"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."
For such a comedic series, Red Vs. Blue can be genuinely sad when it chooses.
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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.
- During the Time Travel sequence, Church is about to go through the teleporter; he and Sheila have a nice talk. After he's gone, Sheila is silent for a moment, then says "Perhaps I should shut down for a while and conserve some power." The turret slowly lowers itself as she speaks, conveying a sense of immense loneliness, and the camera cuts to a completely-silent Blood Gulch for a good thirty seconds. For somewhere that seemed to be so lively, it's heartbreaking to see it abandoned without a second thought, leaving Sheila all by herself—and she simply shuts down rather than be alone.
- 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's 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.
- Later seasons make this even worse when we find out what happened to the real Church when Allison died.
- Something that's somewhat sad at the time, but absolutely heartbreaking in retrospect? Tex's last word to them is 'Goodbye.'
- After the ship explodes, Church and the rest of the Blues drudge back to Blue Base, clearly depressed and defeated. Perhaps out of pity, Sarge lets them go.
Simmons: Sarge? Are we fighting?
- 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."
- Even worse when you figure out who he's talking about: Tucker is the pervert, Donut is the snob, Grif is lazy, Sarge is arrogant, Caboose is an idiot and Simmons is a know-it-all. By process of elimination, Church himself may be the asshole because on a list of people he hates and his reasons for hating them, Church puts himself first.
- On a competent different note is one of the alternate endings. When Tex's ship blows up Sarge proceeds to heckle the Blues mercilessly over their losses, until he is brutally gunned down by Church. But then it goes into Bloody Hilarious as the remaining troops begin to fight to the death, resulting in everyone, even Doc, dying incredibly violent deaths. Finally, Caboose is the last one alive, and he boasts of his victory. He sounds so happy, until he works out that he is the only one left. Before he can decide how he feels about this, he is promptly crushed to death by the remains of the Motorcyle.
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.
- Delta staying with him, thinking he'll die too. Just heartbreaking.
"Hey, Simmons? I think he shot me too...(groan)"
- The trailer starts off with Blood Gulch crew shenanigans, only to reveal Church, now dead, watching them. He laments his legacy and deadness to Tex, who appears next to him. Then there's the end of their conversation, which while maybe not a tearjerker in the sad way, sure elicits some kind of emotion, especially with the soft delivery of Tex's lines.
Tex: Okay. So then were done?
Church: No, [sighs] no were not done.
Tex: Well if were not done... lets get started.
Church: Hey have I ever told you how helpful you are to me? I mean youre so full of fucking wisdom, what would I do without you?
Tex: Mm. I try my best. And you have no one to blame but yourself.
- In Episode 2, we see Simmons speaking to Sarge in the testing grounds. In a truly heartwarming moment, and one of genuine emotion coming from Sarge, Sarge confides that he hopes after all these years he can call Simmons a friend. Then the real Sarge walks in, revealing that Simmons was talking to a hologram he created.
- Donut's sudden death. Sure, he gets better, but at the time viewers didn't know that (sanning sponsors). Even worse is Simmons' desperate yelling:
Wash turns to Donut and shoots him. The warthog's window breaks.
Donut: Hey... Simmons? I think he shot me too... (Donut collapses)
Simmons: Donut! No! Donut, Donut, are you okay? Come on, breathe, Donut! Breathe! (To Washington) Why did you do that?! What's wrong with you?!
- There's something just so frustrating and sad about how Washington ended up in jail after all was said and done. Especially since it seems to be the Reds and Caboose's fault. You can tell just how fed up he is by the end, going from concern for their wellbeing when Caboose first contacts him to his FaceHeel Turn at the end.
- It's a Blink And You'll Miss It passing comment from Tucker, but during the argument in the temple Caboose yells at Sarge that he shouldn't be mean to people who work for him, and 'he just wants to be your friend'. Tucker snaps back that 'no one does that but you'. You might begin to wonder how Tucker feels about Caboose's animosity towards him. Especially since Tucker doesn't seem to particularly dislike Caboose.
- Wash and the Meta force Simmons to call a medic. Unfortunately Doc is the one who answers the call. Simmons obviously feels incredibly guilty that he dragged him into this and just keeps repeating. 'I didn't know they'd send you.'
- Simmons' heartbroken "He's... Gone." when he thinks Grif is dead.
- Also, notice how right before said Disney Death, Sarge mutters "Uh-oh" and rushes towards Grif. Though he'd never admit it, Sarge actually does care for Grif after all. And he was about to lose him.
- At the end of Revelation, after everything that's happened, Church entrusts to Caboose the duty of remembering him when he's gone.
- Right before that, when Church asks Caboose to stab him with the recovery unit, effectively killing him.
Epsilon: Caboose, here, pick [the rapidly failing capture unit] up.
Caboose: I can't, Church.
Epsilon: Yes, you can. You do this all the time.
Caboose: (crying) Yeah, I don't want to.
- Later in that scene:
- Church's bittersweet monologue on a good love and a good memory. He finishes it with "and hell if you have to spend the rest of your life in a memory why not make it a good one?" Then the camera pans over Blood Gulch.
- Sarge's Heroic BSoD upon learning his entire career was just a fake for the real soldiers to practice with. He just silently walks away, and is actually crying when the others catch up.
- Tex is just one big tearjerker in this season. She's a huge Jerkass for a lot of it, but one has to remember that she never asks to be brought back. Church keeps dredging up memories of her to help him deal with life, regardless of how she feels on the matter, and it's heavily implied she doesn't like that. Especially when she comes back with so many questions about herself that can't be answered. Her angry words to Church at the end of episode 17 make it clear how she feels.
