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View Full Version : Out of Time: My own thoughts on episode two



julietxjules
29th Apr 2015, 16:12
Note: This thread includes detailed information of important events and characters in episode two of Life is Strange: "Out of Time." If you are new to Life is Strange, or have yet to play it, then maybe you would rather discover and experience this world for yourself through normal game play. That being the case then I urge you not to read this thread.

So how long has it been now? Three or four weeks since the release of "Out Of Time?" I was as much enthralled by it as I guess everyone else was upon reaching the compelling montage before the final credits. The watercoloured fantasy world of Arcadia Bay, where it seems the impossible is possible reopened its doors, and once again I found myself caught up with the intrigue and mystery of a town where everything - on the surface at least - appears as normal, but bears little semblance at all to what is actually simmering away in the depths of its mysterious heart.

What the heck is going on? Internal vandalism! Messing around with guns! A threatening text message from an unknown person! A suicidal student! An unscheduled lunar eclipse!? The episode as a whole did not disappoint, but in all honesty I was hoping to discover more than I did. But as we all know by now, this game is definitely a brooding slow burner which manages to keep secret, and holds tight to its chest all that we want to know: what really happened to Rachel Amber, and why has Max got the ability to rewind and interfere with the timeline? Two fundamental questions which, although as yet unanswered, has been responsible for spawning many theories, some wild, while others not so much. But one of the game's best qualities is the fact that it can inspire such imagining and subsequent opinions from the people who are playing it.

I too have come up with some very outlandish notions - I had to laugh at myself over the ineptitude and absurdity of some of them - but at the end of the day I have to hold my hands up and state, quite rightly, that I actually know very little or nothing at all about where this game is ultimately heading toward and what the final revelation and conclusion to it all will be! And that is what I find so compelling about this game, it's the drip-feed method, it gives me the thirst and desire to want to know more. No other game (apart from the Myst series) has ever lured me in as much as this one has. Yes! Really! I mean it wholeheartedly.

So once again. . .kudos to you, Dontnod.

Episode two then. What can we make of it all and how will it relate to future episodes? Bearing in mind all that I have said above, and again, just for a bit of distracting amusement or fun, I want to expand upon my own limited ideas and explore all the character developments and consequential developments thus far. And just as before in my write-up on episode one, all wayward ideas and mistakes are my very own and everything I say is not set in concrete and is subject to change, for change it surely will.



This is not a review, guide, or walkthrough.


Firstly: It goes without saying that several characters introduced in episode one had very little or no input in this particular episode; a case of seen, but not heard. Does this mean that we can now count them out of the story entirely? Where they there initially just to make up the numbers and fill the spaces in the classrooms? Perhaps, perhaps not, but given that they may have another line or two to utter in later episodes, instinctively I would suggest that they are done within the arena of the main plotline.

There exists a possibility where some new characters might be introduced and make an appearance further down the line; we have already met some when Max went to the "Two Whales Diner," but given the fact that Joyce, Chloe's mum, and the latest character Frank Bowers have now filled the remaining slots in Max's journal, and if the journal is not expanded to create more slots, then I will assume that all the players are now assembled in the unfolding drama within Arcadia Bay, although at this point nothing is certain.

Secondly: Just a quick mention about consequential actions. I have this tendency now to split them up into two categories: one being related to everything concerning the main plotline, and one relating to less important matters such as some of the trivial affairs between certain students, static objects, and flora or fauna. Concerning the latter, I am not going into that much detail about those. It seems - to me at least - that most of them are in actual fact inconsequential to the driving theme running through this entire game series, and that of course is what happened to Rachel Amber and how it relates to what is currently happening in Arcadia Bay. As an example, and I may be wrong? But I don't see how watering a pot plant will help resolve the mystery anymore than letting a bird in through an open window will. So all those minor consequential actions I am intentionally skipping over, but my main focus will be on the climax where the real meat and crux of this episode lays.

To start with then, let's look again on all those that appeared in episode one, had minor or no dialogue with Max, but contributed little else in episode two.

Alyssa:

I keep looking toward Alyssa and see her as being an unknown quantity in this story. And what is with this recurring event where things keep smacking her around the head? In episode one, Logan slams a football down in temper and it bounces off the ground and slams straight into her head. In episode two it is pretty much the same thing, but this time it is toilet paper that whacks into her. It's almost as if Alyssa is an unwilling victim of causality and is suffering the effects of a repeating time loop, but a time loop where the event itself seems to be restricted to a particular locale, and that is in an around the girls dormitory. Both events have taken place there. I wouldn't mind betting that the same thing will happen again in episode three, and it will surely be a fascinating thing to ponder on if it does indeed occur for a third time. Then it will definitely not be a coincidence.

As for the episode itself, Max met up with Alyssa on two occasions. The first was early morning in the corridor of the dormitory where the toilet paper incident happened; the second was in the classroom just before the ending.

After Alyssa thanks Max about her timely warning and wondering if Max is her guardian angel, the conversation then turns to sci-fi. Alyssa didn't know that Max was a sci-fi geek like herself and Warren are and asks Max what her favourite films were from the 'epic film flash drive,' that she had borrowed from him. Max tells her from a choice of three, and after a bit more trivial sci-fi chat Alyssa warns Max to be careful not to make Brooke jealous.

Oh, the tangled webs we weave!

In the classroom, where their last encounter of the episode took place, Max has another optional photo opportunity, after she has taken the shot she tries to talk with her but is told "not know, Max, I'm contemplating stuff." (Omission of expletive intentional). It was after Max had settled down at her desk and sent Prescott and Chase packing, that I missed out on an observation I should have made but failed to do so until my second play through. I was curious to see that when Max espied Madsen taking candid photographs of Kate, Alyssa was still standing at the window and would have had a bird's eye view of the very same thing Max was watching. So does this mean that Alyssa had already seen Madsen hanging around behind the trees and was waiting to see what he was getting up to? Is that what she really meant when she told Max "not now, I'm contemplating stuff?" It's odd to think that she didn't see it.

Author's note: Alyssa reminds me a little, but in an odd loose way, of Cherita Chen. If you don't know who she is then go do some research and discover her for yourself!

Brooke:

Never had much of a presence in episode one and it is much the same case here in episode two. Makes two appearances, one in the dorm, and the other in the science lab. Their first conversation is all about the freak snow fall and what it all means? Brooke tells Max to seek Warren's advice and opinion because apparently, he knows about such things. When they meet up again later on, Brooke informs Max that Ms Grant - known for not liking surveillance cameras of any kind - busted her for flying her drone over the parking lot. Brooke ends the conversation rather pointedly when, in a mildly sarcastic voice, claimed that the Global Positioning System (GPS) which Max innocently suggested that Brooke had planted on Warren, was in actual fact the very one that she borrowed from Warren which he had previously planted on her!

Ouch!

There is always the feeling with Brooke that she is somewhat jealous of the relationship that Max enjoys with Warren and acts as though she is intellectually superior to Max. One also gets the feeling that Brooke thinks that Warren should hang with someone of similar intellect - such as herself.

That's Brooke!

Courtney:

Seen leaving Victoria's room in the morning, seems to be obeying Victoria's bossy instructions and goes on an errand for her. When Max returns to the academy after the antics at the junk yard she sees Courtney sitting behind a desk which has Vortex Club paraphernalia spread all across it. She learns that Courtney is trying to come up with a guest list for a Vortex Club soiree. Max learns that the Vortex Club has a strict dress code and having learned that, Max can then infiltrate the Club party if she so desires and Courtney will put her name down on the list.

And don't we all want her to do that!!?

Author's note: Max can completely bypass Courtney and not talk to her at all. This makes me think about whether or not the party will be of any significance, or indeed an included event? But like many elements in this game it remains an unknown. So how will this affect the outcome of the conversation Max had with Dana earlier about the party?

Dana:

Thanks Max for helping her out and releasing her from Juliet's captivity. She asks Max if she is going to attend the Halloween shindig on Thursday night.

And don't we all desperately want to know what will happen on that particular night?

Daniel:

Mentioned only that he wants to draw Dana.

Evan:

No contribution other than to say, "Yo Maxwell Smart. Talk later, cool?"

Ms Grant:

Can be found toward the end of the episode sitting behind her classroom desk. Max can approach her and glean some vital information about a chemical based science experiment which Warren is having problems with, and thus resolve it for him by suggesting that he should introduce the chemical, Chlorine, rather than the other two he has on hand. Now where's that camera gone?

