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Tear Jerker: Red vs. Blue aka: Red Vs Blue The Project Freelancer Saga
The Blood Gulch Chronicles
Episode 50. Captain Flowers is an all around Nice Guy and A Father to His Men. Church tries saving him from a heart attack, only to inadvertently cause his death. It's a rather sad moment, despite the silliness of the situation.
Made even worse when it is revealed that the entire Time Travel aspect was just a simulation created by Gamma, who is doing so For the Evulz, meaning that while it isn't Church's fault at all, he still went through suffering like that for basically no reason whatsoever.
In episode 52, at the end of the Time Travel sequence, Church gives this surprisingly somber speech to Tex; though it immediately gets negated by a Funny Moment, it was sad nonetheless (especially considering that Tex knew the truth about Church).
"The one thing I didn't realize before was this. Maybe I'm the last Church not because I fix everything, but because I died and there's no way I can come back. And if that happens, I just wanna let you know that I'm sorry. I'm sorry I got you mixed up in all this stupid stuff. I'm sorry I wasn't a better guy than I should've been. I'm sorry for... for well, for a lot of stuff."
In Episode 100, the way Church says "...Tex?" after her ship appears to explode.
Something that was somewhat sad at the time, but absolutely heartbreaking in retrospect? Tex's last word to them is 'Good-bye.'
The speech Church gives at the end of the episode certainly qualifies, since Church is essentially admitting that he hates everyone in the canyon, including Tucker and Caboose, and that he can't stand being around them.
"You should hate someone because they're an asshole, or a pervert, or snob, or they're lazy, or arrogant or an idiot or know-it-all. Those are reasons to dislike somebody. You don't hate a person because someone told you to. You have to learn to despise people on a personal level. Not because they're Red, or because they're Blue, but because you know them, and you see them every single day, and you can't stand them because they're a complete and total fucking douchebag."
Out of Mind
York's death. He may only show up for a few episodes (until Seasons 9 and 10), but he seems like a genuinely nice guy, and the reactions around his death are heartbreaking.
And now we know he WAS a genuinely nice guy.
The reason that Director Leonard Church used to play favorites with Tex is because she was based off his deceased girlfriend.
The Director may be a complete and utter bastard, but listening to his final message to the Chairman in the Season Epilogue really gets to you, and is possibly the one time the Director is portrayed in a sympathetic light:
The Director: Dear Chairman. I am dissapointed by your decision to press charges, but I am not surprised. My only hope is that the courts will see the matters differently than you have. You see, I never had the chance to serve in battle, nor did fate provide me with the opportunity to sacrifice myself for Humanity as it did for so many others in the Great War.
Someone extremely dear to me was lost very early in my life. My mind has always plagued me with the question 'If the choice had been placed in my hands, could I have save her?' The memory of her has haunted me my entire life, and more so in these last few years than I could ever have imagined. But given the events of these past few weeks, I feel confident that had I been given the chance, I would have made those sacrifices myself. Had I only the chance.
I know that you disagreed with my methods, and that others will as well. This is beyond my control. However, I cannot imagine that any court would be able to convict me, no matter how low their opinion of my actions might be. You must understand one basic fact for all this to make sense my dear Chairman. These AI, they all come from somewhere. They are all based on a person. Our Alpha was no exception. And while the law has many penalties for the atrocities we inflict upon others, there are no punishments for the terrors that we inflict on ourselves.
So you send your men. They won't find themselves a fight. They'll only find an old man. An old man tired, but satisfied he did his duty. An old man weary from a mind more filled with memory than it is with hope.
Sincerely Yours, the former Director of Project Freelancer, Doctor Leonard Church.
Donut's sudden death hit really hard. Sure, he gets better, but at the time viewers didn't know that (sanning sponsors). Even worse is Simmon's desperate yelling:
Wash turns to Donut shoots him. The warthog's window breaks.
Simmons: Donut? Donut: Hey... Simmons? I think he shot me too... (Donut collapses) Simmons: Donut! No! Donut, Donut, are you okay? Come on, breathe, Donut! Breathe! Why did you do that, what's wrong with you?
Simmons. Just Simmons. Poor thing has daddy issues, so much he created a simulation where Sarge was actually appreciative.
Simmons' heartbroken "He's...Gone." when he thinks Grif is dead.
The fact that when Church was being saved from the memory unit, he thought that it was the end of the world, and essentially killed Tex for nothing. Moreover, watching his utter despair even before he realizes this. If you listen closely, you can hear him crying.
