The last in the Recollection Trilogy, centering around the memories and AIs. The first showing also revealed that
- And the Adventure Continues: After all the shenanigans, damage, lies, victories and defeats of the last 8 seasons, they decided to return to their Training program because they liked it and to hell if its not real for command, its real for them. The fact that technically they had shown to be the biggest badasses in the entire series far beyond mere trainees, literally surviving and defeating one One-Man Army after another while thousands of others didn't, make it all the more intense.
- Affably Evil: Washington shows qualities of this and Faux Affably Evil at various points, showcasing what happens when The Comically Serious loses patience and turns evil.
- A God Am I: Church takes a little too well to the aliens worshiping him.
Tucker: You just read the instructions off our printer.
Church: Yeah, they eat that technology stuff up. You gotta know your audience, man.
- Almighty Janitor: Despite only being 'trainees' used as practice for Freelancers, the Blood Gulch Red and Blue teams managed to take down: Omega, Tex, the Meta and dozens of badasses without suffering casualities. At the very least, Sarge and Tucker are far more skilled than their status as simulation-fodder suggests.
- And I Must Scream: Arguably a subversion. Church and Tex's imprisonment in the AI capture unit would seem like this, but the narration at the end suggests that the two will finally find happiness with each other. Keep in mind that finding happiness with Tex is something Church has been trying to do for the entire series.
- Animation Bump: Thanks to Monty Oum, fully animated CGI sequences are inserted into the standard Halo game-engine machinima.
- Anti-Villain: Wash has a degree of this, especially after you realize that the reason Wash is after the BG crew is because he was sent to prison because they didn't hand over Epsilon like he told them to. And aside from that, what he's trying to do with Epsilon is actually to help put away a villain.
- Hero Antagonist: Washington, in a sense. The Chairman hired him and his partner to take in the Epsilon Unit so as to take down the Director and free him from jail. The only problem is that Epsilon now has taken on the form of Church again somewhat, and said Hero Antagonist isn't telling anyone why he's going after them, nor even asking for help, instead going deep into villainous territory.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In the first episode of "Revelation", the others try insulting Church to make him angry enough do the 'laserface' again. The insults are that 'he's ugly and nobody likes him,' 'he's annoying and his team sucks' and 'he's round and can't wear pants.' While none of them make him angry, the last one is the only one that manages to depress him.
- Art Evolution: With Monty Oum of Dead Fantasy fame helping out in the latest season, the production values have taken a noticeable upswing.
- Art Shift: The creator of Haloid and Dead Fantasy is now working with Rooster Teeth, leading to sequences where, though high quality, the shift is noticeable.
- Autobots, Rock Out!: "Red vs. Blue", used in at the end of "Revelation" with the Reds and Tucker vs. the Meta with all of his equipment back online.
- Badass: Several characters throughout the series, most notably Tex and the Meta.
- Badass Normal: Agent Washington seems to be this. A close examination of his performance in the big fight in Episode 19 indicates he's not in the same superhuman league as Tex or the Meta, but he still manages to hold his own and while he's not the melee powerhouse that the Meta is, he's still a more competent fighter than any of the Blood Gulch crew as well as a damn good shot (all after being blow up and visibly injured by a bunch of landmines, I might add).
- Both Sarge and Tucker count for this category, although not on the same level as Wash. Sarge because he was willing to get up close with the Meta to put his (really Wash's) plan into action, while Tucker has just become a great fighter all around, for a non-freelancer; Tucker's exploits include holding off C.T.'s forces on his own, slicing in half a warthog and a huge ass crate in a moments notice, and, most of all, stabbing the Meta through the chest with his sword, which would kill anyone else almost instantly. While nowhere near the level of the shown freelancers, both Sarge and Tucker are extremely competent soldiers. Honorable mention to Grif for wrestling the Meta's bruteshot away, leading to Tucker's stabbage.
- Episode 20 seems to confirm it, As Wash finally hits his limit, and can't keep fighting. He did take an explosive round at point blank.
- Grif as well, when you get down to it. A normal human would've died dozens of times in that fight with Tex. Grif has also been surviving explosions, falls, blunt-force trauma and bullets that should've killed him since Season Two... from both enemies and allies!
- Barrier-Busting Blow: Done to Simmons near the start of Episode 10.
- Bat Deduction: Sarge's piecing-together of the situation at Valhalla quickly devolves into this, after starting out as a basic Sherlock Scan.