Their main conversation is a three subject affair, the freak weather, photography and Mr. Jefferson, and of course. . .the petition to prevent the installation of surveillance cameras in and around the campus. When asked about the freak snow flurry and the scientific reasons for it, Ms Grant states that the climate is moving beyond explanation and that the local tribes might see it differently. Their chat about photography and Mr. Jefferson is a bog-standard thing. The only thing worth noting is that Ms Grant has been at Blackwell for a longer time than Jefferson, but he has made more of an impact than what she has.

Inevitably the conversation falls on the surveillance cameras and the petition that Max chose, or chose not to sign back in episode one. Again, this is one of those consequences I spoke of earlier as not being that crucial to the outcome of the main plotline. Oh sure, you can have Max sign it or not, but we have to take into consideration that the party and the approaching storm are set to occur on subsequent days: Thursday for the party and Friday for the storm. The party is only two days away so can we realistically expect to see the security cameras installed before then? To me it doesn't seem likely.

Another thing to take into account is that Max can totally bypass Ms Grant in episode one and in effect, know nothing at all about the campaign she has in place to prevent the cameras from coming to Blackwell other than posters she may or may not have seen concerning it. If Max chooses not to talk with Ms Grant while she is standing outside the main building in episode one, the subject is still brought up near the end of episode two where, strangely enough, the dialogue is much the same as it would have been if Max had spoken about it to her regardless of whether she signed the petition or not. So because of this 'bypass' ability, I look upon the whole thing as somewhat inconsequential to the main story plotline. But in saying that I do not lay any claim that such omissions will not have consequences in future episodes.

If Max doesn't sign the petition, Ms Grant tells Max that it is missing someone who should care and that her signature might have been the one that decided it. Me thinks it probably would have too.

Author's note: My thoughts about Ms Grant are still divided and as yet, cannot make my mind up about her. There is so little to go on which can tip the balance of my opinion one way or the other, but she is very passionate about preventing Madsen from installing surveillance cameras and, let's not forget that she busted Brooke when she was flying her drone about the campus. Will she stop at nothing to rid her world of what she considers an intrusion of privacy and personal rights?

No. Too many variables for me to decide right now.

Hayden:

"I'm kinda doing something now, Max."

Ok! Sorry I asked!

Juliet:

Asked Max if she had checked out Kate's hot video yet?. Max reprimands Juliet who then shows good sense and decides not to watch it anymore.

Justin:

Had a brief conversation with Max in the Two Whales Diner. Ended up having a disagreement with Trevor, which Joyce breaks up.

Logan:

"That reminds me. I have to score some weed from Nathan."

Hey! Whatever!

Luke:

Seen but not heard.

Samuel:

Sitting on a bench outside the dorm. This was one of the more interesting minor conversations. Max asks Samuel about the pictures of Rachel Amber she stumbled across while nosing around in his shed. Samuel seemed displeased about this and accuses Max of prying. He then explains that it was Rachel herself who gave the photos to him and that he told the police that Rachel was a good egg. He goes on to say that Rachel gave out head shots like squirrels chasing food, but told Max to keep on prying - suggesting that she must have a lot of time on her hands. The conversation (depending on which way round you started it) then turned to more pleasant things such as the calm and quiet of the early morning which Samuel loves. He claims to be able to feel the animals waking up with him and that he hears the squirrels whisper as they look for food. He asks Max what animals she sees in the forest. She tells Samuel that she has seen a Doe which is staring right at her and seems to be trying to communicate with her. This doesn't faze Samuel in any way at all and he tells Max that it is her spirit animal and could well be a sign of her destiny! He then tells Max that his own spirit animal is a squirrel.

Their talk about the freak snow flurry doesn't amount to much other than Samuel saying that it is a message from the earth to get our crap together!

Samuel is obviously very aware of the ethereal plain and is connected to it in some way or other. The way he speaks when talking about spirit animals is very informed and natural; similar in fact to the way an Indian would speak of such things. I would suggest at this point that maybe his ancestors were Indian and that his mother or father is of the same descent? Or maybe he spent much of his youth either reading about the subject, or spent a lot of time in and around the company of any remaining indigenous inhabitants and learned their traditional ways and customs.

Stella:

Seen but not heard.

Taylor:

Accompanied Victoria in the shower room. You know the rest!

Quite rude and nasty to begin with during her conversation with Max. They talk about Victoria, Kate, and the infamous video. Max wonders why Taylor and Courtney hang out with such a bossy person like Victoria and why they are friends at all. But the conversation turns around for the better when Max learns that Taylor's mum got sick and had to undergo an operation on her back. After learning this, Max rewinds and begins the conversation anew which then has a more favourable, friendlier outcome. We also get to hear about yet another side to Victoria, a more caring, considerate side such as Max discovered about her in episode one.

Trevor:

In the Diner, sitting with Justin. Asks Max if she saw him in the girls dorm? And we all know the answer to that.

Victoria:

Strangely absent during much of this episode, but there again no reason to think that she wasn't pulling strings somewhere in the background - what she wrote on the mirror in the girls washroom when Max was busy taking a shower is a prime example of Victoria at her worst. She never passes up any opportunity when it arises to put people down or spread gossip. Just listen to the conversation she had with Taylor!

Max had one encounter with Victoria near the end of the game; she found her and Nathan sitting atop of her desk in the classroom, and after some unpleasant exchanges they both get up and reluctantly move elsewhere.

I haven't forgotten about her appearance in the ending montage, I will group all those who featured in it into a separate section.

Zachary:

Has a short conversation with Max inside the academy, the topic is mainly about Victoria being an attention seeker. Max points out that the more people keep talking about her, the more empowering it will be for Victoria. Zachary agrees and tells her that she is smart and hopes to see her attend his football game on Friday, which also happens to be the day after the up and coming ominous sounding "End of the World" party laid on by the Vortex Club.

Author's note: Whenever I see the posters advertising the party night I hear the "Killing Moon" by Echo and the Bunnymen playing in my head. This, as I'm sure you know was featured in Richard Kelly's cinematic masterpiece, "Donnie Darko." There is no reason that I can adequately explain as to why this should remind me of that other than the fact that it played over the party sequence in the film which, by its inclusion, portended the calamitous events to come. How strange!


* * *

And before I go any further, let's take a moment for a quick overview of all the people Max met outside and inside the Two Whales Diner. Much of these were just street or room fillers, but one or two of them had interesting things to say.

Outside the Diner:

Woman:

Standing at the bus stop. Wanted to know if a bus was coming along any time soon; the online schedule wasn't working. Was worried she might be late for a job interview in Newport and complained about the fact that she had to travel far to get a second job. Said she couldn't afford to live in Arcadia Bay.

Old Guy:

Standing next to the woman at the bus stop. Didn't seem at all right in the head. Kept going on about a lottery ticket.

Fisherman:

Spoke of better days when the fishing was good and the catch more plentiful. Said it was a long time ago when he was king of the harbour. Had many negative things to say about the Prescotts such as snapping up the harbour rights. Said that they should change the name of the town to Prescott Bay.

You know the rest.

Man:

Standing next to the newspaper dispenser just outside the diner. Incredulously stated that the world is on fire and the only thing that the paper can write about is snow and that he couldn't wait for next week's big story - clouds! Rants on about global warming and reckoned that Arcadia Bay will be a ghost town in a few years. Max says she thought that the town was booming? He cuttingly replies that the paper can only report about that and missing girls! The subject of Rachel Amber is raised and he says that she probably ran away because she was bored?

Thanks for the enlightening chat, chet!

If Max grabs a newspaper and reads the headlines, she learns that the National Weather Service has yet to come up with a conclusive reason for the unusual snowfall that briefly hit Arcadia Bay. I was glad to see that it got a mention if only in a newspaper!

Homeless old woman:

Definitely the most interesting character outside of the diner. I could well imagine her donning a witch’s hat, grabbing a broom stick, then flying up to the sky as witches do - with the sound of maniacal cackling laughter emanating from her dry, wrinkled up old mouth. Just saying!

Author's note: It is very easy to miss out on some facts when talking with this woman. So in all discussions it is best to rewind and start again choosing another conversational path that differs from the previous one you went down. Do this until you have gathered up and learned everything she has to say.

