It's no secret that A Nightmare on Elm Street and other slasher movies, as well as horror anime, influenced season four of Stranger Things. Vecna, the season's main antagonist, preys on Hawkins citizens, especially those who have experienced trauma.
Max (Sadie Sink), still reeling from the loss of her brother Billy, is particularly at risk this season, though everyone in Hawkins is in danger from this formidable enemy (Dacre Mongomery).
Due to her mental isolation while dealing with her anguish, Max is an easy target for Vecna, who plans to kill her much like she killed Patrick and Grace. In the fourth episode of season four, Max is already on edge because of the terrifying images Vecna shows her, including a haunting scene with her mother that takes a sinister turn.
Vecna even goes so far as to gaslight Max into feeling responsible for Billy's death by presenting her with a vision of Billy (the real Billy would never do that, but Vecna uses his abilities to make Max feel powerless).
Max is in a seemingly unbreakable trance in the real world while she is at the graveyard and locked in the Upside Down. Does Max Die in Stranger Things? In this article, we will answer this question.
What Happened to Max at the End of Stranger Things 4?
Max and Lucas and the rest of the Hawkins gang plot Vecna's death in episode eight. Max uses herself as bait to lure Vecna into his trance and murder him inside the Upside Down. With Lucas and Erica in tow, she heads to the Creel House to wait for Vecna to pick her up once more.
By discussing Vecna's deepest thoughts and sentiments, Max attempts to agitate her. That has the desired effect, as Max is once again hypnotized by Vecna. Max successfully conceals himself amid Vecna's pleasant memories.
She makes it to the Winter Ball, the site of her first kiss with Lucas in 1984, and stays there until Vecna manages to find her. Meanwhile, Eleven has figured a how to ride a shotgun on Max's consciousness from deep within The Void.
El arrives out of nowhere and uses her powers to fling Vecna across the room as he appears in Max's Snow Ball flashback and captures her. Vecna walks back in and easily overpowers Eleven, putting an end to Max and El's brief reunion.
He then drags Eleven and Max into his Mind Lair after throwing Max across the room. While Vecna explains his plan to Eleven, Max gets captured by the vines in his lair. Having finally made her way over to Max, Vecna begins to murder her.
Although Eleven is inspired by Mike's voice and proclamation of love, she is unable to escape Vecna's clutches in time. Max begins to float in midair while Lucas watches in horror as her limbs slowly disintegrate and blood pours from her eyes in the real world.
El frees herself at last, sending Vecna careening off into space. Simultaneously, Vecna's hold on Max weakens as he is attacked by Nancy, Steve, and Jonathan deep within the Upside Down. Max hits the ground and is instantly rendered blind and numb.
Here is the link to the IMDB ratings of Stranger Things.
Does Max Die in Stranger Things?
In a sense, yes, but temporarily. Doctors reportedly indicated Max's heart stopped for over a minute, but according to Lucas, she miraculously recovered. Although Eleven never directly states that she is responsible for Max's survival, both Will and Mike's exchange knowing glances to indicate that they have come to that conclusion.
So what did Eleven do, exactly? Did she acquire any additional resuscitative abilities? Did her telepathic powers help Max's heart to start beating again? Is it possible that Max's positive thoughts resurrected her? We will discuss this in the next paragraph.
But, there is one undeniable fact: Max's survival does not guarantee her safety. When she will emerge from her coma is unknown at this time. It's possible she won't,” Lucas replies. And there's no promise that Max would even recognize herself if she does come to.
Did Eleven Save Max's Life?
Max's survival is confirmed two days later, although she is now in a coma with an uncertain destiny. According to Lucas, Max was technically dead “for almost a minute,” but she miraculously recovered and is now back with El, Mike, Will, Nancy, and Jonathan.
No explanation is given, but it appears that Eleven restored her by sending her those good memories while they were both in The Void. Max is still alive and well in the actual world, but Eleven's attempts to find her through The Void have so far been unsuccessful.
With what we know about Vecna, and how he swallows the thoughts, memories, and feelings of those he kills, may Max's mind now be locked someplace within him, hidden from Eleven? Season 4 ends before we get an answer as to why that is.
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