'Stranger Things' - "Chapter Seven: The Lost Sister" Recap

Listen, there’s already a lot of derision on the internet over “Chapter Seven: The Lost Sister”. The internet seems to be debating whether or not this is the worst episode of Stranger Things, or even one the worst episodes of television period. I think the reactions have gone a bit too far, as nothing in the episode is particularly bad. The episode is an entertaining enough side adventure that finds Eleven in Illinois in search of her sister, Eight. It’s a self contained story that manages to open up a whole new world of possibilities for Stranger Things to potentially explore in the future. The problem isn’t the episode’s content. The problem is its position in the season.

Chapter Six ends on the huge cliffhanger of Hawkins Labs being attacked by demogorgans. An entire episode setting aside that cliffhanger is frustrating, but in a binge watch model it’s not necessarily the end of the world. The truly frustrating thing making “The Lost Sister” feel like a pointless diversion is that there is no way the episode doesn’t end with Eleven on her way back to Hawkins to save Mike and the gang. There are some interesting ideas at play in this episode, but the way they’re presented just add to the frustration.

Eight (aka Kali) is the leader of a gang of criminals who hunt down former Department of Energy employees to exact revenge. There’s a lot of pushing and pulling, as Kali teaches Eleven how to harness her powers, but also tries to draw her to the side of anger and vengeance. It’s clear to the audience that Eleven’s love for her friends will inevitably trump any hate she carries for her prior captors/tormentors. The whole episode is thus rendered an exercise in tedium. 

“The Lost Sister” is basically a backdoor spinoff pilot wedged in between some of the most pivotal episodes of Stranger Things 2. Maybe if the season’s episodes had been structured differently the otherwise harmless Chapter Seven wouldn’t be getting met with such fandom vitriol.

Let us know your thoughts on "Chapter Seven: The Lost Sister" below!