Max’s Horrifying Stranger Things 4 Ending Was The Right Choice

Max’s terrifying twist ending in Stranger Things season 4 may seem to repeat a tired series trend, but it actually serves an important purpose.

WARNING! This article contains SPOILERS for StrangerThings season 4, vol. 2!

StrangerThings‘season 4 volume 2 finale ended with Max briefly dying before being resurrected into a comatose state, but the decision to not kill her was the best choice for the series’ final chapter. Max Mayfield spent StrangerThings season 4 battling grief, trauma, and Vecna’s curse, with her loved ones, happiest memories, and Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” being her weapons against the villain. In a final ploy to kill Vecna ​​and save Hawkins from the Upside Down’s takeover, Max used herself as bait, where she briefly died in Lucas’ arms before Eleven exhibited a new power to resurrect her best friend.


At the end of stranger things’ season 4 finale, Max’s happiest memories weren’t enough to save her from Vecna’s plan to use her death to open the fourth and final gate between Hawkins and the Upside Down. In the final moments of StrangerThings season 4, Max was seen in Hawkins’ hospital in a comatose state, with the Duffer brothers confirming that Max is blind and braindead heading into StrangerThings season 5. Eleven attempted to search for Max’s consciousness in the void but found nothing but darkness, with no responses from Sadie Sink’s character.

Related: Explaining Vecna’s Entire Plan & Its Massive Impact On Stranger Things

Max’s resurrection in stranger things’ season 4, volume 2 finale is another example of the show’ notable death fakeouts, thus seemingly contributing to the notion that the main characters have enough plot armor to avoid death (at least permanently). However, Max’s resurrection is a unique case for the series’ characters evading death, as her tragic fate wouldn’t have been enough to prove the characters aren’t invincible. Max’s terrifying StrangerThings season 4 ending also involved an incredible moment for the true extent of Eleven’s powers, gave hope amidst the installation’s bleak cliffhanger, and set up a more horrifying path for Vecna’s continued control in season 5 – proving her fate was the right choice for the series.

Stranger Things 4’s Max Death Fakeout Explained

Max in Stranger Things Season 4 Finale

When Vecna ​​put Max in another trance in stranger things’ season 4 finale, Eleven decided to help her by “piggy backing“on Max’s happy memories, where Eleven and Vecna ​​would have an epic”mind fight.” as Argyle calls it. Vecna ​​eventually overpowers Eleven and ties her up in his own mindscape while he takes Max’s life, with StrangerThings season 4 showing Vecna ​​breaking the arms and legs of Max’s physical body while attempting to take her eyes. Eleven has an impressive moment of power in which she helps to kill Vecna ​​just before he can completely kill Max, with the villain’s physical body also being burned by Robin, Steve, and Nancy in the Upside Down. Max then falls into Lucas’ arms as she clings to life, with the frightened young character explaining she can’t see or feel anything. Moments later, Max Mayfield dies, whereafter Caleb McLaughlin delivers one of the most gut-wrenching performances of stranger things’ entire series as he screams in anguish.

As Lucas held Max’s physical body in the Upside Down, Eleven watched him cradle her through the void and decided she would not let her best friend die. Using a brand new power, Eleven touched Max and ended up resurrecting her, with StrangerThings season 4’s two-day time jump revealing that Max’s heart had stopped for an entire minute before miraculously beginning to beat again. Max is still blind and brain dead, but StrangerThings season 4’s twist ending introduced a horrifying death fakeout like no other in the series.

Where Max Is In Stranger Things’ Season 4 Finale

Sadie Sink in Stranger Things

While her physical body is in Hawkins’ hospital, Max’s mind and memories are elsewhere, as Eleven was unable to find her in the void. stranger things’ Season 4 ending gives no clear explanation as to where Max’s mind has gone, but some theories suggest the character is alive within Vecna. The villain lost his physical body in stranger things’ season 4 finale, but Will Byers revealed that he’s still alive and won’t stop until he’s taken everything and everyone. Wherever Vecna ​​is, Max’s mind is presumably with him, as the villain takes everything that his victim is and will be when choosing a target. This suggests that StrangerThings season 5 will see Eleven attempting to bring Max’s consciousness back to her physical body since leaving the character comatose on a hospital bed for the final chapter is highly unlikely.

Related: Why Will Is Connected To Vecna ​​(It Could Be Key To Season 5)

Max’s Survival Finally Gives Hope To The Characters

Eleven Brings Max Back To Life

stranger things’ season 4 ending is the bleakest finale the series has seen so far, with this also marking the first time Hawkins has lost his battle against the Upside Down. Eddie died in a heroic sacrifice for a town that hates him, Vecna ​​is still alive (without a physical body), and the Upside Down has officially taken over Hawkins. The ending left no hope for the characters moving forward – except for Max’s survival. stranger things’ characters now expect to lose the majority of their fellow Hawkins residents, friends, and family, with Vecna ​​even showing Nancy a chilling moment from the future. Hawkins needed a moment of hope amidst such chaos, with Max’s miraculous resurrection at least giving them some optimism.

Max’s survival also enhances hope in Eleven’s powers as the battle with Vecna ​​and the Upside Down reaches its highest stakes in stranger things’ season 5 ending. After Eleven seemingly defeated Vecna ​​in his red smoke mindscape area, she was able to use her abilities to bring Max back to life, proving her powers have not only returned but have also grown in strength after the Nina Project. With Eleven still exhibiting new abilities, Hawkins’ prospects to destroy Vecna ​​and the Upside Down for good are greater. Max also may still be alive, but Eleven and the Hawkins characters will still need to work to bring her mind back in StrangerThings season 5, thus giving them further motivation to extinguish Vecna’s plan.

What Max’s Resurrection Means For Stranger Things 5

Max and Vecna ​​in Stranger Things season 4 finale

Max being brought back to life wasn’t simply to save a major character from death but also to serve a supernatural purpose for the events of StrangerThings season 5. With Vecna ​​still alive in StrangerThings season 5, he clearly isn’t done with the blind and brain-dead Max. The villain could have taken her consciousness to wherever his own mind escaped, perhaps preparing to use Max’s body as a host in StrangerThings season 5. It’s highly unlikely that stranger things’ season 4 ending would bring Max back to life simply to have her lay in a hospital for all of season 5, so it can be presumed that the characters will find a way to bring her own mind back to her body. ace StrangerThings Season 5 presents the final fight between Hawkins and the Upside Down, Max and Will seem to be the two characters that could be controlled by Vecna ​​to finish his villainous plan.

Next: Who Plays Young Max In Stranger Things

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