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Tear Jerker / Meta Runner

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This definitely isn't SMG4 anymore.

Moment subpages are Spoilers Off. You Have Been Warned!

  • Dr. Sheridan's gruesome presumed death, shown first in the beginning of Episode 1, and then shown in Episode 6. The girl screaming “What's happening?!” only makes it worse as she likely died to. As of Episode 6, we find out who it was: it's Lucinia, another Meta Runner who worked for TAS Corp, who was Belle's best friend.
  • Belle, upon learning about Lucinia's disappearance and likely death being a result of Dr. Sheridan's project going wrong, is reduced to tears and shock as a result. A rather shocking twist from her usual overconfident and snarky demeanor, it leaves you wondering just how important Lucinia was to her life.
  • The ending of Episode 10. Despite all of MD-5's efforts, it ended up being All for Nothing as Lucks manages to put MD-5 in a corner, and outright stomps on any hope the episode gave early on when Tari performed the Deep Mountain Clip successfully. We learn that Sofia was Lucinia's sister, and she's more than devastated upon learning about the latter's fate. Also, Tari surrenders herself to Lucks and promises for MD-5 not to bother him so he lets everyone go, but Lucks decides to up the ante by destroying Theo's cartridge (much to Tari's horror and sorrow), and holding his program chip hostage, threatening to erase Theo if Tari or MD-5 disappoint him. It would be a total Downer Ending if not for the ray of hope hinted at in The Stinger.
    • The credits for Episode 10 deserve special mention, as Tari's outright missing in the credits. The sight of seeing Tari absent from each shot in the credits can leave a hole in a viewer's heart, especially after all that happened in this season finale.
  • The Season 2 premiere is a largely somber affair, mostly focusing on Tari's current plight at TAS Corp. Despite netting a six-month winning streak, Tari is still struggling to impress Lucks, who had been constantly criticizing Tari and pushing her to do better, and her teammate Belle has been acting cold to her outside of matches, still upset over her involvement in the Project Blue incident. As a result, Tari is in a dour mood for most of the episode, and even when she gets to see Theo again for the first time in weeks, the scene is undercut when Tari ends up having to practically lie to Theo's face about her promise that they'll see MD-5 again, in front of an unamused Lucks.
    • Not that everyone else is doing much better. Theo has been incarcerated for six months with nothing but his coconut shell and the Elder Tomato’s extremely long backstory to keep himself occupied and only gets to see Tari every few weeks. Lamar and Sofia ended up abandoned by Masa after the incident at the Tempest tournament and spent the next six months trying to find him with only internet rumors to help them, and when they finally do find him, he’s been reduced to challenging low-tier gamers for money. And as previously mentioned, Belle has been forced to partner up with a person she has a grudge against, and still laments Lucinia's demise, as she attempts fruitlessly to hack into Sofia's phone. Outside of MD-5 reuniting with a new plan in mind, it’s quite the low note to start the season on.
  • "Heart to Heart" is one of the more emotional episodes of the series, with two standout moments being Belle having a near-breakdown when she finds out Lucks has been lying about Lucinia's fate for two years and Masa being concerned about Belle going against him a third time and him suffering because of it.
  • The flashback in "Soft Lock" is mostly heartwarming, but progressively gets more undercut as Lucinia ends up discussing with Masa about how she’s been volunteering for a TAS Corp scientist's experiments… which as we all know by now, is Dr. Sheridan's Project Blue, and to really drive the point home, it ends with Lucinia saying goodbye to Masa, promising to see him the following day… yeah…
  • Season 2’s finale, "Fatal Error" ends on an equally gut-wrenching, if not more so, note as the first season: Masa ends up forced by an unknown party to shoot Lucks point-blank in the head with his own gun… right after he was talked out of shooting him by his friends, which shocks everyone, especially the now likely traumatized Masa. Plus, Belle stays behind with Masa, considering that she helped conspire with Lucks and TAS Corp in the past, and the rest of MD-5 is forced to leave them behind as they try to escape from the police. It gets worse in The Stinger, which reveals the still-living Dr. Sheridan… Tari's own creator… as a Greater-Scope Villain, who not only is planning to give Evelyn Tari's abilities, but set up Masa “murdering” Lucks while disguised as the Nosy Neighbor from Firewall. Which means Tari and MD-5 was not only unknowingly shook to their cores by the man who gave her life, but he's now planning on helping Evelyn get her revenge.
  • "Testing Room" has Tari being forced to save Theo by throwing him towards the end of the portal so he can escape while Evelyn catches up to her.
  • "Skybreakers" shows that Lucinia was successfully brought back to life, but because she didn't have enough of her own mind back in her, she shows no sign of emotion except for a subtle amount of fear and only knows how to play video games. And Sheridan is forcing Masa and Belle to fight her.
  • In "Dead On Arrival," Lucinia was sent to assist Evelyn in hunting down Tari. She briefly stumbles due to suddenly recognizing Sofia's voice in the server chat, but ultimately can only bring herself to follow Evelyn's orders to attack Tari, leading to Sofia letting out an anguished Big "NO!" as she watches her sister being controlled into attacking her friend.
  • Masa's Nightmare Sequence in "Death Warp" is this and Nightmare Fuel, as it shows underneath everything, Masa feels guilt for things such as cheating to win his Meta Runner arm back in "Unreal Engines", and (unwittingly) killing Lucks.
  • In "Global Testfire" it's revealed that Theo has actually been glitching ever since escaping his corrupted cartridge and has been hiding this from his friends. When Tari finally discovers this, Theo admits that he's been keeping it a secret so that he could at least have fun with his friends without them worrying until his time is up.
    • We are also reminded of the fact that Tari might have to die to save Lucinia, something that Tari has been hiding as well.
  • "Overload" has some rather jarring moments.
    • Evelyn manages to crush Theo into little data fragments. At that moment, it was unclear if he was truly dead or not, but it's really heartbreaking to see Theo disappear.