- Berserk Button: In an attempt to seal themselves from the Meta, the Reds try to make Church angry so that he activates his "laser face" in order to block the entrance by causing the wall to collapse. None of their insults have any effect beyond just mildly ticking him off. Then he sees Agent Washington. Laser face ensues.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: Washington and the Meta.Untill The Meta betrays Wash and injures him badly, thus taking over the role as the sole Big bad while Wash pulls a Heel-Face Turn.
- Big Damn Heroes: "How about you pick on someone your own size?!". Immediately subverted at the start of the next episode, when the hero just gets a beating for his trouble. Further subverted in that Tex was kicking everyone's asses for a good seven minutes beforehand.
- Then played straight in episode 19, when Caboose, Tucker, and the Reds fly in on the Pelican, and save Wash, Doc, and Church from the Meta, if only for a moment.
Washington: I would say that was the cavalry... but I've never seen a line of horses crash into the battlefield from outer space before...
- Big "NO!": Church, when the Meta uses the capture unit on Tex.
- Bittersweet Ending: Even though our plucky heroes escape and the Big Bad is defeated, once again the Director seems to have escaped justice and Church and Tex are again lost, possibly forever. In an upbeat coda, however, Church makes peace with his nature and admits that, in spite of everything, the memories he has from his life are good ones, and now he has all the time in the world to wait for Tex to come back to him.
- Book Ends: Reconstruction began with a soldier looking at the dead body of a Freelancer as the camera panned up in Valhalla, showing a huge number of characters (so many that the creators actually had to run several games and use splitscreen to get that many). Revelation ends with a soldier looking at Tex's body in Avalanche and the camera pans up to show a similar shot.
- The final scene of the season is a bookend for the entire series thus far, with the original Blue Team, in the Reach Blood Gulch map, talking about how the Reds got a new car.
- Similarly, the first and final Halo 3 maps which are used before the show presumably goes on to be filmed in Halo Reach match the first and final maps used in Halo 1 before they moved to Halo 2. When filming in Halo: Combat Evolved, they started with Blood Gulch and finished with Sidewinder. With Halo 3 they start with Valhalla (spiritual remake of Blood Gulch) and end with Avalanche (spiritual remake of Sidewinder).
- Brick Joke: Episode 4. "Private Jimmy was here." In episode 10 we get almost a literal translation of the original brick joke when four characters are thrown into the air by an explosion. Sarge, Tucker, and Simmons land at the same time, and then Grif comes down after a lengthy delay. And lands in a much less comfortable position.
- Episode 10: Tucker coming out of the teleporter covered in black gunk.
- Episode 11: "That doesn't seem physically possible!"
- Also, we find out that the non-upgraded helmet Caboose is wearing doesn't have the Armor-Lock safety feature, meaning he was the only one unaffected when he initiated the safety protocol.
- Episode 18: "You ever wonder why we're here?"
- Episode 20: "Hey Meta, settle a bet, would ya? Does that thing kinda look like a big cat to you?"
- In that Same Episode: "Shotgun, "Dammit!"
- Broken Faceplate: When the Meta manages to drive a spiked A.I. containment unit into Tex's visor, he smashes a large round hole into the front of it and absorbes her into the unit.
- Butt Monkey: Grif and the other previous Butt Monkeys seem to be getting off relatively light this season. Then episode 10 comes along and turns everyone into the butt monkey for seven minutes. Strange though it may sound, Wash is actually the Butt Monkey for this season. He's been kicked around and stabbed in the back for pretty much his whole life, so he decides that enough is enough and turns evil. What's his reward? Endless hassle, bickering, humiliation, and a surprising number of ass kickings.
- Calling Your Attacks: Tucker was providing his own sound effects for his sword way back in season four, and again briefly in "Recreation", but it is only in episode 10 that they start to qualify as this.
Tucker: Swish. Swish. Stab!
- Captain Obvious: Episode 10. "Agent Tex is a bit of a Badass."
- Car Fu: In the first new CGI scene, Grif drives the Warthog through the wall and right into Washington.
- Catchphrase Interruptus: Done by Sarge, to himself.
Sarge: You just got— fires shotgun, setting off an explosion Goddammit, I messed up my one-liner!
- Character Development:
- After Sarge snaps out of his Heroic BSOD, he softly leaves his hatred against the Blues behind him, gives a rather epic Rousing Speech that even drives Grif to help him, and sets out with the rest to make everyone from the Project Freelancer pay for what they did to them.
- Washington, after a lifetime of betrayal, finally betrays someone himself. When they welcome him back with open arms, he is audibly shocked and contemplating what this means to him.
