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Stranger Things' Matthew Modine Doesn't Think We've Seen the Last of Dr. Brenner

Modine believes Brenner could return for a redemption arc in Season 5.
  • Matthew Modine in Stranger Things Season 4 (Photo: Tina Rowden/Netflix)
    Matthew Modine in Stranger Things Season 4 (Photo: Tina Rowden/Netflix)

    Stranger Things star Matthew Modine doesn't think we've seen the last of Dr. Brenner, a.k.a. Papa.

    In Stranger Things Season 4, viewers saw Dr. Brenner die in the desert outside the secret research facility where Eleven and the other super-powered children were kept. As far as Stranger Things deaths go, Dr. Brenner's seemed fairly definitive, but the drama has been known to show characters die, only to later bring them back.

    In an interview with Vulture, Modine speculated about Brenner's death and discussed his hopes for Season 5.

    When asked if he would say Brenner is dead, Modine responded, "No, I wouldn't. Because I wouldn't want him to be dead."

    Modine went on to reference other times Brenner has inexplicably survived, digging into some of the things his character has said in those pivotal scenes.

    "Three things are curious to me," said Modine. "How did he survive the Demogorgon? How did he survive One? And when Eleven tries to use her power against Dr. Brenner after blowing three guards in the air, he unflinchingly thwarts her and says, 'You didn't think it was going to be that easy, did you?' She couldn't get it to work on him. Is there something more to Brenner than meets the eye?"

    "I don't want to believe it's over, because I love the Duffers," he continued. "I don't want to believe it's over, because I can't wait to work with Millie [Bobby Brown] again."

    Modine also said he would like to see Dr. Brenner redeem himself in the next season, if he were to come back.

    "Obviously, the only children he tortured who are alive, that we know of, are Eleven and Kali," said Modine. "I guess Vecna, if there's any saving One. It would be that moment of them forgiving Brenner and giving him their grace."

    "And the horror of what Brenner did is accepting and understanding his culpability in the death of all those children because of what One did," the actor continued. "So if Eleven and Kali, or just Eleven, forgave him and sent him off, he would spend the remaining days of his life knowing he had been forgiven but having to accept responsibility for what he did."

    He added, "Do you think Donald Trump is able to sleep at night with a clear conscience? Or does he have to sedate himself and become a psychopathic liar in order to justify the behavior and the things that he's done? Well, maybe he is. That's a bad example. I think Dr. Brenner is a more moral person than that, and he'd have to spend his final days acknowledging and accepting responsibility for the pain he caused. That's the real nightmare — not being able to escape your thoughts and the things you've seen or done."

    Stranger Things is streaming on Netflix.

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    Deena ElGenaidi's writing has been featured in Nylon, MTV News, Insider, The AV Club, and more. You can follow her on Twitter @deenaelg.

    TOPICS: Stranger Things, Netflix, Matthew Modine