- Tex reliving her ill fated mission to save the Alpha years ago after learning the truth about what the Director did to him. Not only is the idea of the Director using pieces of the Alpha's own psyche to torture him sad and horrifying but from Tex's self loathing words at the end you can tell that her failure to safe Alpha has haunted her to this day:
- Simmons is a big ball of sad in this season, feeling insecure and basically discovering his teammates don't really know much about him.
- Episode 20: Epsilon deleting Tex once and for all.
- The fact that when Church was being saved from the memory unit, he thought that it was the end of the world, and was at peace with the idea of dying to the point of becoming enraged when he is forcibly saved. Moreover, watching his utter despair at his Mercy Kill even before he realizes this. If you listen closely, you can hear him crying.
Church: All right, world, do your fuckin' worst... 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 takes a shot that goes 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.
- The creators did such a good job turning pre-Epsilon Wash into a naive, loveable innocent that just anticipating what will happen to him is a gut punch.
- Also invoked with the North/Theta relationship. Knowing what happens to each of them, given their nice/adorable personalities, is awful.
- Connie gets a song named after her in the Season 10 soundtrack. The song? A slow, solemn orchestral version of the Season 9 song "Can't Trust Anybody Now".
- C.T.'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. It's made worse in that it was generally assumed she lived until Season 7 and had just used a voice modifier to make her sound like a man.
- 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).
- And then we find out that C.T. considered Tex a friend and left behind a copy of the data that made her defect for her to discover what was really going on. And Tex just killed her with not the slightest hint of mercy.
- 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 (Theta can't "sleep" at night and has a panic attack if he's yanked, while Delta spends all his spare time calculating the odds of various horrible scenarios playing out).
- 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 still in love with her
- Wash is left to guard the outside of the temple the rest of the group is staying in. When Caboose sneaks up on him to spy and says he trusts Wash not to tell anyone because they're friends, Wash seems surprised both at the word friend, like he's forgotten the meaning of the word, and that Caboose would trust him in the first place.
- There's also something sad about how he call the rest of the BGC 'your squad'. Wash really doesn't feel like he belongs with the group.
- As of episode 13 it is revealed that quite nearly all of the tragedy of the series could have been avoided if Carolina had done a few things differently.
- 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 is 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 is such a strong memory/emotion that it shuts down virtually every AI that has been fragmented off of Alpha, crippling the Freelancers with them, even Iota, the Alpha's happiness.
- 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—!
- And then they do the unthinkable. It's notable that even the Director thinks this is uncalled for.
: 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 (Sigma)
: 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.
- 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.
- From the sounds of things, that line was an In-Universe Tear Jerker for the Director.
- The ending of Episode 18. 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 turns 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.
- Grif gets so fed up with Church he basically tells him 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.
- Carolina still acting like stone during that scene. She truly never cared for ANY of the Blood Gulch Crew, and that scene just shows. It gets worse with Wash's words:
- 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.
- One should also imagine the entirety of the BGC from Tex's point of view after this. Church consistently calls her a bitch, muses about her frequency to cheat, and basically how much she had made his life miserable. Considering everything we had just witnessed, no doubt Tex agrees on that last part. The last time Tex saw Alpha before Blood Gulch he was a delusional, exhausted mess. And when she arrives, she's met with a bitter, angry man who believes her to be a dishonest, cheating, greedy, and all around terrible person. It's not hard to imagine that from Tex's perspective, this is all bitterness over her failure to save Church in time. And the worst part is the Tex is most likely forced to play along with Church's delusions, acting as the physically abusive and mean person he claims her to be. All so Church doesn't have to remember all the misery he went through when he was tortured as Alpha.
- Carolina giving York his lighter back.
- As if it wasn't a big enough failure for Tex to save Alpha Church, it's immediately followed by her failure to save Carolina as well whom she may have come to see as her daughter after what she'd read in the files
- 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.
- The last shot of Valhalla as the Blood Gulch Crew departs- it's a small thing, but it's a Call-Back to the tearjerking last scene in Blood Gulch in Halo CE, and serves as a way to let the audience know that after 5 years, this is the last season to be filmed in Halo 3
- 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.
- When Church goes after the main Tex AI that's controlling the robot duplicates, he finds that the roles of episode 19 have become reversed. This time, it's HIM trying to save Tex, and HER that's become too broken to save. The tone of his voice as he says goodbye drives it home.
Tex: Weird...I don't know why, but I hate goodbyes.
Church: I know why. *Sighs quietly* ...Goodbye.
- 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 just euthanized Tex.
- The Director asking Carolina to leave her pistol so he could commit suicide. Hell, the first half of episode 22 in general...
- The 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. It also turns all of seasons 9 and 10 into a huge retroactive tear jerker.
- FILSS' death is really sad. It's clear she doesn't want to be erased, but she has to follow orders. It's made worse by the fact she sounds like Sheila.
- 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 (trusted), Gamma (lied), Omega (tortured), Sigma (manipulated for the Director's own ambitions)... 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, even Sigma and Gamma, and they were the two AI's used by Maine and Wyoming, two of the deadliest Freelancers. But when Theta appears...
- "I just need to watch this, I think I have a way, A way to bring her back right this time." All he wanted out of this whole mess that Project Freelancer became was to bring back his long lost love.
- 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, or in the case of their last fight, Carolina entirely. On the flip side, Carolina can never win against her mother's ghost, and it's clear which of them her father favours. What does that tell her?
