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Wait, How Did Eleven Do That?! Huge New Power Explained

Warning: This article contains major spoilers for Stranger Things season 4, vol 2.

Stranger Things season 4, vol 2 provides a lot of major plot twists for the series, including one huge new power for Eleven. After leaving audiences to stew on the events of vol 1, the final two episodes of Stranger Things season 4 proved even more dramatic than many viewers were expecting, tying the plots of the various groups together and bringing them back to Hawkins to set up for the thrilling conclusion of the beloved Netflix TV show. Though all the cast evolve throughout their respective arcs, Eleven’s is perhaps most notable in that she seemingly uses a new ability at the very end of the season.

Eleven’s abilities have been steadily made clearer throughout the course of the show, but Stranger Things season 4 perhaps focuses the most on them. Given season 3 ends with Eleven seemingly losing her powers, much of her arc this season has revolved around her simply regaining any powers, with actively training them being comparatively a wayside goal. That said, not only do Eleven’s powers come back, but she also seems to use them in a totally new way in the Stranger Things season 4, vol 2 ending.

Related: Vecna & Mind Flayer Connection Fully Explained

This is namely because Eleven uses her powers to seemingly resurrect Max after her decision to use herself as bait for Vecna goes awry at the end of Stranger Things season 4, vol 2. While the team are able to hunt him down because of her sacrifice, Max begins to succumb to the Stranger Things villain, showing signs of becoming this fourth victim and the final death needed to doom Hawkins to the Upside Down’s forces. As Lucas desperately begs Max to live in the real world, Eleven’s connection with Max via The Void allows her to also take in her friend’s dying moments, before refusing to let Max die and recalling a series of memories the pair had together while trying to use her powers. With the show’s final cut to two days after showing Max alive, it would seem however Eleven intended to use her powers in order to revive Max ultimately worked.

The Stranger Things season 4, vol 2 finale confirms Max did die in this scene – as it’s later revealed she was dead for a whole minute, before Eleven managed to use her powers to revive her. Though Max ends the season in a coma, she is otherwise brought back to the land of living seemingly by Eleven, which naturally raises a ton of questions as to how this new power works. The answer is likely related to how Eleven’s powers work in conjunction with Vecna’s own abilities. Firstly, it’s worth keeping in mind that Vecna and his abilities caused Max’s death, and thus it makes sense that Eleven would be able to battle whatever ability did this in and reverse its effects in order to bring her back and prevent a permanent Stranger Things Max death. It’s repeatedly established that Vecna relies on the negative memories of those he marks for death in order to kill them – something seen in the fact that he uses Max’s memories of Billy against her – and thus it makes sense that the series of positive memories of Max’s life that Eleven is able to recall for her is able to bring her back.

This said, it’s also worth noting that these memories are all of Eleven and Max’s time together instead of memories she is able to access from Max’s mind, suggesting it may be Eleven’s own emotional reaction to these events that allows her to resurrect Max. Given her powers have been used when she’s been especially angry to cause damage, it makes sense that the inverse could also be true, and that recalling positive memories and emotions allow Eleven’s extraordinary powers to aid a friend in need. This type of motivation has been seen before in the show, when Eleven used the memories of her mother in order to send Henry Creel to the Upside Down in the first place – and also seems to be how Mike’s confession of his love assists her, as well.

Contextually, it’s important to remember that the scenes of Eleven using her powers to seemingly bring Max back to life don’t happen in the real world, which suggests that unfortunately the Stranger Things protagonist has not suddenly become able to revive the dying just in time for the final season. However, given that Stranger Things season 4 began with her trying to regain her powers, she’s come a long way in a very short time. Stranger Things season 4, vol 2 makes a point of repeatedly emphasizing that Eleven is less powerful than Vecna, and the fact he is revealed to have on some level survived his own murder supports this idea considerably. This said, the Nina Project certainly seems to have done its work in making sure Eleven is powerful enough to at least stand a chance of squaring up against Henry Creel’s own abilities, as she’s once again able to enter The Void, has regained her telekinetic abilities, and seemingly has a better hold on the nature of her powers due to her training and the memories they uncovered.

Eleven could arguably become more powerful in the long run if she’s able to use her connections with people and the love she has for them in relation with her powers, as this seems to be the way she is able to be at her strongest. This would indeed explain how Eleven could finally overpower Vecna in Stranger Things season 5 – because he has chosen to cut himself off from human connection, not grow from it. After her training, Eleven is potentially even more powerful after Stranger Things season 4 than she’s ever been before – which she’ll definitely need, given what’s been set up for the events of the climactic final season.

Next: Everything We Know About Stranger Things Season 5: Cast, Setting & Story

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