- Simmons is more willing to challenge Sarge's authority after the rift in their relationship in the previous season. Conversely, this has caused Grif and Sarge to develop a closer relationship.
- Chekhov's Boomerang: The Tow cable was first established to get Doc out of the wall, and then it's used by Doc to rescue Washington. You think it's over... but then Washington hands the hook to Sarge.
- Chekhov's Gun:
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: What's that? Turns out the Meta was only looking out for itself? Wow, that's so... characteristic.
- Compilation Movie
- Conspicuous CG: Just a little. The textures are a little too shiny, and ironically, the CG is a little too fluid compared to the jerky movements of the game engine. Still awesome, but you can always pick out a CG character in a shot before they've even done anything impossible within the game engine.
- Continuity Nod: Burnie Burns has said that "memory" is a key theme of the Revelation season, and thus it is full of them to reinforce that:
- The CGI Warthog has six pedals.
- The aliens calling Washington "Shisno."
- Tucker is the only one to get black stuff on his armor when going through warps, then gets punched so hard, that the aforementioned black stuff completely comes off, leading Sarge to make the comment that the punch "knocked the black right off of ya!" Tucker responds with "That's racist!" perhaps referencing his brief conversation with Church where the possibility came up that he could be black.
- Grif forgetting to bring the squad's ammo. Ironically, this actually saves his life.
- Tucker's sword doesn't work for anyone else.
- "She's beating him up with his own [x]? That doesn't seem physically possible!"
- That flashback in Season 1 when Tex attacked Sidewinder/Avalanche? Tex brings it up when they go back there, and you realize that was when she tried to save Alpha and failed.
- When Tex is mentioning that Gamma was one of the AIs that tortured Alpha, the computer terminal that housed Gamma can be seen on a nearby wall.
- The Freelancer training facility's A.I. (which sounds exactly like Sheila) is named F.I.L.S.S. This was also the name of the original Sheila before Church accidentally changed it during his (actually torture session) time travel adventures.
- Sarge (along with Grif and Simmons) end up in a grainy, black-and-white version of reality (just like when Sarge was shot and near death back in Season 1), and once again believes it to be the afterlife. It's actually revealed to be a recovery buffer for Project Freelancer units awaiting retrieval by a Recovery Agent, further Doing In the Wizard of the series more nonsensical elements.
- Agent Washington: "That was the second worst throw ever. Of all time." Doc: "Hey, what did you expect? I ran track in high school."
- "Does that thing kinda look like a big cat to you?"
- Crazy-Prepared: in Episode 19, we see that Tex has rigged the entire glacier with mines and hidden weapons to even the odds against The Meta and Washington.
- Curb-Stomp Battle / No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Tucker and the Reds are utterly decimated in episode 10. And it was beautiful.
- Deadpan Snarker: The Meta, which is really impressive as he doesn't technically talk.
- Death Cry Echo: The Meta lets out one final echoing roar as it plunges to its doom. Like all the Meta's sounds, it's Nightmare Fuel.
- Defiant to the End: Tucker in episode 10 continues to fight and keep up his Deadpan Snarker routine even while getting his ass kicked, and by doing so manages to retain his Level In Badass even when it becomes clear he's out of his league.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Even the entire armed forces of the UNSC couldn't take out the Meta. Compared to the Reds and Blues, he might as well be a Physical God. And they take him down (possibly for good this time) in the span of a few minutes. and it's Awesome.
- Disney Death: Grif.
- Disney Villain Death: After 3 seasons, this is how the Meta is finally dispatched. He was Brought Down to Normal without any functioning equipment units when he fell and the response unit certainly sounds sure that he's dead. However, it's unknown whether the UNSC forces found a body.
- Downer Ending: Despite everyone's efforts, Epsilon-Church is trapped within the AI storage device, and summons up an image of Blood Gulch from just before the first episode of the series to live in while he searches for Tex.
- The Dragon: The Meta and its partner.
- The Dreaded: The Reds were willing to take on whatever was bashing down that door. That is until they realize it's Tex. They had good reason to run like hell.
- Dumbass Has a Point: Shortly after making fun of one of Doc's suggestions for tracking the protagonists to the point of making him walk away in frustration, Wash quietly tries it out. Doc calls him out on it later, but he notes that he wasn't saying he was wrong, he was just saying he was an idiot.
- Dynamic Entry: Tex punches a sealed metal door off its hinges. Bad. Ass.
- Easily Forgiven: In Episode 19, the Reds and Blues are surprisingly amicable towards Washington when they finally catch up with him and Church, especially when you consider the fact they weren't around to witness his Heel-Face Turn following the Meta's betrayal.
