Stranger Things 2 Ep. 7 - "The Lost Sister" - Dread Central
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Stranger Things 2 Ep. 7 – “The Lost Sister”

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Welcome back to Dread Central’s daily recap/reviews of the second season of Netflix and The Duffer Brothers’ “Stranger Things”. You can find our recap/review of the previous episode right HERE. Now let’s get to it!

Heaven help us.

After the extreme high note that the previous episode of “Stranger Things 2” left us on, it was only a matter of time before we were hit with an episode the likes of “The Lost Sister.” It was inevitable. Unfortunately.

The episode kicks off with Eleven talking with her aunt (played by You’re Next actress Amy Seimetz). Eleven deduces that her catatonic mother wants her to find the mysterious girl from her visions. A girl that, like Eleven, was subjected to the horrific experiment within the sinister energy plant on the hill.

Eleven’s aunt quickly finds a file with all the necessary info on the mysterious other girl – who we’ll call Eight for the time being – and we as an audience realize this is none other than the mind-freak goth chick we met in the season’s (seemingly) random opening moments.

Eleven then travels into the black void, finds out who Eight is, learns she is currently residing in Chicago, and then makes to tell her aunt about the new discovery. But instead of telling her about the mysterious Eight, Eleven spies her aunt trying to turn her over to the authorities.

This causes Eleven to make a run for it to Chicago and find her “Lost Sister.” Cue credits.

Let me start off this recap/review by saying that usually, as you know by now, I tend to poke quite a bit of fun at these episodes. Mostly the jibs and jabs come from a place of love for the series and the characters, so I like to think the razzing I give each episode is taken merely as a big brother roasting his little brother’s buddies.

I don’t think that’s how this one is going to go.

After all, to poke and prod and make mean jabs at something – or someone – you genuinely don’t like or respect isn’t fun times on the internet. It’s just sad and mean. That said, let’s get to it anyhow.

The episode begins in stunningly bad fashion with Eleven running away to Chicago – all set to the tune of that song “Runaway” by Jon Bon f*cking Jovi. Get it? Subtle. Hopefully, the episode picks up from there.

Next, we follow Eleven into the lair of a gang of assholes that could be best described as The Warriors meets the punkers from The Return of the Living Dead. But I hate to make the connection between those awesome teams and this group of all-American rejects, so instead, I’ll describe this group of badly-drawn imitations of an ironic 80’s punk band as, well, a badly-drawn imitation of an ironic 80’s punk band by way of present-day hipsters.

Fits like a glove, eh?

Actually, all jokes aside this team that Eleven is attempting to make buddy-buddy time with, reminds me of the terrible mutants off to the side in director Brett Ratner’s horrible X-Men flick X-Men: The Last Stand.

In fact, here’s a reference image. Yeah, tell me I’m wrong.

Speaking of X-Men let me also get this out of the way right off the bat that it seems very obvious to me that this stand-alone episode was conceived not as a deeper insight into the character of Eleven – we learn nothing new about her character throughout the entire hour – but instead this was merely meant to be the set up for a spin-off.

A backdoor pilot as they call it.

You see Eleven really doesn’t fit into the mold of the rest of the “Stranger Things” cast. It’s basically the same problem The Avengers have with keeping Thor as a member of the team. Both Thor and Eleven are way too powerful to be a compelling member of the team because at any and all times they could just used their “magic” and solve any and all problems.

For instance, this season is attempting (and mostly succeeding) in making villains out of Dart, his Demon Dog buddies, and Max’s older brother Billy. These threats cause much trouble for our loveable gang of Hawkins residents. But let me ask you: how quickly could Eleven hold her hand up, scowl at all of these threats, bleed slightly from one nostril, and – BOOM! – blow off their heads in spectacularly un-gory fashion?

Exactly. It would take Eleven precisely ten seconds to deal death and judgment Firestarter-style to any and all threats facing our merry band of ragtag teens and their parents. Not much fun, huh?

This is why the series has to fight at all times to keep Eleven out of the central storyline. Keep her locked away in cabins in the woods, send her to see her mother, send her all the way to Chicago – just make sure she isn’t anywhere near Mike and the gang. She could solve their problems, and have them all play D&D again, by noon.

And that’s no fun, right?

So instead the writers know they have to get Eleven out of the main “Stranger Things” storyline. Which they tried to do by killing her off in the season finale last year. But then Eleven – or more specifically Millie Bobby Brown – was so popular with fans that they couldn’t keep her out of season two.

So what to do?

It seems the writer’s room hatched an ingenious plan: Keep Eleven away from the gang for just one more season, and then get her the hell out of town. “But what will the fans say if there is no Eleven in “Stranger Things” seasons 3, 4, and/or 5,” asks Netflix. “We’ll spin her off into an all-new money-making machine,” the (guest) writers replied.

Boom. Great. Everyone’s happy… other than all of us “Stranger things” fans that had to just sit through an hour-long pilot for an X-men spin-off series that (maybe) half of us would even want to  give the actual pilot a glance.

So yeah, this is what we get.

An exclusively Eleven-centric spin-off episode that isn’t “brave”, or “bold” in it’s striking out from the established “Stranger Things” mold. Also, this episode isn’t one that will be “regarded highly in the future”, or one that people “just didn’t get” at the time it was released. It is not. People who claim it is are kidding themselves. Do not listen to them and feel as if you missed something here. Those people only wish this episode was a misunderstood classic so they can later claim to have been one of the few that called its classic status back in 2017. Boo.

Again, sorry this was more rant than recap (or even review) but this episode was not appreciated in any form by this guy, Mike Sprague. Yeah, you can hate me if you’re an Eleven supporter and thought this episode was some kind of Godsend. But I’ll tell you this right now, we’re not going to be friends.

I’m kidding. Bring on the passionate backlash. I’ll take it.

If only to lend a voice to the masses that hated this episode and feel as if they cannot speak their opinion to their Eleven-loving friends and neighbors. Just forward them this recap/review/rant. I’ll do the heavy lifting for you.

As an eternal optimist, I can only hope and pray the next episode – sporting the metal af title “The Mind Flayer” – doesn’t so much as mention the happenings contained within this stand-alone mess. At all.

If so – HERE is my reaction.

Check back with us tomorrow for our recap/review of “Stranger Things 2” Ep. 8 – “The Mind Flayer.”

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