Any good sequel adds a handful of new characters into the mix to shake up the dynamics. One of the new characters in the new season of Stranger Things may not find herself biking around town with the rest of the gang, but is intriguing all the same. Is Kali important in Stranger Things 2? This "magnetic" character could be a big part of the overall mystery in Hawkins.
Played by actor Linnea Berthelsen, Netflix first announced that this character's name would be Roman, which seems to reference a system for numbering that could indicate that she is connected to a certain Eggo-loving telepath. Her official character description told us that Roman is “an emotionally damaged, magnetic young woman who suffered a great loss as a child. Although she does not live in Hawkins, she is mysteriously connected to the supernatural events at the lab.”
The initial casting call for Roman in Stranger Things Season 2, according to TVLine, also reveals that the thirtysomething, whose gender was not specified at the time, "has been seeking revenge ever since" that afore-mentioned loss. How very intriguing.
Spoilers for Episode 1 of Stranger Things. When fans first meet Berthelsen's character, one of her punk friends calls her Kali. So did the creators decide to change her name during production, or was Roman meant to be a hint?
Kali is an early experiment, like Eleven. In her first scene, she reveals a numeral "8" her arm. Of course, the name "Eleven" has always implied that there were 10 others before her. On the show Dollhouse, human experiments called "actives" at one facility were named after the NATO phonetic alphabet, whereas another location named their actives after various Greek gods. So logic says that Kali, or Eight, must have been a guinea pig before Eleven. That alone says that she's going to be a pretty pivotal character this season.
Loss is a theme in Stranger Things that will like be revisited in the new season; especially the loss of a family member. Sure, Barb's mother was not too concerned when her daughter went missing, but Hopper had been carrying his own loss with him for a while. The death of his daughter Sara connected him to Joyce's plight and Eleven's appearance in an emotional sense. Perhaps he will be the one to help Kali seek revenge in Season 2.
In fact, Chief Hopper's investigation into another grieving parent in Stranger Things Season 1 got a little sidetracked when the monsters started attacking, but he was on to something interesting. Remember Terry Ives, the woman who Hopper and Joyce tracked down? She participated in "Project MKUltra" with Dr. Brenner, and believed her supernatural daughter was taken from her. Presumably there are others who participated with Terry and have similarly mysterious and/or tragic stories.
Terry Ives' child is almost definitely Eleven, or at the very least another test subject who came before. Terry, unfortunately and suspiciously, became comatose after trying to prove that her daughter had been kidnapped by mad scientists to fight Communists, and lives with her sister/caretaker Becky.
Kali may be slightly too young to be another participant who lost a child, but maybe she lost a parent. Either way, it definitely seems like Eight is more connected to the science part of this spooky story than the realm of monsters.
All of that said, Kali's true importance will unfold as Stranger Things 2 unfolds and the new adventures really get going. She's almost certainly someone to root for, and it's cool to see someone join the show who has an agenda right off the bat. Almost all of the characters in Stranger Things the first time around were sucked into the drama against their will — literally, for some of them. When Kali appears, she's ready to fight, and that's exactly the kind of ally that Hawkins needs.