- Epic Fail: Technically what it becomes of Blood Gulch teams. They were teams of the lowest of the lowest in the army, formed to train the freelancers in "real" heavy combat. Instead they ended up killing 2/3 of the entire group, including the 4 strongest ones and literary bringing the entire project crashing to the ground. Say what you will about the idiots, when they go down, they go down spectacularly.
- Even Evil Has Standards: After spending the entire season as the main villain, even Washington is shocked at the extent The Meta will go in its pursuit of power.
- Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting: Hey, it's just what happens when you get Monty Oum involved.
- Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: In Revelations 17, Sarge reveals that this trope has been inverted all along: His name is "Sarge". He is Staff Sergeant Sarge. Or S-Dog.
- Evil Is Not a Toy: After spending most of the season in the role of Deadpan Snarker comic relief, The Meta is back to full-on ultimate evil in Episode 19 just in case you forgot he was the Big Bad of the trilogy.
- Failure Is the Only Option: Tex reveals that Omega and Gamma broke down Alpha-Church by repeatedly putting him through situations in which he was unable to do anything except constantly fail to protect the people he cared about.
- And it seems that Church and Tex have this in common. While Tex is apparently an idealized memory of the Director's dead love, the fact she died is also integral to how the Director remembers her. So, even though she's the ultimate badass, she always fails just as she's about to achieve whatever goal she sets. This accounts for how, throughout the series, she kicks everyone's ass yet always manages to get captured or killed at the most important moment. Doubles as Tear Jerker on both counts.
- Fake Trap: Washington notices that Epsilon-Church is lying injured in the middle of a perfect ambush position. He knows this must be a trap set by a freelancer, but it turns out the trap was set for the exact place they had stopped when they realized this.
- Faking the Dead: Washington accomplished this by the end to avoid arrest. He's now part of Blue Team.
- Family-Unfriendly Death: Tex gets impaled through the face by the spike on the capture unit. While there was no blood (since that was a robotic body,) one shudders to think what it would look like if Meta did that to a human
- Nearly taken even further when it was revealed that Wash was going to be crushed and cut in half with a warthog by The Meta. Makes me shudder thinking about it.
- Five-Man Band: The Remaining Reds and Blues at the end of chapter 18.
- Flat "What.": Simmons uses one of these when he reflexively grabs onto the jeep that Grif and Sarge are riding in while flying through the air at high speed to escape an explosion.
- Foe Yay: Invoked. The Meta really doesn't want to pull Doc out of the wall by his codpiece. It'd just be weird.
- For Science!: It's revealed that this was Project Freelancer's reason behind the Red and Blue armies; they took the lowest-scoring soldiers they could find and use them to collect combat data, and practice the skills of the Freelancers.
- Friendship Moment: After all the abuse Sarge has given him, Grif still instinctively pushes Sarge out the way of the wrecked Warthog as it comes flying at them.
- Debatable, but Doc saving Washington in episode 19, despite almost every previous scene featuring the two having Doc snarking at Wash, could've been this.
- When Tex points a shotgun at Grif's head, Simmons cries out in genuine concern.
- When Grif jumps on the Meta and tries to grapple it, Sarge holds his fire despite having a clean shot at the Meta so as not to hit Grif. Especially touching when you realize that it's the one time in the entire series when shooting Grif (in order to hit Meta) would actually have been a legitimate strategy.
- At the end of the final fight, Simmons dives forward trying to grab Grif's hand before the Meta can drag him over the edge. Also, when Grif is about to fall, Sarge goes "Uh oh," and rushes over to them.
- The relationship between Sarge and Grif in battle is noticeably different than their normal interactions. There is the aforementioned Grif saving Sarge from the flying warthog incident, but more importantly Sarge seems to rely on Grif in battle. The best example is in the finale where Sarge allows the Meta to grab a hold of him in order to attach the tow cable to him. Sarge's entire plan relied on Grif figuring out what to do, and that shows a great deal of trust in the minor junior private negative first class.
- The final exchange between Epsilon-Church and Caboose where Church says goodbye to Caboose for the last time.
- Hell, by the end the two teams are practically a rather vitriolic set of True Companions.
- Gatling Good: Tex pulls out one in the Reunion episode out of the snow in order to fight the Meta!
- Gainax Ending: Church willfully traps himself inside the capture unit in order to find Tex, with the environment inside the capture unit taking the form of his past memories in Blood Gulch (except created in Reach). Knowing that it could take him forever to find Tex and that they will probably never escape from the capture unit, Church concludes that if he is going to forever live through his memories than they might as well be good ones.