Takes one look at Max and calls her a fine example of youth and correctly identifies her as being a senior student. She has lived in Arcadia Bay all of her life, seen many changes - some not always for the better, and claims to know all about Blackwell and the local town. Speaks of a time when the choices she made in her own life went majorly sour and started her down a path of no return. Blames much of it on the greedy people who ruined the town putting people out of work and home like herself. Had nothing good to say about the Prescotts in the present, called the whole family dirty, but said that they used to do good things for the town in the past. Apart from her own apathy she still considers Arcadia Bay as her home and tells Max that there is still a lot of beauty to be found in the area, but alongside that there is also a lot of darkness too. In an unexpected statement she says that she hates the sun but loves the mist; preferring then, a life of quietly lingering in shadow!

When asked about Joyce Price, the woman had nothing but kind words to say about her, but had nothing good to say about her husband, Madsen, who she described as a real prick! She also mentions that Madsen once told her to get a job! Max is told that Joyce has fed her more times than her own family and that she knows her daughter, Chloe. She described Chloe as being pissed off and always getting into a lot of trouble. What an accurate observation!

It was no surprise then when Max learns that the woman knew something of Rachel Amber. A Cute girl, according to her, and also a very pretty one. Used to see her hanging around a lot with Chloe. Rachel, she observed, walked around a lot looking deep in thought and worried about something only known to her. Saw her with an older man who she assumed was her father, but like me, I'm sure that you too will think otherwise?

Author's note: This is the first time that we have had an actual eyewitness account of Rachel being seen out and about in public with an unknown man. I don't think he was her father but, maybe he is the very same person Rachel wrote to Chloe about in the letter found at the decrepit building at the junk yard? This knowledge in itself is very tantalising to say the least, it is no longer swimming in the murky waters of rumour, but has rose to the surface to reveal a possibility that it was not Frank Bowers who was the subject of Rachel's confessional letter.

Oh, for the want of more information!

Inside the Diner:

Cop:

With the exception of Joyce, the cop had the most to say out of all the other patrons inside the diner. He knows David Madsen and seems glad about the fact he isn't a cop, adding, that not everyone is suited to be one. He knows Chloe, too. Says that she is well known at the station for constantly getting into trouble. Mentions the reefer incident that he got to hear about and goes on to ask Max if she knows her? Max, quite rightly is a bit conservative with the truth and deflects the conversation to other matters. He speaks kindly of Joyce saying that he looks upon her - as do all the other officers at the station - as a mother simply because she delivers great tasting food! In a final comment, the Cop tells Max to keep clear of the RV which is parked outside and that the owner, Frank, is a bit sketchy.

What better endorsement or advice concerning a person's character do you need when it comes from the mouth of a cop?! We know far too little about Frank at this stage to pass any kind of judgement.

Dude:

Just complains. Said nothing of any significance.

Fisherman:

Just complains. Said nothing of any significance.

Trucker 1:

Just complains. Said nothing of any significance.

Trucker 2:

Said nothing of any significance. He was most keen to keep an eye on his truck which Max blocked his view of when she stood in front of him.

Weird lady:

Yes. Her title suits perfectly! Said nothing of any significance.

While we are at the diner, and although I know it's not in strict alphabetical order, l need, obviously, to include Joyce. I didn't really know where I was going to place Joyce in all the character listings, so now is as good a time as any to write a dedicated section all about her.

Joyce Madsen:

I know we are only at episode two, but, at last! We finally get to meet and speak with Chloe's mum, Joyce. And I dare anyone not to like her!

The dialogue between her and Max may not be of any significance or importance, but we do get to learn more about how the Madsen family unit interacts and works as a whole. This meeting also fills up one more space in Max's journal leaving only one empty. (Insert drum roll here).

After Max sits down Joyce looks up and comes from behind the counter to greet her. I am not certain whether or not Joyce was expecting her, but it's not too much of a stretch to think that Chloe must have told her that Max was back in town and is now a student at Blackwell. Their reunion, as expected, is a warm and friendly affair and Joyce comes across as a kind, caring person, a little older, but definitely a little more worldly wise.

The ever popular conversational topic of the reefer incident is brought up by Joyce - Madsen had obviously told her about it - and depending on the consequential decision Max made back in episode one when Madsen entered Chloe's bedroom will have a direct bearing in which direction this conversation will go. There were three choices back then to make. Stay hidden in the closet. Come out of the closet and either claim or deny ownership of the reefer. Or do nothing and allow Madsen to barge into the bedroom and catch Max in there. Without lingering too much on this, the consequences for Max didn't seem all that dire as far as Joyce was concerned, but they will be significant later on. If Max claimed the reefer as her own then Joyce acts slightly disappointed adding, that she hoped that now Max was back in Chloe's life she would help to save her daughter. But unknown to Joyce she already did!

There are other scenarios concerning the reefer incident. In one, Joyce knowingly tells Max that the reefer did not belong to her but Chloe. The other is when Max chose to remain hidden resulting in the blame, again, falling on Chloe. In each instance the subject is quickly dropped and then turns to Madsen himself. Joyce tells Max that she's sorry that her introduction to Madsen was not a pleasant one, but as we all know she had already encountered Madsen after the shooting incident and when she saw him talking with Kate.

The reefer incident and what Max decided during it will also reflect on how the conversation about Madsen will go. In each instance Joyce defends him claiming that he is a good man. If, back in the bedroom Madsen had hit Chloe, then Joyce says that he will be punished for it. After a few more light exchanges about life, growing up, and Joyce's late husband, Max is asked what she would like for breakfast. While Joyce is gone seeing to her order, Max is left to her own devices and ponders some things while sipping her fresh coffee. When Joyce returns with a plate of delicious morning grub, Max says that is as good as it ever was. A few moments later Chloe enters the diner and joins them at the table. Joyce still seems cross with her wayward daughter but feeds her nonetheless.

The other events inside the diner I will write about under Chloe's own section. Right now though, a summing up on Joyce and her relationship with Madsen is worth a mention. I know we have barely come to know Joyce at all in the short moments Max spent with, but first impressions have a way of guiding our opinions as to the nature of a person and whether we like them or not. Joyce has shown herself to be a very likable person who gives the impression that she don't take crap from anyone - including Chloe, but at the same time has a balanced view on things and is very fair when dealing out judgement. And this is the very thing that constantly comes back to me when I think about David Madsen. Do we really think that a woman like Joyce would have married Madsen if indeed he was the jerk that other people say he is? And I am probably right in saying that we have all heard of the idiom "love is blind" at some time or other in our lives, and to this day sayings such as those may be riddled and full of holes, but to a certain degree can still hold water! So in this particular instance would it be true and applicable to Joyce? It's a bit long winded and complicated - I know, and realistically speaking it is something that the game will never tell us; so we all have to make up our own minds as to where we stand on that one. To me, Joyce is a very independent, strong willed woman, someone who is sure of herself and her place in the world. She certainly looked all smiley and happy in that photograph of her and Madsen didn't she!?

Joyce is a woman who has had to deal with loss and build another life for herself, but in the process has lost the daughter she once knew. In the diner with Max, we saw Joyce reminiscing about the past and the odd thing to note here is, she never once mentioned Chloe's friendship with Rachel Amber which only blossomed after Max moved out of town. Maybe that conversation will happen on another day?

The loose threads are dangling a plentiful!


* * *

And now. . . all those who I consider to be the major players in the game. This part will only deal with events before, and leading up to the meeting that takes place inside the office of Principal Wells. As I am sure you can appreciate, things are beginning to get rather complicated to write about if condensed into one paragraph or two, so the meeting in the office will have its own section simply because there are many permutations and combinations of major consequences that, depending on your decision, will greatly affect and alter the outcome. And it is here, other than those affecting Kate Marsh, that we finally get to see them in action. I will also cover the ending montage separately as well.

I am not going to group these in alphabetical order, but hopefully in order of appearance if my memory serves me correctly.

Max:

Day two: Tuesday 8th October 2013. Wake up Max! Another day has dawned and it is time once again to rise then go take a shower. The episode begins with a blurry view of a piece of paper that has "Doe" written on it along with some indiscernible diagrams that Max has drawn next to them. There are many yellow, sticky post-it notes stuck to a board above her computer with scientific subjects and theories written on them. The computer itself has files all to do with the same subject; perhaps Warren had supplied her with the links? And if Max chose to make fun of Victoria after the paint splashing incident, she will find a web page created by Victoria with silly images of her head planted atop two animals. How very shallow of you Victoria!

Her room floor is strewn with sheets of paper with similar things sketched on them. There are books and videos all to do with either science fiction or science fact lying idly about. Proof then that while Max should have been sleeping, she had stayed up late and spent the night and early morning studying all the things that relate to her recently acquired power in the hope it might shed some light on what it all means in the great scheme of things and her part in it, but apart from a few unfocussed ideas she has no more idea as to how or why than what we do! And, her looking in the mirror and calling herself zombie face is further testament to the fact that she had a rather heavy night of trying to mentally grasp subjects which are both foreign and new to her.