Church: All right, world, do your fuckin' worst. [beat] Because I sure as hell just did mine.
This line is sad the first time, but going back after season 10, it's even worse.
Tex: Just do me a favor, okay? Don't say goodbye. I hate goodbyes.
Especially when you realize that the original Allison may have accidentally cursed the Director. If he had been able to say goodbye, if she had been truly gone, maybe he would have found it easier to let go.
Church makes an offhand remark about how Carolina is "worse than Tex". He's not saying this out of hate, given he's comparing Carolina to the woman he has always loved. However, Carolina reaches a new level of furious, yelling at him and Tucker to Get Out.
Worse, she took a shot that went right through him. Up until then she'd been firing over Tucker's head and given the speed at which she responded with the bullet, you get the impression that the shot would've gone right through him even if he was a physical person.
Every time Wash tries to help Carolina in the present day, he gets coldly blown off. It's been shown somewhat that Wash and Carolina had a good friendship during the Project, something akin to a little brother and big sister. Wash, who came back from the depths of insanity and was able to reclaim some of his old self, is just trying to make things a little more like the old times and it hurts him when he can't seem to make it happen.
As of Season 10 Episode 18, he's finally had enough of what Carolina's become, holds a gun to the back of her head after she threatens Tucker, and joins the Reds, Tucker, and Caboose on walking out on her and Church. In the end, he just finally gave up on trying to restore the camaraderie he and Carolina used to have.
Also invoked with the North/Theta relationship. Knowing what happens to each of them, given their nice/adorable personalities, is awful.
Connie's death, with the sad music in the background, her dying words, and the Insurrectionist Leader softly pleading "no... no..." Not to mention Carolina still seemed to consider her part of the team and probably would have spared her if she came quietly.
Made even worse in that it was generally assumed that she live until Recreation, and used a voice modifier.
Made even more impressive in that it is perhaps one of the biggest Tearjerkers in the entire series... and doesn't even feature any of the main characters (except tangentially).
North and York's talk as they watch Carolina train... is both heartwarming and heartcrushing knowing their fates.
In the same episode Wash saying, "She lost something, I think she just needs some time to try and find it again" as Carolina leaves for the "old fortress" is this.
Add in their lengthy discussion about Delta and Theta that so thoroughly demonstrates that both AI's are suffering PTSD.
Season 10, Episode 12: Carolina goes to the island where York died and mourns him; Epsilon digs up some of York's old journal entries and shows her that York was in love with her; and Wash is taken aback when Caboose refers to him as a friend, as though he'd forgotten the meaning of the word.
York's last journal entry as well, even more than all the others. It's just... York's growing excitement as he thinks Command is tracking Carolina and his crushed disappointment when he finds out it's Texas.
Some other slightly lesser ones but powerful all the same. Carolina talks about the collapse of the Freelancer team and the death of her trust; Carolina asks why she should ever trust the BG Crew and Epsilon disappears. "That's what I thought." Finally, there's Church's line after the last journal entry.
And for the triple whammy, you've got York's total dejection, Carolina's pained anger and Church's just ... dead voice: Three people delivering lines of pain in relation to lost loves in brutally quick succession.
Another small one: when Epsilon-Delta appears, Carolina's voice is full of surprise and hope. When he disappears two lines later...
The contents of Wash's locker are frickin' hilarious ... until the Fridge Horror sets in. He had a rubber ducky, for God's sake. He was basically Caboose with a functioning frontal lobe. And now look at him. It brings a whole new meaning to this exhange:
Caboose: We've got a lot in common Agent Washington.
Episode 14 was rather abusive to Wash. In the back story, he gets completely torn into by South and York then makes him feel worse by commenting how "every time [Wash] opens [his] mouth, he makes things worse". Then, in the present storyline, Carolina (his big sister figure) and Epsilon (his former AI) have formed an alliance that he's been somewhat shunned from, with Carolina still not giving Wash a proper amount of respect, despite her change in attitude.
As much as you want to hate him, and as horrible as the consequences of it were, that one moment of weakness from the director where he yells "No, Allison!" hits hard.
Especially since this was such a strong memory/emotion that it shut down virtually every AI that had been fragmented off of Alpha, crippling the Freelancers with them.
Cross-posted from Nightmare Fuel: In episode 16 of season 10, we finally see a scene of the Director, Counselor, Gamma, Sigma, and Omega torturing a new fragment out of Alpha. It's exactly as horrible as it sounds. What makes it worse is that this is the first on screen appearance of Alpha-chronologically, the first appearance of Church. He's depicted in the Halo: Reach engine with no firearms or shoulder pads. Compared to how he'll later look, he looks... incomplete, a symbol of how badly fragmented he's become.
