Heartwarming: Red vs. Blue aka: Red Vs Blue The Project Freelancer Saga
In the finale of BGC, whenever Caboose is killed, Church lets out a surprisingly sincere Big "NO!". Fortunately, it's undone by Wyoming's time loop, but Church never knows that and does think he lost a friend.
A small but noticeable one occurs in Out of Mind:
Delta: York is now unconscious. Alarm—Target Alpha has reloaded! Tex: How bad is it, D? Delta: York will not survive. Tex: Okay, D—hop into me; I'll hold you until we get out of this. Delta: Thank you, Allison, but I would prefer to stay... with York. He will need me to maintain his pain medication. Tex: An A.I. can't fall into enemy hands, D; if you're in there when he dies, you know what the armor's protocol will do to you. Delta: ...I would prefer to stay with York. Tex: ...That's very kind of you, D. Delta:It's just part of what makes us human, Tex.
At the end of Reconstruction. After spending six years fighting each other, it certainly is something to see the Red team actually expressing concern for Caboose and urging him to get to safety:
Sarge: Go, go, go!
Grif: Get Epsilon out of here, don't worry about us!
Caboose: Okay! I'm scared!
Simmons: Watch where you're going!
Grif: Caboose, no!
Caboose:(as he drives over a cliff) Eeeeeeyaaarrrgghhh!
In Episode 14 of Revelation, Tex desperately wants to find out who she is.
Church: I know who you are, you're my girlfriend.
Tex seems less than satisfied with that answer.
Sarge's speech in Episode 18 of Revelation was equal parts this and CMOA.
Church's actions in Revelation 20. Choosing to possibly trap himself forever to save Tex, and telling Caboose to be in charge of remembering him. Then it's shown he's waiting for Tex in a recreation of Blood Gulch.
"I mean hell, if you have to live the rest of your life in a memory, you might as well make it a good one."
Which is extra heartwarming if you note that through out all the trouble the reds and blues cause him, he still thinks that being with them is the best part of his life.
Across all of his lives
What the BG Crew did for Wash in the last episode of Revelation - incredibly kind, considering that character's previous actions. Also, Doc's rescue attempt of same.
Washington: Why are you guys helping me?
Caboose: You helped us, Wash. It only makes sense.
Tucker: Yeah, plus we need to even the teams. And I couldn't put up with Caboose constantly asking "can we keep him? Can we keep him?"
Washington: For whatever it's worth... thanks.
When you remember that Church was Tucker's best friend and Wash's goal that entire season was to take his friend away again, it only makes it all the more heartwarming. Tucker has no reason to help Wash... but he does anyway.
This exchange between Sarge, Grif, and Simmons always makes me smile.
Sarge: Come on, fellas, let's go home
Grif: Jeep's busted, Sarge. Are we gonna walking?
Sarge: That depends. You fellas gotten over your fear of flying yet?
Simmons: (enthusiastically.) Yes, sir!
In the Revelation finale, who does Church ask to remember him? Caboose, the guy that Church used to hate and who has a severely screwed up memory.
In General, Church's entire monologue at the end of Episode 19 has become one of my personal favorite quotes, and is a perfect way to end the Recollection Trilogy, all while keeping in touch with the theme "Memory is the Key"
Church: "I'd like to say that I found her right away, that I just walked into the Epsilon Unit, and there she was, waiting for me. As you can probably guess, it didn't happen that way, but, I know she's in here somewhere, and I'll find her. We always seem to find each other, for better or for worse. I don't know why the Director did what he did. I don't know if he was trying to revive a memory from his past, or if he was just trying to get it out of his head. But I figured out something that the Director didn't. It took Alpha, Delta, and the rest to help piece it together for me, but what I've learned is that a great love is a lot like a good memory. When it's there, and you know it's there, but it's just out of your reach, it can be all that you think about. You can focus on it, and try to force it, but the more you do, the more you seem to push it away. But if you're patient, and you hold still, then maybe... Just maybe... It will come to you. I just need to make sure I'm somewhere she can find me. I think this place is a little different than it was before. See, out there, everything is based on the Alpha, but in here, I guess I'm the Alpha. And maybe this time through, things will be a little different for me as well. I guess I'll find out.
In Season 8, Episode 14, Tex needs to know who she is:
Church: I know who you are, you're my girlfriend.
Mind you, Tex is largely underwhelmed, but the fans loved it.
The whole ending scene of Season 8 Episode 20. Of special note:
Epsilon Church: If you have to live the rest of your life in a memory... you might as well make it a good one.