- Just the way the Director looks at Carolina, a look filled with sadness, regret and, most of all, weariness. This puts his actions into a much harsher light than before: instead of a cold, uncaring man who will do whatever it takes to bring back Allison, even Mind Rape Tex, we see a broken shell of a man, consumed by the longing for a woman he probably loved more than life itself, trying every damn thing he could to bring her back, to see her just one more time. After getting called out by what is essentially himself for all the things he did in his pursuit and seeing the pure hatred in his own daughters eyes, whose said to be a spitting image of his beloved wife, one even the most stone-hearted would shed a tear at this.
- The music that plays during this whole time is just moving.
- In a post credits scene, North carrying South on his back after their 'family conversation', and him assuring her that he's always got her back. Considering his fate, what would have been a heartwarming moment is twisted into tragedy. Definitely bound to hit siblings hard...
- 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.
Tucker: It's fucking bullshit.
- 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.
- Episode 18
- 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 Tucker doesn'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.
- "...Jason? Man, what's going on?"
- 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. Except he really doesn't and is just feigning any empathy he might be showing. He hates the BGC and is part of a scheme to commit genocide against the population of Chorus for profit
- Episode 8, the elite squad are genuinely upset that their leaders (Captains Grif, Simmons, Caboose and Tucker) left on the rescue mission without them.
- Episode 9, Wash starts having flashbacks to his past and seems genuinely guilty and upset at what he's done, like shooting Lopez and Donut back in Season 7, to the point where he runs to try and stop it.
- Episode 10, Felix was never their friend, and rubs it in their faces before trying to kill them.
- To add insult to injury, literally, - that comment he made about the Reds and Blues being considered the galaxy's greatest soldiers? All a lie. In fact, he absolutely despised being with them.
- It's also Fridge Horror, as this is yet another betrayal Wash has gone through. This time, it's on a personal level, as Felix had been pretending to be Wash's fanboy throughout Season 11, only to reveal that he hated him and every moment he was forced to spend around him.
- Not to mention poor Dr. Grey. The previous episode, she was all chipper and upbeat, even when talking about rather morbid subjects. But as Locus and Felix's troops slaughter her comrades, she can only duck for cover and whimper, "Oh, dear."
- After Carolina rescues the team in Episode 10, Church reveals himself to be with her as well, clearly expecting a rather joyous reunion. What does he get? Tucker angrily attacking him, clearly upset at everything he's been through and blaming Church for at least some of it.
- Episode 11: Overlapping with heartwarming: when Carolina strikes the guard on the console from behind, her camouflage equipment makes her armor black, making her resemble Tex.
- Episode 12: Felix and Locus trick Kimball, Doyle, and the lieutenants into thinking the Reds and Blues have been killed. The effect this has on the lieutenants is absolutely soul-crushing - Jensen looks like she's crying under the helmet and Smith immediately goes to comfort her (and given how much he was shown to idolize Caboose, he's probably not doing so well himself), Bitters walks away gesturing wildly and he'd probably be cursing up a storm if the scene was voiced, while Palomo just puts a hand against his visor like he can't believe what's going on. And the worst part is, given what we know of Felix's true personality, he's probably laughing his head off inside his helmet.
- Caboose's little rant, while funny, is also depressing. Church's leaving really did upset him, and his write off of the depression he went through especially since Freckles died is just sad.
- Episode 14
- Tucker and Church's relationship has taken a turn for the worse. Church has Taken A Level In Badass as of late, but all Tucker remembers is the old Church, causing frustration from both ends.
- One of the reasons that they clash in this episode is Tucker's unwillingness to risk their lives for the sake of gaining information. Tucker tried that in Episode 2, and it got two of his team killed. And now Tucker's actions have resulted in Carolina using her super speed to save Caboose from getting stabbed, reopening the knife wound from Felix, causing her to pass out from blood loss. Church is not going to be happy.
- We see Kimball at the pond again, mourning the loss of the Reds and Blues and wondering how they could possibly win the war at this point. Made even worse by Felix coming down to reassure and encourage her to keep fighting, which would have been a CMOH if not for the fact that he's playing her like a fiddle, and only encouraging her to lead an all-out assault against the Feds so he can get everyone killed.
- Episode 15
- Though the fandom appears to have had this one guessed for a while now, Washington finally realizes how their enemies keep finding them: 'Freckles' is a tracking device, and it looks like Caboose is going to lose his new best friend so quickly after being reunited... Especially crushing is Wash's voice. You can tell he doesn't want to hurt Caboose.
- Episode 16
- All the tension from Church & Carolina abandoning the team in season 11, Tucker being unable to let go of his old perceptions of Church, and other mishaps finally rear their ugly head in a big argument. Thankfully, they end up talking through their differences.
- Episode 18
- The Reds and Blues fail to stop the battle from starting and although they manage to bring it to a halt, dozens of soldiers on both sides still die as a result of Control's schemes.
- Tucker getting stabbed by Felix is pretty hard to watch, but it's made worse when the episode ends on a shot of him passed out on the ground as his friends try to help him and Kimball's desperate voice tries to contact him and the others over the radio.
- Episode 19
- While in the background of some rather intense reveals, it turns out that the Chairman has acquired FILSS or a copy of her. That's not the sad part. The sad part is that, as opposed to her usual chirpy or at least level voice in previous seasons, even when being ordered to wipe herself from the system, she sounds sad and tired. The only other times AIs have been 'tired'... well, it was never good.
- A huge one just from the trailer. It seems that Church is going to die again.
