Stranger Issues: Is Dr. Brenner the Essential Dangerous Man?

The fourth season of “Stranger Issues” seemingly introduces probably the most highly effective villain we have met thus far: Vecna, a lethal monster from the Upside Down. However Vecna is not simply any interdimensional baddie — he was One, one other check topic like Eleven within the lab run by Dr. Brenner. Whereas the present has made it clear that Vecna is “Stranger Issues”‘s new foremost baddie, we will not assist however keep watch over Dr. Brenner, who’s again after inexplicably surviving a brush with the Demogorgon. In some methods, Dr. Brenner truly could be the baddest of all of them, so let’s take a better have a look at the proof (and theories) thus far.

Does Dr. Brenner Have Powers in “Stranger Issues”?

At the same time as we study an increasing number of in regards to the backstory of the lab the place Eleven and her “siblings” originated, we nonetheless know remarkably little in regards to the mad scientist she referred to as “Papa.” A whole lot of questions stay about who he’s, how he received concerned with the venture, and the way he is managed to outlive all the risks and near-death experiences working with these superpowered youngsters has introduced upon him. Is it potential that he has powers of his personal, and that is how he has stayed alive by way of all of it?

We will not assist questioning in regards to the particulars of Dr. Brenner’s “work” with the youngsters within the lab. Did he “give” them powers merely by way of sheer mad-science experimentation, or was he capable of give them superpowers as a result of he already had a head begin from having powers of his personal? Dr. Brenner having powers would additionally clarify plenty of issues about his unlikely survival; we have seen him survive a Demogorgon assault and One’s assault on the lab, and who is aware of what different “accidents” occurred throughout his time on the lab.

One Reddit theory takes this risk even additional, positing that Dr. Brenner could be “000,” or the unique superpowered being. The Reddit person, Jamcam007, factors out that we by no means see the spot on Dr. Brenner’s wrist the place numbers can be; it is at all times coated by a watch. It is also price contemplating within the context of the “affected person zero” colloquialism historically used to indicate the unique supply of one thing uncommon. If there is a affected person zero among the many superpowered people, then Dr. Brenner would positively be an attention-grabbing risk, though this concept would not appear doubtless at this level.

By the top of the fourth season, it seems that Dr. Brenner has no supernatural powers of his personal — simply the nice outdated powers of manipulation. He is glorious at psychologically manipulating Eleven for his personal ends. That manipulative habits appears to point that, missing powers of his personal, he wants her energy to maintain pursuing his objectives with the Upside Down and One.

What Is Dr. Brenner’s Hyperlink to the Upside Down?

STRANGER THINGS, from left: Millie Bobby Brown, Matthew Modine, 'Chapter Six: The Dive', (Season 4, ep. 406, aired May 27, 2022). photo: Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

The connection between the Upside Down and the experiments — each on the lab in Hawkins and on the Russian facility — has already been made clear. Human experiments have cracked open a door to that demonic dimension, permitting monsters by way of. However we nonetheless do not know for positive how the Upside Down got here to exist within the first place.

One risk: Dr. Brenner is, by some means, personally answerable for the creation of the Upside Down, not only for breaking by way of to it. This might go one in all two methods: both as a part of the “Dr. Brenner has powers” concept, or just by way of supernatural science experiments gone horribly improper (or horribly proper, relying on what his unique intentions have been). His reactions to shows of energy — Eleven discovering the monsters, as an example, and even her extra violent unintentional makes use of of energy — appear extra awestruck than horrified, additional indicating that he is getting what he needs out of his experiments. The one time he really appears horrified is after One’s killing spree — that’s, after his life’s work is all however destroyed.

Dr. Brenner’s curiosity within the Upside Down might additionally intently hook up with his curiosity in Eleven. It appears too unlikely that he has helped El get her powers again simply because he believes it is the precise factor to do. He is aware of how highly effective she is, and he is aware of how highly effective their enemies within the Upside Down are. May he be making an attempt to make use of El to not defeat the monsters for the nice of everybody, however to take management of the Upside Down for himself?

These theories develop into partially proper by the point the fourth season ends. It’s true that Dr. Brenner has been mendacity to Eleven in regards to the precise causes for his experiments and curiosity within the Upside Down. The “Soviet spying” was at all times only a ruse — actually, he is been obsessive about monitoring down One within the Upside Down, heedless of the collateral injury.

He is not the one immediately answerable for the creation of the Upside Down, although he’s not directly accountable due to the tormenting of his check topics. That (dis)honor belongs to One, who lastly reveals to El what actually occurred after she banished him to an alternate dimension. When he arrived, he discovered a dimension wealthy with untapped, supernatural potential, and he molded it to go well with his functions. The spider-like creatures from the Upside Down derive from his obsessions; the power-stealing Thoughts Flayer was created by One to steal El’s powers in order that he might construct extra “gates” and devour your entire dimension of the true world. Dr. Brenner did not create the Upside Down, he simply created the monster who did.

What Does Dr. Brenner’s Crossword Puzzle Imply?

Everyone knows that the “Stranger Issues” writers like to cover their clues in plain sight. A pair of Reddit users zoomed in and took a better have a look at Dr. Brenner’s crossword puzzle from the opening minutes of season 4, and it appears like there may very well be some related hints buried there.

Among the many phrases within the puzzle are some ominous references, comparable to “Robespierre,” famed for the Reign of Terror in revolutionary France, together with a number of references to Russia and the Soviets, like “Tsar” and “Eurasian.” The title “Kali” additionally seems, aka the title of Eight, one of many surviving check topics from the lab.

Had been these meant to be hints or — as one clue within the puzzle says — only a bunch of “shams” meant to misdirect us? In the intervening time, it appears like lots of these are clues that both are irrelevant or will not be revealed till the ultimate season; not one of the main “clues” within the crossword seem to have any relevance to the best way the season wraps up. Dr. Brenner looks like he is lastly out of the image for good by the top of season 4, however the devastating results of his mad-science experiments will proceed to stay on as “Stranger Issues” barrels in the direction of its ultimate act

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