Warning: Contains SPOILERS for the Stranger Things season 4 finale.
The Stranger Things season 4, volume 2 ending is an explosive one, has major setup for season 5. The stakes have been higher than ever in Stranger Things season 4, with the introduction of Vecna - a terrifying monster eventually revealed to be Dr. Brenner’s Number One. Vecna possesses all Eleven’s powers, and he’s been using them to commit murders from the Upside Down; each death tore open a small Gate.
Netflix divided Stranger Things season 4 into two sections. Although volume 2 contains only two episodes, they’re the longest yet, with the final episode running for a mammoth 2 hours and 19 minutes. This sees all the heroes of Hawkins play their part, with Max putting herself in grave danger to draw Vecna into a trap. It would have backfired badly if not for unexpected, long-range psychic backup from Eleven, who engaged Vecna in a psychic duel. Meanwhile, in Russia, Hopper and Joyce did their best to run interference for their families by causing yet more damage to the hive mind.
Stranger Things season 4 has the darkest edge yet, but – in spite of warnings from the Duffer brothers – there actually aren’t that many fatalities. Unfortunately, that does not mean the various heroes of Hawkins emerge triumphant. Stranger Things season 4, volume 2 ends with the revelation they won a Pyrrhic victory – and Hawkins is paying the price for it. Here are all the reveals.
Vecna Created The Mind-Flayer: Upside Down Reveal Explained
The Stranger Things season 4, volume 2 ending reveals Vecna has been the show’s villain all along. Vecna presents another flashback, revealing he swiftly came to realize the Upside Down was no purgatory; rather, it was a dimension untouched by human beings. At first he became an explorer, wandering the Upside Down, reveling in a realm that had been untouched by humanity. Finally, Vecna stumbled upon a mysterious cloud of particles, from which he formed the Mind-Flayer. These particles appear to be the basis of the hive mind, because anything that ingests them becomes caught up in it.
How Is Vecna Still Alive? How Can He Be Killed?
Vecna takes a phenomenal amount of damage in Stranger Things season 4, volume 2. Eleven successfully beats him back in yet another psychic duel, while Nancy, Steve, and Robin attack his body with Molotov cocktails and a sawn-off shotgun. Vecna’s badly-injured body falls through the window to the ground, a fall that should have been fatal – but, incredibly, his body had disappeared by the time the trio rushed down the stairs. Vecna’s body and mind are clearly resilient, but it’s reasonable to assume his escape was assisted by creatures from the Upside Down he controls.
What Happens To Hawkins At The End Of Stranger Things 4
Unfortunately the victory was too late, because Vecna succeeded in killing Max. The earthquakes in the Upside Down clearly signified the dimensions coming closer together, and now an enormous earthquake – measured over 7 on the Richter Scale – strikes Hawkins itself. The Upside Down invasion of Hawkins seems to have been postponed by Vecna’s injuries, or perhaps by Eleven’s interference in Max’s death, but it finally takes place two days later. Plumes of Upside Down ash rise from the ground, and the ash settles across the area around Hawkins.
Is Max Going To Die In Stranger Things?
Max’s heart stopped for a minute, meaning she was clinically dead. Eleven could not accept this, however, using all her power to try to bring her friend back. She appears to have been partially successful; Max is alive, but in a coma. When Eleven enters her mind, she finds Max is brain-dead. It’s disturbing to note the Upside Down invasion was triggered shortly after, perhaps indicating Vecna is somehow tied to Max, and he sensed Eleven’s intrusion in her mind. It would be in keeping with his character to wait until Eleven is physically back in Hawkins. For now, though, it does look as though Max was the last of Vecna’s victims – and bringing her back will be a task beyond even Eleven’s powers.
Why Eddie Sacrificed Himself In Stranger Things’ Ending
Stranger Things seems to have a habit of introducing new characters, only to kill them off. Eddie Munson becomes the true hero of Stranger Things season 4, sacrificing himself to continue distracting the hive mind. Eddie had always imagined himself as a hero in his Dungeons & Dragons campaigns, and he’d been dissatisfied with his actions over the course of the season – specifically, with his running away from the supernatural rather than daring to face it. Inspired by Dustin and Steve in particular, he decided he’d choose to go out a hero.
Stranger Things 4 All But Confirms Will Byers Is Gay
Stranger Things season 4 has hinted Will is gay, and it’s made all-but-official in the final episode. He clearly loves Mike, but his emotions are too turbulent for him to know how to deal with them – particularly in a society much less accepting than the modern world. Will is truly selfless in his love for Mike, even offering relationship advice so Mike can understand his importance to Eleven. Jonathan sees what is happening, and offers Will his support. Nothing is said explicitly, with the characters dancing around the truth, but the dynamic is pretty clear.
Why Will Is Connected To Vecna
Stranger Things season 4, volume 2 reveals Will is still connected to Vecna. The connection between Will and the Mind-Flayer was established back in season 1, when Will was rescued too late from the Upside Down – having ingested some of the Mind-Flayer particles. It was banished in season 2, but it seems a residual psychic connection has remained. When Will arrives back in Hawkins, he finds the weakening of the dimensional barriers means he can now sense Vecna’s thoughts. It will be interesting to see how this develops in Stranger Things season 5; Will could be of real help in understanding Vecna’s actions. Alternatively, he could become Vecna’s own unwilling agent if Vecna discovers the link.
Will Robin & Vickie Get Together In Stranger Things 5?
Stranger Things stars teenagers, which means love-lives have increasingly become an important subplot. Season 4 saw Robin crush on another girl, Vickie, only to discover she has a boyfriend. The next encounter between the two is much more promising, however, with Vickie revealing she’s broken up with her boyfriend and the two discovering how alike they are. It really does look as though Stranger Things season 5 could see Robin find love at last – especially given all the Hawkins residents will have to work together to survive, meaning she and Vickie will be forced to depend on one another.
What Stranger Things 4’s Ending Means For Season 5
Stranger Things season 4 marks a turning-point for the entire Netflix TV series, with events moving to a scale never seen before. Previous seasons had dealt with limited incursions that could be driven back, with smaller gates that could be closed. Now, though, the Upside Down has invaded Hawkins, and Vecna clearly intends to move on from there to wiping out humanity. Fortunately, the two-day delay in Vecna’s invasion served as a rather convenient plot device to give all the characters time to assemble at Hawkins. Stranger Things is ending in season 5, and it’s easy to see why; this is the dramatic climax, the culmination of everything the Duffer brothers have been doing all along.
What Stranger Things Season 4’s Ending Really Means
In thematic terms, the Stranger Things season 4 ending turns the franchise on its head. Previous seasons had always ended up in convenient cover-ups, and the government attempt to do the same in season 4, pretending there’s simply been an earthquake. But now the boundary between Hawkins and the Upside Down has been torn open in spectacular fashion, and all these secrets will come out. This will likely be theme of Stranger Things season 5, as hidden truths are finally revealed – perhaps explaining why the show is still avoiding explicitly confirming Will is gay to his friends, simply because that coming-out theme will fit thematically. It’s going to be thrilling to see how the people of Hawkins deal with all these truths.
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