- The thought of losing Theta so soon after his semi-return is heartbreaking. While Theta may hit the hardest on account of being heartrendingly adorable and sweet, it will also be hard to see the other fan favorite Delta go. Possibly the others as well, seeing as Church was getting along with some of them.
- In episode 6, we get a hint that Carolina has been on edge and basically in soldier-mode for so long that she has trouble relaxing when the opportunity presents itself, to the point of not being sure how to relax.
- Further is some of the commentary that the original Project Freelancer equipment and Epsilon are outdated compared to the modern equipment. Combined with a preceding shot of Church spacing out and it suggests he may be going into rampancy after all.
- Episode 13 strongly implies that she's constantly on edge because she alone realized how close the battle of the radio jammer at the end of Season 12 could have gone. Specifically, in that Locus's insanity prevented him from simply killing Wash, and both of the mercs had Tucker surrounded. Given her history, losing any of the Reds or Blues would be by far her worst nightmare.
- Episode 7 gives a view of Locus before he became Locus. It appears he was once 'human' in mindset. Overall, reliving that memory managed to shake up the normally stoic Locus.
- Also in episode 7, Sharkface says that his friends had been killed by the freelancers while he was in physical therapy. It's easy to feel empathy for the guy, what with all the loss on the freelancer side too.
- In episode 8, we see all of the long-gone Freelancers in Carolina's vision. Hearing Tex and York's voices after so long, even briefly, might just cause a sniffle or two. Carolina's upset reaction when it's over doesn't help, and it's hard not to wonder exactly what happened between the scene changes. As of episode 13, we now know that she had to watch all the Freelancers and the Reds and Blues die.
- Doc's predicament. He was sent to a dimension where he slowly lost his sanity, the only thing keeping him going being the thought of the Reds and Blues working to save him. In reality, everyone forgot about him and it's clear that he's heartbroken when he realizes this. He channels O'Malley and starts beating Tucker up. It's hard not to feel for the guy.
- Episode 11: Poor, poor Church. He's failing. Delta couldn't even talk before dissolving. Theta screams before he dissolves, and Church just doesn't know what to do before dissolving as well. Just how... lost he sounds. He knows he can't protect Carolina, and it gave him a (literal) Heroic BSoD that's damn near palpable.
- The beginning of Episode 11 features a Rebel and a Fed both taking cover behind the same rock. The Rebel wants to Fed to leave, since he found the rock first but the Fed insists they can share. The Rebel says "Over my dead body." and promptly gets shot in the head by Locus. His pettiness and inability to cooperate got him killed in the middle of a crucial battle. The Fed can only lampshade the irony.
- Episode 12: Poor Doyle. First he fails to keep the Great Key out of Charon's hands, and is then subjected to a brutal "The Reason You Suck" Speech from Kimball when the group returns to Armonia. It all amounts to him believing himself to be a failure as both a leader and a human being. It's hard not to feel sorry for him.
- Episode 13: "Church, I can't lose another family."
- Expanding on that, we find out what Carolina's vision in episode 8 consisted of: watching all of her old friends on Project Freelancer die again. And then seeing the Blood Gulch Crew killed, as well. And not being able to do anything about it.
- This becomes far harsher in hindsight, as Epsilon sacrifices himself to run Maine's armor in the finale. As seen in the finale stills, Carolina was on her way, but in the end, she wasn't able to protect someone she cared about ...
- Carolina's reaction when Church compares her to the Meta/Maine is both this and chilling. She refuses to acknowledge Church's comment on her being the best, a stark departure of the Carolina of just three seasons ago. Her loss against Felix, and again at the radio jammer have destroyed her sense of self-worth. Her earlier comments on wanting to run drills and being unable to relax shows that the only thing on her mind is her own failings, and she's focusing on becoming stronger, to the point that she endangered both herself and Epsilon. The only thing that's (barely) preventing her from being the next Meta is her attachment to the Reds and Blues.
- Episode 15:
- While initially played for laughs, Grif's upbringing, as brought up by O'Malley, makes Grif's mannerisms pretty harsh in hindsight when one connects the pieces. Turns out that as a kid, Grif's parents constantly favored his sister over him (explaining his constant hostility towards others), his father wasn't exactly "stable" (resulting in Grif's consistent opposition to order), and after his mother ran off to join the circus, apart from being left to take care of his sister on his own, the utter humiliation Grif felt at the fact that his mother "turns tricks behind the elephant cage" is what lead to Grif's binge-eating hobbies. It's hard not to feel absolute pity for Grif as he can only bow down his head in shame after being reminded of his horrid childhood, and so broken that he can only whimper "It was a nice circus".
- Episode 16:
- Sharkface refusing to let go of his hatred for Carolina and Washington, even after the former tries to give him a chance to walk away out of regret for what the Freelancers did to his comrades. He's so broken and bitter that he uses his last words to vow that he won't stop hunting Carolina and Washington as long as he lives. Washington and Kimball have to gun him down. Particularly telling is that Carolina sounds solemn when she acknowledges his death, as opposed to being satisfied with beating him.
- Doyle's Heroic Sacrifice. When he realizes that there's no way to destroy Armonia's nuclear reactor without setting off the explosion by hand, he resolves to make up for his previous cowardice by doing the job himself. After giving Kimball some final words of encouragement, admitting she's better suited to lead than him, he proceeds to do just that.
- When Kimball realizes what's about to happen, she starts shouting at General Doyle for being so reckless, because his death will leave his key-sword accessible to Felix...except then her voice starts breaking, and it's not too hard to imagine that she's just as upset that Doyle's about to die. Notably, she doesn't move to get back on the Pelican to leave until Carolina grabs her shoulder and practically pushes her on board.
