Eleven goes on a journey of self-discovery in the fifth episode of the season that includes a few revelations about her backstory and, eventually, a brief flirtation with life as a law-breaking punk. (Sheriff’s Hopper’s reaction to that is something to behold.)
Meanwhile, back in Hawkins, the boys are dealing with a lot. A dark force gets its grip on one of the members of the gang and a new female friend named Max (Sadie Sink) that causes a bit of tension among the group.
Mike does make a few attempts to reach Eleven in unconventional ways. Largely, however, the diverging storylines leave little room for intersection on screen.
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Behind the scenes, though, the cast found ways to spent time together, thanks to math.
“We all do school together so we all got to see [Brown] just as much,” Gates Matarazzo, who plays Dustin, told CNN at a “Stranger Things” premiere event on Thursday.
Brown concurred, saying she saw her cast mates “every single day.”
“We did pre-algebra all together, so I think it was fine,” she said. “I love working with them.”
On screen, Matarazzo admitted Eleven’s absence gave the show some time to highlight Mike’s bond with his friends.
“Filming, [Eleven’s absence] changed it a lot, especially for Finn because he had such a close connection with Eleven and that was where most of his interaction and emotion came from [in Season 1],” he said. “So it was a really cool twist to see him…interacting with us, with the boys a little bit more.”
“Stranger Things” Season 2 is streaming now on Netflix.
CNN’s Topher Guak-Roger and Jessica Iavazzi to this report.