The Awesome Thing You Don't Know About Eleven's "Sister" on Stranger Things
Now that we've all had a chance to watch the HELL out of Stranger Things on its premiere weekend, it's time to dish. Perhaps one of the most compelling aspects of the show's new episodes is the introduction of Eleven's "sister" (played by Linnea Berthelsen). She's Hawkins Lab experiment #008, and she calls herself Kali. We meet the new character during a high-octane chase scene in the first scene of the first episode, and everything changes from there. We suddenly realize that the other children Dr. Brenner experimented on may still be alive. But there are more intriguing aspects of Kali than just the fact that she exists. For instance, her name has a greater significance than you think.
Kali displays an entirely different set of abilities from Eleven. Instead of having telekinetic powers that allow her to move things with her mind, she's an illusionist. She can trick the mind into seeing things that are not there. In the season's cold open, she makes a cop believe the mouth of a tunnel has collapsed. When Eleven encounters her later, she's able to produce a butterfly out of thin air and make her friend believe he's covered in spiders.
We later find out that Kali's mission is to track down those who are currently (or were formerly) involved with the Hawkins Lab experiments. Basically, Kali finds them and kills them. Here's where some pretty cool trivia comes into play: she's actually named after a goddess of the same name. In Hinduism, Kali is the goddess of time, doomsday, and death. She's also referred to as an "eradicator of evils." This plays so well into the role of Kali on Stranger Things. Here we have a character seeking justice for herself and the other children who suffered similar fates. She wants to take these evil men out of the world, and she literally bestows death on them.
But wait, there's more! In 1984 — which is when season two of Stranger Things takes place, by the way — Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom hit theaters. In the film, Dr. Jones tracks the Thuggee Cult, which is an underground group of individuals in India who worship, you guessed it, the Hindu goddess Kali. We expected a ton of '80s references in the show's second season, but damn, this one goes deep.