Warning: Major spoilers from Stranger Things 4 below.
As we learned from Max Mayfield, death is not so permanent in the Stranger Things universe. During Vol. 2 of the series’ long-anticipated fourth season, we saw Sadie Sink’s character seemingly die only to later learn that she is still technically alive — though it wasn’t originally intended to be that way. Well, now that the precedent has been set, another actor behind a character killed off this season has a theory about how his character could come back for the fifth and final installment of the show.
Matthew Modine, who plays Dr. Martin Brenner (aka Papa) on the show, has come up with a, ehm, solid theory that would justify his return and we are all ears. (Sorry, Eddiehive.) ICYMI: Papa dies in episode 8 of Stranger Things 4 after getting shot by a sniper while trying to save Millie Bobby Brown’s Eleven.
In a new interview with Vulture, Modine admitted he “wouldn’t want” Papa to be dead and explained his reasoning, suggesting his character might have some sort of
evil superpowers. “Three things are curious to me: How did he survive the Demogorgon [in season 1]? 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 mean, stranger things have happened — pun 100% intended.
“I don’t want to believe it’s over, because I love the Duffers. I don’t want to believe it’s over, because I can’t wait to work with Millie again. I say Millie, because I don’t really have anything to do with the other cast members — except for Paul Reiser [Dr. Sam Owens],” Modine added in his interview, manifesting a redemption arc for Papa. “Obviously, the only children he tortured who are alive, that we know of, are Eleven and Kali. I guess Vecna, if there’s any saving One. It would be that moment of them forgiving Brenner and giving him their grace.”
As hopeful as Modine might seem about Papa’s return, the Duffer Bros seem to be on a totally different wavelength. As noted by Entertainment Weekly, the brothers recently proclaimed Papa is “definitively” dead — “for real this time” — while speaking to Happy Sad Confused’s Josh Horowitz.
But never say never in the Stranger Things universe… right?