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Life Is Strange: Episode 3 Verdict-O-Chat

It's all in the timing

Featured post Joyce and Max picking through old pictures

Alice: Not in the slightest! I like to take things as they come but try not to obsess over the past or speculate about what’s to come. That’s how I live my life. And also why I’m perfectly happy to never finish Twin Peaks, a show I adore and have seen most of six times.

Adam: Twin Peaks goes rubbish for a good while. You may have made the right choice, even if it happened to be an accident! I read some fan theories this morning, mostly because I was trying to remember or discover names of songs that were used and stumbled onto reddit and then it was like being trapped in a bush of brambles, with peoples’ ideas prickling into me. It was bracing. And bonkers, on the whole.

Do either of you take issue with the basic idea of introducing this new aspect or manifestation of Max’s time-troubling so late in the day? I like that it opens up another can of works but it does feel like it has trampled over some of the established…I don’t want to say ‘rules’ because I’m not hung up on the NOT-SCIENCE of all of this…but it feels like a Big Deal that isn’t necessarily going to leave enough quiet space in the final episodes. Lots to tidy up now.

Not that we're not supposed to be here or anything

Alice: I like that Max is kept on her toes. Episode Three saw her really get to grips with her short-term rewinding, pulling clever tricks like making, detonating, then undoing an Anarchist’s Cookbook bomb to get through a locked door. I felt pretty in charge of the power Groundhog Daying a hoodlum and dodging guards. Then everything gets complicated again.

The Rachel Amber mystery could be fairly simple to wrap up (heck, Twin Peaks could have satisfactorily dealt with its murder conclusion and supernatural baggage and tided away in one episode) but that dang Disaster might be messier… I bet time did it. Time made a hurricane and scared off the fish. That naughty time.

Pip: I agree with Alice in that Ep 3 is a lot smarter with its use of Max’s powers. There was a puzzle in Ep 2 which was just an exercise in observation and rewinding over and over – there’s none of that tedium this time around. I also feel like stepping up the effects of those powers was a good move because I do really feel the impact of Max being stranded in time right now – rootless, lost and most definitely confused.

The Disaster is taking a real back seat though. I keep being surprised when the characters bring it up at all. What tornado? Oh *that* tornado. Yes, I ought to try and do something about that I guess.

Alice: I hope it doesn’t explain where Max’s power comes from or anything like that, or even exactly what’s going on with The Disaster. I hope it stays vague and mysterious. Just like the passage to adulthood, ay? The last thing I want is someone breaking out fauxsyics to lecture with wanky science fanfic. Mystery is a grand thing to leave in a mystery.

Pip: I feel like Life is strange is at its best when it’s dealing with people things. Chloe’s sense of betrayal over some of the things Rachel has not told her about, the sadness when you see Joyce’s relationship with Chloe’s dad contrasted with the relationship with her stepfather, the triumph-then-stomach lurches when trying to thwart William’s fatal trip to the diner. I mean, God, when I hid those keys I felt so pleased and then for him to get out that fucking keyfinder beeper thing and head towards the door…

There were also a bunch of lovely quieter, more vulnerable moments in the pool with Chloe – I screenshotted that section so much. Then in the bathroom at her house when Max looks at the blue hair dye and says she hasn’t had a blue hair phase yet – that gave me the giggles. As someone who did have a blue hair phase but hated the idea of bleaching it and tried to blue on top of natural red hair… I guess I sort of had a greyish greenish red phase? But it felt so… so much an echo of things I actually recognised.

Bittersweet pool happenings

Alice: So I AM the Chloe! I also identified strongly with the moments of being in water and smiling to a pal then looking away sad for a second. More water in the final two episodes, please. Maybe somewhere outdoors, given how much time is spent in forests.

Pip: We are not playing Life is Pond.

Alice: Fine. Then more quiet moments of other kinds. More swings. More benches. More beds.

Adam: Oh god, I just realised – you know who would end the whole thing with fauxsyics and wanky science fanfic? Warren. Warren would do that.

Alice: That’s what Chloe is saving her Chekhov’s gun for. Mid-sciencespeech, down he goes.

Pip: Should we make some predictions for the last couple of episodes? It feels like this would be the time to do that (although I tend to prefer to let games play themselves out). I feel like my main prediction is “If it turns out to have been a Time Ghost All Along I’m kicking off.”

Adam: I reckon Rachel’s disappearance is time-linked. Whether that means she’s some kind of literal time angel or just someone who mysteriously discovered powers, meddled and then removed herself from the situation either deliberately or accidentally, I dunno, but I figure there’ll be a connection between all of these things and that might be the thread. What say you, Alice?

Alice: Max, Chloe, and Rachel move to Seattle and start a band.

Pip: BUT WHAT IF RACHEL IS MAX? Then what of the band?

Alice: It worked for Breyer P-Orridge.

Pip: You’re such a Chloe.

Alice: Don’t you have some plaid to wear?

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