This story contains spoilers for Season Four, Volume Two of Stranger Things.
As all great blockbuster stories tend to do nowadays, Stranger Things likes to play fast and loose with its fatalities. Case in point: Season Four, Volume Two, out now, which sees Eleven punt Vecna to oblivion, and Max Mayfield undergo Vecna’s death ritual. And yet? Both are very much alive… if not well.
Following the finale of such an epic run of episodes, the perfect avoid-the-heat-and-binge-TV-instead option, we found it fitting (necessary, even) to run through every character who died(ish) this season, assigning Esquire’s official Death Likelihood Rating™ to each one. Here we go.
Dr. Martin Brenner/Papa
Death Likelihood Rating: 9.3
Considering that Brenner never seems to go the hell away from the series, we can’t give him a full 10. But his death certainly felt final, didn’t it? As he tries to get Eleven away from the feds, they shoot him quite a few times in the back. Looking like he’s about to lose consciousness, Brenner asks Eleven for some sort of consolation. She… doesn’t give it. Cold! But very much deserved.
Death Likelihood Rating: 3.5
Max is the trickiest one to grade of the entire list. The Stranger Things doctors confirmed that Max died. Her heart stopped for a full minute. As we know, though, Eleven managed to bring her back, because she can do that now, obviously. Considering that Sadie Sink ran herself up that hill into making Max a fan-favorite hero, we’re sure that she’ll wake up from that coma. Now, how to get Max awake again will certainly make for a major plot point in Season Five. She may even end up like Victor Creel, who was rendered permanently blind after his battle with Henry/Vecna/One. Let’s just hope Max is OK.
Death Likelihood Rating: 7.2
You’re going to make us write about Eddie, aren’t you? Damn. Eddie Munson’s act of self-sacrifice is a crushing loss on the level of Barb and Bob. Which is also why we refuse to believe that the man is gone for good—especially so soon after he learned to stand his ground and become a hero. Once again, Eleven has god powers! One more thing. “You’re gonna have to look after those little sheep for me, okay?” C’mon. Rip my heart out already.
Dr. Sam Owens
Death Likelihood Rating: 4.6
Last time we saw Dr. Owens—who acts as a slight foil to Dr. Brenner, kinda-sorta helping Eleven along the way—he was cowering in a makeshift jail cell. Unless the CIA truly went batshit on the poor guy, he’ll be just fine. There has to be one resident alum from the Hawkins Lab administration hanging around the office after Dr. Brenner’s death.
Death Likelihood Rating: 10.0
Death Likelihood Rating: 0.01
Considering that the actor behind Vecna, Jamie Campbell Bower, already confirmed that Vecna will show up in Season Five, we can rule out the monster dying from any injuries suffered in the battle with Eleven. Stranger Things needed an endgame villain, after all. Plus someone from the Upside Down to keep torturing poor Will.
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