- Although there is one thing that comes of it all, as Wash said earlier in the season, it was just evidence, no matter the condition the unit was in, and would be used as such.
- Goomba Stomp: The Meta does this to the Warthog.
- Gone Horribly Right: For the director, the Redvs Blue teams were created to put Freelancers in realistic, potentially deadly simulations to perfect and weed out the participants while using the dregs of the army. Blood Gulch proved to be highly incompetent and efficient at the same time in this regard beyond his wildest expectations.
- Grievous Harm with a Body: Tucker, Grif, Simmons, and Sarge are ALL used as weapons against each other during the the epic fight scene in episode 10. Then, in a truly weird inversion, Church is pummeled with his own former body in the next episode. Which doesn't seem physically possible.
- In the Finale the Meta throws Sarge at the other Reds, leaving Tucker to face him one-on-one.
- Groin Attack: This happens to Grif over and over and over and over and over again...Seven times.
- And the two of them (the 2nd and final ones) were so hard, they dented metal and cracked stone respectively.
- Healing Shiv: Well more like a healing explosion at the end of "Up to Eleven". It causes a whole bunch of health packs to fall on the Reds.
Sarge: I feel defeated. Yet inexplicably rejuvenated!.
- Heel-Face Revolving Door: Washington, who had something of a Face-Heel Turn in Season 7, turns back in a Heel-Face Turn at the end of the season.
- Heroic BSOD: Sarge experiences one after he learns the true nature of the Red vs. Blue battles in Episode 17. In Episode 18 he snaps out of it in style.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Episode 19. Washington looks like he's about pull one off when the Meta betrays him after getting his abilities back. Luckily, the Reds, Caboose and Tucker crash-land on top of the Meta in the Pelican.
- Hope Spot: After the Pelican nearly lands on top of Meta, the capture unit is seen in the snow, and the Meta is nowhere to be found. It seems that the Pelican crash took him down, but just as Church and Wash try to take the unit, the Meta gets back up, with the capture unit still attached
- Humiliation Conga: This.
- I'm a Humanitarian: The Meta. Maybe.
Wash: Stop lecturing me, or I will shoot you and feed you to the Meta.
Doc: ...Does he eat people?
Wash: Do you really want to find out?
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Tex, in the face. Also the Meta, in the chest, but he survives.
- Interesting Situation Duel: Tex's beatdown on the Red's and Tucker in the Freelancer base filled with teleporters and her fight with Wash and Meta on Avalanche utilizing timed explosives and collapsing ice.
- Ironic Echo:
- Sarge gives one to one of the first one-liners of the series... before going into a fantastic Rousing Speech centered around that one line. "You ever wonder why we're here?"
- A possibly unintentional example: at the end of Blood Gulch Chronicles, Church asked Tex what would happen after she helped O'Malley in his plan, and her response was "I guess we'll find out." In Episode 17 of this season, when Epsilon-Church asks Tex why she's betraying their location to Washington and the Meta, her response is "That's exactly what I plan to find out."
- It's Popular, Now It Sucks: Don't panic, it's an in-universe example. Namely, how Caboose feels about the aliens taking to worshiping Epsilon Church.
Caboose: It's not fair! I worshiped Church way before it was cool to worship him.
Grif: Hey, I already told you, that's still not cool. That will never be cool. Ever.
- Karma Houdini: The Director. Since at this point it is presumed impossible to get Epsilon out of the capture unit, that means there's no evidence against him and he'll get off scot free. There is the possibility, though, that the unit is incriminating in itself, even if the information in it can't be released.
- And in his own words, he has brought a great deal of suffering down upon himself, even if the law won't recognize it as punishment.
- Washington gets off scot free even though he killed Donut and Lopez.
- Well Lopez was a robot, and even specifically said earlier that he had made backup copies of himself. And Donut isn't dead at all, having been revived by the Armor Lock incident.
- Lampshade Hanging: While a flailing Simmons tries to grab onto the moving Warthog during one of the show's fancy new CGI scenes, Sarge tells him to stop showing off.
- Simmons comments on the role of both teams in the continuity; Blue Team is generally much more involved with the plot, while Red Team tends to only be there for comic relief, or as Simmons points out, "talk about food and guns."
- F.I.L.S.S. pointing out Tex's most glaring and obvious characteristic.
- When Grif is hanging over a cliff, Sarge mentions a hatred of Cliff Hangers.
