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Stranger Things season 4, episode 9 recap – ending explained

July 1, 2022

This recap of Stranger Things Season 4 Episode 9, “Chapter Nine: The Piggyback,” contains spoilers, including an open discussion about the Stranger Things Season 4 ending. You can view our full archive of coverage for this show by clicking on these words.

So, it’s a colossal episode, and rather than deliver a dry 7000-word recap, you’ll forgive me if I focus mostly on the highlights. There was plenty of explosive action in the penultimate outing to get you up to speed, so “Chapter Nine: The Piggyback” basically picks up where we left off. Hopper, Joyce and Murray are still in Russia, Max, Lucas and Erica are able to carry out phase 1 of the operation: Kill Vecna, Nancy, Steve, Robin, Dustin and Eddie have ventured into the Upside- Down for Phases 2 and 3 of this plan – getting rid of Vecna’s bats, then flaming it with Molotov cocktails – and Eleven is on her way back to Hawkins with Mike, Will, Jonathan and Argyle.


Stranger Things Season 4 Episode 9 Recap

In this case, Eleven and co. can’t get back to Hawkins in time, so El comes up with the main idea of ​​piggybacking on Vecna’s infiltration into Max’s mind by infiltrating Max’s mind herself and fighting him from a distance. For this she will need a bathtub and lots of salt to create a sensory deprivation tank to focus her powers. Hopper and company. realize they can’t go back in time either, so they decide instead to break back into the prison and destroy the particles – the black mist that I thought was the base form of the Mind Flayer – from there. These things are all happening while Nancy, Steve, Robin and the kids are carrying out their plan, so there’s a lot going on here.

Luckily, the episode’s extended runtime provides plenty of room for some great character moments in all that buildup. Hopper and Joyce have a sweet one, as do Max and Lucas, who communicate via notes because Max can’t take off his headphones, and Steve and Nancy. There’s a funny scene where Argyle finally makes himself useful and allows the kids to move into the pizzeria where he works. And Antonov even manages to make himself understood by Yuri, stirring up his old heroic tendencies. You can feel the big moments coming, but Chapter Nine: The Piggyback doesn’t forget that it’s the little ones that matter most.

Anyway, the plan is launched. Max allows Vecna ​​to enter his mind by confessing his deepest and most shameful thoughts about his brother. Meanwhile, Eleven is hovering nearby, trying to reach her, and Eddie lures the bats in – pretty impressive, especially considering the aesthetic – by playing Metallica’s “Master of Puppets” on an electric guitar borrowed from the roof of the trailer. It’s a chaotic hodgepodge of scenes involving flashbacks, visions of Billy, dead ends in the Creel house, locked doors, and swarms of demon bats, but it all works like gangbusters.

Naturally, the complications quickly begin to mount. Eleven must navigate some of Max’s earliest memories. Jason shows up at the Creel house and tries to force Lucas to wake Max at gunpoint. Steve, Robin and Nancy are attacked and held prisoner by the vines of the house. And Hopper, Joyce and Murray return to the prison to find that the black particles have taken over the Demodogs, and they must all be locked in the monster pit, with Hopper playing bait, so they can be incinerated. by the top.

The swarm also manages to punch through the vents in the trailer, forcing Dustin and Eddie to fight them off. After the latter climbs the sheets to the right side, the latter cuts off the escape route and tries to buy more time by heading straight into the swarm and leaving at high speed, hoping that they will. follow. From there, it’s one major catharsis moment of punch after punch. Lucas fights Jason. Eleven fights Vecna. Eddie turns to face the swarm as Dustin climbs back up to the Upside-Down to help him.