This bit of dialogue between Washington and Caboose:
Washington:Why are you guys helping me?
Caboose:You helped us, Wash. It only makes sense.
Washington:For whatever it's worth... thanks.
Also a Continuity Nod, remember that everyone else Wash ever knew betrayed him. Now he betrayed someone who subsequently forgave him, and further offered him refuge and friendship with open arms instead of casting him aside.
From Out of Mind: Delta knows that when a Freelancer dies, their equipment (including their AI) is destroyed to keep it from falling into enemy hands. Actually, this isn't true, but he has no way of knowing this. Despite that, he refuses Tex's offer to take him with her when York is dying, preferring to stay with York to the very end.
"They say you're never completely dead if someone still remembers you."
Oh, come on. This troper can't be the only one who liked Captain Flowers. He may have just been intended as another joke, but in a world full to the brim with nothing but endless jerkasses, idiots, or both, seeing such a genuinely nice guy was really refreshing. I actually felt sad when he died.
...Annnd back again from watching a couple more seasons. Note to self: characters, no matter how nice, may become revived and possessed by evil madmen. Still like his old, CE-era self though.
Episode 10 of Season 9 shows the incident which took York'seye, what makes it heartwarming is Tex immediately attempts to help him when he's disoriented only to have her armor short out, so instead she shoots him with quick hardening paint to help protect him.
Some find the scene where York and Carolina are falling to their deaths side by side while soft music plays in the background to be romantic and heartwarming.
She even expressed genuine concern for him! Aww, Carolina really does care about the other Freelancers!
And at the end, the way York takes Carolina's hand to help her up after her "defeat" against Tex.
Did anyone else think Tex and Church's conversation in episode seventeen was kinda "d'awww" worthy? Sure, they traded snark, as usual, but near the end of it the two were getting along really well.
The end of Episode 19, with Tex and Church basically waiting for the end of the world together, and Church finally killing Tex forever by choosing to forget her, letting her have peace.
Becomes one hell of a Tear Jerker when he forgets her from existence, seemingly comes to peace with himself and prepares to Face Death with Dignity. And then it turns out the world wasn't decaying, it was the real Blood Gulch Crew hacking the unit to free him! To put this in perspective, he technically killed Tex for nothing.
The clip in the Season 9 folder showing a live action reenactment between two RvB community members in costume as Tucker and Sister, after which Tucker's actor removes his helmet, gets down on one knee and proposes to Sister's actress. (She accepts, obviously.)
While the feeling isn't reciprocated on Church's part, that the real Blood Gulch Crew stormed a military base to free him speaks volumes. The teams have become True Companions, through thick and thin, and they'll never leave one of their own behind.
After spending time on Blue Team, Wash has begun to make his way back to the attitude he had in Season 9. Considering all the horrible things that had happened to him between then and the present, it's truly amazing how Caboose was able to help heal his psyche.
Just hearing Caboose's one line about "singing happy birthday to him" is ridiculously heartwarming.
It's subtle, but Wash remarking how Carolina hasn't really changed since the old days is touching.
In a weird way, one of the Elite Insurgents has one when he pleads with C.T. to leave the base with him in Episode 3 of Season 10, even calling her "Connie", something she berated Wash for doing to her earlier with no adverse reaction at all. Even Morally Gray Have Loved Ones?
It's kind of cute how the Blood Gulch guys have the uncanny ability to win over even people who initially can't stand them. First Tex goes from being an aloof badass to defending them as being "her jerks and idiots" to Sister. Then Wash goes from being actively hostile and dismissive of them to defending them to Carolina as "Yeah, they're idiots, but, they're not that bad once you get to know 'em."
It's also cute how Wash seems to be in Season 10 slowly returning to his Nice Guy personality he had before his incident with his AI, thanks to the influence of the Blood Gulch guys.
North is really sweet with Theta, who's basically a child (and a shy one at that).
Theta has a holographic skateboard! With the Roosterteeth logo on it, evenI
Theta seems like a magnet for these, before North and York have a serious non A.I. discussion, Theta is busy showing off his new firework light show that he worked really hard on. So cute.
It's a little odd, but the "wingman" conversation between Tucker and Epsilon in Episode 8 really shows that while they might insult each other, they are great friends, and joke around like it to a degree.
Of all people, Carolina has one is Episode 10. Even after everything that has happened, she still considers C.T as an ally and is enraged at Tex for mortally wounding her.
