Stranger Things 5 Can’t Magically Fix Max’s Fate, And It’s Awful

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In season four of Stranger Things, Max suffered a terrible destiny. Even if she’s anticipated to return in season 5, the program cannot instantly reverse what happened to her.

Max Mayfield meets a terrible end in the Stranger Things season 4 finale “The Piggyback,” but Stranger Things 5 is powerless to change it. In Stranger Things season 3’s Battle of Starcourt Mall, Max lost her brother Billy, which left her feeling despondent and cut off from her friends. She suffered from severe PTSD as a result of her failure to try to save him, and she was overcome with remorse. Given that Vecna targets young people who have experienced trauma, this made her the ideal target for him to mark.

Max evaded Vecna’s initial onslaught after an intense scenario set to the tune “Running Up That Hill” by Kate Bush. He continued to terrorize Hawkins, though, and Max was aware that she was still on his hit list. Bravely, Max consented to set up a trap for Vecna to fall back into, so the rest of the Hawkin’s gang could carry out a painstaking plan to murder him. Max managed to first bury herself in a pleasant recollection. Eleven had enough time to enter her head “from a pizza dough freezer” as a result. Max did not survive the second encounter unharmed since Eleven was unable to beat Vecna.

Max suffered from broken limbs, blindness, and heartbreakingly “died” in Lucas’ arms. All appeared gone, but Eleven—who was still connected to Max through the void—used a hitherto unseen power to revive him. The next time anybody saw Max, she was unconscious and wearing casts all over her body at a hospital in Hawkins. Eleven was unable to locate Max in the abyss despite the fact that Max had survived, suggesting that she may be brain dead or still under Vecna’s influence. Even if Max is anticipated to return, her terrible fate in season 4 can’t (and shouldn’t) be miraculously fixed in Stranger Things 5.

Will Max Reappear In Season 5 of Stranger Things?

Max is probably coming back in season 5. The anticipated time shift between season 4 and season 5 will likely help her come back. This would give Max time to heal or give Eleven time to gain the skills necessary to somehow change Max’s thinking. There is no way of knowing Max’s condition or what she will find in Hawkins when she awakens from her coma, given Vecna’s destruction of the town.

Sadie Sink, who plays Max, stated that her part is “all up in the air right now” (via Entertainment Weekly). However, it appears like Max will return in Stranger Things season 5 unless the Duffers have other plans for her during the interval between season 4 and season 5.

Why Max Can’t Just Suddenly Heal in Stranger Things 5

Given the seriousness of her wounds, it would be illogical for Max to recover fully in season 5. Her ability to heal after having all of her bones smashed, being blind, and going brain dead would be too incredible. Max even said that she was unable to “see or feel anything” when she passed away in Lucas’ arms, which raised the possibility that she is also paralyzed.

Some have already criticized Max’s survival, arguing that it diminishes the sacrifice she made in an effort to save Hawkins and maintains the show’s unwillingness to kill off its leading characters. Max’s survival would only intensify the conflicted feelings if he made a full recovery. She would require a miracle, while this wouldn’t be anything new for Stranger Things, to undo what happened to Max in Stranger Things because there is no logical or medical explanation for it. It is a miracle in and of itself that none of the main group have perished during the four seasons of the program.

What Max’s Story in Season 5 of Stranger Things Should Be

Other than the Duffer brothers “being delicate Sallys and reluctant to murder anyone off,” as Eleven actor Millie Bobby Brown puts it, there must be more to Max’s existence (via The Wrap). One common Max speculation for Stranger Things season 5 compares Max to Kas from Dungeons & Dragons. Kas is exiled to an otherworldly realm where, after transforming into a half-human, half-vampire, he manages to live.

Vecna is served by Kas, who finally turns on him and murders him. Though many are hoping this plot would be utilized to bring back the valiant Stranger Things character Eddie Munson, whose own tale has many similarities to the D&D character, some believe it is feasible that Max’s journey may mimic Kas’.

It also appears that Max doesn’t have her memories and is still marked by Vecna given her absence from the void. Vecna “takes everything from his victims… Their memories, their powers,” as the late Dr. Brenner of the program put it. Even if Max does recover, she may act as a channel for Vecna to speak with the Hawkins group, much as he did with Nancy when he revealed his grand scheme. Max doesn’t appear to have the joyful memories she needs to withstand Vecna’s fury. Again, this idea seems more appropriate for a different character because Will would serve as a more sensible conduit for Vecna given his already-existing link to the hive-mind. There is a rumor that Will will finally put Vecna to death in Stranger Things.

Even though Max will continue to appear in Stranger Things season 5, her terrible destiny from season 4 cannot be magically fixed. It appears Max’s destiny, along with the fate of the other characters, has already been determined as the Duffers revealed the final 30 minutes of season 5 are all planned out (via the Happy Sad Confused podcast). The fifth and final season of Stranger Things will be released in 2024, so fans will have a lengthy wait.