"Maxine, what the heck is going on with the weather up there? Are they doing military tests or something? You’re right in the eye of the storm." — Vanessa's SMS to her daughter, Max, in "Dark Room"
Max's mother cares about her daughter a lot. She is incredibly supportive of Max's decision to go to Blackwell Academy, and clearly misses her while she's away. She does not seem to be angry when Principal Wells emails her about Max, but she seems reasonably concerned about the goings-on of Blackwell despite having received limited information.
Max is very fond of her mother, admiring the box of chocolate coconut bites in her room she was sent for her birthday. She brings with her a cushion that she and her mother had sewn together, remembering the happy times.
Max receives texts from her mother during the game. A birthday message is the first, highlighting how much her mother cares for her. The second is after Max's first encounter with Principal Wells. The third is about the plant, Lisa, warning Max not to forget to water it, but not to water it too much. The fourth is to express support or congratulate Max for Max's rescue attempt on Kate Marsh and to extend an open invite where Max may always return to Seattle to visit her anytime.
In the alternative timeline, Max receives some SMS messages from her mother complaining about her spending. Alternative Max argues back saying she didn't spend that much and that she only bought film for her camera. Her mother seems disappointed and suggests switching to digital images instead to save money. Although, the original birthday message from the original timeline is there, suggesting that the two still have a fond and loving relationship.
- Max and her mother sewed a cushion together, and thinking of the day they did that makes Max smile. She brings the cushion with her to Arcadia Bay and it is on her bed in her room.
- In Episode 1, Max's mother sends her two SMS messages.
- Max's mother sends Max a $200 dollar gift certificate and a box of chocolate coconut bites for her birthday. She and Max's father also send Max a birthday message.
- In Episode 4, it is revealed her name is Vanessa.
- Max mentions on page 67 of her diary that Vanessa is into true-crime shows.