Odd as it sounds, this same episode also underscores Tex's relationships with the Blood Gulch Crew. Even after all the crap and general idiocy they put Tex through, in Revelations she's still willing to let them off with just a beating, compared to how Tex treats her fellow Freelancers.
North stays up to walk the hallways to sooth Theta when he gets scared at night. He mentions his dad having to do something similar for South.
Along with a bit of Ship Teasing, the scene in Episode 11 where York watched over Carolina as she trained.
North: Y'know you don't have to watch over her [Carolina].
York: I could say the same to you about South.
The entirety of Season 10 Episode 12 is either this or Tear Jerker, including:
Epsilon showing Carolina the log entries of York saying how much he cared for her. Also how Epsilon relates to her by saying he knows what it's like chasing ghosts.
Caboose saying how he trusts Wash even as he's spying on him because they're friends. Wash's response suggests that he's having hearing the word for the first time in years.
Episode 14 has York and the other Freelancers concernedly hovering over Carolina while she recovers, even Wyoming!
A meta example relating to the same episode—Shannon McCormick had mentioned a suprise to fans on Tumblr, and come the episode there were pictures of cats inside Wash's locker, a reference to a popular fanon: "Cat Lady Wash."
Tex's concern for Carolina as she suffered a nervous breakdown from the feedback of... whatever the AI did when the Director shouted Tex's real name.
Despite all the years of abuse they've taken, Donut and Doc were just overjoyed to see Sarge and Simmons again. Too bad it was completely one-sided.
In the same episode, Church commenting ont he creative ways the Reds find to screw him over. He doesn't sound upset, he sounds more like he views it as a fact of life at this point, and almost impressed and affectionate.
Carolina was out cold for days after the Allison incident. York stayed by her side the entire time.
Tex and North conversing while waiting for Carolina to wake up, complete with Tex requesting to be called when Carolina woke up "or if she doesn't". Suffice to say, this entire conversation was as heartwarming as the situation would allow.
Donut and Doc decline to come along with the Reds, but they do send them some banana bread.
Grif: That's so nice! I'll have to forget to send them a thank-you card.
The growing friendship between Church and Carolina over the course of Season 10.
For the first time since Season 8,Sarge shows genuine concern for his squad in Episode 17 of Season 10, deciding that maybe they shouldn't keep going to try to kill the Director, since there is literally no benefit for them whatsoever, and they could all easily be killed.
After Carolina pulls a gun on Tucker, Wash does the same to her and tells her that he's "protecting [his] friends." As in that is his word for it, showing the Blood Gulch Crew and Washington have become True Companions.
Earlier, we hear him bantering with the guys, like they're old friends. Just another sign of him finding True Companions after all he's been through.
Caboose: Our team has more kills.
Sarge: Team kills don't count, Bluetard!
Caboose: You don't make the rules!
Wash: Technically, Project Freelancer makes the rules. And I say, Blue Team gets to add my kill count to theirs.
The most amazing part of this is that Wash has given up revenge. He's suffered as much, if not more than any Freelancer, spent years digging through his allies' corpses, harboring those feelings about taking down the Project, and he realizes killing the Director won't change anything.
He didn't realize it just on his own, either. Even if he thought the Blood Gulch gang was incompetent, he knew wise words when he heard them.
Sarge:(refering to the Director) He's a real dirtbag, all right. But even if he's six feet under, we'll still be in the same damn spot.
Despite being so far gone he doesn't even recognize her, Church still manages to make Tex give up a soft laugh as they converse in the AI storage on The Mother of Invention.
Something that really stands out in that scene is that Tucker is the first one to go to Church's aid. Tucker, the laidback womaniser who's relationship with church has been rocky at best. And yet the second that Caboose mentions that Church is the only one among them that still hasn't found peace, he instantly goes to help his friend, even knowing it'll be suicide. He doesn't even say anything, he just stops, turns on his sword, and starts walking away. Why? Because his friend needs help, and by God he's going to help him. It really goes to show that beneath all the bickering, the two truly are friends.
There's something else, too: Tucker was the first to walk away after Church's "The Reason You Suck" Speech. And now, when it's clear that Church needs him and the others, he was the first one who was ready to come back.
Notice that one of the weapons Carolina takes to confront the Director is a shotgun, York's weapon of choice. It's her own way of honoring him.
Episode 20 in general is mostly just one big ball of heartwarming. Mostly.
Honestly, I thought it's more the fact that she commandeered one of Sarge's shotguns.