In particular, Alpha's just...broken sounding voice as he talks to "the Director".
Alpha: Director? Please, what is going on? Director (Gamma): There was another incident. Security failed. Alpha: I—is it the schematics? Just—they're too complex, I just need more time to work on them—!
Alpha: Was anybody hurt?!'' Director (Gamma): I am sorry. Yes. Washington and another died. Alpha: Who?! Director (Gamma): ...I can't say. Alpha: Who?! Who died?! Director: Agent Texas. Alpha: NO! OH MY GOD, NO!
York refusing to leave Carolina's side while she's in a comatose state, even falling asleep next to her with his hand over hers.
Hearing Connie in her post-mortem video log. She doesn't give the files to York, Carolina, North or Wash, the most trustworthy Freelancers, but Tex, her killer. Not because she's the best, but because she's the only one she can trust. Puts everything in a new light.
And then Tex finds the files on the original Allison. She looks at her hand, and clenches it, almost as if to say 'I'm not human?'.
One last twist of the knife for Theta: According to Connie's files, his emotional core is trust.
We finally get to see the real Allison's face... through Epsilon's memories as Wash is screaming in pain, remembering the last time the Director ever saw her.
The ending of Episode 18 was just one big Tear Jerker. Epsilon-Church finally loses his temper at the Blood Gulch Crew and chews them out, pretty much blaming them (somewhat rightly) for all of his and the Alpha's problems. They and Washington end up leaving him and Carolina, one by one, with Caboose being the last one of the original Blood Gulch Crew (Washington leaves afterwards). You can practically see the tears in the kid's eyes as he backs away slowly.
And yet, for all of that, Church just drove away the only people who have ever really stuck by him — and he knows it. The "Please Don't Leave Me" begging he turned to by the end is painful to watch.
The first person to leave is Tucker, who's been friends with Church longer than anyone else, from even before the first episode of the series.
Actually, the first person to leave is Grif, who gets so fed up with Church he basically tells to Eff off. Keep in mind, Grif is the perhaps the ONE person Church has had NO problems with and genuinely gets along with pretty well. The fact that Church snaps at Grif first and tears into him shows just how broken he's become.
And then Church tries to appeal to Caboose, the one person who has always believed in him. Caboose just silently turns around and walks away.
Even worse, right before Caboose walks away, he trembles for a bit and then backs up as though his one and only friend has turned into some kind of monster. One can imagine him crying silently inside his helmet.
While it's hard to see, Church goes from his solid Alpha form back to his Epsilon form and fades away as this happens, as though he is also leaving.
What got me was Carolina still acting like stone during that scene. She truly never cared for ANY of the Blood Gulch Crew, and that scene just shows.
Texas' scene with Alpha is 100% tear jerker from beginning to end.
Alpha: I'm tired. I'm just ... really tired.
It puts all of Blood Gulch Chronicles in a sadder light. Tex is the one who originally named Alpha as Church, and even seems to have helped establish his new identity from the BGC, so she knows exactly who she's talking to in her whole interaction with Church there. Her attack on the Sidewinder base now feels like another attempt to save Alpha from the Director, and the whole series an attempt to protect him.
Carolina giving York his lighter back.
The fight before that. They brawl, but the music is just a piano playing Carolina's theme.
The tears were flowing even before that: York pleading with her to let it go, to come with him.
York: You can trust me.
Carolina: Maybe, but you can't trust me.
(Cue the saddest fight scene of the series. Of all time.)
Caboose's reaction to Doc's speech about how they've actually had some pretty good times. It's the silence after Caboose's line that does it.
Doc: You all got what you wanted! Caboose:(softly) Not everybody.
Carolina and Church stumbling on the army of Tex clones. As Church put it, "he kept trying to get her right". It shows not only how insane the Director has become, but just how broken and devastated he was when Allison died.
The Director listening to the Allison clip on repeat for a whole three days according to F.I.L.I.S. He also hasn't eaten in that amount of time either.
At the finale of Carolina's fight with the army of Tex copies, she's finally forced to admit that she can't do it alone. For someone who's been an Arrogant Kung Fu Chick for so long, it's practically a Heel Realization. Just listen to her voice.
Tex: Weird...I don't know why, but I hate goodbyes.
Church: I know why. *Sighs quietly* ...Goodbye.
