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Bruce Lowe was a recurring character in the third season of Stranger Things. He was a journalist for The Hawkins Post who treated female employees working at the Post with disdain, especially Nancy Wheeler. Bruce eventually became one of the Flayed, along with his boss Tom Holloway after being possessed by the Mind Flayer. Both Bruce and Tom confronted Nancy and Jonathan Byers at the Hawkins Memorial Hospital, in an attempt to kill them, only for Bruce to be killed by Nancy.

History

Background

1985

In June 1985, Bruce was in the middle of a meeting with the other members of the Hawkins Post when Nancy Wheeler brought him lunch. When Nancy proposed a story about local businesses closing due to the new Starcourt Mall, he simply complained about a lack of mustard on his burger and led the charge in mocking her.

The next day, when Nancy presented evidence of rats under the control of the Mind Flayer, Bruce once again led the charge in laughing her out of the room. Later, Bruce joined his coworkers in pranking Nancy for her discovery, booby-trapping a cupboard with a toy rat.

The following day, Bruce gleefully mocked Nancy and Jonathan Byers outside Tom Holloway's office, pretending to hang himself before Tom fired them both for investigating Doris Driscoll further.

At some point, Bruce was also converted into one of the Flayed, likely through his ties to the Holloway family.

On July 3rd, when Jonathan and Nancy returned to Hawkins Memorial Hospital to use Mrs. Driscoll to find the Mind Flayer's new lair, a Flayed Bruce joined Tom in hunting them down. Bruce knocked down Jonathan and nearly killed him, but Nancy stabbed Bruce with a pair of scissors in his back, buying her time to hide. While Tom fought Jonathan, Bruce hunted Nancy through a part of the hospital still under construction. She managed to ambush him and crush his skull with a fire extinguisher, killing him and getting revenge on the side. When Tom and Bruce were both defeated, their bodies melted away, combining to create a new monster.

Personality

Bruce's main personality trait was his disrespect and sexist attitude toward women. He would often make inappropriate and crude jokes at their expense with his coworkers. Like many of the male journalists, he never took his female coworkers seriously. Nancy Wheeler was a frequent target of his mockery. He compared her unfavorably to Nancy Drew and belittled her at every opportunity, even going so far as to prank her following the discovery of the Flayed rats. Upon being converted into one of the Flayed himself, his sexism towards Nancy turned into outright malice as both he and Tom Holloway hunted her and Jonathan Byers through Hawkins Memorial Hospital.

Relationships

Appearances

Season Three appearances
Suzie, Do You Copy? The Mall Rats The Case of the Missing Lifeguard The Sauna Test
The Flayed E Pluribus Unum The Bite Battle of Starcourt

Memorable quotes

  • "Yoo-hoo. Nancy Drew, where are you."

Behind the scenes

On April 18, 2018, Bruce's character was revealed to be a journalist who possessed "questionable morals and a sick sense of humor."[1]

According to actor Jake Busey, the Duffers wrote the character specifically for him due to them being fans of the 1996 film The Frighteners, which Busey previously starred in.[2] He described Bruce to be a "sort of archetypal character" with "juvenile humor" that is inspired by the characters from the 1980 film 9 to 5.[3]

Trivia

  • He called Nancy Wheeler "Nancy Drew" in reference to the titular character from the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories.
  • The process of the Mind Flayer possessing Bruce is never shown on screen.
  • On a piece of newspaper article with Bruce's picture that Eleven uses to try and locate him, the article labels Bruce as a columnist.

Gallery

References

  1. "Stranger Things season 3 appoints Cary Elwes as mayor" The Hollywood Reporter. April 18, 2018
  2. "[Interview] Jake Busey Details His “Stranger Things” Character, a Foul Mouthed Journalist" Bloody Disgusting. August 9, 2018
  3. "Interview: Jake Busey Talks 'Stranger Things'"Comicbook. October 2, 2018.
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