'Stranger Things 3' May Have Revealed a Terrifying New Mind Flayer Ability

Does this explain how Eleven lost her powers?

Stranger Things has some explaining to do. Eleven’s Season 3 journey focused on defeating the Mind Flayer once and for all, which meant relying heavily on her powers. Then in the pivotal Season 3 finale, El seemingly lost her upper-hand against the Mind Flayer: those psychic powers.

A lot happened in that last episode, and it’s possible you missed a key detail. Does Eleven losing her powers also reveal a new Mind Flayer ability? And what does that mean for Stranger Things Season 4?

Warning: Spoilers for Stranger Things 3 ahead.

In Stranger Things Season 3, the Mind Flayer manages to implant a baby demodog inside Eleven’s leg after biting her at Hopper’s cabin. This is after they share a psychic connect through Billy, allowing the Mind Flayer to speak directly to El and reveal its obsession with her and her powers. So when Eleven loses her powers soon afterwards, it seems pretty likely that the Mind Flayer had something to do with it.

Millie Bobby Brown, Sadie Sink, Finn Wolfhard, Noah Schnapp, and Caleb McLaughlin in Netflix's Stranger Things
Eleven uses her powers to locate Hopper and Joyce.

Unable to properly dress the bite so it could heal, Eleven collapsed shortly before the Battle at Starcourt Mall. She discovered the creature and used her powers to rip it out of her body. Again, a crucial explanation seems to have been left on the cutting room floor because before you know it, Eleven discovers she no longer has her powers. This is proven when she grabs a Coke can out of the trash and tries to crush it, just like we saw her do back in Season 1 when she was a test subject at Hawkins Laboratory.

Stranger Things manages to create one of the biggest, wildest plotholes in Season 3. We’ve never seen a tiny Upside Down creature attach to a person before now, so we had no idea what it meant when it attached to Eleven. One possibility is that the Mind Flayer and/or all creatures in the Upside Down have a parasitic ability we’ve never seen in past seasons.

If this is the case, a parasite attaching to Eleven and draining her of her telekinetic and telepathic powers would explain how it happened so quickly and without warning. The big downside: Eleven killed the creature and may have just destroyed her powers in the process. A powerless Eleven is an unusual concept at this point in the show and it could seriously affect her in Season 4.

Dacre Montgomery and Mind-Flayer in Netflix's Stranger Things
The Mind-Flayer stares down its prey, Billy, in the Starcourt Mall food court

Just because we’ve seen the Mind-Flayer at work in Seasons 2 and 3, it doesn’t mean Stranger Things has revealed everything about the show’s big bad. So, wrapping your head around the whole “Upside Down creatures are power-stealing parasites too?!” might feel weird, but it could be a well-timed reveal of things to come. Season 4 could easily be the final season of Stranger Things, making this twist all the more heart-stopping.

The Demogorgon will most certainly be back in Season 4. Stranger Things couldn’t wait whip out this big Upside Down reveal to all of the characters with the return of the Demogorgon. I mean, not only are these creatures ferocious, goo-filled, teething nightmares but they also have parasites at their disposal to attach to you and ruin your day? Yeah, that’ll be really fun and totally chill to watch and no, I won’t be scared all my favorites are going to die in Season 4.

Millie Bobby Brown and Sadie Sink in Stranger Things
Eleven and Max looks a little nervous.

Seeing the Upside Down creatures really go to town with their new ability is nerve-wracking since the humans — including the now-powerless Eleven — don’t have any allies with superpowers ready to take on these creatures. Then again, Eleven could call up her sister, Kali, and see if she’s free to fight.


Stranger Things Season 3 is streaming now on Netflix.

Media via Netflix, Netflix/YouTube