Considering that the previous game set in Los Santos had an African-American protagonist, it isn't that surprising to see Franklin being given the choice to kill Michael or Trevor, or reunite them for the Golden Ending.
When that choice arises, just remember what letter Canon starts with.
Here's another one for the ending. Remember this piece of artwork?◊ Looks like Option C was the canon ending before the game was even out.
What about the other 2 endings? Just like Ending C, remember what letters Arson and Betrayal start with.
How does Trevor do all these dangerous things with trains and planes without dying? The company flag in his trailer from his military days has Courage Wolf as it's mascot, that's why!
Their abilities themselves reflect their specialties and personalities. Franklin's showcases that he's great at driving, Michael's is his focus and pragmatism, and Trevor... Can kill everything.
This game, more than any from previous in the series, is a serious offender of the Anti-Climax Boss. Unlike past games though, this one focuses on the protagonists being True Companions, so instead of large It's Personal narrative with a single antagonist, we're instead treated to a "No one fucks with our family."
Ending C has some brilliance in how the antagonists are dispatched, specifically with the gold requirements and the situations they find themselves in.
Wei Cheng orders Michael's death via the slaughterhouse. The gold requirements has Franklin blow up Cheng inside his car via a sticky bomb.
The antagonists are also placed in situations which are best suited for the protagonist they screwed over: Stretch is placed in an open area where Franklin can assassinate him with a drive-by. Haines is a moving target who can easily be dispatched with Mike's Bullet Time mode. Cheng is in a heavily-armed convoy which Trevor in his Limit Break state can easily wreck.
The random encounter that serves as a Shout-Out to No Country for Old Men happens pretty much on top of the location where Trevor can do the hunting activity. In the book, Moss came across the site of the drug deal gone bad while he was out hunting himself. Rock Star Games did everything they could to put you into Moss' shoes by even ensuring that the player has the same motivation for going to that particular locale that he did.
The dislike between Trevor and David is understandably mutual. However, while David impersonated Brad in his letters and emails, he made Brad into someone Trevor liked and respected. Enough to want to bust Brad out of prison and reintegrate into the crew. Given the right context, David himself probably could have been someone Trevor could respect.
The take from the bank robbery in the prologue is almost laughably small compared to that of the other heists in the game (less than $200,000 vs. about $5 million for the smallest heist). But then you realize: Michael planned the Ludendorff job and he planned for it to go bad, so he didn't really care how much money was in it.
Properties are pretty worthless in terms of gameplay since they'll take such a ludicrously long amount of time before providing a return of investment. However, one could consider buying them to be a form of Video Game Caring Potential. By purchasing the properties, you're ensuring the protagonists will have a steady income in the future so they don't just have to rely on heists to get by. 75 weeks might be a long time in-game, but life will inevitably go on for Franklin, Michael, and Trevor after all. This is how they can truly "win" the game.
Michael makes a great effort to justify his betrayal of Trevor, and even claims that he was supposed to die instead of Brad. But replaying the prologue, it seems as though his heart wasn't in it even then. He outright begs Trevor to run away and save himself, when letting him stay would've gotten him killed like he supposedly wanted.
Besides being an obvious rip off of the FBI, the FIB is a pretty appropriate name when you consider that fib is a another word for lie, which is what they're pretty much built around.
Before the credits roll in Ending C, Trevor walks awkwardly off screen, as if he doesn't know quite what to do right now. It's because he just realized too late he doesn't have a vehicle to drive off with since he pushed it off the cliff and left his truck at Devin's manion. Oops.
Why do all three protagonists have a different phone each, but the online protagonist can only have an iFruit phone?Because online takes place 6 months before, when the iPhone was the main smartphone.
The little CJ/Ryder/Big Smoke Cameo in Hood Safari hints they are in this era, but why are they good friends? Because in this continuity the Families have zero qualms dealing hard drugs so Smoke and Ryder never had to betray CJ and Sweet.
If the player chooses to have Franklin escape the cops alongside Lamar, the duo will talk about the old GSF. They will speculate that the O Gs are either dead or live in mansions, [[spoiler: which is exactly what happened after San Andreas
The game had received flak for the protagonists being completely unlikeable, I don't care what happens to them, etc. Given the social commentary Rockstar has done that is exactly the point. This is basically Spec Ops: The Line for gangsters, telling gamers Do Not Do This Cool Thing.
Most people have come to believe that the 3 protagonists are meant to represent the 3 standard types of GTA players. A less common (and more accurate) interpretation is that the protagonists represent 3 classic aspects of the series, and hence of Wide Open Sandboxes in general:
Michael represents the Story, seeing as he's the one who puts the game's plot in motion and has (arguably) the most complex origin story. He even admits to his Shrink that he doesn't kill people for fun and feels like he has a Split Personality, almost as if someone was controlling him.
Franklin, the only protagonist who can't die in the end, represents 100% Completion; he wants to "progress" in his life, and it is he who has the greatest amount of sidequests. He doesn't view senseless killing as a problem, but doesn't enjoy it either, seeing it as a means to an end.
Lastly, Trevor represents the old-school murderous jerking around, rampages and the like: he admits he doesn't care about money, clothes or cars, just the thrill of the heist. Most of his missions are crazy and fun, but rarely lead anywhere.
After Martin tells Michael to tell Trevor "the truth" about who he is, Michael describes Martin as "a terrifying psychopath". One wonders if Trevortook that as a challenge.
Franklin introduces Martin as someone who makes witnesses and evidence that threaten his public image and power base go "missing". Well, in the online game set months earlier, we finally get to meet one of his Elite Mook behind those mysterious deaths and disappearances... YOU.
In Online, everyone and their mother can get the protagonist's contact information. Martin, Brucie, Dom, random people you car jack. How? The protagonist met Lamar through Lifeinvader, the website notorious for selling it's members personal information.
Endings A and B are already pretty big downers, but they're even worse with all the Karma Houdinis running around. Because Stretch, Wei Cheng, Steven Haines, and Devin Weston are still alive, it's inevitable that they'll all eventually hunt down the surviving protagonists again; their feuds are far from over after all. And because the Power Trio has officially broken up, they won't be able to help each other out anymore. No matter how you look at it, our "heroes" future prospects look pretty dim.
What's worse, it can be inferred that the entire game will eventually end up a Shaggy Dog Story for all the protagonists. Franklin will have no choice but to do much of anything other than go back to banging with Lamar, now that his relationships with Michael and Trevor are severed, and if Jimmy's post-Ending A phone call is any indication, Michael's family issues will crop up again as a consequence of openly betraying someone his children knew and loved. After Ending B, Trevor, having no reason to stick around Los Santos anymore, will probably just go back to the desert and being the violent, aimless, grief-stricken junkie he was when the game started.