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Stranger Things season 4 part 2 ending explained

The final two episodes of the new season are here, so we've broken down all the details of the Stranger Things season 4 ending for you

Stranger Things season 4 part 2 ending explained: Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven in Stranger Things season 4

What happens in the Stranger Things season 4 part 2 ending? The biggest and best Netflix series reaches the conclusion of its latest chapter as the final two episodes of Stranger Things season 4 finally dropped on the streaming service, and with them, come a lot of questions to be answered.

When we left the gang at the end of part 1, we had been introduced to the most formidable Stranger Things monster to date in Vecna, and had just learned the true identity of this Freddy Krueger inspired creature. While Steve, Nancy, Dustin, Max, and the rest of The Party fought to protect Hawkins, Hopper was being rescued by Joyce in Russia, and Eleven was working out how to get her powers back before she takes on Vecna.

So, how does the big battle in the Stranger Things season 4 part 2 ending go down? Which of our loveable characters kicked the bucket? And, what exactly was Vecna’s plan all along? Needless to say, there are spoilers ahead, as we break down everything that happens in the latest season of the sci-fi series.

Stranger Things season 4 part 2 ending explained

The final two episodes of Stranger Things season 4 are so long and action-packed, it’s hard to know where to begin, but we’ll give it a go. In a nutshell, the gang team up to take on Vecna, they very nearly win, and we’re left with the promise of a full-scale war in Hawkins in Stranger Things season 5.

But, let’s rewind. After the traumatic events of episode 7, Eleven gets her powers back (and then some), and she escapes the military attack on Papa’s lab to be reunited with Mike, Will, Jonathan, and Argyle.

Meanwhile, over in Russia, Hopper escapes the Soviet prison along with Dimitri, thanks to Joyce and Murray. But not before discovering the Soviets have been secretly harbouring new Demogorgons in their own version of a Bacta tank.

In Hawkins, The Party come up with a plan that sees Max, Lucas, and Erica head to the Creel house in the real world, while Steve, Nancy, Robin, Eddie, and Dustin venture into the Upside Down. Max intends to bait Vecna to possess her once again, allowing the others to attack his physical form in the Upside Down. Simple!

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Knowing that their friends in Hawkins need help, but realising there is no time to get to them, the group in Nevada and the group in Russia form a plan to support from afar. If Eleven can use her mind travel powers and “piggyback” Max’s mind, she can fight Vecna without actually being in Hawkins. Similarly, Hopper explains how he can help nullify the threat in Hawkins, by harming the Hive Mind all the way from Russia.

Back in Hawkins, the plan works, kind of. Vecna does indeed take over Max’s mind again, but Steve, Nancy, and Robin can’t make it to the attic of Creel’s house to take Vecna out and end up being constricted by his deadly vines. Elsewhere, Eddie and Dustin distract the Demobats, but Eddie has to sacrifice himself for the cause.

Stranger Things season 4 part 2 ending explained: Joseph Quinn as Eddie Munson in Stranger Things season 4

Eleven arrives in Max’s mind just in time to stand in Vecna’s way, but the victory is short-lived. Vecna gets the better of her, and turns his attention to Max. In the real world, her leg and arm snap, and her eyes are about to burst, but she is freed from the curse at the last minute, thanks to a flamethrower taking out the Demogorgons in Soviet Russia.

This gives Steve, Nancy, and Robin the chance to attack Vecna’s physical form in the Upside Down with a range of Molotov Cocktails and shotgun rounds, and he’s sent hurtling out of the attic window. They think they’ve won, but when they head outside, he’s gone!

Sadly, Max has taken too much damage, and seemingly dies in the arms of Lucas. But, Eleven is having none of it, and she puts a new superpower to good use, as she attempts to revive her friend. We then cut to two days later…

Hawkins is a mess. The Upside Down has merged with the real world after Vecna took his fourth victim, opened his final gate, and caused a huge rift in the very fabric of existence.

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Steve, Robin, and Dustin head to a rescue shelter to support victims of the chaos. Max is in a coma with Lucas by her side. Hopper and Joyce are reunited with El and the gang, but there isn’t much time to play happy families, before Will senses danger and the threat facing Hawkins rears its ugly head again with ominous red clouds on the horizon.

Who dies in Stranger Things season 4 part 2?

We knew the final two episodes of Stranger Things season 4 would ultimately carry some collateral damage, and there was indeed a handful of significant deaths to deal with by the end of episode 9. There’s also a couple of characters whose life hangs in the balance.

The characters who die in Stranger Things season 4 part 2 are:

  • Dr. Brenner
  • Eddie Munson
  • Jason
  • Max (sort of)
  • Vecna (sort of)

In episode 8, we see Dr. Brenner, AKA Papa, finally die once and for all. Although this mad scientist was believed to be dead a long time ago, he returned for Stranger Things season 4, only to die for real this time when he was shot down by the military after trying to escape with Eleven.

Stranger Things season 4 part 2 ending explained: Matthew Modine as Papa in Stranger Things season 4

Perhaps the most tragic death of this season was the inevitable demise of Eddie Munson. The loveable rocker was only introduced this season, but sadly that made him ripe for the picking when it came to sacrificial storylines. At least he died a hero though!

The only other definitive death is a character we’re pretty happy to see the back of, frankly. Jason, the jock who has been terrorising the Hellfire Club, was ripped in half as the Upside Down merged with the real world. Good riddance!

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As for Max and Vecna, well, it’s a little more complicated. Max was always lined up to be Vecna’s all-important fourth victim, and the demon very nearly got his way. In fact, Max did indeed die, for a whole minute, but Eleven revived her. She’s in a coma now, and may never wake up, but she’s alive as things stand.

And Vecna, the big, bad of the Upside Down, was very nearly defeated by Steve, Nancy, and Robin. As he was distracted with Max and Eleven, the gang attacked his physical form with fire and shotguns, and seemingly finished him off. But when they went to check his body, he had gone!

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As for the question on everyone’s lips – does Steve Harrington die? No, of course he doesn’t. We did tell you the Stranger Things creators wouldn’t dare kill Steve (yet).

What’s next for Stranger Things?

We already know that Stranger Things season 5 will be the final season, so the story has to be wrapped up whether we like it or not. We also know that there will be a time jump involved, that we’ll be diving into the Upside Down more than ever before, and that Vecna isn’t finished yet.

Let’s cover some of that in more detail, then. The Duffer Brothers have revealed that due to the age of the Stranger Things cast, there will be a time jump written into season 5 to make this all feel more authentic. How long that time jump will be, and how it will affect the narrative, remain to be seen.

The Duffer Brothers have also said that season 5 will be all about the Upside Down. Although we’ve seen our heroes dip in and out of the hellish underworld at various points throughout the TV series, there’s still so much more to come.

As for Vecna, we already know the gang failed to finish him off, and according to Will, the demon is “hurting, but he’s still alive,” and we’ve been warned “he’s not going to stop.” While the battle for Hawkins may look to have been won, there is still a huge war coming.

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We don’t know when season 5 will drop, but we could be looking at a wait until 2024, so in the meantime, why not check out our guide to other conclusions to other big series like the See season 3 release date.