Life Is Strange Episode 3 Ended On One Hell Of A Cliffhanger

Life Is Strange Episode 3 Ended On One Hell Of A Cliffhanger

I've been playing hours and hours of The Witcher 3 in the last week, but I needed a break from the witching, and the newest Life Is Strange episode seemed like the perfect palette cleanser. What I didn't expect was the curveball Life Is Strange threw at me while I sipped my coffee.

Warning: There will be spoilers for Life Is Strange in this post, obviously!

My feelings on Dontnod's sci-fi adventure series are all over the place. It's charming as hell, has genuine heart, and the game's obsession with life's mundane moments (sitting on park benches to think, watering your plants) grounds me in a world that's otherwise over-the-top. But the dialogue often falls flat, the result of adults trying too hard to sound like teenagers. When you're playing a story-based game, if the dialogue is clunky and unbelievable, that's a glaring flaw.

Still, you've got moxie, Life Is Strange. I want to see where this is going. When the credits rolled on the third episode, that was cemented. This was a LOST-like twist I can happily get behind.

Let's recap what happened, though, before I start reacting.

The last episode also ended with a gut punch, as Kate Marsh committed suicide by jumping off the school's roof, following the release of a viral video that sexually shamed her. Her decision casts an enormous shadow over the characters, and it's hard for me to imagine what the game is like without Max having failed to save her. (Please let me know what it's like in the comments!)

Life Is Strange Episode 3 Ended On One Hell Of A Cliffhanger

Fuck, that still stings.

Anyway, Max and Chloe are newly committed to finding out what happened to Chloe's old (and missing) friend, Rachel Amber. Is she alive? Hiding? Six feet under? In my timeline, at least, they have dedicated their investigation to Kate too. They still don't know what to make of Max's tornado-filled visions, the recent spontaneous snowstorm, and the eclipse that's hanging over Arcadia Bay. To make matters weirder, dead birds seem to be showing up everywhere and fisherman are reporting there's no fish to catch. Somehow, these events must all be connected.

This episode is pretty boring and rote, for the most part, though I'm not surprised. We're mid-season, and mid-season episodes are usually the weakest — games or otherwise — as the plot spins its wheels and sets up the threads to pay off for the endgame.

But Life Is Strange has a little trick waiting for players at the end, one centered around Chloe. We've watched Chloe angrily lash out at everyone around her, friends and family alike, over and over again. In Chloe's mind, this has everything to do with the death of her father. He died in a car accident when she was young, and if he was around, everything could be different.

While staring at an old photograph, Max accidentally discovers a new power, in which she's able to physically enter the past. Furthermore, it appears she can change the future. Wanting to help Chloe, she decides to intervene and prevent her father's death.

Life Is Strange Episode 3 Ended On One Hell Of A Cliffhanger

After tossing the car keys outside, it appears Max has succeeded. Chloe's father takes the bus.

But Max has never messed with time to this degree, and it's unclear what the consequences might be. The game's final sequence involves Max waking up in the present, trying to make sense of things, and she quickly heads to Chloe's house. When she approaches the door...

Life Is Strange Episode 3 Ended On One Hell Of A Cliffhanger

Hot damn, he's alive. Max did it!

This would be wild enough on its own, but Life Is Strange doesn't stop there. As Chloe approaches, Max's faces shifts from awe to horror.

Life Is Strange Episode 3 Ended On One Hell Of A Cliffhanger

Messing with space and time is, well, messy. As it turns out, Chloe is now in a wheelchair.

Life Is Strange Episode 3 Ended On One Hell Of A Cliffhanger

How? Why? When? We don't know, since the episode cuts off here, leaving players reeling.

We don't know the full extent of the consequences here. Maybe this isn't permanent — a temporarily ripple in time — and the next episode will focus on Max flipping things back to "normal". Maybe Max will tell Chloe, and she'll decide to return to the original timeline. So long as Chloe gets some agency and choice in that decision, I'd probably be ok with it.

It'd be an interesting idea too. Even if Max can spin world on her finger, that doesn't mean she's in full control, and she's clearly not able to grasp how one change can impact another.

Bring on the next episode!


Comments

    I pretty much saw this coming as soon as Max messed with the past, but then I've seen The Butterfly Effect enough times to know you can't change the past without screwing everything up.

    I have more questions about the little things, like now that Max (sorry, Maxine) is in the popular clique, what about the other characters like Warren? Or Kate?

    Which brings me to the biggest question; what happens now that basically every choice from the first three episode is invalidated?

    Last edited 27/05/15 2:14 pm

      I am with you on the last point unless it is pulling a double bluff to make us think they are invalidated when they will come back in some way in ep 4 or 5. I saw the wheelchair coming, that angle of max in the doorway is overused for identical scenes in other media but I am still now impatiently awaiting the next episode. Tales from the borderlands ep3 is around the corner though.

      It seemed to be Warren and her aren't friends anymore, without Max there, he ended up with that other girl, and in the montage at the end he seems to look at her briefly and not acknowledge her.

      I think the accident must have happened early on in life for Chloe and that led Max to being friends with the "in crowd".

      I did see that "twist" coming, but it was still a shock. I didn't leave the graffiti on the fireplace so don't know how that will impact what happens next.

    I felt kind of the opposite to this - I was enjoying it far more before the ending of three. I didn't really see that as a "now things are getting interesting" style twist all, but rather a turn to focus on something less important to what they've been developing.

    I think... a lot of this has to do with the fact that they've gone to a lot of effort to slowly develop these characters and their relationships with each other piece by piece, and in a world that (apart from the rewinding power of course) is quite grounded. Suddenly all those little things you've learnt about those relationships are thrown out the window, because it's not the same timeline any more. Even if this is a temporary visit to an alternate timeline, it's an unwelcome visit in my mind. The strength in the game for me is back in those characters and their connections, their motivations that you played a part in influencing one way or another, not the silly sci fi twists. There's nothing grounded about dealing with a close friend's grief when you're just throwing 'what ifs' in there - its far more compelling to try and deal with that in the original timeline, talking to Chloe and responding to her traits.

    Last edited 27/05/15 2:06 pm

    Blew me away...knew something big was going to happen but still took me a while until it sunk in.

    I saved "my" Kate first go so didn't have to go through your experience *phew*, more importantly though, how did your plant go?

      dead as shit, kate dying I could handle in the sense of it being an important story step but the dead plant? not pleased, would go back and skip a day of watering to fix that alone -_-

        Same T_T and then after the fact, reading Max's mum's sms about not drowning the plant T______T

        I think that was the devs trolling people with OCD like myself. I seriously interacted with everything in the whole episode, even stuff I had already interacted with in Ep 1 or 2. Poor Lisa.

    The ending floored me.

    RIP plant :(

    I must admit there were times where I wish Chloe had been hit by the train and I didn't have to save her. Clearly she has issues but she goes from happy fun loving, to "the world is against me" and has a hissy fit. I think one of her comments was "I'm not mad, I just see it as another person shitting on me" or something to that effect. She is such a selfish cow, Rachael probably left her behind because she had enough of her shit.

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