Theory: Jake Busey's Bruce Is Stranger Things' New Monster
Actor Jake Busey will make his Stranger Things debut in season 3 as a new character named Bruce. Along with Mayor Kline and Robin, this trio of new characters will undoubtedly play major roles in the upcoming installment. Bruce is described as a cagey reporter for the Hawkins Post. Not much else is known about the character, but he's quickly shown in the trailer walking down a hallway covered in blood. His location in the scene is very telling in connection to the footage of the new monster.
When Jonathan comes face to face with the monster at the end of the trailer, it looks to be the same exact hallway where Bruce is shown. It's possibly a hallway in a hospital based on the lighting and items shown along the walls. The quick montage of scenes reveals that the monster is mutating as it approaches Jonathan at the end of the hallway. It's plausible that Bruce was bitten by one of the rats and got infected, which ultimately turns him into this new monster. Earlier in the trailer, Jonathan and Nancy are shown what is presumed to be the office of the Hawkins Post. If they come in contact with Bruce or get into some disagreement with Bruce's reporting methods, it would make sense why Jonathan would become a target.
If Bruce is infected, there will surely be others, right? Billy can also be seen in the trailer sporting a gnarly looking wound on his left forearm. While in the shower, he seems distressed about the wound spreading which might be the early signs of the mutation. If he, too, came in contact with one of the infected rats, he could be the next human to transform into a monster. If that is indeed the case, then the Upside-Down will soon have a new horde of monsters ready to wreak havoc on the town of Hawkins. This time around, killing the monsters would mean killing the town's own friends and family. After all, the seventh episode of season 3 is even titled "The Bite," thus indicating that someone becomes the target of a deadly encounter.
What This Means For Stranger Things' Future
Even after battling the Demogorgon, a horde of Demodogs, and the Mind Flayer, Eleven and her crew will never be able to live a normal life without the worry of another threat. Their uneasiness is obviously warranted considering everything that they've been through. This time, however, it won't just be a small segment of the town swept up into the danger. Even though Hopper has done a tremendous job in keeping the threat away from the entire town, it would be impossible to protect everyone from a potential, raging epidemic.
The previous monsters emerged from the Upside Down but an infection spread by animals means that the normal world is now threatened without the presence of the Upside-Down. There doesn't need to be an opening of the gate or a break into the other dimension for the Upside-Down to affect the world. This makes any human a potential target. For a season described as darker and more action-packed, a wider threat would almost be impossible to contain.
The Upside-Down may no longer be a Hawkins problem after season 3; this might become a worldwide threat depending on the outcome. Would it be possible for the Mind Flayer to control those infected by the rats the same way it controlled the Demodogs? During the trailer, a quick shot of two women are shown and they look like they are being mind controlled. They are walking aimlessly with wide-eyes while Fourth of July celebrations can be seen in the background. The July 4th holiday is the perfect place for the contagion to spread as most of the townspeople converge to the fair. "One summer could change everything" is the tagline for Stranger Things season 3, after all, but it looks to be a warning for all that call Hawkins, IN, home.