When Dr. Owens (Paul Reiser) is first introduced in Season 2 of Stranger Things, he sounds just like the other malevolent scientists from Hawkins Lab. Talking to Joyce Byers, Owens gives her the typical blank answers we'd expect of a baldfaced lying government scientist, leaving us with the impression that he's just like Dr. Brenner.
But the season's final episodes prove that Owens isn't like Brenner at all.
(Note: heavy spoilers follow for Stranger Things Season 2.)
After Will's condition turns volatile and Joyce attempts to get the scientists at Hawkins Lab to treat him, they write him off as a necessary casualty — except for Dr. Owens. They talk about Will as if he's already dead, showing that they're not the least bit interested in helping him. But Dr. Owens denounces their attitude and makes a strong statement about not allowing Will to die without a fight. Shortly after, Owens disappears as the remaining scientists continue to discuss solutions to the ever-growing Upside Down problem.
Dr. Owens reappears in the final act of the season as a horde of Demidogs tear apart Hawkins Lab. He receives help from Chief Hopper, who comes across Owens's injured body in the halls of the lab. After getting to safety, Owens helps Hopper and Bob Newby get through the halls of Hawkins Lab by guiding them around the Demidogs looming nearby.
What's interesting about Owens helping the others survive is that at any point during the attack, he could've directed either Bob or Hopper straight into a Demidog. If Owens really wanted to protect the government's secrets, he could've led Hopper, Bob, Joyce and Will to their deaths, leaving no witnesses. But since Owens did the right thing and helped them instead, he can be considered one of the good guys. Plus, he got Hopper the adoption papers for Jane, making it clear that Owens definitely has some good in him.
Now that Dr. Owens can be classified as one of the heroes on #StrangerThings, it'll be interesting to see what he does next. Owens is obviously still in contact with the government. He understands that elements of the Upside Down are still present in Hawkins, so any future outbreak could lead to another investigation, with Jane and/or Will becoming the target of more scientific experimentation.
To prevent any of that from happening, Owens will likely have to utilize all of the resources at his disposal to keep the town off of the government's radar. Of course, something supernatural will happen when Season 3 rolls around, and we can expect Dr. Owens to do his best to contain it.
What do you think Dr. Owens's role will be in Stranger Things Season 3? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.