Who Is Dr. Sam Owens in Stranger Things 4? (& What Is His Role)

Sam Owens Stranger Things copy

Stranger Things has a lot of different supporting characters that have been contributing well to the overall plot of the story, especially when it comes to the overall plot and how it moves forward. In that regard, one character that has influenced the plot so heavily is Dr. Sam Owens, who has been around since the second season. So, who is Dr. Sam Owens in Stranger Things, and what is his role in season 4?

Dr. Sam Owens used to be the head of the Hawkins National Library before it was disbanded. Owens was also the same person who succeeded Dr. Martin Brenner, who was the same person who experimented on Eleven and the other gifted kids. Owens returns in season 4 to help Eleven get her powers back.

While not necessarily a main character himself, Dr. Sam Owens was able to contribute well enough to the story, especially in season 2. He didn’t see the same amount of screen time in season 4, but he sure was just as important in his limited appearance. So, with that said, let’s talk more about Dr. Sam Owens and what his role is in Stranger Things season 4.

Who Is Dr. Sam Owens In Stranger Things Season 4?

When it comes to the different characters of Stranger Things, the best thing about them is that they all have their own roles, regardless of how big or small they may be. It seems like the show did a great job in making sure that every character has a purpose on the show, and that means that even a supporting character like Dr. Sam Owens has a role in the series. So, who is Dr. Sam Owens?

Dr. Sam Owens is the head researcher or doctor of the Hawkins National Laboratory, which is the very same institution where Eleven was kept before she made her way out. However, Owens wasn’t like his predecessor, Dr. Martin Brenner, because he wasn’t experimenting on kids with psychic abilities. Instead, he was merely looking into the Upside Down and anything related to it.

Owens was introduced in season 2 when Will Byers started drawing weird drawings of zombies and other different creatures a year after he survived the events of season 1, wherein he disappeared in the Upside Down. In that regard, it was Owens who Joyce called to look at her son so that she could tell whether or not something was happening to Will. However, Owens told Joyce that Will’s readings were all normal.

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Eventually, while Owens was checking up on Will during their routine checkups, he eventually discovered that something was possessing the young boy. Will told him that he wanted to kill everyone in the world, and that was when Owens realized that there was something going on with him. Still, he tried to write it all off as PTSD induced by something called the anniversary effect because it had been a year since he got trapped in the Upside Down.

When Nancy and Jonathan met with Owens, he was told by the teenagers that they knew about what happened to Barb. He also went on to admit that he was aware of what his predecessors were doing and that he never wanted to do the same things that they did. Still, Owens wanted to keep everything a secret from the public because he didn’t want to deal with the backlash of what could happen if the secret were to ever become public knowledge. Of course, he didn’t want the Russians to learn about the Upside Down, and that is why he wanted to keep everything a secret.

Dr. Owens had another appointment with Will and found out that he was somehow connected to the Upside Down because he felt the pain when the soldiers were burning the tendrils that came from the other dimension. This allowed him to conclude that everything in the Upside Down operated under a hive mind and that there was a virus that connected all of the hosts so that it would be easier for them to take over the world and kill everyone.

When the other doctors proposed that it was best for them to destroy all of the tendrils that came from the Upside Down to control the spread of the virus, Owens insisted on a different approach and suggested that they find a way to control it by going to the source. He helped Will remember where the shadow monster from the Upside Down was hiding from him so that they could get to it.


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Owens was also there when the soldiers, Hopper, and Joyce went to the lab to investigate what was happening in the tunnels that were connected to the gate to the Upside Down. He was the one who helped them escape the lab when the Demodogs attacked them. Owens, who was left behind, somehow survived the attack from the Demodogs but was left badly wounded. Hopper helped him out and patched his wounds up as he revealed to the doctor that they had been protecting Eleven the entire time and that they believed that she could lead a life that was happy and normal.

Eleven closed the gate, and one month later, Owens gave Hopper a forged birth certificate for Eleven so that she could live the life of a normal girl. He also told Hopper that she was now officially his daughter and to wait a year before allowing her to be free to do whatever she wanted.

In season 3, Dr. Owens didn’t have a lot of screen time, but he still appeared when he was the one who brought the soldiers to Starcourt Mall after a distress call made by Hopper and Joyce when the Russians were attempting to reopen the gate. Owens was partly responsible for covering up the mess that happened in the mall as he falsified a claim that a fire broke out and destroyed it.


Meanwhile, in season 4, Dr. Owens appeared when a group of military personnel went over to his home to show him a photo of Chrissy’s death. He was told that there was only one thing that could cause such a death to happen, as Owens was made to believe that it could be Eleven that did it.

However, instead of thinking that Eleven was responsible for the incidents happening in Hawkins, Owens decided to intercept a police car that was supposed to take Eleven into custody for assaulting Angela.

Owens met up with Eleven and told her that her friends in Hawkins could be in danger because of what was happening there. He also told her that she was the only one that could stop what was causing the events to happen in Hawkins.

After Eleven told him that she no longer had her powers, Owens told her that there was a way that could help her regain her powers, but it would take a lot of sacrifice on her part. But he ultimately convinced her to follow him because he told Eleven that she was the only one that could stop what was happening.

As such, Eleven followed Owens to a secret underground facility, where Martin Brenner was waiting. While Eleven was hesitant at first, she eventually agreed to use the Nina Project so that she could regain her powers. Owens didn’t exactly agree with what Brenner was doing, but he didn’t have a choice because this was the only way.

What Is Dr. Sam Owens’ Role In Stranger Things?

Throughout the entire Stranger Things series, Dr. Sam Owens’ role was connected to the fact that he had knowledge of what the government had been doing with the gate to the Upside Down. After all, he was the head scientist in charge of the Hawkins National Laboratory, which was responsible for studying the Upside Down and the creatures that came from it.


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Eventually, Owens lost his role when the scandal about the “chemical leak” from the laboratory was made public by Nancy and Jonathan. He was seemingly retired after he lost his role in the lab, but he probably remained as a consultant for the government because of his inside knowledge of the Upside Down and of Eleven.

Meanwhile, in season 4, he was the one who was responsible for convincing Eleven to go through with the plan to get her powers back, no matter how hard or painful it might be. He also assisted Dr. Martin Brenner with the Nina Project.

As such, throughout the entire series, he was a scientist who wanted to get to the bottom of what the Upside Down was, but he was never as reckless or as amoral as Brenner. Instead, he was actually quite ashamed of what his predecessors did. In a sense, while he is a scientist that wants to uncover the secrets of the Upside Down, his conscience often allows him to decide in favor of the common good, unlike Brenner, who focused more on science than on anything else.

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