In Stranger Things, there have been many antagonists of different forms and sizes since season 1. They wreaked havoc on Hawkins’ soil with their monstrous intentions. Whether it is the Demogorgon, Mind Flayer, or Vecna who is himself the source behind this Upside Down. The only flesh and bone villain fans saw in the whole series is Dr. Martin Brenner played by Matthew Modine.
As we blame him for all the massacres that took place in the Laboratory of Hawkins town. But there are always two sides to every story narrated: the one is what we believe as viewers and the other is the real experience of that character. Although the character of Dr. Brenner has been shown rarely in all four seasons. Still, it seems that the man has flickers of positivity in him if we closely meditate on his actions.
The assumed villain of Stranger Things Matthew Modine has deeper roots in the storyline
If we travel back in time to Eleven’s memories Papa is the man who trains these 17 children in a secluded lab. He helps them nurture their powers and we don’t see any kind of harm done to kids. However, it is revealed that Brenner has embedded a chip in Henry Creel’s neck. Which seemed to be solely a protection barrier for everyone so that Henry’s immense power cannot harm people.
Because when Peter’s identity is revealed it becomes evident that he was a wicked kid who killed his family. While putting all the blame on his father pretending he is dead. Moreover, it was Peter who tricked Papa and started living with him in the Hawkins Lab as his first child 001. We can say that the ways Brenner used to keep those children captive are not appreciable. But there is a possibility that he might be saving them from evil hands. Like Russians, who could have used Eleven’s psychokinetic powers to open portals to other worlds.
Theories that might make you wonder if Papa is truly evil or not
On the other hand, viewers saw that Brenner never wanted the gate to be opened. And it was just a sudden mistake that ruined everything as Eleven went into a panic. Papa was continuously doing research and sending scientists in to find out the solution to this problem. As he knew this gate might tear up the whole Hawkins town into shreds. He seems to indicate all the terrible things coming their way and tells Eleven that she is not ready yet. Including the glimpse we got in the volume 2 trailer him saying:
“I know you’re frightened. You are terribly frightened by what you’ve seen. But I’m not gonna lie to you. You friends are not prepared for this fight.”
Therefore, we saw Eleven taking Papa’s hand in season 4 volume 1 as if she has some faith left in him. That she still trusts his process of retaining her powers and goes with him. So here we end with our newfound theory about the wicked scientist who isn’t so evil. But fans are always welcome to drop their opinions about Matthew Modine aka Papa in the comment box.