- Kimball's last, desperate "Wait, no—! " before she's cut off.
- Even worse is just how resigned Doyle sounds. He's not scared or trying to put on a brave face, or even at peace. He sounds so thoroughly convinced that this was the only way, and that he would just continue to be a burden if he survived and just takes it with a grim acceptance.
- It becomes worse when you see the circumstances that lead to Doyle needing to commit to a Heroic Sacrifice at all. He ducked instead of shooting a soldier who snuck up on him, leading to the control panel getting damaged and requiring him to detonate the reactor manually. To Doyle it must have seemed like his cowardice compromised the mission, which when coupled with Kimball's chewing out of him in Episode 12 must have wreaked havoc on his psyche.
- Episode 17:
- In the aftermath of Armonia's destruction and General Doyle's Heroic Sacrifice, the armies of Chorus are scattered and demoralized; the Feds initially believe that Kimball left Doyle to die; and Charon's surviving forces—including Felix and Locus—have access to the Purge. Darkest Hour doesn't begin to describe it. Particularly telling is when the BGC's lieutenants meet up with Matthews, and all five of them silently hang their heads—it's easy to see how depressed they are.
- Kimball, shaken by Doyle's death, doesn't say anything to anyone until her Rousing Speech—and even then, she admits that she was wrong about the Federal Army of Chorus.
- Episode 18:
- Wash's words seem to have left a long-lasting effect on Locus's psyche. This episode demonstrates that in subtle yet terrifying ways. Prior to the duel at the Purge Temple, Wash insists that the two mercs can turn around and stop what they are doing. Locus looks away as if considering it, seems to prepare to respond... and then Felix places a hand on his shoulder while refusing Wash's statement. Considering just what kind of individual Felix is, this is by no means a comforting gesture. Felix has no qualms with crossing the Moral Event Horizon, and he is perfectly willing to drag the mentally weakened Locus along with him.
- In addition, Locus begins to show concern about the various troops that they've left behind at the Communication Tower and Crash Site Alpha, pointing out they'll be killed in the Purge as well and that many of them were former partners. However, Felix brushes this off but you can still clearly tell that Locus is struggling between his mission and his humanity.
- Episode 19:
- The final result of what recent events have done to Locus. Between the revelation of what he fears in the portal of trials, the complete failure of his mission with the destruction of the Purge Temple, his ensuing battle wounds, and the Armor-Piercing Question handed to him by Santa, it's pretty clear that he's a broken shell of a man who finally sees himself for what he really is: a murderer who tried to pass himself off as a professional.
- In a way, Felix's Villainous Breakdown after Locus pulls a HeelFace Turn counts as this. It's the point where he realizes he's just lost everything, and his terrified attempts to bring Locus back to his side show just how far his mind has broken. He completely loses what little sanity he has left when Locus abandons him.
- Episode 20:
- Matthews getting shot by a Mantis drone and knocked out. Poor kid can't seem to catch a break.
- When Tucker and Epsilon first make it to Hargrove's trophy room, Epsilon finds Tex's helmet. He doesn't say anything about it, but his next words sound pissed.
- The transition to 'AI Time':
See you on the other side
(Everything slows down to a near stop as we transition to Epsilon's POV) Epsilon: Not this time, buddy.
Theres so many stories where some brave hero decides to give their life to save the day. And because of their sacrifice, the good guys win, the survivors all cheer, and everybody lives happily ever after. But the hero
never gets to see that ending. Theyll never know if their sacrifice actually made a difference. Theyll never know if the day was really saved. In the end
they just have to have faith. Aint that a bitch.
- What makes Epsilon's sacrifice even worse is that there's no guarantee that the new fragments made from Church's passing will be the ones we know. Delta, Theta, and the rest... gone.
- And possibly worse, we're in the same boat as Church. While it sure does look like the Red and Blues, with everything they've learned over the last thirteen years AND an upgraded version of the Meta's armor at full power, will escape there's no guarantee. Just like Church, all we can do is have faith that they'll make it out.
- In a way, Grif pacing around cursing after Hargrove shows himself. The way he yells about how they were SO CLOSE reeks of desperation.
- The Dark Reprise of Contact, the ending theme for Season 11, that plays during the end credits. The line "One of us will be forgotten" takes on new meaning given what Church did. He essentially sacrificed his existence by "forgetting" himself.
- The explanation for just why Church's original body in Season 1 started to decompose. The body actually belonged to Private "This doesn't seem physically possible" Jimmy, who volunteered to help the war effort in any way he could. This led to Flowers having the Alpha AI implanted into the volunteer's skull, overwriting their entire personality with Church's, save for a few vague memories of his girlfriend (who Church construes to be Tex) and remembering that Jimmy died in pain that apparently was comparable to having his skull torn out and being beaten to death with it. Perhaps the biggest example of Harsher in Hindsight from the Blood Gulch Chronicles.
- Another Harsher in Hindsight example. For years now, some people in the fandom have believed that the original Allison was a terrible girlfriend/spouse, due to Alpha mentioning that 'Tex' used to steal his wallet and sleep around with other guys. With the revelation that some of Jimmy's memories remained dormant in Alpha's new body, it may be that these memories were of Jimmy's girlfriend, so Allison and by extention, Tex have been misblamed all this time.
- Even though the self-destruction of Unit FH57s ship is Played for Laughs, its kinda sad that these characters who we've gotten to know over the past two episodes, and were about to embark on a new adventure of their own, are all presumably dead.
