Matthew Modine sure knows how to hype up the excitement for "Stranger Things" Season 4. He may have teased his return as Dr. Martin Brenner aka Papa in a recent interview.
Fans may very well remember Matthew Modine's character as Papa instead of Dr. Brenner because Eleven called him Papa in Season 1. He was a father figure to the then-young Eleven because she grew up inside his laboratory in Hawkins.
Sadly, Papa died at the end of Season 1, so people assumed, at the hands of the Demogorgon. Bach then again, there was no evidence to confirm if Dr. Brenner was really dead. He may not have appeared in Season 2 and 3, but he was briefly mentioned in the second season.
Perhaps the reason Papa never appeared in the past two seasons was that he was being held captive somewhere. The introduction of the Russians in Season 3 helps set up the character's return in "Stranger Things" Season 4. Modine himself teased that Papa is alive and that he is the "American" referred to by the Russian soldiers at the end of Season 3.
"What The Duffer Brothers said was that you did not see Dr. Brenner's body. You never saw him getting killed. They're the ones that said, if you don't see a body, the guy's not dead. So the question that so many people have is who's the American, in season 4 that they ended season three. They talked about an American so that's a good question," Modine told People.
In the same interview, the actor defended Dr. Brenner and said that he is not a bad guy because he never spoke harshly to Eleven or forced her to do anything that she did not want to do. Papa also did not kill anyone. Modine pointed out that Eleven might be the bad one after all since she has killed many people.
The actor's hint that Dr. Brenner may be the American held captive coincides with what executive producer and director Shawn Levy said about the character still being alive somewhere. The Duffer Brothers have also since hinted at his return in past interviews.
Moreover, a scene in Season 2 confirms Dr. Brenner is still alive. When Eleven was about to kill a former Hawkins Lab employee, he told her that Papa is still alive and that he knows where she can find him. Levy said the employee said that not just to save himself, but because it is the truth.
Chief Hopper may not be the American held captive by the Russians after all but Dr. Brenner. It would be exciting to know what Papa's return means for "Stranger Things" Season 4 and see how Eleven reacts to seeing him again after such a long time.