Max has no choice but to go the shower rooms because it is in there that Kate Marsh awaits. This is one of those scenes that cannot be bypassed and therefore essential to the plot. Kate asks Max if she would return her book "The October Country" because she needs it to make notes for a class which she has to attend later. The book "The October Country" is a collection of nineteen short stories all based on the macabre written by Ray Bradbury. An odd thing for Kate to possess, but perhaps it is what inspired the horrific sketch Max stumbled upon while scanning around Kate's room?

After a shower, Max returns to her room and finds that someone has been in there and vandalised it. There are two scenarios. Who has done this? If Max made fun of Victoria outside the dorm after the paint splattering incident, is it Victoria who has vandalised her room. I have not played out the scenario where Max messes up the photos in Victoria's room, so I have no idea if that would also affect this particular instance? But I think that perhaps, overall, it would turn out the same.

1. Max finds that her mirror has something written in lipstick on it.

"Crappy artist. Filthy whore."

There was a photo of Victoria with a paint splashed face on top of Max's bookcase, this had disappeared. So it's safe to assume that Victoria or one of her cronies had been in there, taken it, and done the deed as mentioned above.

2. Max finds her photos have been ruined by graffiti and there is a grotesque picture on her bed. The image is of two severed heads being served on a plate, one is hers, the other a goat.

"Nobody messes with me *****."

Max, like us, thinks this is Nathan's handiwork in retaliation for reporting him to the Principal. More than likely it is, but there is no proof.

During two moments of solitude, again, depending on consequential decisions made in episode one, it is possible for Max to receive two texts on her phone. One of them is sent regardless of any previous consequence, while the other is from Nathan's father if Max decided to report him.

1. "Keep your mouth shut about everything. Or I'm coming for your ass. I know where you sleep."

Victoria? Nathan? They both have motives one would say. But is it someone unknown, someone out of sight who has been closely monitoring proceedings?

2. "This is a message to let you know that attempts to slander and blackmail my son will be met with many lawyers and legal ramifications. You're not the first student at Blackwell to try this. I hope you're the last. Consider this a final polite warning."

Hmm. So in the past, according to Nathan's father, other students have had trouble with him, eh? Nathan's reputation precedes him! And blackmail? When has Max tried to blackmail him? This of course, refers to Chloe and the chat she had with Nathan in the girls' toilets. It would seem that Max is guilty by association and her card has been indelibly marked!

That's it for now regarding Max. All the important things that happen next involve her interactions with all the remaining characters, so it will be in their sections that Max's part in this episode will be continued.

Kate Marsh:

Where to begin. Who could have foreseen what lay in wait for poor Kate? We all like her don't we? I certainly had no idea about what was to come later in the episode's finale and I was dumb struck when unfortunately, I had to witness Kate's very worst scenario.

Max has no choice but to go to Kate's room and return her book before she can continue any further in this episode.

So. . .we're done with the shower room talk and the next meeting between Kate and Max happens in Kate's room. Max, in snoop mode, will discover when she opens the bible on a sideboard that Kate has written a verse by Matthew on a post-it note.

Matthew 11:28. "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

Learning this will prove useful to Max later on during Kate's ordeal on the rooftop. There is another sticky note with Proverbs 21:15 written on it, but this has been crossed out, meaning, probably not one of Kate's favourites?

There are many things to find and discover in Kate's room. There is a family photograph showing Kate with her parents and two sisters which again, will have real substance later on in the episode - if or when - Max decides to bring the subject up. Max can also find a letter from Kate's aunt who has wrote to her expressing concerns about the viral video and accuses her of being nothing but a Jezebel who has brought shame upon herself and, her family. To top it all off, there is an email from her mother in which she tells Kate that the Principal has told all about her antics at the Vortex Club party and that she should call her to explain herself! The only member of her immediate family who has not rushed in to stick her with a knife is her father who, still has faith in his beloved daughter.

Author's note: Kate's room has the curtains drawn, the mirror has been covered up as to prevent her looking at herself in shame. The room, in general, is untidy and there are clothes scattered on the floor. Kate also has a violin which she likes to play, but in recent days it has been neglected. The darkness is definitely descending on Kate and she is getting more and more desperate as the seconds tick by.

Kate is getting flack from all directions - even at Blackwell. No wonder she is in such a tizzy! No one is on her side and willing to listen to her; no one except Max. The conversation which takes place in Kate's room is very enlightening; for the first time we get to hear some valuable exposition from Kate about what happened to her at the Vortex Club party.

Kate's opening question to Max is why, or why she didn't help when Madsen was intimidating her outside the dormitories. This can go one of two ways but Kate knows by the end of it that Max is on her side. And do you remember that occasion? I'm sure you do. Did you take a picture or intervene on Kate's behalf? This event has gravity and has major consequences later on, not only for Kate, but extends right into the Principals office and can radically change the outcome in an unexpected way.

Max is very curious and wants to know more about what happened to Kate on the party night; Kate then begins to tell her all that she can remember. Against her better judgement and for the want of meeting new people, Kate attended the party. She claims to have had one sip of red wine and after that, nothing but water - which doesn't account for the reason she began to feel sick and dizzy. Before she felt ill, and in her own words, she said she made out with a group of boys and the whole embarrassing ordeal was captured on video. Kate didn't know who filmed her, but Victoria's name was freely thrown into the mix. Nathan stepped in and kindly offered to take her to the hospital. Kate said that the journey in the car lasted for quite some time; she must have fell asleep or passed out because the next thing she remembered was waking up in a bright, white room which she thought was a room in a hospital. She heard a soft voice, perhaps a doctor? But then she heard Nathan's voice just before she felt a sharp sting in her neck. Kate woke up the next day outside of her dorm with no clear memory of the night before. The event and what actually happened has troubled her ever since.

Whatever it was that took place on that night does not sound healthy or normal. Was this an attempt at date rape on a young girl through chemical intoxication? Or did something even more sinister await Kate, which for some unknown reason, wasn't carried out? The sting she felt in her neck was obviously a hypodermic syringe which was used to administer a sleeping drug or some other kind of knockout drops. If this was an innocent act of kindness to help out a young girl who had fell ill, then why all the furtiveness and secrecy? Why was she just dumped outside of her room rather than being put in it like decent people would? It all reeks of foul play which led those responsible to panic in their guilty haste. It is either that or the whole dorm knows and is keeping their mouths shut - Just as the text message to Max demanded she do.

Kate is a character who easily gains our sympathies for what she is going through. I'm sure we all see her as an innocent in all this, a hapless victim of predators who will stop at nothing to fulfil their sordid desires on the vulnerable. Even if Kate is not the all innocent girl we see her as, it still doesn't justify the treatment she got from those at the party, does it?

The conversation comes to a close when Max is asked a delicately tricky question. Does Kate go to the police with her story? And Jeeeezus! My heart said yes, but in my mind, a resounding no! If Max says yes, go to the police, then Kate is relieved that she has some back up until Max reminds her that discretion is the better part of valour. If Max says no, Kate gets uptight then goes all broody and quiet. Exit Max from Kate's room.

Author's note: In my first play through I remember feeling rather worried for Kate from that point onward. Little did I know!

The next communication between them is in the diner. This will be discussed under Chloe's section. Kate is seen again just before class talking with Jefferson, and outside being photographed by Madsen. I will elaborate on those in said characters own sections.

Zachary makes an excited entrance in Jefferson's classroom and declares that some crazy stuff is happening at the girls' dorm. Jefferson protests but isn't able to prevent everyone jumping up and leaving his classroom to head over there and see what all the fuss is about. It is raining, the skies are grey with low clouds, but everyone is more interested in what's taking place on the roof of the girl’s dormitory. Max arrives and looks up to where all other eyes are gazing; just in time to see Kate throw herself off the roof and plummet towards earth in a suicidal death dive. Max screams out Kate's name in horror and disbelief at what she's just seen and then rewinds time. Kate suddenly gets sucked back up to the rooftop.

The strain on Max is beginning to show with yet another nose bleed. Her power is at a low ebb, but in a beautifully rendered moment she freezes time completely and everything and everyone around her is as motionless as a photograph. In an act of self will and determination Max forces herself forward toward the door of the dormitories where Madsen can be seen frozen in mid run. He is too late to save Kate. Max makes it to the roof and finds that her power has totally deserted her. She will have to try and talk Kate down as one human being to another and not rely on her power. It must be done with love, friendship, and understanding.

