Sadie Sink discusses whether her character Max should have died in Stranger Things season 4. Sink’s character Max Mayfield arrived on the scene in season 2 of the hit sci-fi series and soon became part of the show’s beloved kid group, which includes Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), Will (Noah Schnapp) and usually, Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown). After her brother Billy (Dacre Montgomery)’s death in season 3, Max was seen struggling in terms of her mental health in season 4, which made her vulnerable to Vecna (Jamie Campbell Bower). Though she survived her face-offs with the villain, Max was left in a shocking state at the end of season 4; blinded, with most of her limbs broken, in a coma.
During an appearance on the Variety Awards Circuit podcast, Sink opens up about whether she agrees with a popular critique of the series shared by many Stranger Things fans as well as stars Brown and Maya Hawke, who have stated that the show is too precious with its characters and seems afraid to kill anyone in the ever-growing core ensemble cast. After the season 4 finale aired, many were quick to point out Max’s comatose state as another cop-out by series creators Matt and Ross Duffer, saying that the season would have been better if the teen had actually died. While Sink agreed that Max’s death would be extremely impactful, she explains that the Duffer brothers had specific reasons for keeping her alive.
How Stranger Things Season 5 Can Avoid That Major Critique
Most fans of Stranger Things are not rooting for Max’s demise, but her climactic final showdown with Vecna seemed to end with her death until it was revealed that she was simply in a coma. This left many unsatisfied and expressing that the ending felt cheap despite the death of Eddie (Joseph Quinn), which was less surprising since new additions to the group have a habit of dying in Stranger Things. Indeed, the repetition of that formula — introducing a lovable new character such as Bob (Sean Astin), Alexei (Alec Utgoff), and Eddie, only for them to be killed off in a climactic moment — has grown stale for some viewers after three seasons.
While those critiques of Stranger Things are valid, Sink’s comments as well as several teases from the series creators indicate that the final season will represent a break from that formula. According to reports, Stranger Things season 5 will stay away from the introduction of new characters to the core group and focus on developing the main ensemble, who will likely be in different places since a time jump is also expected. Max may be safe from being killed off in season 5 after her close call last season, but the final installment of Stranger Things should include at least one major character death to leave viewers feeling fulfilled.
How Max’s Death Would Affect Season 5
Sink’s response hints that the Duffer brothers had good reason for keeping Max alive, which could mean that she will be the key to saving Hawkins in Stranger Things season 5. If Max had died in season 4, it would have been incredibly demoralizing for Eleven, Lucas, and all her other friends, as well as giving Vecna a unilateral victory. Though the first phase of Vecna’s plan has succeeded, he doesn’t seem to be aware that Max is still holding on, which could give the group the element of surprise over Vecna if she does wake up in Stranger Things season 5.