– by Joseph Jammer Medina

By and large, Season 2 of Stranger Things managed to be a welcome return for most fans. The expectations were very high, and yet, the filmmakers manage to bring something to the table that was both more of the same and fresh. However, if there is one aspect of the shell that is decidedly split among both fans and critics it is the now infamous Episode 7.

In that episode of the season, Eleven ventures outside of Hawkins, Indiana, and heads to Chicago to find herself. While there she meets up with a former friend and “sister” of hers, who also has similar abilities.

Much the disappointment of many fans, this episode is pretty much detached from the rest of the season, making it the black sheep. However, the creators and show runners have defended this episode, and most recently, while at the vulture fast, they defend it once again.

RELATED – The Duffer Brothers Discuss Stranger Things 3 & Beyond

Here’s what one of the creators, Rosa Duffer, had to say:

“We were excited about spending a little time away. We only say it’s like a movie, but it’s not. So some of it is us experimenting with the form, this eight hour, nine hour thing. ….So we got excited about taking a breather before we dive back in…and it annoyed some people.”

But that wasn’t all. Fellow creator and brother Matt Duffer said that the point of the episode was to give audience is a bit of whiplash.

“It was intended to give you whiplash. Whether the whiplash was too strong or not, I don’t know.”

But don’t think that the creators were simply looking to stretch their muscles and shake things up, according to executive producer Shawn Levy, the episode also features very important story elements that help to justify its existence.

“It also brings Eleven back at the end of Episode 8 with so much power. Whether people love or don’t love Episode 7, we always knew the boys wanted to try something bold. And it does allow Eleven to learn about the source of her powers and gain more, which we would need for Episode 9. So her going away makes that return at the end of episode 8 so powerful.”

What do you think? Is all this enough to justify Episode 7 of Stranger Things 2? Let us know your thoughts in the comments down below!

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  • DubCheezy

    The pacing of Episode 7 was a little off compared to the others but overall I thought it was a worthy addition to the season. It was necessary to further eleven’s arc, not to mention setup stories for future seasons.

  • Kratos

    it gave me a headache.

  • noahwayne0

    was it supposed to be garbage too? if so , mission accomplished

  • secretAGENTman

    One huge issue…

    Eight’s ‘crew’ was ludicrously obnoxious.

    So very broadly two-dimensional.


    • TheOct8pus


  • Games

    Wow, people complain about everything. Fun episode, fun season.

  • Kronx

    It kills a lot of momentum when it pops up.

    It’s a classic writing technique. Give us an exciting cliffhanger, and then spend the next chapter on something else to build excitement. But it just felt out of place. They could’ve transitioned into it a bit better.

    But it’s easy to skip in repeat viewings.

    • Kindofabigdeal

      I thought those were filler episodes. Like that long ass episode of Walking Dead where we spend 90 minutes with Morgan and Eastman playing house.

  • Moby85

    I didn’t like the episode at all. It felt forced, it didn’t even really feel like Stranger Things and I almost skipped it (which I will in future viewings). The Duffers can “try something bold” but that doesn’t mean fans will like it. I missed seeing all the others leads that episode.

  • TheOct8pus

    I think it was necessary for 11’s character – whether you liked the episode or not. If she hadn’t gone to Chicago to be mentored by 8, her character would have stagnated and remained unchanged. She would have sat in Hopper’s cabin in the woods brooding in her overalls and when it was finally time for her to step up, she would have just been the same old Eleven saving the day.

    The weird, jarring, detour to Chicago made her return – as an 80’s new wave singer no less – much more meaningful than if she had stayed in Hawkins unchanged. It also shows just how much more powerful she’s become, and it shows the boys that she’s evolved as a person. Also, she intimidates the crap out of Max, which was a nice touch….

    It also opened up the world of Stranger Things to places and people outside Hawkins and it opens up the possibility that if there’s an 8 out there, there must be a 1-7, and a 9 and 10… possibly

  • SaiyanHeretic

    My main problem with Episode 7 is that it felt like a very special after school episode of Stranger Things, in which Eleven learns about the dangers of peer pressure. I see the necessity of this B-plot, but it should have been blended into the rest of the season better. As is, 90% of Eleven’s character development in Season 2 is backloaded into one fairly generic episode. Even the scene of Kali giving Eleven a superpowers pep talk is lifted directly from X-Men: First Class.

    And binge watching is about getting engrossed. This whiplash they were apparently going for is very off-putting. As the viewer, I don’t want to be taken out of the flow.

  • Brafdorf

    is Eleven goku now?

    Why does she need to go somewhere to get stronger?

    • Kindofabigdeal

      Duh. Next season they will all attend the Upside Martial Arts Tournament. Steve is the Yamcha of the group.

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.