'Stranger Things' Season 4 Volume 2 Ending Explained: Beginning of the end for Hawkins as Vecna promises to return

With the much-awaited Netflix series finally dropping, we dissect the ending, the fate of the characters, and some theories.

'Stranger Things' Season 4 Volume 2 Ending Explained: Beginning of the end for Hawkins as Vecna promises to return
Vecna in a still from 'Stranger Things' Season 4 (Netflix)
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Contains spoilers for 'Stranger Things' Season 4 Volume 2 Episodes 8 and 9 'Papa' and 'The Piggyback'

There was every reason why Netflix crashed as soon as 'Stranger Things' Season 4 Volume 2 premiered. The final chapters, 8 and 9 titled 'Papa' and 'The Piggyback' lived up to every bit of the hype it garnered, justifying the crash of the streamer. Nit is so much of a stranger thing after all (Pardon the joke, just couldn't resist).

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With Season 5 confirmed to be the final installment, The Duffer Brothers set up the second half of Chapter 9 as a backdoor pilot of what to expect when the new season releases. Spanning over four hours, the last two episodes club action, emotion, and horror in generous doses. Such is the seriousness of the episode that comedy takes a backseat in the finale. With the much-awaited Netflix series finally dropping, we dissect the ending, the fate of the characters, and some theories.

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'Stranger Things' Season 4 Volume 2 Ending Explained

We break the ending down into multiple parts just to make sure nothing is missed out. 

Steve Harrington lives to see another day

Joe Keery as Steve Harrington in 'Stranger Things' (Netflix)

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Joe Keery's Steve Harrington doesn't die in 'Stranger Things' Season 4 Volume 2. After surviving the bat attack in the Upside Down in the previous edition, he teams up with Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer) and Robin (Maya Hawke) to take Vecna down once and for all in his own lair. Although the trio is overpowered at first, some help from Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) and Hopper (David Harbor) & Co in Russia sees them break free of his clutches. They overpower the wizard, but only for him to escape. This necessarily doesn't mean Steve will be fine in Season 5. With the show already killing off a couple of characters, the fan favorite may kick the bucket in the do-or-die finale.

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Joyce Byers, Jim Hopper, Murray Bauman, and Enzo survive

In what comes as a piece of good news, none of the adults die. It's a happy ending for Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) and Hopper as they reunite, and kick some demodog and Demogorgon butt in the Russian prison. Bauman (Brett Gelman) and Enzo (Tom Wlaschiha) come out at the other end as well playing their parts in the finale. With this, it's safe to say that Hopper and Joyce are indeed a couple, but with the Upside Down pretty much merging with Hawkins, it remains to be seen how their relationship pans out.

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Who died in 'Stranger Things' Season 4 Volume 2?

A still from 'Stranger Things' Season 4 (Netflix)

 

Dr Brenner was one of the first key characters to be killed in Episode 8. In his attempt to save Eleven from Sullivan and his men. he gets out of the secret facility only to be shot to death. However, there is a poignant moment between the two where he says he was proud of his daughter. He knew he was a bad father to Vecna (then Henry/001), but he did, by his own logic, be a better person to Eleven, despite his rather villainy nature. He dies a mad scientist giving Matthew Modine's character a fitting farewell.

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Eddie Munson's death will clearly leave an impact on the fans. Joseph Quinn's character was always destined to die, but he dies one of the more heroic deaths. His metal concert to distract the bats will go down as one of the most iconic scenes in the show's history and he ends his run fending off the bats to buy more time for the others to take Vecna down. By the time Eleven gets the better of the antagonist, Eddie is shown to be fatally attacked by the creatures and dies in Dustin's (Gaten Matarazzo) arms.

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What happened to Max?

Sadie Sink as Max in 'Stranger Things' Season 4 (Netflix)

 

Vecna almost claimed his last victim. Sadie Sink's Max Mayfield was a target since Volume 1, and just before he makes a hasty retreat, he attacks Max who breaks all her limbs and loses her sight. She dies for well over a minute only for Eleven to bring her back. The final minutes see her in a coma, and with the merge of the evil dimension shown, expect her to play a key role in Season 5.

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What happened to Vecna?

Following Eleven's attack on the Upside Down, and Hopper's attack on the creatures in Russia, Vecna is weakened considerably. Nancy, Steve, and Robin use their flame bombs and guns to good effect knocking him down only for him to escape. Will (Noah Schnapp) senses his and the Mindflayer's presence after he returns to Hawkins, and is proved right when the gang sees the two worlds merging. Vecna and the Mindflayer will be the key antagonists in the final season.

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What happened to Hawkins?

With Vecna essentially killing Max and thereby claiming his fourth victim, the pathways open and the Upside Down merges with Hawkins. While the people reel under what they think as an earthquake, the actual events show that the darker side of town has begun amalgamating into the town, with the dark flakes pouring in, and gradually killing life.

What happened to Baumer and Dr Owens?

Interestingly, neither of the two supporting characters are seen in the final minutes. We can only expect Owens (Paul Reiser) to have survived the military attack and Bauman to have joined the CIA. He was introduced as one of the characters who had what it takes to be part of the clandestine organization. 

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'Stranger Things' Season 4 Volume 2 is streaming on Netflix.

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