This is a good time to remember everything you have learned about Kate.

Kate turns around when she hears Max; Kate is beyond desperation and just wants to end it all with one simple step forward. Max pleads with her not to jump and that she is not alone; she has people who care about her. The situation is a terrible one; just one wrong decision here can have disastrous consequences for Kate. In one terrifying moment Kate reminds Max of the time she chose to take a photograph rather than intervene when Madsen was in her face, and for all intents and purposes, Kate appears ready to jump! The conversation bounces back and forth and the intensity is increased as Max tries to convince her that together they can make a difference and stop the bullies once and for all. When the critical moment arrives, and with careful, due consideration, Max can employ several ways to successfully talk Kate out of killing herself, but just one wrong sentence will make Kate turn around and end her life.

Kate Marsh is alive!

Max. The hero of the day, has saved Kate. The hospital room awaits.

Kate Marsh is dead!

Max. Lost her power and lost Kate. With this tragic scenario in place, is there a further part for Kate to play posthumously in this tale? And I also have to wonder - if Kate is still alive by the end of the episode - whether she has any more meaningful input to contribute to the remainder of the story? Even if she has, I can't see it being that much, but I hope at some point we get to catch up on how she's doing.

We all like Kate. Don't we?

Warren:

Warren makes many appearances throughout this episode, and although most of them might be considered as minor parts - he does contribute a vital piece of information concerning the lunar eclipse in the ending scene with Max.

So is Max ever going to go on a date with Warren? To go 'ape' or not, that is the question he puts to Max outside the girls dormitory! I have played out both scenarios but I wonder if there is anything to it if Max says yes or no? If Max said yes to his proposal, are we going to see it for 'reals?' And if Max said no, then Warren is a bit miffed at first, but he texts her later to say that's it ok she decided to decline his offer. Real friends are real friends I guess, come what may.

Warren, as we know, is a science nerd, but still has trouble with certain chemical experiments. Max comes to his rescue in yet another of those scenes that can be totally bypassed and saves his experiment - with a little help from time reversal, of course!

Warren pays a fleeting visit to Max in her classroom just before the rooftop drama kicks off and mentions that Kate is all puffy eyed from crying. Enter Jefferson who then expels all the non participating students from his class and ousts them from the room.

Then the darkness descends on Blackwell.

We see Warren again caught in a frozen moment of time comforting Alyssa outside the dormitory. They have just bore witness to a terrifying event and Alyssa is taking comfort from a kindred spirit. I wonder what Alyssa’s true feelings about Warren are?

Finally, when the dust has settled and what is done is done, Warren is sitting with Max and they are both reflecting on what just happened. This is also a two pronged conversation which can divert in two different directions, but because we all know how the story played out I will not detail it here.

But. . . what in Hell is this? A lunar eclipse?!

The temperature drops, Warren affectionately places him arm around Max's shoulder and explains to her that no eclipse was scheduled today; he would know about it if there was. The both of them look on in wonder as the moon slowly travels across the face of the sun, each not being able to process what is happening or what it actually means.

Exit Warren from episode two.

David Madsen:

We are all meant to dislike him aren't we? I do not and still maintain his heart is in the right place despite his questionable grating personality. And I'm sure that the influence that Joyce has on him can only be for his betterment. We see Madsen on five occasions in episode two, but only two in which he says anything.

When Max heads to the bus stop she sees Madsen talking to Nathan Prescott. Their conversation could be about numerous things, but more likely than not it's all centred around the Vortex Club, or the gun incident if Max told the Principal about it earlier. Or there again it could have been about Kate Marsh?

Back in the academy after the junk yard scene, Max encounters the officious Madsen who is standing in the corridor beside the double set of doors leading to her classroom. This conversation has to take place and cannot be avoided, if Max tries to walk past him then he will call her back saying that he wants to talk to her. Their conversation can branch off in several directions depending on what Max decided to do in episode one and doesn't vary that much, but essentially the talk is all about the infamous reefer incident, Chloe, and Kate.

Author's note: I have no idea if, when max was in Chloe's house and nosing around the garage but didn't clean up after her, thus leaving evidence, if this will have a bearing on the conversation here, or at a later time?

Madsen tells Max that things got a little heated yesterday in Chloe's room and apologises - saying that he was wrong, but upset. He asks Max if the reefer really belonged to her. Max can deny or claim it, but it makes no difference to Madsen's reaction. He then states that cannabis may not be a big deal to Max, but it has been as far as Chloe is concerned. Max counters by saying that he is a combat veteran and that Chloe is not a threat to him. Madsen then declares that if he didn't care about Chloe then he wouldn't care at all, adding, that in his youth he used to raise a lot more hell than Chloe ever did and that she, and all the other kids are way better than that - including Kate Marsh! Max asks him about Kate and why he treats her badly, he replies that she is another matter entirely and that she came between them at an awkward time.

Author's note: by this statement, and the fact that he separated Kate out from everyone else, can we deduce that Madsen definitely knows more than he cares to let on? What is he secretly, really investigating?

Madsen says that his interests are not solely fixed on Kate Marsh, but his concerns are for the safety of all the students at Blackwell. Max suggests - knowing what she does - that it will take more than surveillance cameras to keep them all safe. But then Madsen suggests that it will take more than Ms Grant and her petition to find missing students!

Author's note: let's pause here a moment and think about Madsen's last statement. Was this just clumsy word usage, or a Freudian slip where he revealed something unintentionally? When he said 'students' it was plural, not singular. Does this mean it has happened before at Blackwell? (Remember the red folders with girls’ names on them?) It may be nothing, but dialogue is very important in this game and when things are said like the above example, it should be duly noted.

Max seems slightly puzzled by Madsen's last statement and in mild protest reminds him that as head of security isn't that part of his job?! And then she asks whether or not he knows something about Rachel Amber that nobody else does? Madsen deflects the question away by saying that he no longer wants to fight with her, or anyone else. The conversation abruptly comes to a close.

Madsen is seen taking pictures of Kate after she stormed off from the conversation she had with Jefferson. This is another of those 'what is he really up to' moments that only serve to add further ambiguity to what his true intentions really are.

The next major scene we see Madsen in is at the close in the Principal's office, but this, like his part in the montage sequence will have its own section.

Author's note: I am still of the opinion that Madsen is vitally important to the story as a whole. It wouldn't surprise me if he had a pivotal role to play at the climax of the game, and all his sins forgiven.

Nathan Prescott:

A quiet episode for him as far as any meaningful input is concerned; he is seen five times. His main contribution is at the end inside the Principal's office. At the top of the episode when Max finds her room vandalised it is very easy for us to place the blame on bad boy Nathan, but the variable here is: if Max didn't report him to the Principal then he has no cause to mess with her does he? Wrong! What happened in the car park has to be taken into consideration too. It was there that Nathan learned of a connection between Max and Chloe, and because he had already had less than favourable dealings with Chloe, he was always going to be suspicious about Max from that point onward.

"Keep your mouth shut about everything. Or I'm coming for your ass. I know where you sleep."

Did Nathan send Max this nasty, anonymous text? That is the question. But a question whose answer- for now at least - exists solely in the realm of speculation.

As mentioned under Madsen's section, Nathan is seen talking to him in the morning. It is pointless trying to lay claim to knowing what the conversation was all about; the only thing it really indicates is that Nathan is also under Madsen's scrutiny whether they are in cahoots or not.

The first dialogue scene involving Nathan is in the classroom near the end of the episode. This is another of those examples of a previous minor consequence that in effect changes what Nathan will say to, or about Max. I am not going to cover it here because the end result is always a negative as far as Max is concerned. Nathan doesn't appear to like Max and that's all there is to it in my mind.

The two remaining scenes where Nathan is seen outside that of the Principal's office are during the rooftop drama and the ending montage.

Chloe:

Chloe texts Max in the morning to meet her at the "Two Whales Diner" for breakfast. Chloe texts her again to say she is running late, but as to why this is so she doesn't explain. What else has she to do in her life that's making her late? Eventually Chloe arrives and finds Max happily chatting away to her mother. Joyce doesn't seem too pleased with Chloe - so she's only getting one rasher of bacon for her breakfast this morning! Chloe takes her place opposite Max at the table.

