear it won’t be well received, these small details help paint a more complete picture of Eleven’s complicated past.
Stranger Things Season 4 Vol. 1 is available to stream now on Netflix.
Stranger Things season 4 releases hidden teaser of part 2