Through the whirlwind that is Stranger Things Season 4, it may be unclear what happens to Lt. Colonel Jack Sullivan in the Netflix series. Whether he wants to or not, the colonel’s fate has become intertwined with Eleven, and The Duffer Brothers could very easily choose to discard the character. But is he still alive? And will he return for Season 5?
Is Sullivan alive at the end of Stranger Things Season 4?
Lt. Colonel Jack Sullivan is seen walking out of the secret facility at end of the eighth episode of season four, so he’s certainly not dead. As he believes that Eleven is the root cause for the emergence of Vecna, he has unfinished business with her, as she manages to elude him at the end of the episode. We will likely see him in the fifth and final season playing an antagonist once more, though he might change his mind about Eleven if he sees that she’s the key in preventing The Upside Down and its denizens from taking over Hawkins and the world. The Duffer Brothers could of course decide to write him off, but he’s a primary source of dramatic tension that needs to be resolved, so we don’t think we’ve seen the last of him quite yet.
Dr. Owens attempted to protect Eleven, bringing her to the facility to shield her from Sullivan in the first place. However, the colonel finds the facility’s location and Dr. Owens eventually finds himself handcuffed after a shouting match with Brenner. He also fails to convince Sullivan from issuing a kill order on Eleven. Brenner attempts to escape with her, but is shot multiple times near the entranceway by a sniper in a helicopter. It’s only through the intervention of Argyle’s van that Eleven is able to crash the helicopter using her telekinetic might. Luckily, a dying Brenner removes the collar around her neck and, along with Sullivan, watches her escape with her friends.
It’s unclear what happens to Dr. Owens, though since he’s not on the colonel’s side, it wouldn’t be a surprise if he’s imprisoned, killed in the facility, or forced to aid Sullivan in his capture of El. As one of the few selfless people driven by guilt by what he did in Hawkins Lab, let’s hope he appears again in Season 5.
For more guides on Stranger Things, here is an explanation of the Stranger Things season 4 ending and whether Eddie is really dead.