    • Masa manages to override Sheridan's control after hearing Tari lament about how she just wanted to keep her friends safe, but this ends up causing the device to explode, knocking out both Sheridan and Masa.
    • A relatively minor one compared to the other cases, but Belle is forced to pin down Lucinia with Evelyn's knife so that Tari can continue her mission.
  • The thumbnail for the final episode, appropriately titled "The End". It's just Tari standing by herself with the sea in the background… and yet, there's more to this one picture than meets the eye.
    • First off, her smile. It's not that modest, happy Tari-like smile we're used to seeing… it is a very sad Wistful Smile. The kind of smile that says “My death is impending, but I will readily accept my fate if it ensures the greater good.” The context is what makes this work — Tari says in the Season 3 trailer that she and Lucinia can't both come back to the real world, she realizes beforehand that she would have to basically give herself up in order to fully revive Sofia's sister, and Luke all but confirms that our hero is going to be faced with the hardest decision she's ever had to make. The show has gone to just as great pains to show us how kind she is as the SMG4 videos, so the fans wouldn't put it past her to make the ultimate sacrifice.
    • Second, the sea itself. At first glance, it may look like the beautiful vistas of Ultra Jump Mania… but we've seen what Theo's homeworld looks like, and a closer look reveals that this is not it. There are no other islands in the background, the blue color palettes look slightly-yet-noticeably different, and the graphics have a… stylistic contrast. That's when you realize… this is another dimension entirely. The craziest part is that this very background was used before. To elaborate, the wall for the GLITCH channel (as of this writing and the showing of this season) shows Tari and Theo moving forward in this particular dimension, with the former looking like she's giving the latter an almost motherly head gesture. It's clearly the show's way of saying goodbye to the fans that stuck around… but then you remember that Theo disappeared recently, and with Tari no doubt being faced with a Heroic Sacrifice, it makes you wonder… is this the two of them Together in Death? Are they not just saying goodbye to us, but goodbye to life? After all, this place does bear a slight resemblance to the In Between
      • The ending of the episode itself reveals that Tari managed to save her and Theo's data onto Theo's old cartridge, along with whatever server data Tari could salvage, but because of their situation, they likely wouldn't be able to see their friends again for a long, long time.
  • Dear god, the ending… knowing that both she and Lucinia can’t both come back physically, Tari makes the ultimate sacrifice to stay in cyberspace forever and restore Lucinia's physical form.
    • She completes the deed after so many setbacks, but not before an utterly heart-wrenching goodbye she makes to all her friends at MD-5. Sure, she remains technically alive, in her own personal server with Theo, but she delivers her entire monologue on the verge of tears, knowing that she may never see them again. The speech itself is sorrowful enough but the emotional performance by Celeste Notley-Smith makes it all the more tear-jerking.
      Tari: Lucinia! I know you can hear me! I'm sorry I was involved in what Sheridan did to you! But I wanna say thank you! Because I also got to meet some amazing friends! (she starts breaking down there in tears) Tell Sofia I'm sorry for hanging up on her! And tell Lamar I loved listening to him talk about anime! And to Masa… thank you for making me a part of the team! Tell them all I will miss them! (she breaks down even more as the restraints are around Tari there as the surgery begins there)
    • Once Lucinia comes back and reunites with her friends, the camera pans out to show Tari's lifeless physical body laying on the sofa, once full of cheerful and wholesome life, now stuck in the same comatose state that Lucinia was in, perhaps forever. It's safe to say that having known such a kind, blessed person as Tari over the course of six months, the entire crew is distraught by this.
      • Lucinia's reaction to Tari's “death” is summed up as having lost a part of her, considering that her mind fragments were used to give Tari life. Later, it is revealed in the graphic novel that Tari was the A.I. controlling Lucinia's movements in the virtual world, as part of Project Blue, and a teaser shows a flashback of the two hugging, showing that the two were extremely close. And having heard Tari's final goodbyes before coming back, Lucinia knew how much she meant to MD-5.
        Lucinia: Even though we barely met, it- it feels like I've always known her. And now that she's gone, it feels like a piece of me is missing too…
      • Sofia looks especially disheartened, considering that she was the last one of the group that Tari spoke to and told her that it was impossible for both her and Lucinia to come back. Given the partnership these two have shown through Sofia's hacking skills and Tari's gaming abilities, it was like she was another sister to Sofia.
      • Lamar, who was like a big brother to Tari and Theo, ends up tearing up over their supposed demise.
      • The look on Masa's face throughout says it all. He was like a mentor to Tari, and the main person who helped to guide her through the dangers that they faced along the way, so it was clear that the two were close to each other. Made all the more upsetting that the last time these two physically saw each other in the real world was in the Season 2 Finale, when Masa unwillingly shot Lucks dead and was arrested as Tari and the rest of MD-5 fled for safety. Knowing that Masa never got to properly say goodbye to Tari really makes you feel for the guy, especially with all the trauma he has been through this season.
      • And the last time they saw each other at all, Masa told her that she was a better leader- a better person than he ever was, stating in all but words that he wanted her to take over leadership of MD-5 in his stead. Imagine his reaction when he realizes that that is no longer a possibility.
  • If you somehow managed to get through the final episode without shedding tears then the end credits song "Bluejay" will definitely have you bawling your eyes out. A gorgeous, somber piano song that caps off this rollercoaster of an adventure, and one that eerily feels like some kind of eulogy towards Tari, as indicated with the name of the song, as well as some symbolism in the lyrics. It almost feels like someone close to the singer (quite possibly Lucinia) saying her final goodbyes to Tari, hoping that she'll see her again someday.