What Is Kali's Power On 'Stranger Things'? Eleven Isn't The Only One With Special Skills
Warning: spoilers for Episode 7 ahead! Stranger Things Season 2 began by introducing a new and intriguing character: Kali, another escapee of Hawkins Laboratories who was tattooed with the number "008." She has abilities too, which she used to help herself and her friends evade the cops in the premiere. However, it would be six more episodes before the show revealed the extent of her skills. So what is Kali's power on Stranger Things? She summed it up succinctly for Eleven when they sat down to talk after their first meeting, informing her newfound sister, "I can make people see, or not see, whatever I choose."
Though she can't actually manipulate the fabric of reality, Kali's power is incredibly useful. When she needed to escape the police, she made them see an exploding diversion or hid herself from sight by making them believe she wasn't there at all. To taunt a friend terrified of spiders, Kali made him believe he was covered in them. To impress Eleven, Kali whipped up an imaginary butterfly. Her powers, she explained, do not have to be scary. But despite those assertions, Kali tends to use her abilities for some pretty scary purposes, even if in her mind it is all for the greater good. Kali is on a revenge mission and special powers come in pretty hand for that.
Kali and her friends consider themselves outcasts who have been thrown aside by society, but it's not something they plan to take laying down. Describing themselves as fighters, they're on an ongoing revenge mission to kill all the people who had hurt them in the past. For Kali, that means tracking down many of the scientists who had been complicit in her childhood abuse. By killing them, she finally feels like she has an outlet for all of her rage and unhappiness.
Kali's powers are different than Eleven's, and her upbringing appeared to be different as well. Though Dr. Brenner also referred to himself as Kali's father, the show implied that she was older than Eleven when she was kidnapped by the scientists in Hawkins. Eleven was taken from her mother immediately after her birth and raised in the lab from infancy, but Kali's situation wasn't the same. Eleven found Kali in the first place by tracing her using an old newspaper clipping about her disappearance. In the picture included with the article, Kali appeared to be around the same age she was in the flashbacks to the lab.
That meant that Kali was likely taken when she was a little bit older, which would make sense because she had also retained some of her original British accent. The scientists appeared to be taking children from a wide range of locations; Eleven was right from Hawkins, but Kali was from London. What made her a target? Were her parents involved in the experiments, like Eleven's mother? Is the shadowy government agency responsible for all of this operating out of numerous cities all over the world? Kali and Eleven are just two of at least eleven children who had been experimented on, so where are the other ones? And are their powers as unique as both Kali's and Eleven's are? Episode 7 answered a lot of questions about Kali, but left just as many without a resolution.
Kali's power could be used for a variety of purposes, from manipulation to distraction to delight. Like Eleven, the abilities provide her with protection even though they are also a result of the experiments she had endured as a young girl. And like Eleven, she has also utilized her powers to escape the labs. Using their powers was a way for both girls to find strength in the horrifying things that had been done to them, but it can never fully erase that pain, either.
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