The dates in Chloe's journal entries tell us that Before the Storm takes place in 2010, three years before the events of the first game. An article about the tuition increases at Blackwell mention that merit-based scholarships were won by "sophomores Stella Hill and Brooke Scott." If Stella and Brooke are sophomores now, that means they'd be juniors in 2011 and seniors in 2012. By the time Max arrives at Blackwell in 2013, they should have already graduated. And remember, these girls won merit-based scholarships, which means they aren't exactly slackers in the academic department, a notion that gets reinforced by what we know of them from Life Is Strange, so there's no way they got held back. Why are they still seniors when Max gets there?
During the events of BTS, Blackwell is a typical advanced high school. During the 3-year gap between it and LIS, several changes were made to the curriculum, one such change being the introduction of a specialized "two-year extended senior program" (as well as the addition of Mark Jefferson to the teaching staff).
Which just puts everyone on track to graduate in spring 2013 and not be there in fall 2013 when the original game takes place. Really in May 2010 Rachel and Chloe should have been finishing up their freshman year and everyone else should have been graduating middle school, but the developers were really determined to shove in as many characters from the first game as they could, I guess.
A bigger question is why Warren's name appears on a poster at Blackwell, despite that he should have been 13 at the time.
According to an athletic form in Drew's dorm in Episode 2, Mikey is also 13. Could be that both he and Warren got moved up a grade.
Arcadia is Strange
Okay what in the world is going on in this town? Why are certain characters developing super powers? First we get Max, her time travel, and a mega tornado of apocalyptic proportions. Now we have Rachel Amber seemingly summoning wind, unless my eyes are playing tricks on me, and Chloe's strange prophetic dreams telling her where Rachel is too begin with. What the hell is happening in this town?
WMG: Chloe is causing the people around her to develop superpowers.
Rachel doesn't have powers. Chloe never describes her to Max as having supernatural abilities, and never blames her for spreading the fire in Episode 2 aside from kicking the trash can in the first place. The wind was just blowing in the direction of her screams. Or, if she does have powers, they're so low-level as to be barely noticeable to anyone.
Regardless of wether Rachel has powers or not, it's pretty clear that Chloe would never figure it out. The fire randomly goes out without it being controlled right when Rachel goes to the hospital, so it's pretty heavily implied that she has latent weather powers.
Damon's loyalty to the plan
Okay, so James Amber promises Damon that he'll destroy key evidence, rat out his snitch, and give him a bunch of money if he kidnaps Sera and has her shot up with heroin. Okay. In this deal, James Amber is the one that really needs Sera taken care of- Damon makes it clear that he couldn't care less about the plan as long as James does as he asks (in their text conversation trying to resist his orders just has him threaten not to carry it out, with him saying approximately "Oh I guess you want to take care of this yourself?") So how come, when Chloe shows up with a big wad of cash and reveals that she is the one who did everything James was supposed to do, Damon shoots Sera up with the heroin anyway? Chloe did everything he asked for and she was effectively paying him not to hurt Sera. James wasn't even talking to him anymore; for all Damon knew (and for all the audience knows, really) he decided to back out of the plan when Damon stabbed his daughter. It's not like Chloe was a threat either, since she destroyed key evidence in a case and broke into a house to do it, meaning that going to the police would just implicate herself. So why? Was he set on destroying Sera's life for no reason?
It would seem he injected her specifically to spite her (he's consistently lashed out at people, especially women, who tell him to back down, after all).
Why is the final choice even a choice?
So, the ending choice- because Life Is Strange needs to have a final, this-or-that choice, obviously- is to either tell the truth about James Ambers twisted scheme to Rachel and permanently destroy her trust in him, or lie and preserve her love for her father. But, heres the thing; the Lie ending implies that the Amber household completely reconciles and life goes back to normal for them. Everyone is happy and healthy. But, what was the motivation behind lying to Rachel? So that she doesnt meet her drug addict mother, and in turn get influenced to fall into drugs. Seems reasonable, right? Until you realize that Rachel ends up in the Dark Room anyway. Foregone Conclusion is just generally in effect here when you remember that this is a prequel. Rachel will still fall into drugs, and end up in a relationship with a drug dealer. So, what exactly is the motivation be
It's less about the path it puts Rachel on, and more about whether it's better for her to understand that her father's a scumbag who worked with a drug dealer to keep her biological mother out of her life, or to "protect" her from the truth and let her keep the idea of her father untarnished. It's a bit of a recurring theme; the game spends a lot of time exploring various characters' relationship with parents, and there's an entire monologue on whether Chloe's dad would have eventually disappointed her, and if she'd rather still have him around or just remember him as perfectnote The obvious answer being the former, giving some weight to the idea that Rachel might be better off staying blissfully unaware of her father's dark side; and a massive chunk of the decisions are whether or not you tell the truth, or hold it back (e.g. Chloe biting her tongue and not speaking her mind to Joyce and David improves her relationship with them; Chloe and Rachel play 3 truths and a lie; the first major decision of episode 2 is whether or not you let Rachel take the fall for Chloe; there's a whole maze of decisions on what to do about the drug money).
Just a pet theory, but lying to Rachel is probably the "canon" choice and telling her the truth potentially creates the 'Rachel and Chloe in California' timeline that Max finds in the LIS sequel comic. If Chloe lies and preserves Rachel's faith in her father, Rachel remains comfortable and complacent, spends more time in Arcadia Bay daydreaming of future plans, has time to forge her own relationship with Frank, and ultimately falls into the clutches of Mark Jefferson and Nathan Prescott. (Also consider that Chloe's bedroom wall will later feature the motto "Everybody lies, no exceptions" which would naturally include herself.) Obviously, BTS has to play it like both choices lead to the same fate for Rachel, but this troper finds it far more likely that breaking up the Amber family would drive Rachel to leave Arcadia Bay sooner. (This may even be encouraged by Sera.) Leaving sooner means taking Chloe, not making plans with Frank behind her back, and thus no meeting Jefferson.
Rachel has a room in Blackwell. She may as well have become a dorm resident to pursue her studies away from her parents and anyone she doesn't trust. As for eloping to California, their escape plan was ruined the moment they learned the truth about Rachel's mom, which stalled them and may have made Rachel want to stay a bit longer to figure herself out now that she knows her dad lied to her for years. As said on the Fridge page, Rachel also knows Frank who'd probably tell her about why Damon's gone missing. So regardless of either ending, Rachel would still know the truth and have her reasons for staying at Arcadia Bay until she meets Jefferson and events unfold.