- Last Stand: Episode 19. Although she fares very well against them, even going so far to give the impression she could have beaten them individually, Tex's fight against Washington and the Meta turns into this as she starts to take hits.
- Let's Get Dangerous: In spite of their revealed status as disposable cannon fodder for Project Freelancer, the Reds and Blues rally together to take down the seemingly unstoppable Meta, one of Project Freelancer's deadliest legacies.
- Licked by the Dog: Despite being kidnapped, coerced, held hostage and verbally abused by Washington, Doc still tries to save him in Episode 19; with 'try' being the key phrase.
- Literal Cliffhanger: In the finale Grif manages to save himself from falling off the cliff using the Meta's Brute Shot after slipping from Simmons' grasp.
- Lotus-Eater Machine: Inside the Epsilon Capture Unit, Epsilon Church decides to relive his memories of Blood Gulch while he waits for Tex's return.
Epsilon-Church: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.
- Made of Iron: The Freelancers in general, but Meta makes the other two look like plasticine with his endurance. Seriously, watch the last two episodes and see just HOW much damage he takes within a 20 minute timeframe. Kinda makes one wonder whether he actually died from that fall.
- Meaningful Name: Sarge's real name is revealed in Chapter 17 to be: Sarge
- Recollection, the name of the trilogy, has multiple meanings. The whole Freelancer project was a result of The Director attempting to bring his memories to life. Recreation and Revelation center around Epsilon, the embodiment of Alpha's memories. And, at the very end, when Church leaves the world for the last time, he tells Caboose that he'll now be in charge of keeping his memory alive. This is in addition to the fact that it is a collection of seasons whose titles begin with "Re".
- Misfit Mobilization Moment: After finally coping with the knowledge that the Red and Blue armies are just disposable target dummies for Project Freelancer, and learning that Church and Tex are in danger from Meta and Washington, Sarge gives a Rousing Speech that rallies the Reds and Blues together to take the initiative for once in their lives and show the Freelancers "just what a big fight is all about".
- Misguided Missile: Double subverted in episode 10, a rogue missile heads towards the Reds and Tucker, and it is heavily implied that it will collide with Grif's... er... Southern Regions, but it goes between his legs into a pile of explosives behind him and the others.
- Mundane Utility: Simmons discovers the equipment that Project Freelancer used to give their agents superhuman abilities. Grif immediately decides he wants invisibility... so he can take a nap without Sarge finding him.
- Mythology Gag: The pistol isn't quite as effective as it used to be.
- And the older rocket launchers have heat seeking.
- Nigh-Invulnerability: In the final episodes, the Meta proves to be even more unstoppable than before. Tex and later Washington manage to land several good hits on it (including a backbreaker move and multiple knife cuts), but none of those even slow it down. Even being stabbed straight through the chest with the Energy Sword by Tucker (something that has been shown to be a one-hit-kill against everyone else it's been used on) only seems to inconvenience it slightly, although the sword does seem to slow the Meta down just enough for Sarge to set up its final defeat using the Warthog's tow cable.
- Continuity Nod to Reconstruction. In this and Recreation, the lack of an AI meant he couldn't use his armor enhancements, like his Overshields, Invisibility, Bubble Shield (remember that one?), and his Super Strength was diminished. Now, with what is possibly the most complete AI besides the Alpha in his head, he is virtually unstoppable.
- Not Quite Dead: Simmons thanks Doc for his willingness to be left behind to the Meta, even while Doc frantically tries to convince him he isn't willing.
- Not So Different: Way back in Season 5, Wyoming and Omega's plan was to take control of the aliens' god and use it to corrupt their religion, which Church finds absolutely disgusting. Now, Church is controlling a powerful Forerunner monitor that the aliens worship, and is nonchalantly keeping them entertained with "parables" that he made up. It is a matter of degree, however — Church has no intention of enslaving the aliens. He is just playing with their ignorance.
- One of the DVD's deleted scenes shows that the aliens are facing almost the exact same language barrier issues as the humans. While humans perceive the alien's language as "Blargs" and "Honks", all the aliens hear from humans (even the Meta) is "gabba gabba".
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: After curbstomping the Reds and the Warthog early on, The Meta has spent the rest of Revelations pretty much as Washington's comic sidekick. Then in Episode 19 he stabs Tex through the face with a 2-foot-long spike, then uses her A.I. to restore his lost powers. Cue Oh, Crap reaction from Washington, Church, and Doc.
- Ominous Latin Chanting: Near the end of the battle between Tex, Wash, and the Meta, this occurs. The chant is "Plagam extremam infilgere," which roughly translates to "violent murder." Considering what the Meta does to Tex in this scene, it's rather fitting.
