‘Stranger Things’: Will Eleven’s Powers Come Back in Season 4?

If you haven’t watched the last episode of Stranger Things 3 yet, you’ll want to read this piece later. There was a lot to digest in the final 77 minutes of the show, and while many were (and still are) caught up in the heartbreak of losing Hopper, there were a couple of other “OH NOOOO!” moments.

One of them was the realization that Eleven’s powers conked out. Our superpowered friend struggled during “The Battle of Starcourt,” and felt defeated when her strength fizzled out. But could all powers really be lost for El?

‘Stanger Things’ Season 3 | Millie Bobby Brown Instagram

Why they’re probably dormant and not done

So, here’s a theory. For the purpose of storytelling and dramatic effect—two things fans love about the series—this was bound to happen, and it was bound to happen at a critical time. The kids were fighting for their lives and had to finish the fight without the assistance of El’s supernatural abilities. Luckily (with the exception of tortured Billy), they made it out alive.

But Millie Bobby Brown hinted that she wanted this to happen in season three. Last year, Variety reported that Brown spoke during a Q&A session about her character:

“I think Eleven should sacrifice herself in some way. That’s how I kind of want that situation to go. I want to have her really sacrifice her powers. If Eleven loses her powers, is she as powerful just as a character? I think that would be very cool. I want to build her to be a strong person without her powers…But right now it’s very about her powers and I think taking that away slowly could be cool.”

As you know, that is exactly what happened. A tiny bit of juice tried to kick in when El attempted to grab the stuffed animal, but no dice. But Mike didn’t seem too concerned about it, telling El not to worry as he’s sure her powers will come back. I believe him. It’s a given that season four will explore El learning to live without them and El learning to regain them.

How they can come back

There are some things that we fans need to remember, even though one of them is something that a number of fans prefer to forget. Remember Kali in season two? That tangent into El’s history with MKUltra and Kali’s gang was necessary. Like the goddess Kali, she helped Eleven tap deep into herself, her subconscious, her trauma, and her emotions to strengthen herself. Will fans see Kali’s return in some form? Will the rest of the numbers in the experiment make an appearance? If so, they can probably help El charge up her powers.  

Fans should also be reminded that Eleven has a mama. El is Jane Ives, daughter of Terry Ives, who was also one of Dr. Brenner’s experiments. When she found her catatonic, damaged mom back in season two, she was able to plug into her memories telepathically. Although their parting was sad, maybe there is a chance the two will reconnect in season four. Terry Ives could hold a key to how El’s powers come back online.

We’d be remiss if we did not mention the current theory floating around that Dr. Brenner could be “the American” the Russians were referring to in the closing credits scene. Inverse writes that fans shouldn’t get too hopeful that it’s Hopper who’s imprisoned because it could very well be the mad scientist. If that is indeed the case and he somehow survived season two, Brenner meeting up with El or one of the other numbers could prove to be dangerously useful. Let the speculation begin.