Spoilers for Stranger Issues season 4, quantity 2 under.
On the finish of the Stranger Issues season 4 finale, it’s frustratingly unclear simply how useless Max really is. Or isn’t. The final we see of her, she’s within the hospital, severely maimed and comatose after her remaining encounter with Vecna. Nobody is aware of when she’ll come again, if in any respect.
Max has had a troublesome go of it these days. Wavering between guilt, grief and aid over her stepbrother Billy’s demise, in season 4 she turns into a chief goal for Vecna, the massive unhealthy from the Upside Down who preys on youngsters haunted by previous traumas, infiltrating their minds through their distressing ideas earlier than killing them in grotesque trend. Feeling fragile and standoffish (it additionally did not assist that she and Lucas broke up or that her greatest good friend, Eleven, moved throughout the nation), Max was marked by Vecna early on. However with the assistance of the Kate Bush track now caught in your head for, shall we embrace, ceaselessly—“Operating Up That Hill (Cope with God)”—she managed to train the villain from her head.
However that Kate Bush cassette may solely loop for therefore lengthy. Within the season’s remaining two episodes, Max and her buddies in Hawkins devise a plan: In a ploy to kill Vecna, she’ll ditch the headphones and invite him into her thoughts, luring him in together with her darkest ideas. (That manner, her buddies may kill Vecna within the Upside Down whereas he was distracted.) Lucas isn’t an enormous fan of this plan—Vecna isn’t identified for shows of mercy—however, collectively, they resolve it’s the most effective transfer. Whereas inside Vecna’s clutches, Max will get a shock help from Eleven, who enters Max’s thoughts utilizing her psychic powers in a makeshift sensory deprivation tank. Although El is all the best way in Nevada, she’s in a position to face Vecna in one in all Max’s reminiscences, all in hopes of saving each her good friend and the world.
However even the Hawkins crew’s four-phase plan of assault and Eleven’s revived telekinetic blasts aren’t sufficient. Vecna holds off Eleven lengthy sufficient to brutally assault Max in his signature fashion—she levitates, her eyes go white and bleed, and he snaps her limbs. Eleven regains her energy and pushes Vecna off earlier than he can full the job, however the injury is already performed. In the true world, Max collapses in Lucas’s arms (poor child was watching this the entire time whereas fist-fighting a faculty bully), nonetheless acutely aware and begging to not die. “I am not prepared,” she tells Lucas. Neither are we! Regardless of Lucas’s pleas for Max to “stick with me,” she goes nonetheless. The grandfather clock within the Creel home chimes 4 instances, signaling Vecna’s job is completed, and the 4 gates to the Upside Down he’s opened—one for every homicide—cut up open, carving fault traces by way of Hawkins.
Eleven, nonetheless, won’t permit her good friend to die. “No,” she says. “You are not going.” Reaching Max through the sensory deprivation tank (this darkish, watery psychological realm is also called the Void), Eleven places a hand on Max’s chest and recollects their happiest moments collectively. Two days later, Max is within the hospital, in a coma.
So, did Max die?
Technically, she did—if just for a second. In accordance with Lucas, the docs mentioned Max’s coronary heart stopped for over a minute, however then she got here again to life. Eleven doesn’t say that she’s accountable for Max’s survival, however Will and Mike flash one another a understanding look to say they’ve figured it out. However what, precisely, did Eleven do? Did she develop new resurrection powers? Did she jump-start Max’s coronary heart together with her psychic skills? Did channeling Max’s completely satisfied reminiscences by some means deliver her again to life? The theories are certain to be infinite. However one factor is definite: Simply because Max survived, that doesn’t imply she’s protected. It is unclear when she’ll wake from her coma. “They are saying she won’t,” Lucas says. And even when she does wake, there’s no assure she’ll be the identical Max.
Courtesy of Netflix
The place is Max now?
Bodily, she’s in a hospital mattress in a coma, with each her legs and arms in casts. However mentally? Nicely, that’s a unique story. When Eleven hops again into the Void to search for Max on the finish of the finale, she will be able to’t discover her anymore. She screams her identify, however the Void is empty. Does that imply Max has died for actual this time? Or that her thoughts has gone utterly clean?
Bear in mind, Eleven has used the Void to find individuals up to now, each alive (Will) and useless (Barb, RIP). What does it imply if the particular person she’s trying to find is lacking from the Void completely?
These, in fact, are huge inquiries to hopefully be answered in season 5, which shall be Stranger Issues’ final. Along with Max’s destiny, we’re additionally involved about Vecna’s whereabouts—he didn’t die in that remaining standoff when the children set him on fireplace. And, contemplating the closing shot of the finale, the gang will now should cope with an apocalyptic merge between the Upside Down and real-life Hawkins.
Whether or not Max makes it to the subsequent season or not (although we actually, actually hope she does), actress Sadie Sink is content material with Max’s season 4 journey. She instructed ELLE.com again in December, “I’m actually proud of the place Max’s storyline went for season 4. I believe you see a unique aspect of her that I’m actually excited to share with everybody.”
Erica Gonzales is the Senior Tradition Editor at ELLE.com, the place she oversees protection on TV, films, music, books, and extra.
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