- Though he's undoubdtedly a piece of shit, it's hard not to feel bad for Gabriel Lazono when we learn that his dad never cared about him at all.
- It's easy to miss but in Club, when Locus accidentally removes the makeup that covers his scars, you can see his expression in the mirror. He looks...devastated. It shows that he's been trying to go back to being 'Samuel Ortez' now that the war is over; and it's a Foregone Conclusion that this won't work.
- The ending of episode 15, "Caboose's Guide to Making Friends". It starts out as a happy romp, showing off his various "friends" but it quickly dives off the sad portion when he starts talking about losing friends and it's shown the Epsilon AI and the other AIs disappearing then it's quickly showing Caboose diving into depression, flanked by the ravaged husks of the various machines he's befriended.
- While Episode 16 is an absolute gut-buster, O'Malley's time in Church's head is pretty sad (if in an admittedly funny way), especially now that we've covered the history of the Freelancers and the AIs. He immediately remarks how Church's mind, represented as a frozen facility, feels familiar. He then meets Alpha!Church, who is to O'Malley's surprise resigned to letting him take over out of sheer stress. Even though Alpha!Church has no recollection of the torture at the behest of Project Freelancer, the pain was still there this whole time.
- Episode 21
- South and Georgia bullying Ohio, Iowa, and Idaho like the military equivalent of a Jerk Jock and Alpha Bitch pair.
Georgia: Some of us have actual missions to train for.
South: (false sweetness) Have fun cleaning our gear when we're done Triplets.
- Ohio, Iowa, and Idaho are friends with Wash and CT... or at least, they were until the latter two ranked in the top ten while the former three ranked at the bottom. The entire thing comes off as the social outcasts losing friends to the Jerkass cool kids.
Iowa: (tentatively) See you at lunch?
Wash: Uh... yeah. Sure.
- This Five Questions Game conversation, though the end goes into Funny territory.
Iowa: Five Things You'd Rather Be Doing. Go.
Iowa and Idaho: One.
Ohio: Something else.
Ohio: Not this?
Ohio: Contemplating the futility of existence in a coffee shop.
Idaho: Seems like your hearts not really in this, Oh.
Iowa: Oooh snap, that's our girl!
- Episode 22
- After finding out they had been Reassigned to Antarctica instead of being given a real mission, Ohio breaks down crying that her one chance to show Project Freelancer that she was a good soldier was yanked away from her.
- At the end of the episode, Wash comes up to South and CT asking if they'd seen the Triplets, because he wanted to have lunch with them. Even if he was among the top ranking Freelancers, he still cared about his old friends... made worse that now that the Triplets are gone, Wash becomes the target of the others' teasing. Even worse is that he was told they dropped out of the project instead of straight up abandoned on an ice world. And South continues to be gleefully dismissive of them.
- At the end of Season 13, with Charon Industries dealt with, it seemed like Chorus could finally have some peace. But in this season, we learn that they've been trying to maintain their independence, they're being partially blamed for the Reds and Blues' attacks, and the UNSC is threatening military intervention. Chorus is being dragged into conflict once again.
- Vic has long crossed the Despair Event Horizon and begs Dylan to kill him in exchange for the Blood Gulch Chronicles. Making it worse is his personality turning him into a Stepford Smiler who keeps insisting he's just joking, only to go right back to what a torment his life is.
- Dylan's personal life as revealed in Episode 4 qualifies. She is married, but her constant need to run off and hunt down the truth has strained her relationship. Especially when her husband realizes she isn't calling to say hello or check in, she's calling to ask for a favor. At one point he even asks if they are actually still married or not.
- While Dylan is speaking with Kimball, Kimball tells her the Reds and Blues are "done". Not much is said beyond that, but she was quoting what they said themselves. After all they went through, all the good they did, Kimball says all they want now is to be left alone. It makes you wonder how willing they'll be to help Dylan once she really meets them.
- Ultimately, this winds up being played with in episode 5: they figured, after all of the crap they went through, they were entitled to a break. Kimball even hooked them up with the location to relax. However, it seems that the apparent death of Epsilon-Church was a factor.
- The Blood Gulch Crew all get sad when they remember Chruch's sacrifice to help them on The Staff of Charon. All Caboose can say is a small, "I miss Church," and when Dylan asks if he means the Epsilon A.I, Tucker angrily states "No, he means Church".
- What makes this especially poignant is that the Blues and the Freelancers are the only ones to talk about Church. They were the ones who were closest to him, after all.
- Even worse is that Tucker says that the Meta's suit stopped working after the battle. It wasn't just Church that died, but Delta, Theta, and the other fragments too.
- Grif has finally had enough and decides to quit the team when they all pack their bags to go after Church again, and stays on the moon. Simmons silently gazes at him sadly as he leaves, and Sarge tries to convince him to stay - first with his usual methods, but when he sees it's not working his tone changes and he simply asks him to come back.
Sarge: Grif! Desertion is punishable by death! ...So keep going!
*Grif keeps on walking.*
Sarge: ...Desertion means leaving the military, not eating dessert.
*Grif continues on in the distance.*
Sarge: ...Seriously, Grif, turn around.
- Caboose and Simmons's discussion in episode 7 is filled with heartbreak. First is Caboose's naive/deluded idea that friends will come back if people care enough about them (because he's always been able to rebuild Church) and Church keeps coming back. He still doesn't realize that people are supposed to stay dead, even if they're your friends. He concludes that all the people who used to live in the city must still be dead because nobody cared about them. Simmons, for his part, seems dead inside without Grif around, at one point calling out to him before remembering he's not there. You know it's bad when Tucker mockingly calls him a virgin and he doesn't even bother replying.
