no no no but Bruno leaving not because he didn't love his family, not because there was a vision that would hurt his family, but leaving because his vision would change how the family looked at his sobrina is the most heartbreaking thing
if the vision had just shown the Miracle fading, Casita cracking, but had no one else, he would have stayed, and probably helped to figure out what that meant.
and i'm sure he thought about that as the vision was being created, he thought that he'd show his mother, and they'd figure things out.
but then Mirabel appeared in the vision, and all bets were off.
Bruno saw a grown-up version of his sobrina.
his kindhearted sobrina who wore glasses his color green so that she'd match everyone in the family in some way.
his little sobrina who spent the night after her ceremony crying in her room, all alone.
his wonderful sobrina who did her absolute best to light up every room she entered.
his precious sobrina, who was only five, and who was struggling to make her family proud.
If it was just the house, Bruno would stay.
But he refused to put Mirabel through more heartbreak, more ostracization.
and the fact that finding that out shocked Mirabel is so sad, because to her, she was the ungifted Madrigal. She was clumsy, always in the way, and nobody special.
So someone putting her first, someone doing something to take care of her, to protect her, is so out of the ordinary, so unfamiliar to her, that it takes a moment for her to actually understand.
And I don't think she really did understand.
The only people who truly loved her after her ceremony were her parents and Antonio. She couldn't fathom one of her gifted family members actually thinking about her and putting her in front of everything else.
Bruno's thought process of "protect Mirabel first, save the Miracle and the Family second" is so incredibly bittersweet, because Mirabel can't imagine why anyone would do that.
(it's the same with Antonio saying "I need you" during his ceremony because no one's ever needed just Mirabel)
Something we should definitely not overlook, because it feels relevant to birthdaygate, is the individual character posters for season 4.
There's actually even an interview with the Duffer Brothers, where they were asked about this theory:
Though, I should clarify, this interviewer got a few details wrong, as it appears Max was actually looking away from the camera, not directly at it. Not only that, but she also wasn’t the only one to do so. She was one out of four total...
Looking directly at the camera: El, Hopper, Murray, Will, Argyle, Steve, Dustin, Robin, (not shown above: Karen, Lucas, Erica, Nancy, Eddie)
Looking away from the camera, to their left: Joyce, Mike, Jonathon, Max
We could deduce that this visual choice was foreshadowing Max getting cursed by Vecna in season 4, and Matt did sort of elude to this in his response to the question, seeing as it was focused only on her. But what could this possibly mean for the other three then?
Initially, it didn’t seem like we got anything substantial enough in s4 that could have possibly paralleled Joyce, Mike and Jonathon to Max's situation, or even being cursed by Vecna like she did for that matter. Well, except—
I do find it interesting that the same episode we see Max slowly discover she has been cursed, in an episode literally titled 'Vecna's Curse', it's March 22nd, Will's birthday, and in real time we are seeing the three people who would definitely never forget Will's birthday, presumably forget.
Because undeniably, the first thing that crosses my mind when it comes to what could possibly connect these three characters with each other, is Will. He's what connects them all. But even more specifically, THIS scene below is what connects them all, a scene which, might I remind you, has a major emphasis on the word 'remember':
Joyce: Do you know what March 22nd is? It’s your birthday. YOUR birthday. When you turned 8, I gave you that huge box of crayons, do you remember that?
Jonathon: Do you remember the day dad left?
Mike: Do you remember the first day that we met?
Not only do I think this means that Vecna most likely took away these three's memory of Will’s birthday, I also think it means he took away this specific memory and all the memories mentioned within it.
If it's all coming full circle and everything leads back to Will, it would make sense that Vecna 'took notes' during this whole incident in 2x08. These memories and these specific people in Will's life played a role in thwarting Vecna's plans last time, so obviously, he's not going to give them the chance to do that again.
This also brings up some interesting questions:
Were those weird POV shots of the Cali gang, that looked oddly stalker-ish, meant to represent Vecna keeping a close eye on them, to make sure his plan was still in motion?
How long will this manipulation (curse) Vecna has on these three last? And to what extent? Will it all just come to a head right away in early season 5, at a moment when they're trying to save Will, but they inevitably fail because all of the relevant things that saved him last time, are now missing from their memories?
And last, but definitely not least, is it possible Mike wouldn’t have gone through with professing his love to El, the way that he did, even going as far as to say his life started the day he found her in the woods (the day Will went missing), if he had remembered already doing the exact same thing with Will…? If he had remembered the best thing he'd ever done was ask Will to be his friend? Because if this theory is correct y’all... MIKE DOESN'T REMEMBER!!!???
Well, that's all (for now)
Please be sure to check out this post if you haven't already, but even more importantly, scroll down to the bottom of that post, because there I have linked all the most incriminating evidence thus far.
And trust me, once you read all of it, it's pretty much undeniable.
I also hope this gives some validation to those of you out there who denied vehemently that Joyce, Mike or Jonathon could EVER possibly forget Will's birthday. Because you were right. Technically, they didn't. Technically it required an inter-dimensional monster for this to be possible at all. So props to ya'll and your faith in these characters! YOU WERE RIGHT!