You know what's worse? Tex told Alpha-Church who she was in the past, but he didn't tell her who he is in the present. He's passing up a chance to be with her again to keep her from suffering any further.
Also, depending on how you read it, Church could have possibly euthanized Tex.
The Director asking Carolina to leave her pistol so he could commit suicide. Hell, the first half of episode 22 in general...
How 'bout the subtle reveal that The Director is Carolina's father, and the original Allison was Carolina's mother?
It's subtle until half a dozen emotions wash over Carolina's face before she finally calms, kisses him on the forehead and walks away. That one gesture pretty well cements the implications as fact.
There's something beautiful and terrible about Epsilon taking the forms of his now deceased AI brethren in his rant against the Director. It gets worse when you realize each part correlated with the AI core emotion Delta, brilliant. Theta, trust. Gamma, lied. Omega, tortured. Sigma, manipulated for the Director's own purposes... and Theta's voice is just like a little kid who's been betrayed....
It's easy to forget that Epsilon remembers each and every single one of his AI brethren, and the pain they went through. And each of the fragments he turns into looks broken in some way. I even felt sympathetic for Sigma and Gamma, and they were the two AI's used by Maine and Wyoming, two of the deadliest Freelancers. But when Theta appeared... I'm sorry, something's in my eye...
Am I the only one who finds it tearjerking, yet slightly romantic, when he says "I just need to watch this, I think I have a way, A way to bring her back right this time." which shows that all he wanted out of this whole mess that Project Freelancer became was to bring back his long lost love?
Now, let's think about this revelation for a second. Texas was based on failure. No matter what happens, she never wins. Except against her daughter, and when that happens she still loses by gaining Carolina's resentment. On the flip side, Carolina can never win against her mother's ghost. What does that tell her?
The music that plays during this whole time is just moving.
Tucker's talk with Wash in Episode 14:
Wash: If you just listened to me, you could do this.
Tucker: Well I don't want to do this, you ever think of that? All I want to do is stand around and talk to my friend, but he's gone now and all I've got is you.
Which crosses into CMOH territory as Tucker considers Church his friend and genuinely misses his presence... until you remember the speech Church gave at the end of Season 5, where he calls Tucker a pervert and says that he hates him and everyone else in the canyon, and wishes he didn't have to see them every day. This, combined with Church exploding at the Blood Gulch Crew in Season 10, make it possible that Tucker's "friendship" with Church was an entirely one-sided one.
Scoreboard for the climactic battle:
Freckles turned to near scrap metal.
Lopez immobilized (again).
Donut down, having taken an explosion to the back.
Sarge grievously injured by a rail gun.
Wash also injured by rail gun shot. Now taken prisoner by Locus after closing off the escape route.
Episode 19, the finale, shows that only Caboose, Simmons, Grif and Tucker made it out of Crash Site Bravo alive. Sarge and Wash are prisoners, Lopez and Donut's status is unknown and the teleporter cubes have seemingly trapped Doc in subspace. The BG crew are seriously beginning to fray. Even Tuckerdoesn't make an attempt to woo Vanessa Kimball, the leader of the New Republic.
Episode 2, Felix sacrificing Rogers by detonating a bomb while he was next to it.
Episode 5 (While freaking HILARIOUS) is also this, if you think about it. Everyone, Tucker especially, is trying again and again to beat Felix, thus proving themselves ready and able to attempt the rescue mission to save their friends. Only, they simply get turned into a laughing stock of practically the ENTIRE resistance. Harsh.
Episode 5, the conversation between Tucker and Felix at the end. It shows that despite his recent jerkish attitude, Felix still has some empathy for Tucker
Episode 8, the lieutenants are genuinely upset at the guys leaving them.
Episode 9, Wash starts having flashbacks to his past and he seems genuinely guilty and upset at what he's done, like shooting Lopez and Donut back in Season 8 to the point where he runs to try and stop it.
A retroactive tear jerker in Caboose's Image Song, "Your Best Friend." The season 8 finale has Church leave him to go find Tex in the Epsilon unit, telling Caboose to remember him. The season 10 finale has Church leave the base altogether to go on a mission with Carolina, which she says will take a "long time"; Caboose is the first to notice he's gone and to remark, "He's gone right now," which in context implies he understands that Church is going to be gone for a long time. NOW try listening to him sing about how all he wants is to be Church's best friend.
Episode 2 of Season 11 ends with a brief caption saying "in memory of David Dreger", a big name RT Community member who was found dead after going missing for about three weeks.