Chief Jim Hopper may have survived the explosion at Star Court mall to come out alive in "Stranger Things" Season 4. But he may not exactly be the same person that fans have grown to know.

Fans still believe that Hopper made it out alive during the explosion in one way or another. Some say he crawled to a safe spot during the time when Joyce looked away from where he was standing near the Russians' drilling device. Others believe he jumped through the crack into The Upside Down and is stuck in another dimension or possibly in Russia.

This theory would coincide with assumptions that Hopper is the captive American the Russians mentioned at the Season 3 end-credits scene. Because he is with the Russians, it makes it easy for them to turn him into a villain.

One way that Hopper could become the villain in "Stranger Things" Season 4 involves brainwashing. According to Screenrant, he can become the Russians' means to infiltrate Hawkins and especially to get Eleven, who thinks he died at the explosion. The enemies will capitalise on Hopper's close bond with Eleven, who then would become a valuable asset in their mission to access The Upside Down.

Another way that Hopper could become a villain in "Stranger Things" Season 4 is through his experience in The Upside Down. Following the theories that he is trapped in the dark place, Hopper can become highly susceptible to the control of the Mind Flayer. This is similar to what happened to Will Byers, who was trapped in The Upside Down in Season 1 and became sensitive to the creature's presence since his rescue.

Moreover, what happened to Billy could also happen to Hopper. Billy became evil when the Mind Flayer took control over him. He became the creature's mole or servant in bringing about death and darkness to Hawkins.

Regardless of how and if Hopper turns into a villain in "Stranger Things" Season 4, fans still do not know whether he is alive or dead. David Harbour said he does not know his character's fate since The Duffer Brothers have not told him anything. He believes that Hopper "would certainly have to emerge a different individual" if he is indeed alive.

David Harbour in Stranger Things
David Harbour as Chief Jim Hopper in "Stranger Things." Netflix / YouTube