Max is technically alive after Stranger Things season 4 but according to a new theory, her fate could be worse than death.
Max played by Sadie Sink became a fan favorite character after her debut in Stranger Things season 2. She saw her brother Billy die in season 3 which left her depressed as she partially blamed herself for Billy's death at the hands of The Mind Flayer. In season 4 she ends up being killed by Vecna before Eleven used her powers to somehow resurrect Max. In the end, Max remains in a coma and we don't know when will she recover.
Eleven tried to enter Max's mind but found nothing there which could be considered a representation of her being brain dead. However, a new dark theory reveals that Max could be alive inside Vecna. The soul of Max may have left her body when she died and it is likely under the thumb of Vecna, aka Henry Creel.
At one point in the show, Dr. Brenner tells El that Vecna does not just kill people, he consumes them. So the moment she died, Max's essence left her body and became the property of Vecna which explains why Max is not there to meet Eleven inside her own mind.
So as per this theory, Max is trapped inside Vecna somehow. The only one who can save her is again Eleven. She will need to enter the mind of Vecna and explore through it until she is able to locate Max and bring her back to her own body.
Of course, Vecna will not make that an easy task and will try to claim Eleven for himself while she is visiting. If Eleven does succeed in bringing back Max to her body during season 5 though, there is still the question of her physical state. Her limbs are broken and she is suffering from blindness which will likely require a remedy of the supernatural sort.
Do you think Max will recover in season 5? Put your thoughts in the comments below.