Millie Bobby Brown still stuns as Eleven in 'Stranger Things 2'

Welcome to our weekly series “Cry of the Week,” in which we highlight whatever moment made us ugly cry on our couches the most in the past seven days. 

The following contains spoilers for episode 1 of Stranger Things 2.

Stranger Things 2 released today, and around the world the bingeing has begun. Whether you’re on episode 1 or 9, the show’s brilliant young actors prove their mettle once again – none more so than Millie Bobby Brown in her second turn as Eleven.

Even in Season 1, among an outstanding cast, Brown was a phenomenon. She brought immense depth and intensity to Eleven, often without speaking. She’s excellent when she’s hyper-focused and flipping over SUVs on the street; but she’s even better when quietly weeping with internal pain.

That’s the Eleven we get in Stranger Things 2, an opportunity Brown seizes and uses magnificently. When we catch up with Elle, she’s living in a cabin in the woods with Hopper. They eat microwave meals and Eggos and she’s learned more words and basic kid manners. If Stranger Things 2 were nine hours of these two having adventures and living off the grid…you know what, let’s call that a pitch for Season 3. Within a few episodes Eleven starts to feel repressed and angry. More than anything, she’s lonely, and it’s as heartbreaking as ever to watch that poor girl cry. 

What makes this especially unbearable is that Mike and Eleven haven’t reunited. He doesn’t know if she’s even alive, let alone that she’s nearby; she’s forbidden from making her existence known, and still blames herself for the events of Season 1 (remember, she thinks “I’m the monster”). 

In Season 2, they keep missing each other – in the moments when they’re so-close-yet-so-far, you can’t help shipping these eighth graders as star-crossed soulmates and feeling for their constant heartache.

At 13, Brown has an illustrious career ahead of her. She’s a force of nature (and I don’t mean telekinesis), and watching her set an impressively high bar on this show is nothing short of a privilege. Season 2 has less Eleven (perhaps in favor of the also-inimitable Noah Schnapp as Will), but Brown commands every moment of her screen time – she’s the focus of two episodes that would have failed in the hands of a lesser actress. Eleven’s story is heartbreaking, but we couldn’t be more invested – that’s why it makes us cry so damn much.

Stranger Things 2 is now streaming on Netflix.

WATCH: Here’s a side-by-side comparison of our homemade ‘Stranger Things’ Demogorgon scene

Https%3a%2f%2fblueprint api production.s3.amazonaws.com%2fuploads%2fvideo uploaders%2fdistribution thumb%2fimage%2f82145%2f1fca6c38 ee94 4390 b79d 158888959ea7

{“player”:{“description”:”It’s time for Eleven to unleash her powers.”,”image”:”https://i.amz.mshcdn.com/9XxB5TfpN1g6lVmvdSdgNeMcySg=/https%3A%2F%2Fblueprint-api-production.s3.amazonaws.com%2Fuploads%2Fvideo_uploaders%2Fdistribution_thumb%2Fimage%2F82145%2F1fca6c38-ee94-4390-b79d-158888959ea7.jpg”,”mediaid”:”BblykWz0VY”,”preload”:false,”title”:”Here’s a side-by-side comparison of our homemade ‘Stranger Things’ Demogorgon scene”,”sources”:[{“file”:”https://vdist.aws.mashable.com/cms/2017/10/ba69e034-ba0d-dae1/hls.m3u8″},{“file”:”https://vdist.aws.mashable.com/cms/2017/10/ba69e034-ba0d-dae1/dash.mpd”},{“file”:”https://vdist.aws.mashable.com/cms/2017/10/ba69e034-ba0d-dae1/mp4/1080.mp4″},{“file”:”https://vdist.aws.mashable.com/cms/2017/10/ba69e034-ba0d-dae1/mp4/720.mp4″},{“file”:”https://vdist.aws.mashable.com/cms/2017/10/ba69e034-ba0d-dae1/mp4/480.mp4″}]},”options”:{“disableAds”:false,”disableSharing”:false,”nextupAction”:”autoplay”,”embedUrl”:”http://mashable.com/videos/blueprint:BblykWz0VY/embed/?player=offsite”,”standaloneUrl”:null,”post”:{“url”:”http://mashable.com/2017/10/11/homemade-movies-stranger-things-side-by-side-comparison/”,”date”:”2017-10-11T18:49:48.077Z”,”bp_id”:59371,”wp_id”:null}},”advertising”:{“params”:{“keywords”:”entertainment,diy,strange,scary,monster,stranger things,cinefix,homemade movies,millie bobby brown,remake,caleb mclaughlin,finn wolfhard,eleven,creepy,gaten matarazzo,shot for shot,bside by side,gender swapped roles,demogorgon,homemade style,dustin henderson,lucas sinclair,mike wheeler,sci-fi thriller,sci-fi mystery”,”sec0″:null,”sec1″:””,”prc”:””}},”analytics”:{“labels”:”entertainment,diy,strange,scary,monster,stranger things,cinefix,homemade movies,millie bobby brown,remake,caleb mclaughlin,finn wolfhard,eleven,creepy,gaten matarazzo,shot for shot,bside by side,gender swapped roles,demogorgon,homemade style,dustin henderson,lucas sinclair,mike wheeler,sci-fi thriller,sci-fi mystery”,”videoSeriesName”:null}}