This Is Just A "Stranger Things 4" Appreciation Post For These Three Heartbreaking Minutes In Episode 9

·6 min read

🚨 There are MASSIVE — and I really mean massive — SPOILERS ahead for Stranger Things, Season 4, Vol. 2. So, if you have NOT watched yet, do not keep reading, and save this for later! 🚨

If you're like me, then you've probably spent the last few days trying to emotionally recover from Stranger Things, Season 4, Vol. 2. I mean, it was nearly four hours of absolute chaos as we watched all of our favorite characters battle Vecna and try to make it home to Hawkins.

Eleven looking distraught with blood coming from her nose; Robin and Steve holding weapons

Now, it's not like Season 4, Vol. 1 was a happy time. The first batch of episodes also hit us with quite a lot of heartbreak, especially when it came to Max Mayfield (Sadie Sink).

Max giving a speech at Billy's grave, saying she imagines herself saving his life and them becoming friends, like a real brother and sister

Namely, Stranger Things gifted us with "Dear Billy," an emotional roller coaster of an episode that followed Max as she faced Vecna while her friends tried to find a way to save her.

Max is trapped by Vecna and the world has turned red and desolate

After the episode dropped, fans were calling for Sadie Sink to get an awards nomination for her performance. The last five minutes of the episode were, dare I say, perfect between Sadie's acting and the use of Kate Bush's "Running Up That Hill."

Max telling Vecna he's not really there, Vecna insisting that he is, and "Running Up That Hill" starts playing

And while we were all still reeling from Sadie's performance in "Dear Billy," Sadie Sink hit us with another awardworthy performance, this time opposite Caleb McLaughlin.

Lucas holding a sign up to Max that says, "Movie Friday?" and Max holding up a picture of them holding hands

In the Season 4 finale titled "The Piggyback," Max once again comes face-to-face with Vecna, but this time she's not so lucky. In a heartwrenching moment, Vecna gets Max and tries to kill her in his signature gruesome fashion.

Max cries as Vecna holds her captive and Eleven screams for her

While Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) eventually summons all her strength to injure Vecna, it's almost too late. In the real world, Max drops to the floor as Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) clutches her body, and what ensues is arguably the most heartbreaking scene Stranger Things has ever given us.

Max says she can't see and doesn't want to die as Lucas holds her close

Like, Lucas trying to comfort Max as she says she doesn't want to die, all while Eleven is watching, but they don't know she's there with them. I'm crying just thinking about it.

Lucas holds Max as she's dying and then says, "Erica, help!"

I genuinely think this is the finest acting Sadie, Caleb, and Millie have done on this show, and I could give a very long Ted Talk on why it's so good. They really made me believe Max was dead.

Eleven crying; Max dying; Lucas telling Max to stay with him

Speaking about filming this incredibly emotional moment alongside Caleb, Sadie told Vulture, "I’ve known Caleb for what feels like my whole life at this point. We have so much chemistry and trust each other as actors, as people, and as the characters. We felt very prepared and there was security in that."

Max unconscious; Lucas crying for help; Eleven crying

"It’s definitely not hard to do that kind of scene with a friend like that — you’re rooting for it. And you’re looking forward to their movie date on Friday and it’s not going to happen! There’s many things to unpack there, but yeah, I was very proud of Caleb because I’d never seen him do work like that on the show. It was really rewarding for me to have that experience with him, as tragic as it may be," said Sadie.

Lucas holding Max; a closeup of Max's face

And, as if this moment couldn't get more heartbreaking, the Stranger Things writers revealed that Caleb actually improvised Lucas saying, "Erica, help!"

Basically, while binge-watching Stranger Things, Season 4, Vol. 2, fans — including me — were quick to share their love for Sadie, Caleb, AND Millie during this emotional moment in Episode 9, and everyone agrees that they deserve awards:

What did you think of this Stranger Things moment? Tell us everything in the comments below!