Even though the trailers for Stranger Things Season 2 revealed that Eleven would definitely be back, it was still surprising to see her hanging out at Jim Hopper's remote cabin in the woods. And with hair, no less. So why is Eleven living with Hopper on Stranger Things? It's been a long year for El. Warning: Episode 2 spoilers ahead!
After she destroyed the Demogorgon, Eleven was immediately transported to the Upside Down, where she sadly called out for Mike, but couldn't find him. Instead, she found a kind of portal that took her back to the real world and through it she could see soldiers roaming the school. However, once they passed, she was able to use her abilities to break up the hole and get out of the Upside Down and back into the real world.
Unfortunately, when she went to Mike's house, it was swarming with government officials who claimed Eleven was some kind of Russian spy and they needed to find her. But Mike truly didn't know where she was, and more importantly, even if he did he wouldn't have told them anything. Eleven watched this all unfold and he seemed to see her through the window, though he didn't say anything to get her location away.
The officials seemed to pick up that she could be nearby, but El was able to escape safely into the woods. However, it was cold and she had no food so she had to use her abilities to survive. She killed a squirrel, which she then roasted to eat until a man found her. Although the man may have had good intentions, El didn't stick around to find out. Instead, she threw the squirrel at him and took his coat and hat to stay warm.
Despite having a coat and hat, it was still cold and she still needed food. It's hard to know how long she was out there, but one day she found the box with food that we saw Hopper leaving in the woods for her. El then took the food, but ran away with it. It's unclear what exactly happened next, but obviously either Eleven decided to reveal herself to Hopper, or one of the times he left food in the woods for her, he actually caught her taking it. Either way, he ended up taking her in, but it's definitely not the ideal living conditions for El either.
Though she's now safe and warm in a house, she's also trapped there. Hopper rightly worries that if the government were to find her they would take her away and do who knows what to her. Still, that doesn't stop El from wanting to leave the house and go trick-or-treating. More importantly, it doesn't stop her from missing Mike. In probably the most heartbreaking scene so far this season, we saw Mike once again try to reach out to El on his walkie talkie.
This time though, El used her abilities to not only listen but to see him as well. She walked up to him and said, "Mike," which he seemed to hear because he said, "Eleven?" But then he dismissed it, and threw his walkie talkie aside, just as Eleven was reaching out to touch his face. Mike then got up and walked away, unknowingly leaving El behind. She was then pulled back to her present location in Hopper's house where we saw her crying and blood dripping from her nose, the tell-tale sign that she used her abilities.
As much as I love Hopper, I hate seeing El this way and I'm hopping she breaks out of there soon and we finally get the El and Mike reunion we so deserve.
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