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Recap / Stranger Things S2E7 "Chapter Seven: The Lost Sister"

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In Chicago, Eleven locates Kali, who is the girl from Terry's memories. Kali can create illusions, and she leads a gang of outcasts who exact revenge on those who have hurt them. She teaches Eleven to channel her anger towards stronger powers.

Eleven uses her powers to find Ray, the lab technician who performed shock therapy on Terry, and the gang breaks into his apartment. Ray claims Brenner is still alive, and he offers to lead Kali and Eleven to Brenner. They disbelieve him, and Kali tries to coax Eleven into killing Ray. When Eleven learns he has two daughters, she stops and prevents Kali from killing him.

Back at their hideout, Kali conjures a disturbing vision of Brenner and demands that Eleven avenge their mother. Eleven visualizes Mike and Hopper and realizes they are in trouble. While Kali and her gang escape the police, Eleven returns to Hawkins.

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This episode provides examples of:

  • Asshole Victim: Ray Carrol was close to becoming this, until Eleven found out he has daughters.
  • Breather Episode: Interrupts the story involving the imminent monster infestation of Hawkins in order to explain what Eleven has been up to around the same time.
  • Call-Back: Eleven calls the jerk who bumps into her on the street a "Mouth-breather."
  • Chekhov's Army: While this episode provides some Character Development for Eleven, most of its plot (such as the introduction of Kali's crew and their mission, and The Reveal that Dr. Brenner may not be dead after all) has little to do with the events of this season, serving as a setup for future seasons.
  • Crashing Dreams: Twice this happened to Eleven;
    • First while having a dream where she hears part of Hopper's radioed apology to her, but then somebody touches her shoulder from behind. She wakes to see that it was Kali's touch that filtered into the dream.
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    • Later on, this happened again when she enters her dark dimension to meet Hopper and Mike. Suddenly she hears a pounding. Cut to the police breaking into the warehouse.
  • A Day in the Limelight: For Eleven, and for Kali to a lesser extent.
  • Emotional Powers: Kali teaches Eleven how to use her emotions, anger in this case, to strengthen her powers on demand in a Time to Unlock More True Potential session during some downtime. In a subtler example, Kali's powers seem to be influenced by her level of confidence, as when Eleven abandons the gang, the illusion she's set up to block the police breaks down.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Eleven realizes this when she sees a picture of Ray Carrol's two daughters, making her unwilling to kill him.
  • Evil Makeover: Kali's gang give Eleven a makeover to look like them, complete with Excessive Evil Eyeshadow.note 
  • Failed a Spot Check: Kali introduces Mick as the gang's "eyes and ears". Whenever they're at the hideout, she perches next to a window as a lookout. Of course, the one time she isn't paying attention (when she gets into a short argument with Dottie about not joining the poker game) is when she misses the SWAT team moving toward the building right under her vantage point.
  • Fat Bastard: Ray Carrol was one during his time at Hawkins Energy Lab, torturing Kali with a cattle prod.
  • Fatal Family Photo: Inverted. Eleven decides to spare Ray Carrol's life because she sees a picture of him with his daughters.
  • A Friend in Need: Eleven decides to go back to her friends when she realizes they're in danger.
  • I Have a Family: He doesn't say it, but Eleven sees a photo of Ray with his daughters.
  • Just Following Orders: Ray Carrol, who used to watch over Kali and Eleven at Hawkings lab begs for mercy and claims that the reason he hurt helped Brenner electroshock Terry was because he was just following orders. He doesn't try to make this claim for hitting Kali with a cattle prod.
  • Lipstick-and-Load Montage: Eleven undergoes one of these with Kali's group before her first mission with the group. She receives a very Goth look with the help of her new friends.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: The gang wears scary masks when invading Ray Carroll's home.
  • Meaningful Name: In Indian theology, Kali is a destroyer of evil and protector of the innocent.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: When we meet Ray Carroll in the present we find him to be a sad-looking man, who when confronted by his past immediately becomes apologetic. He also appears to be reluctant to set the dial according to Brenner's instructions in Terry's memory of her attack on the lab. Ray claims to have been Just Following Orders, though it's unclear whether he genuinely regrets his actions or was just trying to save his own ass.
  • No Periods, Period: Lightly subverted; when the gang rob a convenience store, one of the only things Dottie steals is a box of tampons.
  • Oh, Crap!: When the gang found out Ray has daughters and they called the police.
  • Once More, with Clarity!: The exact nature and backstory of the gang shown in the Cold Open of the first episode is finally explained here.
  • Out-of-Genre Experience: After fourteen episodes of family adventure-slash-SF horror, this one will fit right in with Cyberpunk.
  • Poorly Disguised Pilot: The Duffers brothers have mentioned this episode as "sort of like a pilot", although they have no intentions to do a spinoff.
  • The Power of Hate: Kali instructs Eleven to think of a memory that made her mad, and it allows her to pull a train car towards them.
  • Power Walk: Kali and her gang (plus Eleven) pull one as they march out to their van to kill one of Hawkins Lab's former workers.
  • The Quincy Punk: Most notably, Kali and Axel (right down to the ridiculous Mohawk).
  • Retired Monster: Ray Carroll is possibly this since despite shocking both children and a woman to the point of being driven insane, ever since retiring he's had a quiet life with his own children.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Kali and her gang are hunting down and killing everyone responsible for wrecking their lives, whether Hawkins employes (for Kali) or otherwise (everyone else).
  • The Runaway: While technically Eleven has been gone for two episodes, this trope is underscored by the use of Bon Jovi's "Runaway."
  • Shout-Out: Kali's gang would fit flawlessly into Grant Morrison's Invisibles. Any chance of the similarities being coincidental is wiped out by several prominent tags in their squat - O'Bedlam, King Mob, Barbelith - that directly reference the comic.
  • Trashcan Bonfire: When Eleven meets Kali's gang, they are sitting around one of those. This scene is foreshadowed early on when Eleven encounters Kail by such a fireplace in her dark dimension.
  • Welcome to the Big City: Downplayed example. When Eleven arrives in Chicago, she is overwhelmed by her first sight of a big city. Until the next scene where she encounters some lowlives in a back alley who make her visually uncomfortable.
  • Wham Line: During his interrogation, Ray claims that Brenner survived the Demogorgon's attack way back in "The Upside Down". Assuming the guy isn't lying through his teeth in an attempt to save his own skin.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Axel is afraid of spiders. Kali knows this, and uses it to keep him in check.

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