With scepticism foremost in her mind, Chloe still isn't convinced that Max can rewind time at will. She proposes a test whereby Max has to correctly predict what Chloe has in her pockets. Easy! After a bout of time reversal Max passes with flying colours. However, Chloe still doesn't believe it, so Max tells her that she will predict four things that will all happen in the next thirty seconds or so. Needless to say, Max does exactly what she said she'd do and blows Chloe's mind away.

Having eaten breakfast, Chloe invites Max to her secret hideaway; they both get up and prepare to leave. Max get's a phone call, it is Kate. Chloe tells Max not to answer it - they've got things to do and places to go to and, her best friend requires her immediate presence. Max has a choice of answering her phone or ignoring it. This action will have consequences.

Author's note: Chloe again, shows us her less than savoury nature in thinking that the whole world turns only for her and her personal needs; it is not very endearing is it. If I were in the same situation where a troubled friend needed to talk with me, then I would naturally take the call without giving it a second thought and everything else would simply have to wait. This is something that all decent, considerate people would do. Isn't it? Chloe knows nothing about Kate's plight and in her ignorance, should not be so selfish in her expectations. But this is not the case in Chloe's world, but her emotions or mood can suddenly turn on a sixpence - or dime if you're American and prefer that - and could be deemed as one of her better redeeming qualities.

So. . .what did you do? Going by what I wrote above you can guess what my choice was, but because I haven't played out the scenario when Max doesn't answer the phone, I am clueless as to what the consequences would be for Kate. I have a feeling though that Kate would remind Max about her questionable decision on the roof of the dormitories.

Max answers the phone and, it becomes quite apparent that Chloe wanted to get out of the diner when she did so Joyce wouldn't get on her case. Well bad luck Chloe! Maybe you deserved it? When that is done, Chloe and Max head for the junk yard, but unknown to them they have an unwanted tail.

At the junk yard, Chloe wants even more proof that max can do what she does and proposes an experiment involving five bottles and a loaded gun. Chloe is all manipulative and charmingly sweet when she asks Max to go look for five empty bottles while she prepares for the experiment. During her bottle hunt, Max stumbles across the ghostly looking apparition of the mysterious Doe again and, takes advantage of a good photo opportunity.

Author's note: The strange thing to consider here is, the Doe does not appear in the actual photo, but Max makes no comment about the peculiarity of this fact. It is also a given that when Max came to Blackwell she already had that top she wears with a Doe printed on it. A drawn picture of a Doe can also be found inside her journal, too. And not only that, pictures of the Doe can be spotted at various other places in Arcadia Bay. It is literally everywhere! And let's not forget that, at the very beginning when Max began her adventure in the future, the Doe made its debut appearance. The message is loud and clear - Max and the Doe are joined and an unknown destiny awaits them both in the future where their very first meeting occurred.

Max rummages around inside the dilapidated hut and finds many things of interest. She finds a letter written by Rachel Amber who writes to Chloe explaining that she has met someone, someone that Chloe may not like or be pleased about when she finds out who it is. There is another bracelet, similar to the one Frank Bowers wears. She finds another scrap of paper with the alarming statement "I want to die" written on it. And more graffiti and pictures can be seen on the walls, some which directly pertain to Rachel and Chloe themselves. Max finds cosmetics resting on a table and she makes a comment saying that she can't see Chloe messing around with make-up. Logically we would think they belong to Rachel.

Author's note: It is clear that Chloe and Rachel spent a lot of time together here. The place is full on memories from the recent past.

With all five bottles found Chloe sets up the experiment. There is no need to explain what happens here, but I will highlight one event that is note worthy. It is possible, after Max has chosen a target for Chloe to aim and shoot at, that the bullet will ricochet off the target and rebound into Chloe! On the surface, this is no big deal, because Max will simply rewind time and put things right again. But underneath there is another recurring theme such as the one involving Alyssa, but in Chloe's case it is potentially lethal. . .and the last event to occur at the railroad is further testament to the fact that Chloe may be on borrowed time!

Author's note: There is a strong suggestion here: because Chloe avoided death and lived on, the imbalance it caused is trying to right itself in the sense of removing Chloe from the timeline. Just a suggestion though!

When Frank turns up and does what he does (look under his own section) the event can end in one of two ways.

1. Max points the gun at him and pulls the trigger. He leaves the junk yard.

2. Max points the gun at him but doesn't pull the trigger. He leaves the junk yard with Chloe's stolen gun.

Author's note: Guns are nasty and dangerous no matter who is wielding them, but in the hands of Chloe, who seems to view such things as a toy, it can only be considered as highly dangerous. And Chloe should not be encouraging Max to use one, either. What did it really say about Max when she pulled the trigger, albeit, of an empty gun? Cause and effect indeed! In this case Chloe is the root.

Max has another nose bleed closely followed by a friendly visit from the storm and, the lighthouse makes an appearance too! And temporarily finds herself in the future again. (Hint?) She recovers, chats a little longer with Chloe, then they both leave the junk yard.

The railroad scene is another of those events which threaten to remove Chloe from the current timeline. They have a conversation regarding the gun. This again, can go two different ways depending on what decision Max made. If Chloe still has the gun then all is hunky dory, but if Max didn't pull the trigger resulting in the gun being taken by Frank, then Chloe is not very pleased and tells Max that in her mind it adds up to people letting her down!

Max and Chloe take a timeout and rest across the rail tracks, reflecting on life, Frank, and of course, Rachel. Max wants to know why Chloe hangs out with a guy like Frank. Chloe tells her that Frank is not as hardcore as he appears and all he really worries about is cash and his mangy dog. Frank deals dope, too, and she should know because she is a customer of his. She also borrowed some money off of Frank so she and Rachel could leave Arcadia Bay. During this discussion Chloe makes an odd comment saying that the rail tracks make her feel better and, it feels like a different world. Max says she's freaked with all this crazy stuff and Chloe tells her that, for her, the new normal is the 'crazy stuff.' According to Chloe, Max and Rachel are not that different from each other. Rachel, like Max, has a good eye for images and art, and if they ever met would be best friends forever!

Wham!

Hello! Is that the storm again? You really should think about the effect you are having on people before you decide to rear your ugly head!

Once again, Max is enveloped by visions of the storm and the lighthouse. It is when she hears Chloe's voice frantically calling out to her and rising from the depths that she comes back to the present. We do not know what happened while Max was having her vision, but Chloe now has a foot which is stuck between two switch points of the rail track and there is a train coming!

Max springs into action but is unable to free Chloe's foot; so she runs off trying to find a solution. The safest and fastest way to free Chloe from her rail track trap is to use the crowbar on the door of the building there and force it open. Grab the pliers from a drawer inside and head out to the cable box which is next to the rails. Which wire to cut? That is the question. You decide!

Chloe has escaped from the stalking clutches of death yet again and has survived to live for another day, or two, or three, or four, or five, or six, or seven. . .?

Very much relieved, Chloe categorically states that now, they are both bonded for life! They both return to the truck and drive to Blackwell. Chloe parks and then mull over the things that just happened. Chloe suggests that the snowfall and the expected tornado are both related in some way and, likens it to chaos theory and strange attractors. With no sure knowledge, the discussion ends on a high note when Max declares that they are both back together as a team again. Max then heads off to class.

Apart from a text that max will receive from Chloe while sitting behind her classroom desk, this is the last time we will see Chloe in episode two other then when she appears in the montage.

Frank Bowers:

The latest and possibly last character to be introduced in this game. With the inclusion of Frank Bowers, Max's journal is now full.

Not much is known about Frank other than what the cop said about him as a warning to Max, or what little we have gleaned from Chloe. We have yet to find out what the consequence for writing "clean me" on his RV will be, but nothing was said about it in this episode. Before Frank makes his appearance at the junk yard, Max sees him and his dog outside of his RV behind the diner. When Max and Chloe leave the diner, Frank is watching and follows them.

At the junk yard, once the bottle shooting is done with and Chloe gives Max the gun, Frank enters the scene and firmly establishes his credentials as being yet another suspicious character to emerge in this unfolding Arcadian drama. Chloe owes Frank money and Frank wants her to pay up and settle her long running debts. An angry exchange of words between Chloe and Frank ensues; Max looks on with the gun hidden behind her back.

During the exchange of words Chloe notices a bracelet on Frank's wrist and accusingly asks him why is he wearing a bracelet that belongs to Rachel and where did he get it from? Franks snaps at her and says that a friend gave it to him, but it's none of her business! The situation gets even more heated and Frank produces a knife which he then menacingly threatens Chloe with. When looking over at Max he sees that unsuccessfully, she is trying to conceal the fact that she has something hidden behind her back. He demands to know what it is and finds out when Max brings her arm forward and timidly points the gun directly at him. In mocking tones Frank tells her to go ahead - shoot!