But Eleven is no match for Vecna. He dominates her, binds her with his ichorous tentacles and wants her to watch as he chains Max next to her. The fourth murder, the fourth gate, will mean the end of Hawkins and the world. Eleven pleads with Vecna ​​to stop calling out Dad’s name, but it only sparks backstory. After being banished backwards by Eleven, Vecna ​​wandered, explored, until he finally found the Mind Flayer and fashioned him with his powers, the arachnid medium by which he could finally become the predator quest. he thought he was born. Hawkins will be first, then the world, and in the ruins of what was once Vecna ​​he will build something new in his own image. As he speaks, we see Eddie being taken down by the swarm, Hopper being jumped by a Demodog, Steven and Nancy being choked by the vines, Lucas being beaten by Jason while Erica lazily brays at the door. Are the heroes… losing?

Well, not exactly. It is Mike who is able to break through with Eleven, confessing his love to her and begging her to fight. And it’s just in time too. As we see Max’s arms and legs begin to break and twist, Lucas fights Jason, Joyce saves Hopper from the Demodog, Dustin reaches Eddie in the middle of the swarm, and yes, Eleven sends Vecna ​​flying. At the same time, Murray rains hellfire down on the prison demons, causing the swarm to fall from the sky and Vecna ​​to writhe in pain. The vines free Nancy, Robin, and Steve, freeing them to enact the flambe phase of the plan, and Hopper takes up a giant sword to battle the last remaining Demogorgon. In huge moments, Steve and Robin cook Vecna’s physical form while Nancy unloads the sawed-off shotgun at him, and Hopper beheads the Demogorgon just in time for the Russians to pick them up.

But there are victims. One of them is Eddie, who succumbs to the swarm’s attack after a touching goodbye to Dustin. And another is… Max. She’s taken too much damage under Vecna’s thrall and dies in Lucas’ arms, her last words saying she wasn’t ready. This, of course, is all Vecna ​​needed. The clock strikes four times and the earth begins to split apart, rivers of magma flowing through Hawkins. Eleven, however, did not. She reaches out to touch Max, and as the memories of them both swirl around her head, stranger things season 4, episode 9 cut to two days later.

Stranger Things season 4 ending explained

Mike, Will, Eleven, Jonathan and Argyle arrive in Hawkins just as everyone is leaving, fleeing the tendrils of black smoke that erupted after what the news dubbed a magnitude 7.4 earthquake, “a disaster nature on an almost unprecedented scale”. Eddie Munson’s Satanic Hellfire cult is still blamed for the murders, and many believe it is also to blame for the earthquake, which some believe was a portal straight to hell. The gang is reunited in the midst of this carnage, and the tone is soured by Max’s fate. She’s alive, but her arms, legs and probably her back are broken and she’s in a coma – her heart stopped for over a minute and there’s a chance she’ll never wake up, despite Lucas sat eagerly by her bedside, reading Stephen King. The talisman out loud for her.

Doctors don’t know how Max’s heart restarted. It was a miracle. Of course, we know it was Eleven.

Steve, Robin and Dustin help with community relief efforts. Robin arrives to make PB&J sandwiches alongside newly single Vickie, and Dustin arrives to tearfully break the news of Eddie’s death to Mr. Munson, who still replaces the missing posters that the other townspeople have. city ​​keep vandalizing with satanic symbols.

Everyone is going to fix Hopper’s cabin in the woods. Nancy and Jonathan are still hesitant to say how they really feel about each other. Eleven always feels deeply guilty for what happened to Max, despite the fact that the outcome would have been much worse had she not intervened. And Will, now that he’s back in Hawkins, can sense Vecna ​​- hurt, but alive. Looks like there will be another season after all. As if to confirm this, even the touching reunion between Hopper and Eleven is interrupted by shivers down Will’s neck and ashes falling from the sky. When Hopper and Joyce take the children to a nearby hill, they see dark clouds roll in, red lightning crackle, and see the beauty and nature of the city begin to fade and die. The Upside-Down is breaking through.

You can stream Stranger Things season 4, episode 9, “Chapter Nine: The Piggyback” exclusively on Netflix. Do you have any thoughts on the ending of Season 4 of Stranger Things? Let us know in the comments.

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