- Episode 10, takes Carolina and Wash to the beach to find Agent Illinois, an old drinking pal of Yorks' and all around Nice Guy. Which makes finding him dead hurt all the harder. The fact that he seems to be living a peaceful life causes Carolina to lament that she could have had the kind of 'apple pie' life with York, only to throw it in his face.
- Even sadder is it turns out she took back the lighter he gave her and it's the only thing she has left of him. Even sadder than that, is when she almost throws it into the ocean so she can move past her old life, only for Wash to grab her hand and tell her she doesn't need to forget her past to do that.
- A picture showing the freelancers together, specifically Carolina and York cuddling, is nice. The fact that she punched him afterward is not. Even before Tex showed up, Carolina never really let herself be close and loving with York.
- Wash and Carolina get armor-locked by Temple, who tells them that he's going to kill the Reds and Blues before too long. What makes this a tearjerker is that this is exactly what Carolina was afraid of most: losing her new family. Her Big "NO!" at the end wasn't just for dramatic effect.
- Episode 11:
- Temple and Loco have a conversation that edges between this and Nightmare Fuel: Temple is yelling at Loco as to why his bomb isn't ready yet with Loco reassuring him that it will be complete and then they'll be best friends. This is an exact mirror of Church and Caboose's relationship back in the early days of Red Vs Blue, except here it takes on a much darker tine because A.) Loco probably doesn't know that he's doing something bad due to his child like mind and B.) Church was a Jerk with a Heart of Gold who often snapped at Caboose but tried to hold his temper, Temple is something of a psychopath outright bullying Loco into obeying and endlessly belittling him.
- Dylan took Vic instead of pulling his plug. So she didn't have to kill him after all, right? Wrong. There's a catch: Vic will help her three times (or "grant her three wishes"), but after that, she has to shut him down. Thanks to Vic having gaps in his memory, Dylan's been able to trick him into staying alive past the three wishes (probably because she still needs him, but also because she doesn't want to kill him), but it just feels like putting off the inevitable.
- Episodes 12 and 13, AKA Blue vs Red. Dear god, Blue vs Red.
- The first of these episodes provides background to the Blues and Reds. As it turns out, there was an equivalent to Grif (called Biff) in the Blues and Reds, and he and Temple were lifelong friends dragged onto opposing sides by Freelancer. Eventually, Biff wanted to return home to his lover, so he and Temple hatched a plan where the latter would shoot off one of the former's fingers, earning Biff a medical discharge and a chance to reunite with his love.
- The second of these episodes reveals that Carolina and Tex were then sent to the desert canyon to participate in a game of Capture the Flag, and aside from being outright abused by Carolina due to her super-competitiveness, it's implied the Blues and Reds aren't willing to actually kill each other. Carolina and Tex eventually get into a fight over the Blue Flag. Biff and Temple follow, with Biff telling Temple to shoot him, so as to have the Freelancers present so the medical discharge may be proven legitimate. Temple finds himself unable to, prompting Biff to reveal that Georgina is pregnant with their child. Then Carolina grabs Biff and uses him as a human shield, and Tex hurls the flag pole at her. Carolina deflects it... causing Biff to get impaled by the Blue Flag against a wall. And when Temple screams for a medic, Carolina just shoves him aside, before Tex knocks her out and grabs the flag. As they leave, Temple attempts to reassure Biff that help is on the way, and Biff clings to the hope that he'll somehow survive and be sent home like he wanted, before he bleeds out and dies. No fucking wonder Temple wants the Freelancers dead.
- In Episode 14, Sarge admits he's fully aware how ridiculous the stuff like his war on gravity is, and he's just desperately trying to occupy himself so he doesn't have to think about how he missed his chance to have a properly heroic death.
- Episode 15 shows Grif on his own. His sanity's slipped considerably, to the point where he interacts with volleyballs which have the likeness of each member of the BGC (save for Wash and Carolina), and tries repeatedly to say he was sorry for staying behind. Then, he encounters Locus, whose arrival scares the living shit out of him. You can't help but cheer when the pair of them (and Lopez) team up to rescue the rest of the BGC.
- There's something noticeably concerning with Volleyball!Simmons repeatedly misinterpreting Grif's attempts to apologize. It's almost as if Grif himself doesn't even buy it. That is an extreme case of self-loathing, there...
- Things get particularly fucked up when Grif heads over to Blue Base, with Volleyball!Church deflating and Volleyball!Tucker and Caboose blaming Grif (since he was supposed to help and get an air pump).
Volleyball!Tucker: Look who finally showed up! You're too late, Grif, it's over!
Grif: What's over?
: He's dead! My best friend is dead! Purple pineapple random nonsense bahheahheheh...
(cut to Volleyball!Church deflating)
- If Grif's reaction is any indication, this isn't the first time he let Volleyball!Church die.
Grif: (genuinely distraught) No, no, no, no, no! Not again! This is not gonna happen again!
- During his incessant chattering to Locus, Grif says he hopes that everyone doesn't hate him. Then he asks if Locus ever worries that everyone hates him. Because Grif sure doesn't.
- Episode 16 confirms that the Church's message was just an edited recording from Blood Gulch. Not only does this confirm Church is really dead, but Temple takes vindictive glee in rubbing this into Caboose's face in particular, squashing any attempt at Caboose trying to believe Church is still alive. Caboose is completely crushed by it, and doesn't seem affected by Tucker and Grif trying to comfort him.