1. Click! Max pulls the trigger, but the gun is now empty of ammo. Frank smirks and says he will not forget this moment and that Chloe has until Friday to pay him.

2. Max doesn't pull the trigger. Frank suggests that the next time she should try bullets, then takes the gun from her. Chloe still has until Friday to pay him.

Exit Frank from the junk yard.

Author’s note: So what do we make of the introduction of Frank Bowers. Friend or foe? Whatever we see him as it can't be denied that yet another potential threat to Chloe has surfaced. According to Chloe, Frank was wearing a bracelet that belongs to Rachel. After he had left I went back into the hut to see if the bracelet Max had found there was now missing. It was still there. The real question now though, is does Frank know Rachel? And was Frank the subject of the letter which Rachel wrote? Little do we know right now, but as Frank has given Chloe until Friday to pay him back, this just so happens to be the day of reckoning when the tornado is due to hit Arcadia Bay. So we may never find out.

Principal Wells:

Seen three times in this episode, but his major contribution plays out at the end in his office. Max can talk to Principal Wells when she returns from the junk yard, but this minor event can be totally bypassed. The last time we see him is during the montage.

Author's note: Ms Grant, with her petition, wants to prevent the installation of surveillance cameras at the academy, and when she makes reference to it Madsen is seen as the main instigator. This is not quite right of her to make such a claim because, as head of the academy, Principal Wells would have to personally authorise any such contracts before they begin. It may not have been his original idea but he has agreed to it and, in a previous conversation with Max he has stated, that it will bring in a new era of security at Blackwell.

Mark Jefferson:

Another quietish episode for a major player. Jefferson is seen four times, three with dialogue, and one in silence during the montage sequence.

Before attending class, Max sees Jefferson talking with Kate and it seems that Kate is having a hard time of it. Jefferson, seemingly, is being very unsympathetic towards Kate's protests that no one cares about her plight or is willing to help her resolve it. Kate exits the scene under a cloud of despair. After witnessing this disturbing event where Jefferson displayed a rather detached interest towards Kate, Max tries to enter the classroom but is called back by Jefferson in yet another scene that cannot be bypassed.

He says to Max looks that she looks worried and that he heard reports that only yesterday, she and Kate had a confrontation with Madsen. Max tells Jefferson that Madsen was hassling Kate and his behaviour and general attitude was highly questionable. Jefferson asks Max if she has any proof that Madsen instigated the situation.

If Max had chosen to photograph Madsen on that particular occasion, then she tells him yes - she has a picture of him in action. Jefferson tells Max to show it to him after class.

If Max didn't take the picture she has no proof, then in a moment of self-reproach, said in irony, she admits that there are times when photo opportunities are missed, but this opportunity shouldn't have been one of them. Jefferson then reminds Max to always take the shot and that the incident between Madsen and Kate is being discussed by the faculty.

Kate's viral video is then brought up by Jefferson who assumes that Max has heard all about it and has she talked to her? Max can either say yes, she spoke to Kate earlier on the phone, or no, not really, but confirms his assumption and tells him that it is freaking Kate out and she does not want to see her become another Rachel Amber. Jefferson assures her that Kate is nothing like Rachel. After some further discussion, Jefferson suggests that perhaps Kate doth protest too much and maybe she brought it all on herself.

He then turns the discussion around and mentions that the Principal told him that he thinks Max has got something on her mind and does she care to share with him exactly what that is? (This refers back to when Wells spoke with Max immediately after the gun incident). Max has the option of telling him that she saw Nathan with a gun in the girls' toilet, and his responses to this can vary depending if Max took ownership or not of the reefer in Chloe's room. Jefferson tells her that what she just said is a very serious accusation. In protest, Max defends herself and tells him she would never make something like that up. The discussion will end badly if Max chose to claim the reefer, and say she dealt dope because, Jefferson will then suggest to her why should he believe the word of a drug dealer. Should have stayed in the closet, Max.

Ouch!

It is at this point when the conversation is interrupted by an incoming call on Jefferson's cell phone. He tells Max that he has to take the call and she should go to the classroom and wait for him in there.

What? Go to the classroom when she can linger and eavesdrop on his private phone conversation. Not likely! What Max overheard could be construed as highly suspicious when, in a very impatient and agitated voice, Jefferson tries to end the call quickly - stating that he has to go because his class is waiting on him.

Author's note: I ran back to see if Principal Wells was still standing outside his office. He was. I don't know why I thought it would be him phoning Jefferson, but I just wanted to eliminate the immediate and obvious.

The phone call itself could have been totally innocent and have nothing at all to do with the events currently happening at Blackwell and, could have come from literally anyone. A close family member, a friend, a lady friend; anybody. But this game sure does create and place suspicion, rightly or wrongly on all its principal characters.

After Jefferson's class is disturbed by the entrance of Zachary, we see him two more times in this episode. In the Principal's office and during the montage. These events, like the others, will have their own sections.

The Principal's office:

After the traumatic event which took place on the roof of the girls' dorm, five people are gathered together in the Principal's office. If Kate is dead, then a police officer will also be there to observe and take notes for the official police enquiry, thus making six.

Author's note: This is where, for the first time, we get a good look around inside the Principal's office. To his left, many red coloured file binders can be seen stacked on a shelf, and to his right, there a few more scattered about on other cases and shelves. We can't see what is written on the spines of these binders, but by their very presence alone, these red coloured binders strongly suggest to me that they are in actual fact the very same binders that we all have seen during the ending montage of each episode so far. But whether they represent anything sinister or benevolent, it is ours to guess.

The Principal's opening speech and the ensuing discussion varies little - if at all - whether Kate is dead or alive, but the consequences do vary greatly. So for the purposes of this particular section and, bearing in mind that the global game-stat screen has a percentage majority, I will bow to the popular result that Kate Marsh has been prevented from carrying out her want of suicide. We all like Kate. Don't we?

Now then. Haven't we all wondered about what the consequences would be when Max chose to either, take a picture of Madsen when he was interrogating Kate, or decided not to but intervene instead. Well this is now the time when we get to find out. And oh lordy! Does it carry a sting in its tail.

Principal Wells has just voiced his deep regret that such a terrible event should ever befall the halls of wisdom and knowledge, and praises Max for her heroic efforts which saved Kate's life. He then turns his attention to the other attendees in the room.

He tells Madsen that as head of security, it is his responsibility to keep the door leading to the roof constantly locked at all times; this obviously raises the question as to why it was not.

His beam then turns on Jefferson who, in previous projects in the classroom, has been assisted by Kate. He doesn't place any direct blame on Jefferson, but he suggests that maybe he should have known something was not right with her.

Principal Wells then speaks to Nathan Prescott. He tells him that as he is responsible for the Vortex Club parties and, as Kate did attend his last party, he will have questions to answer.

Max is now brought under the spotlight when the Principal asks her if Kate had told her anything about her plans, and that she should tell all present everything she knows. She now has the following options from which to choose from. Any action taken here can be rewound and another choice put in place instead.

1. David bullied her.

2. Nathan dosed her.

3. Jefferson made her cry.

Author's note: In the eyes of Max at least, all these statements contain a degree of truth despite actual motives or intent. There are many different paths that can be taken here all resulting in different consequences and outcomes for the characters. The ball will bounce back and forth. I am not going to cover each and every one of them because of the complexity of it all. I suggest, as I will always, that you explore all the possible outcomes for yourself.

David bullied Kate: This brings out strong protestation from Madsen, and if the scenario concerning the reefer is active and Max took ownership of it, then Madsen will ask why they should believe the word of the drug user and dealer! Max then shows all present the photograph she took, and bang! The Principal suspends Madsen for a couple of days pending further investigation. Not all consequences will result in Madsen being suspended.

Nathan dosed her: Without any concrete proof Max is skating on thin ice with this accusation, but nonetheless it is an option available to her. If Max reported the gun incident to the Principal, then, after due consideration, he will suspend Nathan until a full investigation is carried out. If Max did not report the gun incident then it will backfire on her (as guns are known to do) and will find herself under temporary suspension allowing time to investigate the matter further.

Ouch!