- Painfully Slow Projectile: The Meta's time stopper backfires, leaving him slowed down relative to everyone else. It happens right as he's about to punch Doc. Unfortunately for Doc, Simmons calculates that his fist, though appearing slow relative to them, still has the same actual velocity and force. And he is right.
- Plot Tailored to the Party: Sort of. Each of the Reds and Blues participating in the final battle all play a part in defeating the Meta. Grif jumps on its back and manages to steal its Brute Shot, which leaves it open to being stabbed through the chest with the energy sword by Tucker, which in turn slows the Meta down enough for Sarge to attach the Warthog's towing cable to its chest plating, dragging Meta to its doom when Grif and Simmons push the Warthog over the edge of the abyss.
- The Power of Friendship: On the DVD commentary, Burnie Burns says the only reason the teams can take down the Meta is because they know each other so well and can communicate in ways that can get them around their obvious disadvantages.
- Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: "Okay, who's first?"
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: In Chapter 17, Tex delivers one to Epsilon-Church.
Epsilon-Church: Tex? I would have helped you.
Tex: You can't even help yourself. That's why you made me, Church. You made me to take on all the things you can't handle, just like you always have.
- Required Secondary Powers: Subverted. When someone catches a large crate, the metal floor underneath them buckles. When the crate is thrown, we also see two dents where it was held up.
- Restraining Bolt: The armor for the Reds and Blues have a remote lockdown ability to control rogue elements. Caboose uses this to stop Tex, but ends up paralyzing everyone else, save himself because his armor is outdated and lacks the shutdown feature.
- Rousing Speech: In episode 18, Sarge delivers a truly epic one to both teams, which mobilizes them to take the fight to the Freelancers.
Sarge: I'm not telling you to go. I'm not even asking.
Grif: You're not?
Sarge: Nope. I'm going. That's it. You want to come? Come on. But I don't expect you to. Simmons will probably tell you that statistically some of us will probably die.
No, I mean you! What are YOU doing here?! You always act like you want to quit.
You could have left whenever you wanted, nobody would have stopped you! So why are ya here? And you, Simmons!
Tucker: I am?
Caboose: Thanks. I'm loving the whole speech so far.
- Samus is a Girl: C.T. Who was also the Freelancer Connecticut.
- Sapient Ship: Sheila, the AI that inhabited the Blue Team's tank before being transferred to the CPU of a spaceship. Another AI by the name of Phyllis (later renamed Sheila by Church since Phyllis' voice sounds identical) was encountered later on, but Phyllis wasn't in a ship.
- It was revealed in this season it was spelled FILSS: the Freelancer Integrated Logistics and Security System. Also, Church never time traveled in Season 3. Burnie revealed it was all a torture scenario run by Gamma on Church, so he never actually renamed FILSS into Shiela, at least not the one in the tank.
- Say My Name:
- Episode 4. WASHINGTON!!
- Episode 20. GRIIIIIIF!
- Sherlock Scan: Sarge goes from this to Bat Deduction when he contacts Simmons to find out that Donut and Lopez are dead, and Doc and Simmons are hostages.
- Shout-Out: When Caboose convinces the aliens that the reds have taken Church, Sarge responds with a worried "Ruh-Roh."
- Spanner in the Works: The bad guys needed a medic. They got Doc. What could possibly go wrong?
- Stealth Pun: The episode "This One Goes To Eleven" (aside from the obvious lampshade) is Chapter 10... which leads into Chapter 11.
- Stockholm Syndrome: Lampshaded by Doc, who wants Wash to know that he is NOT suffering from this.
- Although he may be wrong, depending on your interpretation of Episode 19. Are his actions because of this trope, or because he's a pacifist who's taken a Hippocratic oath?
- Strange Minds Think Alike: Sort of. When radioed, Simmons doesn't get a chance to let Sarge know that they're being held hostage. After the end of the transmission, Sarge casually announces the exact situation at Valhalla, then goes on to justify it using increasingly convoluted reasoning.
- Also, when Washington spots a trap, and notices that it must be a Freelancer since they had run that exact situation in several drills, Doc asks "But if they're a Freelancer, wouldn't they know you'd realize this?" Washington thinks he's overthinking this, then mines activate all around them.
- Super Speed: Grif, after Simmons tried to upgrade his armor with Freelancer attachments.
- Taking You with Me: As it's being dragged to its doom, the Meta grabs Grif and tries to take him down with it.
