No one could've predicted that Season 2 would start with a group of punks on the run in Pittsburgh. But Kali, otherwise known as Eight, on Stranger Things shows right away that she must be tied to the story we know. While the intro seems to be wildly out of place with the story of odd happenings in Hawkins, IN, it's soon revealed why these new characters are important. One of them, who her friends call Kali, has the number 8 tattooed on their wrist — exactly where Eleven has her number. But unlike Eleven, Eight (played by Linnea Berthelsen) seems to have a different set of psychic powers. How do Eight's powers work, and how might they play a role in Stranger Things Season 2? Spoilers ahead!
While on the run from the police, the mysterious purple-haired girl seems to make a tunnel crumble behind them to fend off the police. For a moment it seems that Eight is a stronger version of Eleven, who has harnessed and exercised her ability to makes things move with her mind. However, as a cop pulls to the side to avoid the falling rubble, another policeman starts yelling at him for stopping. The camera shows the audience that the crumbling tunnel was all in the head of the cop in the driver's seat, and shows that Eight's power is that she can make people imagine whatever she wants them to.
While the experiments that Eleven was subjected to seemed to relate to moving physical objects with one's own mind, Eight appears to be skilled in affecting the minds of others. Eleven is still learning how to use her own powers, but Kali has had plenty of practice and manages to create the illusion of a massive cave-in without even looking at her target. At the end of her season-opening scene, however, a question still lingers. What does the existence of Eight mean for Eleven, and is she a friend or a foe?
While Eight isn't seen again for a few episodes after her introduction, the show dedicates an entire episode to the reunion of Eight and Eleven, who were both taken from their homes and subjected to experiments while living in "The Rainbow Room." Eight and Eleven aren't family by birth, but they are sisters of circumstance. Like any good older sister, Eight dedicates time to helping Eleven hone her skills. Eight has different skills than Eleven, but it seems that the training that works for one psychic prisoner works for others.
While training, Eight also gives Eleven a rundown of how her powers work. As shown in the season opening, Eight can do more than just make people see things — she can make people feel and hear things that aren't there as well. She gets her mohawk'd associate to stop threatening Eleven by making him imagine that his hand is covered in spiders, and even forces Eleven to re-confront Dr. Brenner. In addition to that, she can also make things appear invisible, as shown when police raid Eight's hideout and makes it so that the police don't see anyone in the building. Effectively, Eight has the power to shape someone's entire reality, creating illusions for better or worse.
Eight's power, and even her existence, beg some monumental questions. Could Eight cause someone to live their entire life inside of a horrifying illusion? Are there others in addition to Eight and Eleven? If Eleven can move things around and Eight can create illusions, what can One through Seven do? What happened to Nine and Ten? (Is Six Afraid of Seven because Seven Eight Nine?)
Eleven leaves Eight to return to Hawkins and save her friends, but it's likely that this isn't the last we've seen of Eleven's cerebral sister.