While most of our burning Stranger Things questions were answered when Vol.2 of the fourth season dropped on Netflix, the climactic episode raised even more. Following Eleven’s long-awaited showdown with Vecna, the town of Hawkins, Indiana is on the verge of being consumed by the Upside Down, and the life of a comatose Max hangs in the balance.
In a recent conversation with Felicia Day on the Netflix Geeked webseries, showrunners Matt and Ross Duffer elaborated on some of the creative choices made in Season 4’s feature-length finale.
“We always wanted our Empire Strikes Back season,” says Matt. “We tried it a little bit with 3, but this is really doubling down on that idea… 3 has a sad note, a sacrifice, but they’ve defeated the evil or at least pushed it back for a while, whereas this one we wanted them to actually lose. We wanted our characters to experience what that felt like, and that was the big idea coming into 4, that they were going to lose, that we were going to introduce Vecna and they were going to lose to him. That would be setting up our characters for what will ultimately be the final confrontation with Vecna, with the Upside Down, which is going to be Season 5.”
When it comes to the fate of Max, the Duffers reveal that in one draft of the script, they did toy with the idea of killing her off permanently, but ultimately decided to have Eleven bring her back to life. “It was discussed as a possibility, and for a while that is what was going to happen,” says Ross. “We wanted it to end it in a little more of a question mark at the end of the season, where it’s still really dark and we don’t know if Max is going to be OK.”
While fans will have to wait to find out whether Max fully recovers, one character we won’t be seeing again is Eddie Munson, who has been confirmed as officially, 100 percent dead. “There’s definitely still a part of me that wishes he was still around for 5,” says Matt, noting that everybody “fell in love” with Joseph Quinn’s performance as the misunderstood metalhead. “But I guess that’s ultimately how you want to feel,” he adds. “
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