The epic Stranger Things Season 4 Part 2 is finally here, and the overstuffed final two episodes really delivered the goods. It was wildly successful for those wanting an emotional, larger-than-life end to the season. After all the speculations on who would live and who would die(I predicted Eddie’s demise, unfortunately), the battlefield isn’t exactly littered with bodies, but the fate of the whole world is at risk more than ever. Over four seasons, the Duffer Brothers have woven a masterful story so entwined we rarely even realized just how predetermined everything was. Now we finally know the truth, and it is devastating. Here’s everything you need to know about the ending and whether Vecna is the Mind Flayer or created him.
The Ending of Stranger Things Season 4 Part 2
When the Upside Down snow settles, Lucas and Erica are devastated they couldn’t save Max. She is in a coma, having survived Vecna’s attack courtesy of what appears to be a new resurrection power ala Eleven. Her bones are mangled, and her eyes are cloudy, but she is alive. The problem is she is lost in the dark, and not even Eleven can reach her. Team Hawkins all made it back except for fan-favorite Eddie, who succumbed to bat bites. He died a hero. Dustin is understandably heartbroken, having found Eddie, who sacrificed himself to save Dusty and the others.
Nancy, Robin, and Steve succeeded in setting Vecna on fire while his spirit was busy attacking and lengthy villain-speeching to Eleven and Max. The last of Nancy’s shotgun blasts threw him out of the attic window onto the front lawn on fire. When the trio went to finish the job, he was missing, though.
Courtesy of Will’s connection with Vecna from his time in the Upside Down in Season 1, everyone knows Vecna is very much alive and hurting. As the Surfer Boys crew consisting of Will, Mike, Eleven, Jonathon, and Argyle reunite with the Hawkins crew and Hopper and Joyce, they witness the barrier between realities disintegrating. Vecna wasn’t just boasting. He succeeded in busting the wall between the real world and the Upside Down wide open. In the closing moments, the scope of the fight to come comes into focus. Vecna is hurt but not dead, and he is pissed. It will take everything and everyone working together to defeat him. Luckily he seems to grossly underestimate this group of determined and brave men, women, and children.
Is Vecna the Mind Flayer or did he make it?
Demibats, Demidogs, the Demigorgon, the Mind Flayer, and Vecna are all creations of Henry Creel, who is Vecna. Arguably they are also byproducts of Papa’s tinkering and Eleven’s original attack on the evil orderly, also called One. When Eleven threw him into the Upside Down after the massacre at Papa’s facility, he was severely injured, very mad, and hellbent on world domination. After the Stranger Things Season 4 Part 1 twist that Vecna, Creel, One, and the orderly are the same person, we didn’t think things could get any wilder. Dustin speculated that the Mind Flayer was Vecna’s, righthand man. He was right and wrong.
Vecna manifested the Mind Flayer from his warped imagination before becoming Vecna. Clear back when Vecna was just a psychopathic little kid, he drew pictures and dreamed of a spider monster. He was particularly obsessed with black widow spiders, and his house had no shortage of them. After Eleven banished him to the Upside Down, he discovered the hive mind particles and conjured the Mind Flayer and all the other monsters that have attacked Hawkins from those particles.
Because Henry/Vecna/One made the Mind Flayer, he can also control him. Interestingly it is important to note that Vecna implies he made the Mind Flayer, but we know he is a gifted liar. The particles were in the Upside Down before him, so it stands to reason that the Mind Flayer was, too, just not in the same form it eventually takes. The Mind Flayer predates him, and he just gained control over the Mind Flayer and all the other monsters when he was shoved there. We know Vecna has telepathic powers, and he may have sensed the Mind Flayer in the other world as a child. Later, when he was sent there, he used his powers to gain the upper hand on the powerful monster, thus securing his place as King of the Upside Down.
Vecna used the Demigorgons and the Mind Flayer in previous seasons because he was testing Eleven’s abilities. He already lost to her once, and he is nothing if not methodical. Last season, the Mind Flayer’s bite was designed to rob Eleven of her powers and give them to Vecna. He thinks he has control now, having successfully killed Max, albeit temporarily, and opened four doors between the Upside Down and Hawkins. He doesn’t realize, though, that our group is stronger together, and Will has a connection to him that will undoubtedly become very important. Vecna has always had an inflated sense of his control over Eleven. It has all been leading to this, and the battle for the world will play out in the final season of Stranger Things. I have no doubt it will be everything we ever hoped for.
What happens next is anyone’s guess. Vecna is the worst kind of monster. He is all-powerful, laser-focused, and intelligent. He thinks he knows everything he needs to know about our group, but he doesn’t realize Will has a connection with him and that the others are brave, selfless, and determined. Vecna may think that everything he has put this group through in the previous seasons gave him essential information about their weaknesses. It did, but it also exposed his. They didn’t win this battle, but they lived to fight another day. Max will find her way home, and they will prove a more dangerous foe than Vecna first thought. As Will pointed out, it’s all about heart. Our crew has that in spades.
As the Managing Editor for Signal Horizon, I love watching and writing about genre entertainment. I grew up with old-school slashers, but my real passion is television and all things weird and ambiguous. My work can be found here and Travel Weird, where I am the Editor in Chief.