Stranger Things: Is Dr. Brenner the main villain?

STRANGER THINGS, Matthew Modine, 'Chapter Two: Vecna's Curse', (Season 4, ep. 402, aired May 27, 2022).  photo: Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

The fourth season of “Stranger Things” seemingly introduces the most powerful villain we’ve encountered yet: Vecna, a deadly monster from the Upside Down. But Vecna ​​isn’t just any interdimensional villain — he used to be One, another test subject like Eleven in Dr. Brenner. While the show has made it clear that Vecna ​​is the new “Stranger Things” main villain, we can’t help but say Dr. Keep an eye on Brenner, who’s back after inexplicably surviving a brush with the Demogorgon. In some ways, Dr. Brenner might be the worst of them all, so let’s take a closer look at the evidence (and theories) thus far.

Does Dr. Brenner powers in “strange things”?

Even as we learn more and more about the backstory of the lab where Elf and her “siblings” originated, we still know remarkably little about the mad scientist she called “Daddy.” Many questions remain about who he is, how he got involved in the project, and how he survived all the dangers and near-death experiences that working with these super-powered kids has brought him. Is it possible that he has his own powers, and that’s why he stayed alive?

We wonder about the details of Dr. Brenner’s “work” with the kids in the lab. Did he just give them powers through pure science experiments, or was he able to give them superpowers because he was already ahead by having his own powers? dr. Brenner with powers would also explain many things about his unlikely survival; we’ve seen him survive a Demogorgon attack and One’s attack on the lab, and who knows what other “accidents” happened while he was in the lab.

A Reddit theory takes this possibility even further, stating that Dr. Brenner might be “000”, or the original super-powered creature. The Reddit user, Jamcam007, points out that we never saw the spot on Dr. Brenner seeing where numbers would be; it is always covered by a watch. It is also worth considering in the context of the “patient zero” colloquialism traditionally used to indicate the original source of something unusual. If a patient is zero among the super-powered people, Dr. Brenner could certainly be an interesting possibility, although this theory doesn’t seem likely at this point.

By the end of the fourth season, it seems that Dr. Brenner himself has no supernatural powers – just the good old manipulators. He is excellent at psychologically manipulating Eleven for his own ends. That manipulative behavior seems to indicate that, lacking his own strength, he needs her strength to continue pursuing his goals with the Upside Down and One.

What is the link of dr. Brenner to the upside down?

STRANGER THINGS, from left: Millie Bobby Brown, Matthew Modine,

The connection between the Upside Down and the experiments – both in the lab at Hawkins and in the Russian facility – has already been made clear. Human experiments have broken open a door to that demonic dimension, allowing monsters to pass through. But we’re still not sure how the Upside Down came to be in the first place.

One possibility: Dr. Brenner is somehow personally responsible for creating the Upside Down, not just breaking it. This can be done in two ways: either as part of the “Dr. Brenner has powers” theory, or simply through supernatural science experiments gone horribly wrong (or horribly right, depending on what his original intentions were). His responses to a show of power—Eleven discovering the monsters, or even her more violent accidental use of power—seem more in awe than shock, further indicating that he’s getting what he wants out of his experiments. The only time he seems truly shocked is after One’s killing spree—that is, after his life’s work is all but destroyed.

dr. Brenner’s interest in the Upside Down could also be closely related to his interest in Eleven. It seems too unlikely that he helped El regain her powers just because he believes it is the right thing to do. He knows how powerful she is, and he knows how powerful their enemies are in the Upside Down. Would he try to use El to defeat the monsters not for the good of everyone, but to take control of the Upside Down for himself?

These theories turn out to be partially correct by the time the fourth season ends. It is true that Dr. Brenner lied to Eleven about the exact reasons for his experiments and interest in the Upside Down. The “Soviet espionage” was always just a ruse – really, he’s obsessed with tracking down One in the Upside Down, regardless of the collateral damage.

He is not directly responsible for the creation of the Upside Down, although he is indirectly responsible for tormenting his subjects. That (dis)honor belongs to One, who eventually reveals to El what really happened after she banished him to an alternate dimension. When he arrived, he found a dimension rich in untapped, supernatural potential, and molded it to his purposes. The Upside Down’s arachnid creatures spring from his obsessions; the power-stealing Mind Flayer was created by One to steal El’s powers so that he could build more “gates” and consume the entire dimension of the real world. dr. Brenner didn’t create the Upside Down, he just created the monster that did.

What does the crossword puzzle of Dr. Brenner?

We all know that the writers of “Stranger Things” like to hide their clues in plain sight. A few Reddit users zoomed in and looked at Dr. Brenner from the opening minutes of season four, and it looks like some pertinent hints may be buried there.

Among the words in the puzzle are some ominous references, such as “Robespierre,” famous for the reign of terror in Revolutionary France, along with several references to Russia and the Soviets, such as “Tsar” and “Eurasian.” The name “Kali” also appears, which is the name of Eight, one of the surviving test subjects from the lab.

Were these hints or – as one clue in the puzzle says – just a bunch of “shams” meant to mislead us? For now, it looks like a lot of those clues are either irrelevant or won’t be revealed until the final season; none of the key “cues” in the crossword seem to be relevant to how the season ends. It seems that Dr. Brenner is finally out of the picture for good at the end of season four, but the devastating effects of his crazy science experiments will live on as “Stranger Things” progresses to its final act

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