- This Is Gonna Suck: Said by Tucker in Episode 19 right before the Pelican "lands":
Sarge: There they are! Land right next to them!
Grif: Land. Right.
Sarge: You do know how to land this, don't you?
Grif: Sure. That just means "Stop flying", right?
Sarge: BRACE FOR IMPACT!
Tucker: Oh shit, this is gonna suck!
Caboose: I still haven't gotten my peanuts yet.
Simmons: Get 'im!
Grif: We're gonna fucking die!
- Took a Level in Badass: Grif and Sarge. Oh dear God, Grif and Sarge.
- To clarify, in episode 20, Sarge has his Unflinching Walk towards The Meta before hooking it to the Warthog, dragging it to its doom, while Grif in episode 3 drives a Warthog through a wall and runs Wash over.
- Even Tex, despite already easily being the biggest badass of the series, has, as the episode 10 subtitle says, taken it Up to Eleven. Hell, through lots of preparation and sheer skill she's even able to get and maintain the upper hand in her long awaited fight against the series' ultimate monster, who's also assisted by another badass Super Soldier who's no slouch himself.
- Too Kinky to Torture: Doc is so cheerful and wants so badly to be friends that he completely fails to act appropriately frightened, despite being held hostage, threatened, and beaten by an over-the-edge special forces soldier and a nigh-unstoppable insane killing machine.
- Tranquil Fury: When the aliens draw an image of Washington in the sand, with the word "shisno" next to it.
Doc: What does it say?
- Unflinching Walk: Sarge has one in Chapter 20 when he advances on the Meta, on his own, blasting away with his shotgun before hooking the Warthog's tow cable onto the Meta's armour.
- Up to Eleven: Lampshaded by the title of episode 10 for good reason.
- The Unintelligible: The Meta is making... some sort of noise. I guess it's speech? Kind of?
- Intelligible Unintelligible: Wash seems to understand what he's saying, although that's often Rule of Funny in effect.
- It's possible that the Meta uses the same voice modifying technology that Tex and C.T. use to mask their gender. Conceivably the same technology could also serve as a translator by working in reverse, which would explain why only Freelancers can understand him.
- It's revealed in the trailer for season 9 that the Meta was shot in the throat while he was still a normal Freelancer. Also Wash was a friend and was with him when it happens, so it is likely that Wash has just heard it long enough to grasp the basic meaning.
- Episode 11 of Season 9 has a blink-and-you-miss-it moment where you here the Meta clearly say "Get off me" to a medic. Then in Episode 15 you can hear him respond to Carolina with "Too high" before he is kicked out of a window. His characteristic growl is present up to this point, so maybe it's some sort of preference or meant for intimidation.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Doc was not at all pleased that Simmons left him stuck in the wall, whilst at the same time, "volunteering" him to stay behind and "sacrifice" himself.
Simmons: We'll always remember you. Bye!
Doc: Start by remembering me now! Simmons!
- When Caboose accidentally ruins Tucker's plan to distract an enemy whilst Simmons prepares an ambush, Tucker calls out to Caboose, stooging off Simmons' position.
Simmons: You ratted me out, you son of a bitch!
- War for Fun and Profit: The roots of the Red vs. Blue conflict are revealed to be: Project Freelancer took the lowest-rated soldiers they could find, populated the Red and Blue armies with them, and set them against each other to provide their Freelancer Agents with combat simulations and to otherwise collect valuable combat data.
- Why Are You Looking at Me Like That??: Grif gets this treatment at the end of episode 18, when he wonders who they're gonna get to drive the mysterious vehicle they'll be using to save Church, Tex and take on the Freelancers.
- Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Invoked during the team's fight in episode 10.
Grif: What do we do Sarge?!
Sarge: I don't know! I've never hit a girl in my life!
- Wrestler in All of Us: A German suplex is used in episode 10. Later, something resembling a backbreaker is thrown into a fight.
- Worf Had the Flu: In the second-to-last episode, it's revealed that Tex is destined to always fail at the last moment, because she's based on the memory of the Director's lost love who died in combat, and the trauma of her death is an integral part of how the Director remembers her. This explains how, throughout the series, Tex always managed to get captured, killed, or knocked-out at a critical moment without accomplishing anything of actual importance despite being the series' biggest badass.
- "World of Cardboard" Speech: Epsilon-Church delivers one in the final scene of Revelation
"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. And 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."
- Worst Aid: While still not great at any medical matters, Doc has definitely improved since Blood Gulch Chronicles. He was able to bring Wash back from the brink of death in the final episode.