Stranger Things recently wrapped up its third season with plenty of horror and suspense to keep the show going for another eight episodes. During a mid-credits scene, fans were given a teaser for who may or may not return to the show in season 4. In the scene, an innocent Russian captive is chosen and locked in a cage with the Demogorgon, but that’s not what’s most important. Before the Russian is selected, the guards walk past another cell, where an unknown “American” is being held. Theories over which American this could be are circulating throughout the fandom, with one compelling argument coming to the forefront.
Who Is “The American?”
Many fans are hoping that the American teased in the end credits is none other than Hopper, but with the way the show is progressing, there is a much more grim, and much more likely scenario that’s been proposed by fans. Many believe that the American is actually Dr. Martin Brenner, the evil torturer at Hawkins lab that kidnapped Eleven and made her childhood miserable. Dr. Brenner’s last appearance on screen was purposefully ambiguous. Just before his final moments, we see the Demogorgon break through the school’s hallway, unscathed by the bullets raining down on it. While we witness the deaths of everyone else in the hallway, Dr. Brenner’s death isn’t shown on camera. This could be a loophole for the show to bring back one of its most iconic villains back for a season 4 showdown.
Why Would They Bring Dr. Brenner Back?
It’s possible that if Brenner was able to escape the Demogorgon, he could have made it to the gate to the Upside Down. We know it was close by, and Brenner would only need a narrow escape to make it there and disappear from the Demogorgon’s grip. It’s a long shot, as the Demogorgon had no trouble killing everyone else in that hallway. However, if he actually died it would make more sense for them to explicitly show it on screen. Brenner was the penultimate villain of season one, and many fans wanted to see him reach his demise in full. It’s possible the writers were merely saving his death for a later date, potentially in season 4. Plus, if he did survive, the Russians would make good allies for him to continue his work. He could be their prisoner for now, but there’s the possibility he’s looking to continue the experiments in another place. While fans are hoping the American is Hopper, the Brenner theory would add more depth to season 4 and be much more suspenseful.
Dr. Brenner vs. Eleven In Season 4
Dr. Brenner is arguably the most terrifying villain in Stranger Things. Unlike the Demogorgon or the Mind Flayer, Brenner chooses his destiny. He was just like anyone else and chose to use his power for evil rather than for good. He scarred Eleven for life, and it’s taken two seasons for her to recover emotionally from his torture. The tension has built up over the past few seasons and seeing Eleven seek vengeance on the man who hurt her over and over would certainly make for an incredible season 4. Bringing back Dr. Brenner would bring a whole host of new challenges for her, but perhaps an alternate ending to his story would be more satisfying than the one originally offered. While fans are still rooting for Jim Hopper to come back as the American, life never seems to go right for the citizens of Hawkins. Filming for season 4 has already begun, so it’s only a matter of time before we find out who the mystery American actually is.
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