Stranger Things: Season Two S2E7
Episode Seven: The Lost Sister
The second sentence Thomas Jefferson penned in the Declaration of Independence is perhaps one of the most famous sentences ever written. It says:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
The idea is that God has given us certain rights that government cannot take away. Included among these is the pursuit of happiness which translates into freedom of choice. Each person has the freedom to make their own decisions, or at least that’s how God designed it to be.
Jane Ives, better known as Eleven or El, has never experienced freedom to make her own choices. Taken from her mother at birth and raised in the Hawkins National Laboratory, Eleven spent her childhood in captivity, being forced to use her special powers for the spying purposes of the government.
This season we have seen Eleven living in Hopper’s cabin where she must follow his rules. Hopper means well, but once again Eleven has lost her freedom to pursue the things she wants. She is not free to make her own choices.
Everything changes for Eleven in this episode. In what might be one of the stranger episodes of the series, Eleven heads to the big city of Chicago and uses her abilities to look for the sister she never knew existed.
Eleven finds her sister whose name is Kali, or Eight. Eight is living with a gang who has made it their mission to execute vigilante justice on those who have hurt them in their past. As they connect, she teaches Eleven the secret to harnessing her powers in a deeper way.
Eight: I want you to find something from your life. Something that angers you – Now channel it.
Eleven has no problem coming up with things that anger her, and her increased control over her abilities likely means she can choose to use them in new ways in the future.
The group makes a stop at Oscar’s Gas & Go and decides to justify their five finger discount claiming they’re “only stealing from the war criminal billionaires who own this place.” El makes her own choice to stop the clerk who has pulled a gun on her sister.
She joins her new crew as they seek to execute justice on Ray, a former Hawkins Lab thug. When they find the man, he defends his actions saying:
Ray: I just did what he told me to do. He said she was sick.
Eight: You had a choice, Ray.
There’s what word again. Choice.
El uses her powers to begin choking the life out of him when she notices a picture of Ray and his daughters that had fallen to the floor. El makes the choice to let him live as the gang narrowly escapes the arriving police.
After Eight shares her frustration with Eleven’s choice to show mercy, she reveals the process that led her where she is today. Eight then points out that Eleven (Jane) has the opportunity to make her own choice now.
Eight: So, I decided to play the part. To stop hiding. To use my gifts against those who hurt us. You’re now faced with the same choice, Jane. Go back into hiding and hope they don’t find you. Fight, and face them again.
Faced with the reality that she can choose her direction from here, Eleven is last seen on a bus in deep contemplation. When a woman on the bus asks her about her travels, El reveals the choice she’s made. She’s made her decision.
Eleven: I’m going to my friends. I’m going home.
When God created you and I, He gave us the power to make our own choices. Much like Jane and Kali there are opportunities in front of us where we can choose how to proceed. In the New Testament book of Galatians, the Bible says in 6:7-8:
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
A famous quote often attributed to the Spiderman comics says, “with great power comes great responsibility.”With the power to choose comes the responsibility to accept the consequences of our choices. Following Jesus means we can depend on His infinite wisdom and the leading of the Holy Spirit to make the best choices possible.
When we make choices that go against what God desires for us, we will face consequences. In these verses the Bible is telling us that nobody truly gets away with anything – what we plant will determine what we reap.
Eleven has a choice in how she will utilize her powers. She could commit to a life of crime and likely be successful in it, but there will be consequences. She could stay with her sister and never again return to Hawkins, but that choice would not only make Stranger Things a lot less interesting, but it would create consequences for Mike and his friends back home.
Ray made his choice and the consequences of his willing participation in the Hawkins Lab activities nearly cost him his life. Eight has made a choice to focus on vengeance as she uses her powers to pay back those who have wronged others.
You and I have the God given freedom to make choices, but with those choices come the rules that go with them. According to Galatians if we make choices to please ourselves, things won’t go so great for us. The assumption is of course that you are not aiming for destruction, which I think is a fair one to make.
The great promise here is if we make choices to please our loving Creator, the rewards far outweigh anything we have surrendered along the way. Let’s use our God-given freedom to choose in a way that will reflect our deep faith and trust in a God who is good, who loves us and who promises even greater things to come.
- This episode is by far the lowest rated in the series and created significant backlash from fans. What did you think about it?
- How did you feel about the new look Eleven was given in this episode? Does it work for her or should she go back to her old look?
- Why do you think El showed Ray mercy when she saw the photo?
- Do you believe Dr. Brenner is still alive?
- Why do you think God has given us the freedom to choose?
- What are some ways we mock God with our choices?
- What are some ways people make choices to please their flesh? What are some ways people can make choices to please God?
- How can God’s love be seen through Galatians 6:7-8?
Rob Chagdes is one of the pastors at Prairie Lakes Church in northern Iowa. In the years since he met Jesus as a sixteen year old, Rob has spent his life working to raise up the next generation to love God and invite others into His unending story. He spends most of his free time with his wife Leslie, their three amazing daughters, and their energetic dog Jedi. You can reach Rob at firstname.lastname@example.org