AVClub: As “Chapter Six: The Monster” draws to a close (only two chapters left in this season, viewers!), El confesses to Mike through her tears. “The gate—I opened it. I’m the monster.” But Mike knows better, and so do we.
El’s powers opened a portal between universes for a creature to slither through, but she’s not the monster. Even that creature, horrifying as it is, isn’t the worst monster of Stranger Things. The monster didn’t have to cross over from some darker dimension. The monster was here all along.