Will Stranger Things Season 3 Bring Kali Back? Here's What The Creator Says

stranger things kali eleven netflix

One of the most highly-anticipated television events of 2017 was the Season 2 premiere of Stranger Things on Netflix. Fans had been waiting for more than a year for new episodes, and expectations were high. The consensus among fans seems to be that Season 2 was a solid follow-up to Season 1, but there's one storyline that was quite polarizing. Eleven took a field trip to Chicago in the seventh episode of Season 2 in search of a young woman by the name of Kali, a.k.a. Eight. Fortunately for the folks back in Hawkins, Eleven quickly decided to return to her friends, although there wasn't much closure on the Kali plot. Stranger Things co-creator Matt Duffer had this to say about Kali possibly returning in Season 3:

It feels weird to me that we wouldn't solve [her] storyline. I would say chances are very high she comes back.

Few details have yet been released about what's to come in Season 3 -- although we do know of one Stranger Things star who has been cut off from spoilers lest he leak them -- but Matt Duffer seems to indicate that we can count on seeing Kali back in the mix at some point in the future. A big question is whether she would turn up in another standalone episode or if she would be incorporated into the main action of the season. Given how polarizing the seventh episode has been, the Duffer brothers may not feel inclined to try and pull the same maneuver of inserting a standalone again, which could mean Kali paying a visit to Hawkins.

There was still some unfinished business between Eleven and Kali in Season 2, and Kali knows where Eleven lives. If she wants El's help again, she could conceivably pay a visit to Hawkins to ask/demand that Eleven lends a hand. While Kali claimed to have El's best interests at heart, she also forced the poor traumatized kid to seemingly face Dr. Brenner again, and El was pushed toward a dark path. They didn't have the healthiest relationship. Still, Eleven would probably help if asked. Alternately, Eleven could call upon Kali. Kali's powers could be a big help in facing whatever terrors strike Hawkins in Season 3. Who knows? Maybe they'll just run into each other if they start exploring their pasts -- and perhaps the other kids with numbers on their arms -- once more.

Interestingly, Matt Duffer also revealed at Vulture Fest LA (via THR) that the original vision for Kali was quite different:

Initially we were actually looking for a guy, that Eleven would have a brother. We were looking for 30 year old men. . . . [Nobody] was that interesting to us and we said, 'Let's open this up, let's open it up to women.'

Apparently the character who came to be Kali was once intended to be played by a guy. If the Duffer brothers had managed to find a male actor they liked to play Eleven's brother, we never would have seen actress Linnea Berthelsen tackle the role. All things considered, it was probably for the best that they couldn't find a guy. Berthelsen was compelling as Kali in an episode that was bound to be picked apart by fans, and a return in Season 3 could be quite interesting. Besides, Kali was pretty much the third woman Eleven ever encountered who wasn't part of the nefarious Hawkins Lab crew. Kali was as different from Joyce and Nancy as can be, and their dynamic broadened Eleven's experiences,

We'll have to wait and see how and when Kali returns to Stranger Things. At this point, not even a tentative release date for Season 3 has been released, so we may not know for a while when the show will be back for Season 3. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for the latest in TV news, and be sure to swing by our list of all the TV shows cancelled in 2017.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).