Dr. Martin Brenner (Matthew Modine) is one of those faces of Stranger Things who makes this cycle of storyline complete. As we know, this scientist is the founder of Hawkins National Laboratory and is the antagonist of the show. However, he is a character that is neither right or wrong. Brenner was the reason behind the havoc unleashed on the city because he raised supernatural kids and made them the subject of various experiments.
Season 1 ended with his presumed death while he secretly built another lab in Nevada. As menacing as Brenner was in Eleven’s life, Modine has sympathized with the character in the past. He recently used a Budha quote to explain the scientist’s intentions. That said, the actor never condoned his character’s actions and recently used two words to describe them.
Matthew Modine does not approve of Dr. Brenner’s actions in Stranger Things
Matthew Modine recently sat down with Vulture to talk about his role in Netflix’s Stranger Things. They asked all the questions that have been burning fans’ minds for the last four seasons. Including his intentions behind creating this confined place for children and torturing Eleven all these years. On the flip side, he saves Eleven from the clutches of the army as he dies in the desert.
“Eleven calls Brenner a monster — a pretty big blow given that Vecna is still around and terrorizing people. In your eyes, is he worthy of empathy?” read the question in Vulture’s interview.
Modine explained his thoughts by giving an example of a flea who adopts the environment in which it lives. In a natural environment, a flea can jump up to seven feet, but when you put it in the jar, in time it will be conditioned to believe that the jar is the world. Later, when you take the flea back into nature, it will never jump as high as seven feet. “This is a good metaphor for Dr. Brenner and the children,” remarked Modine.
Likewise, Dr. Brenner created a suffocating environment for Eleven and the other children to control them. While he expected them to harness their abilities through telekinetic powers, he wanted to limit their exposure of the outside world. He added:
“This is what I would define as mental slavery, and it’s an unforgivable crime.”
Matthew doesn’t think you can consider a controlling person like Brenner to be a good man. On numerous occasions in the show, we have seen Papa going beyond the limits of experimenting on those young kids. Therefore, he agrees with Eleven, who called him a monster in volume 2 of Stranger Things. He never stopped bugging children’s minds, always looking for something new. Ultimately, it led to the gate opening for Vecna and Mind Flayer to enter the human world.
What do you think of Dr Brenner? Do you think he was justified? Was he really the monster? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.