The long-awaited second season of Stranger Things finally hit Netflix on Friday, and with every episode available for streaming it's not surprise that fans have quickly binged it in its entirety. But the seventh entry in the nine-episode season has received some criticism for making a drastic change to the format fans expect.
Now, the series creators Ross and Matt Duffer took to defending the episode, saying they will continue to take risks on Stranger Things.
Warning: Some major spoilers for Stranger Things 2 below.
In the episode, the fan favorite Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) reunites with her "sister" named Kali (Linnea Berthelsen), who also was victim to the same experimentation by the shadowy scientists. It focuses on all new characters, almost as if it's like another pilot episode within the series, without ever cutting back to the action in Hawkins.
"Whether it works for people or not, it allows us to experiment a little bit," said Matt in a conversation with EW. "It’s important for Ross and I to try stuff and not feel like we’re doing the same thing over and over again. It’s almost like doing a whole little other pilot episode in the middle of your season, which is kind of a crazy thing to do. But it was really fun to write and cast and work on."
While some fans might not have enjoyed the episode, Matt explained why it was necessary for the new season.
"Our test of the episode was we tried to pull it out of the show just to make sure that we needed it because I didn’t want it in there as filler — even though some critics are accusing us of doing that," Matt said. "But Eleven’s journey kind of fell apart, like the ending didn’t work, without it. So I was like, whether this works or not, we need this building block in here or the whole show is going to collapse. It’s not going to end well. The Mind Flayer is going to take over Hawkins."
Ross agreed, adding "That Eleven story line overall is sort of the biggest risk we took. We’re going to continue to do risks moving forward to keep us on our toes. I didn’t want her to just magically save the day. Just like Luke Skywalker, she needed to go off on her own and learn something about herself."
Stranger Things 2 is now streaming on Netflix.