What happened to Max in The Stranger Things Season 4 finale?06.07.2022
It’s not clear how Max is at the end of Stranger Things season 4. She’s now in hospital, paralysed and in a coma after Vecna’s last encounter. Nobody knows when she will return, if ever.
Max has been having a difficult time lately. In season 4, Max is caught between grief, guilt, and relief after her stepbrother Billy’s passing. Vecna, the Upside Down’s big bad, targets her. She preys upon children with past traumas and infiltrates their minds through their distressing thoughts, before executing a gruesome death. Max felt fragile and aloof, even though she and Lucas split up and her best friend Eleven moved across the country. Vecna marked Max early on. With the help of “Running Up That Hill” (Deal with God ), she was able to get rid of the evil in her head.
The Kate Bush cassette could only play for so many minutes. Max and her Hawkins friends devise a plan to kill Vecna. She’ll take off her headphones and invite Vecna into her mind. Then, she will lure him in with her darkest thoughts. This way her friends could murder Vecna in The Upside Down while Vecna was distracted. This plan isn’t popular with Lucas because Vecna doesn’t like to show mercy. But, the group decides it’s the best. Max is trapped in Vecna’s clutches and Eleven surprises him by entering Max’s mind with her psychic abilities. Even though El is far away in Nevada, El manages to confront Vecna using one of Max’s memories. All in the hope of saving her friend and the entire world.
Even the Hawkins crew’s four phase plan of attack and Eleven’s revived telekinetic bombs are not enough. Vecna manages to hold off Eleven for long enough to brutally assault Max in his trademark style. She levitates, she bleeds and he snaps all her limbs. Although Eleven recovers her strength, she pushes Vecna away before he can finish the job. Max falls in Lucas’s arms, still conscious and begging to live. She tells Lucas, “I’m still not ready.” We are neither! She continues to hold her ground despite Lucas’s pleas that Max “stay with me”. The Creel house’s grandfather clock chimes four times to signal Vecna has finished his job. He’s now opened the four gates of the Upside Down, one for each murder, and they are open again, creating fault lines through Hawkins.
Eleven however will not let her friend die. She says, “No.” “No, you’re not going.” Eleven reaches Max via the sensory-deprivation tank. This dark, watery mental realm also known as The Void is reached by Eleven. She places her hand on Max’s chest. They then recall their most happy moments. Max wakes up in hospital in a coma two days later.
So, did Max die?
Technically, she did. But only for a second. Lucas claims that Max’s heart stopped for more than a minute before it returned to normal. Although Eleven does not claim that Max survived, Mike and Will give each other a knowing glance to indicate they have. What exactly did Eleven do? Did she acquire new powers of resurrection? With her psychic abilities, did she jump-start Max? Could Max’s happy memories have somehow brought her back to life by channeling her psychic abilities? There are many theories. One thing is certain, Max survived. But that doesn’t necessarily mean she’s safe. It is not clear when Max will wake up from her coma. Lucas said that she believes she may not wake up. Even if she does awake, it’s not certain she’ll be Max.
Is Max still there?
She is in a hospital bed with her legs and arms in casts. But mentally? Eleven tries to find Max in the Void, but she is unable to locate her. She shouts for Max, but the Void has gone silent. Is that a sign Max is dead? Oder that her mind is completely blank?
Remember that Eleven used the Void to find people in the past. What does it mean to search for someone who isn’t in the Void?
These are huge questions that will hopefully be answered in Season 5, the last season of Stranger Things. We are also worried about Max’s fate. Vecna was not killed in the final confrontation when the kids set him ablaze. The final shot of the finale showed that the gang will have to face an apocalyptic merger between the Upside Down, real-life Hawkins.
Sadie Sink, actress of Max’s Season 4, is happy with Max’s journey. In December, she said that Max’s season 4 storyline was what made her happy. “You see a different side to her, and I’m excited to share it with everyone.”
What will happen to Max during season 5 of Stranger Things?
Deadline reported that Sink doesn’t know the details of what she thinks they are up to with season five.
She still has hopes for Max, if she survives. She told Vulture that she believes Max is at a point where she wants to fight. Later, she added that “If she’s still there, she definitely has some rage and a lot fight in her.”
Later, the Duffers confirmed that Max was “brain dead”, blind and with all her bones broken by season 4. But, time will show if her condition worsens in the next episodes.