Episode 21 has Church apologizing to the guys, admitting that he's an asshole, and convincing the Tex copies to rest, a Call Back to Tex's convincing Alpha to do the same in episode 19.
The moment Washington helps Carolina up counts as this—from the surprise in the latter's voice, it's clear that she wasn't expecting this after the terms they parted on.
If you also take the time to notice, you'll also see something else. Each of them are covering each other. Even Carolina, when she kicks three Texes away from doing a jump-punch into Grif.
Here's another little heartwarmer. Of all the guys Church could've jumped into to take part in the fight, he chooses Caboose, triggering his Berserk Button and reminding us that the resident dumbass of Blue Team is a Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass. Caboose, the guy who's team-killed him twice, and generally annoyed him. Goes to show that deep down, Church DOES have a certain fondness for the lovable dope.
Plus, Caboose needs to get angry, and Church is definitely the expert on getting angry. He got to channel his anger into something useful.
Washington goes out of his way to rescue Donut, and gives a "OK, we're done here," implying he felt compelled to try to make up for shooting him.
"You were my greatest creation." Taking into account what Carolina reveals at the end of the episode, it seems like in the last moments of his life, the Director finally realized that he should have focused on his daughter instead of chasing after ghosts.
During Church's rant against the Director, he takes the forms of his deceased AI siblings one after another, implying that he's doing this in their collective memory...even Gamma, Omega, and Sigma, who had broken his Alpha incarnation so thoroughly. Essentially, he's saying that even THEY'RE worth remembering.
Should probably be in the Fridge as well, but rewatch that scene and note which AI fragments Epsilon impersonates with each piece of dialogue. He remembers them all:
Delta (Logic): He was brilliant...
Theta (Innocence): and we trusted him...
Gamma (Deceit): but he lied to us. He twisted...
Omega (Anger): and tortured us! And used us...
Sigma (Creativity): manipulated us for his own purposes! And for what? For this? This... shadow?
After their big confrontation with the Director, Church and Carolina take a moment to reflect on everything, and Church thanks Carolina for showing him a new side to himself. The feeling is mutual.
Episode 22's second half shows the guys going home to Blood Gulch. Carolina and Epsilon watch over them from afar, and then leave to redeem themselves. Finally, after all the shit these troopers have been through, Project Freelancer is truly over. They're home and they're happy.
And Wash is now fully integrated as the group's Only Sane Man, complete with anger issues. He really is Church mk.2.
Wash: Did you know I was one of the worst Freelancer's in my squad? There was Agent York, our security specialist, Agent North, the sharpshooter, Carolina was an expert in martial arts, and Tex was...well, you know Tex.
Wash: But I'm new to all of this. I've never really had to lead anybody before, but when Church and Carolina disappeared, I didn't have a choice. I had to try.
On top of that, there's also Tucker openly calling Church his friend and even praising Church as a leader. In addition, Tucker warms up to Washington a little by suggesting that he's just been trying too hard to be the perfect leader.
In episode 15, Wash reveals that the thing he's been working on in the ship is... a new helmet, which looks just like one from Caboose's old armor that he missed. He tells Caboose that he's sorry that Church left him, and goes on to explain that the giant robot he's using as a Replacement Goldfish is too dangerous to treat that way. Caboose relents, and hands back leadership of Blue Team to Wash. Afterwards, Tucker compliments Wash on his sneakiness, while the former Freelancer admits that he meant every word.
Also from episode 15, there's a rather subtle one—when Sarge brings their attempt at a Humongous Mecha of their own online, she declares multiple hostiles. Sarge corrects her by saying that there's only one enemy over at Blue Base, Freckles. Considering that he seemed willing to declare war on the Blues all over again a few episodes ago, it's nice to see that he still remembers the lessons of the previous seasons.
And later, when the Blues come under attack from Locus' men, he leads the Reds over to find out what happened, sounding a little concerned.
In Episode 16, as it becomes clear that the situation's getting serious, the Red and Blue teams' Let's Get Dangerous moment—specifically, Wash asking Sarge to assemble their weapons inventory, who agrees to the Blue leader's request without complaint—can count as this.
Wash's Heroic Sacrifice at the end of Episode 18, as he orders Freckles to collapse the cave so that the Reds and Blues could escape, leaving himself to the mercies of their enemies.
In Episode 19 of Season 11, Tucker, Grif, Simmons, and Caboose are inspired to help the Resistance when it turns out that their friends are still alive. The kicker is the exact moment where their doubt and sarcasm turn to inspiration, with Vanessa Kimball's unwitting Meaningful Echo: