A Stranger Things Season 5 Theory Predicts Time Travel For Max

Her current condition may not be what it seems.

Sadie Sink on 'Stranger Things.' Photo via Netflix

Summer 2022 was a good time to be a Stranger Things fan: a season of singing “Chrissy Wake Up!” and “Running Up That Hill,” endless theorizing, and imagining what song would pull you out of Vecna’s curse. Sadly, the next Stranger Things summer might not happen for a while. While star David Harbour told GQ that he assumed Season 5 would likely air in mid-2024, that was before the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes of 2023. Matt and Ross Duffer, the show’s creators, spoke out when the writers strike was first announced, writing in a tweet that production was “not possible” and expressing their hopes that “a fair deal is reached soon.”

In the meantime, viewers are filling the delay with fan theories — and one, in particular, points to an exciting Season 5 storyline for Max. As you’ll remember from the end of Season 4, the young Kate Bush stan was not doing well after facing off against Vecna (again). Lucas was prevented from getting her out of Vecna’s curse in time, and by the time she was “rescued,” she couldn’t see or feel anything and her heart stopped for a full minute. Though she was technically alive by the end of the season, she was in a coma that doctors didn’t know when (or if) she’d wake up from.

According to Redditor u/beastboi27, there might be an explanation for what happened to Max. The user notes that while Eleven revived her friend to life, she couldn’t find her in the void while looking for Max’s mind. “What if Eleven unknowingly pushed Max’s soul to a different timeline, to one where she was still alive?” u/beastboi27 wondered in a recent post, comparing Max’s situation to time travel from Back to the Future or The Terminator.


If time travel is indeed part of Stranger Things Season 5, “it would be through a gate that Eleven can open,” the user posited. “I think it will be revealed that Eleven is capable of opening other kinds of gates. Not just through different dimensions but different timelines.” In a comment, they elaborated that perhaps “Max could be in a timeline where Henry is a child and ... She could befriend him and use him to contact the others somehow.”

Time is definitely an important element in Stranger Things — a motif recently seen (or heard) with Vecna’s dreaded grandfather clock in Season 4, and Back to the Future playing at the theater in Season 3. Terminator star Linda Hamilton is joining the cast of Season 5, too, so a nod to 1980s time travel movies would feel more appropriate than ever.