To say that the two-part finale to Stranger Things 4 was some of the series’ best work yet would be an understatement and on par with calling the upside down a good holiday destination. The final two episodes drew so many viewers this past Friday that for roughly an hour and a half, Netflix was down worldwide due to server overload. Stranger Things season 4 volume 2 had a lot to deliver, from heartbreak to action-packed visual spectacles and even managed to set up the finale season to come.
If you spent this past weekend desperately trying to watch Volume 2 through loadshedding and found yourself with even more questions at the end than you had going in, we’ve got you covered with this article.
Be warned – Obvious spoilers to Stranger Things 4 follow
Vecna, the big bad of Stranger Things season 4, might be one of the most intriguing and popular villains the show has introduced yet. One only had to go online briefly throughout the last four weeks to be inundated by fan theories about what Vecnas masterplan might be. The only thing that the show confirmed itself before the four-week break in volumes was that Vecna was genuinely evil and enjoyed doing bad things.
However, thanks to volume 2, we now have a clearer image of what Vecna is after. Don’t be mistaken; a considerable part of Vecnas overarching goal is still to be generally evil and disrupt the world, but now we know there is a very deliberate plan at work here. While many were confused about why Vecna had only killed three people over the last ten years if he wanted to unleash hell on the world, the last episodes revealed that he only needed to kill four.
Volume 2 went into the finer details behind every time Vecna kills someone and how it opens up a gate between Hawkins and The Upside Down. We also learn that the wall separating the two worlds is very much like a dam wall, and while a few cracks here or there won’t bring everything down – put those cracks in the right places, and you have a catastrophe on your hands,
During the finale, it’s revealed that the correct number of gates needed to bring down the wall Vecna has his eyes on is four. This is why all his clocks throughout the episodes only chimed four times. An incredible little easter egg not many picked up on.
The biggest question on many minds when finishing volume 2 is undoubtedly about the fate of Max, one of the show’s most enduring characters. Without sugar coating anything, at the end of the finale, Max suffers the same fate as many other beloved characters throughout the show’s run and dies.
We see Max suffer the same Vecna-style death as Chrissy before her, and horrified viewers sat and watched as her bones were broken while blood oozed down her face. The only thing that sets Max’s death apart from Vecna’s usual is that he was interrupted before he could destroy her eyes. Instead, Max’s eyes only white over. However, this small mercy didn’t do much to change the course of Max’s fate. She is still confirmed to be dead, and the fourth and final gate is still opened.
Although, when has Stranger Things ever let certain death hold it back. Eleven ends up occupying Max’s mind and discovering that her friend is still alive, barely though. Eleven uses her psychic powers to try and urge Max to hold on and stay alive, somehow forcing her body back to life after a full minute without a heartbeat. However, Max’s consciousness isn’t able to return, and she is in a coma. No ordinary coma, though, because when Eleven layer returns to Max’s mind, Max is nowhere to be found.
One of the big questions for the final Stranger Things season will be: Where is Max? is she lost in the Upside Down, or is she trapped in another realm we haven’t even seen yet.
As mentioned above, Vecna only needed to kill four people to open four gates and bring down the wall separating The Upside Down from Hawkins. By killing Max, Vecna was able to fulfil this requirement. The result of the wall coming down is as violent as you’d imagine; almost instantaneously, 22 Hawkins citizens are killed. The story being few to the remaining Hawkins residents is that the town was hit with a freak earthquake, but for how long they will be willing to swallow that explanation amidst all the supernatural goings-on is anyone’s guess.
By the end of the finale, we see the signature black clouds with red lightning over Hawkins, and it’s undeniable that The Upside Down is free now, and it’s only getting bigger.
At the end of the finale, Vecna manages to survive everyone’s best attempts at stopping him. Even though we don’t see him get away, Will, who has a connection to Vecna thanks to his previous link to the Mindflayer, reveals that he can feel Vecna and that he is still very much out there. Based on this revelation, it’s not hard to see what the focus of the final season of Stranger Things will be on.
Stranger Things season 4 was the perfect set-up for the show’s final season, and one thing is abundantly clear, it is all about Vecna and always has been. During the last two episodes, Vecna reveals that he has been the one in charge and pulling the strings right from the start. Through the years, Vecna has tried using Elven as a dimensional key to help him connect Hawkins to The Upside Down. Remember the Mind Flayer and the Demogorgon? All Vecna.
Therefore it’s safe to assume that season 5, the final season of Stranger Things, will see the group try to put a stop to Vecna before he and The Upside Down can destroy Hawkins and/or the world.