The following story contains spoilers about Stranger Things‘ final two Season 4 episodes — proceed at your own peril.
Stranger Things creators Matt and Ross Duffer are issuing a death certificate for one of Season 4’s ambiguously deceased characters.
In an interview with Josh Horowitz, the Duffer Brothers confirmed that Matthew Modine’s super-villain Martin Brenner — whose Season 1 death at the hands of the Demogorgon did not stick — “definitively” died “for real this time” in Season 4’s penultimate episode. (Eleven’s papa was fatally shot while trying to flee the compound.)
The Duffers also erased any doubt about the survivability of a much more beloved character, Joseph Quinn‘s Eddie, telling Horowitz that the Season 4 newbie “sadly” is deceased. (On a happier note, the pair confirm that Sadie Sink’s Max is “alive,” although they concede the brain dead heroine has “seen better days.”)
For his part, Quinn admitted in a post-finale interview with TVLine that he would have preferred a different fate for his alter ego. “I would have loved to have come back, but the grownups decide,” he shared.
Quinn credited “the writing” with making Eddie an instant hit with viewers. “He is so empathetically written,” he noted. “You’re a bit perturbed and a bit put off by him initially, and then, slowly, as he’s ingratiated into the gang, the writing kind of makes him… I don’t know. There’s something that people kind of warm to. And it’s a tragedy when people that we love leave us, so there are enormous feelings.”