The last of the stragglers are finally finishing up Stranger Things 2. (Those, that is, who are not working their way through Season 1 with Season 2 on the horizon.) That means it's time to start seriously discussing who might be back for Season 3. The Duffers have given a couple of interviews already on the subject, and these heady early days are when anything is possible. But with discussions aiming more for character growth than world expansion this season, fans are concerned about those who left Hawkins. For example: Will Dr. Owens be in Stranger Things Season 3? After all, Hawkins Lab is shut down. But he did return to drop off Eleven's new birth certificate. So maybe?
Already, director Shawn Levy has let slip that Dr. Brenner's appearance in Season 2 is most likely going to result in the character also coming back in Season 3, with suggestions they may even find a way for the character to be alive.
But that's a character who is deeply important to Eleven's psyche. He was her "papa," her teacher, her mentor. Until Hopper came along, he was the closest thing she had to a parental figure in her life. Dr. Owens? Not so much.
If anything, Dr. Owens has been important, not to the kids in the story, but to the adults. He's the doctor who looked after Will, and told Joyce it was all going to be OK. He also provided documentation that will allow Eleven to become "Jane Hopper" in Season 3, attend school like a normal person her age, get a social security card, and try and lead a normal live to the best of her abilities.
We don't know what's going to happen in Season 3. What we do know is this: Season 2 woke up a sentient, malevolent creature in the Upside Down, who is now aware of *our* dimension. That creature, the "Mindflayer" seems to be biding his time, watching over where Will, the boy it possessed, and Eleven, the girl who defeated it and shut the gate, are dancing the night away. It's pretty safe to assume this time it won't be us opening a rift to the Upside Down. It will be the Upside Down tearing into our world.
But Hawkins Lab is shut down. Anyone who knows about the Upside Down, who could maybe help in some sort of scientific fashion is gone. Or are they?
Despite the promise of Dr. Brenner's return, we know that if the Upside Down breaks through, he's not going to care about how that threatens the town, or who it might kill. He didn't care about Will, or Barb. He only cared about getting Eleven back to help him communicate with this new world.
Dr. Owens, on the other hand, did care about what the Upside Down was doing to Hawkins. He thought he had it under control. Once Hopper forced him to look at the rotting pumpkin fields, and he realized it was spreading, he began working with Will and Hopper to try and solve the issue.
If (and when) the Upside Down does force it's way into Hawkins, it won't do so in an out of the way lab behind gates this time. Most likely it will tear through in broad daylight, right in front of Mrs. Wheeler and her PTA committee who are following the Nancy Reagan program of teaching children to just say no or something. That means someone official will need to come running to hush all this up again.
Wouldn't Dr. Owens be the most logical choice?
And if not, and the people the government do send only make things worse, wouldn't he be the first person Hopper would call to come help? Either way, it's a good bet we haven't seen the last of Paul Reiser in Hawkins yet.