Author's note: When Nathan is under the spotlight, and in the interests of self defence, he makes one statement that stands above all others he made. What he said referred to Kate leading a double life and that he was 'super shocked' when he found out about it. We have to remember at this point that those words came from the mouth of a person who has committed murder - or attempted to - in a different timeline and, seems to be capable of doing anything to further his own cause. Everything he says is as valid as a Nine Pound note, (maybe you have to be English to understand that) so is there any truth in what he claimed is true about Kate? The dialogue takes on many twists and turns in this game and it is very hard to pin anything down as being factual, but without that it wouldn't be half as interesting as it is.

Jefferson made her cry: When Jefferson is questioned he confirms the fact that Kate had been very withdrawn lately and that he thought the video was the cause of her sullen mood. He hated the fact that all the students were laughing at her and wanted to help, but he admitted that he left it too late. He also added, rather curiously, that Max didn't return her calls and was very upset about it.

Author's note: Time for another pause. What calls is he referring to exactly? I don't recall Max ever not taking her calls or returning text messages. And in any case. . .how would he know? And why is he trying to turn the spotlight back onto Max? Does this suggest that Kate had confided in Jefferson about her worries and intimate things in her life in a private conversation? It certainly does to me.

In another act of self preservation Jefferson tells the Principal that Max told him she knew things about Madsen. Principal Wells then states, quite rightly, that Max is capable of speaking for herself. In summing up, the Principal says that the publicity is rising and suggests that maybe Jefferson should not represent the academy at the "Everyday Heroes" contest in San Francisco. Jefferson asks incredulously if he is serious. But Principal Wells most definitely is. He finishes by saying that the academy does not need any negative press at that event.

Conclusion: Regardless of whom Max chooses to report, the meeting must end with someone being suspended with the exception of Mark Jefferson who will be removed from heading the trip to San Francisco. Whether it be herself, Madsen, or Prescott, it is simply unavoidable and locked into the main plotline. Jefferson will intervene and say that they do not need this forum right now, Nathan will agree saying that he is devastated and needs to be with his family. The Principal will ask Max to confirm all that she said by signing a statement which he places in front of her. She has to sign one way or the other, and when she does there is no going back, it's a done deal.

Author's note: Needless to say, if you end the game with Max under suspension it will not make any difference to the story. Max is the story! That being said, it will have an impact on her status and credibility at the academy. Most people opted for Nathan and why not, he's an easy target. The one thing I wasn't going to allow in my own play through is having Madsen suspended - it just didn't seem like a good choice to me, but heck! This game can be full of surprises as we all found out with Kate's scenario.

The Montage: I don't know about anyone else, but watching the montage is just as compelling as playing the game itself. When the music kicks in, you get carried off on a cloud of hypnotic melody and your eyes are riveted to the screen in the hope that you will see something of major importance. No matter what you chose at the end, the montage itself covers all bases and can fit quite snuggly into all the character's own scenario - regardless of your decisions or how it affected them.

The camera comes to rest on Madsen's cap hanging on a stand - he's home. We see him being greeted and comforted by Joyce and he appears to be sad and regretful. Is kate dead or alive? Was he suspended or not? Does he claim some blame or have a guilty conscience?

The picture changes to show Jefferson sitting in his car; he is with the Principal who is outside leaning in through an open window. They are having a conversation about something until Jefferson drives off.

Victoria is sitting on her bed, her head slumped and buried in her hands. Is the Ice Queen finally starting to melt? She looks up when Nathan enters her room and I'll leave it up to your own imagination as to what he wants.

Frank Bowers sits with his dog overlooking the sea watching the eclipse.

Kate is seen in a hospital bed recovering from her ordeal. If Kate is dead we get a view outside the dorm where people have set up a crude candle lit memorial for her. It is a very poignant sight.

Chloe sits on a bench at the lighthouse; her phone is in her hand. She texts Max to say she is sorry about Kate and that she is freaked out by the eclipse. Max replies that they need to find out what's going on. . .together!

And last, but certainly not least, the red covered file binders come into view yet again. There are three with visible names on them. Kelly. Lynn. Rachel.

Authors note: Lynn just happens to be the name of Kate's youngest sister (she mentions this on the rooftop scene) so are we to deduce that her older sister is called Kelly?

Going by what we saw in the Principal's office, do we assume that they belong to him? Going back to what Madsen said earlier about missing students, it is like an overwhelming smoking gun that those two other girls where, or still are students. You decide! But I know where my own thoughts point to and thus lead me to think. Kate's file is open on the desk, and whether she is alive or dead makes no difference. But whose eyes are looking down upon the file and what are their true intentions?

Roll credits on yet another fantastic, enthralling episode.

An ending note: I did intend to write something about the eclipse and the seeming impossibility of it outside of a gravitational nightmare, but I have come to realise that there is very little point in doing so. The game itself is not going to provide an adequate scientific answer to this, so neither am I. It wouldn't matter if Fuzzy bear jumped out from behind a hedgerow and declared to all and sundry, "Hey folks, it was me!" The fact remains that in the game it has happened and therefore should be accepted for what it is - an unexplainable phenomenon which is probably unique and localised to Arcadia Bay only, and caused by some imbalance in the timeline which occurred when Max appeared in the future - right back at the start of the game. But what the root cause of it is, will be whatever the game says it is. Just expect things to get even more bizarre and a lot worse at the ending of episode three, and so on.

All I am sure of right now is. . .I'm sure enjoying the ride!

Thanks for reading me.

julietxjules
29th Apr 2015, 16:18
Phew!! It worked. Thank goodness for that. :)

Alvare
29th Apr 2015, 16:58
Lol noticed the unedited. Looks readable now.

julietxjules
29th Apr 2015, 17:13
Lol noticed the unedited. Looks readable now.

I hear that. Silly thing decided to log me out when I was almost finished. Thank goodness for the 'auto save' feature.

Alvare
30th Apr 2015, 14:56
I read the whole thing with a cup of coffee. Lol
Have to say, your thoughts on this are 100% equal to how I perceived this whole game so far.
Don't know about other people though. This game is just so full of content. Characters have so much depth to them, it's insane comparing this to the dull scripted npc's in tripple A games.

Right now I'm still thinking of what else I have to say about all the details. I really don't know what to expect from the 3rd episode after this one.

julietxjules
30th Apr 2015, 15:26
Ha ha! I hope your coffee didn't go cold on you whilst reading my long, self indulgent thread. And by the way. . .was that Latte or black? Personally, I like filtered with milk and one sugar. . .in a big mug.

The trouble I have - if indeed trouble is the right word - is trying to consciously keep things as simple as I can. I have been guilty, in my own perception, of making things over complicated and seeing complexity that is simply not there. I know that there are many elements playing alongside each other in this game such as, science fiction, fantasy, drama, mythology and the like, but as with any good recipe it is made from smaller components which, when combined, make a greater whole.

I am now quietly sitting back and content to let the game unfold in its own time and resist the temptation to over analyse everything to such an extent where nothing makes any sense to me.

Simplicity is the key, with just a dash or two of Occam's Razor!

Alvare
30th Apr 2015, 15:37
Ha ha! I hope your coffee didn't go cold on you whilst reading my long, self indulgent thread. And by the way. . .was that Latte or black? Personally, I like filtered with milk and one sugar. . .in a big mug.
We have a new coffee machine since a week or so. It crumbles the fresh coffee beans and then I warm and thicken some milk to put it on top of the coffee instead of mixing it. Then I add some sugar, cinnamon and cocoa powder on top. :D


The trouble I have - if indeed trouble is the right word - is trying to consciously keep things as simple as I can. I have been guilty, in my own perception, of making things over complicated and seeing complexity that is simply not there. I know that there are many elements playing alongside each other in this game such as, science fiction, fantasy, drama, mythology and the like, but as with any good recipe it is made up smaller components which when combined make a greater whole.
I know there are more people with the same "trouble". You might have noticed some of the conspiracy theories comments scattered around Youtube. Guess it has to do with the fact the game let's you reflect what happened.


I am now quietly sitting back and content to let the game unfold in its own time and resist the temptation to over analyse everything to such an extent where nothing makes any sense to me.
Simplicity is the key, with just a dash or two of Occam's Razor!
Haha alright. Me too. I really hope they do something awesome though. Something no-one mentioned on the internet.

julietxjules
30th Apr 2015, 15:47
Your coffee sounds simply delicious to me! :worship:

Having theories about the plot is perfectly fine - it keeps things interesting. my own ideas though, have constantly slammed into a brick wall when thought through logically - none of them were water tight and leaked my failings all over the carpet! That is when I knew that simplicity would turn out to be the underlying factor of reason.