Caboose: But I never got to say good-bye. Or thank you for being my friend.
- Loco, who enjoyed his time with Caboose, clearly feels remorseful after seeing Caboose's reaction to the truth of the record, which the former edited to make it sound like a distress message for the Reds & Blues. As everyone in the Blues & Reds is shown to be assholes now that they're true colors are revealed, Loco appears to be the only one who is a genuine Nice Guy. He still wants to be friends with Caboose, only to be shot down by Temple.
- When Temple first saw Grif on the security monitors, he briefly mistook him for Biff, with a tinge of hope in his voice. It's clear that Temple misses Biff dearly to the point where he's quick to accept any sign that Biff might still be alive. In a way, Temple isn't that different from Caboose, in that both have lost their best friends and cling onto the hope that they may come back. Temple cruelly taunting Caboose for believing Church is still alive may be Temple's own way of taking out his sorrow from struggling to accept that Biff is truly gone.
- When Jax thinks Sarge just shot Dylan point-blank, his tone of voice is that of pure devastation. Even though he didn't and she was fine, it's upsetting to hear him so distraught.
Jax: Oh god, you killed her! Oh, you shot her right in the face! I think! I don't know for sure, cause I can't bear to open my eyes!
- Sarge is genuinely remorseful of his actions and literally BEGS Jax and Dylan to tell the BGC he was pretending to be on Temple's side.
- The fact that Tucker doesn't forgive him even after he confesses his guilt and apologizes.
- Wash gets shot in the throat after wandering out into the middle of a firefight, still delirious. From the side. Right through the arteries. If he survives it'll be because of pure dumb luck.
- What's worse is this is a direct result of Tucker charging the enemy. It resembles his earlier mistake - he makes a bad call, everyone gets dragged into it, and somebody gets hurt or dies. He must be haunted more than ever now.
- Tucker's Heroic BSoD after Wash is shot, just as he was starting to think he was getting better at being a leader. His conversation with Grif really drives it home.
Grif: We know where [The Blues and Reds] are. We're going after them.
Tucker: Is that really a good idea? Given our track record, I just...I can't imagine us doing anything but making this all worse.
Tucker: I'm a fuckup, is what! Just when I thought I was getting good at this hero stuff, I crashed and fucking burned. I trusted Temple, I let down Wash, and I lost my sword. My fucking sword! I'm a...what's the word? Liability.
- Especially telling is how, even after Grif gives him a pep talk, Tucker begs him to call him the best. Poor guy really needs some reassurance that he didn't screw things up so badly.
- Episode 19. Although largely filled with nothing but awesome, there is the scene of Tucker punching a tank to death. Yes, it's ridiculous and hilarious. But during the second transition, Simmons and Carolina are begging and demanding for him to knock it off. Tucker, on the other hand, sounds like he's very blinded by his rage. He is definitely not taking this well.
- Episode 20 has a few moments:
- At the climax of their fight, Sarge tries to save Surge from a fiery death, only to accidentally drop him into the incinerator while doing a monologue.
- Poor Doc can't catch a break. When he tried to talk Temple out of his revenge on the UNSC, the Blues and Reds' leader had him locked up, despite the earlier camaraderie. When Tucker finds him, he's ready to let Doc have it for the earlier betrayal anyway, only relenting when Carolina falls ill and is in need of a medic.
- To cement just how far gone Temple really is, when Tucker confronts him on all the people who have died as a direct result of his actions, his response is, essentially, "I don't care." There is nothing redeemable about him at that point.
- Temple hesitates before trying to shoot Grif. Even though he knows it isn't Biff, Grif reminds him too much of his lost friend.
- Temple accidentally shooting Loco while aiming for Tucker. All the moreso for Loco - he's been mortally wounded by the person he thought was his best friend.
- Loco's final words to Caboose - he hands off some batteries so the latter can repair Freckles, and then urges him to use the time machine to see Church one last time. At least he knew who his real best friend was in his final moments.
- The way Caboose says "bye". You can just hear the heartbreak in his voice.
- Episode 21
- Caboose's goodbye to Church. In a way, Caboose is the audience stand-in: Season 13 was Church's goodbye to us, and Season 15 is both his, and our, turn to say goodbye to Church.
- Tucker briefly tries to convince Caboose to pull Church through. Between their original search for Church (the whole reason they left in the first place) turning out be a wild goose chase, and the fact that they still don't know if Wash survived, he is desperate for something good to come out of the whole ordeal.
- Vic's Heroic Sacrifice. It might have been a comical parody of what happened to Epsilon!Church, but it was still heartbreaking to see such a beloved character from the Blood Gultch Chronicles leave. In a meta sense, Vic was the last character voice by Burnie Burns, series co-creator and writer of seasons 1-10. Except for voicing Lopez, who has since been Put on a Bus, he's no longer part of his creation.
- One of the post credit scenes is Temple and the remaining members of the Blues and Reds sitting in a jail cell. He may have become a monster for the sake of Revenge, but he was trying to avenge his best friend and failed. All he can do is sigh in pitiful defeat and eat his fish.
The Shisno Paradox
- Episode 2: All Grif wants, after everything they've gone through, is pizza. But even after Donut opens a portal to the past (because it was destroyed in the present), Kalirama blows up the restaurant. Sure, it's not the most cataclysmic thing that's happened, but poor Grif just can't catch a break.
- Doc is being verbally abused even more than usual by the Reds and Blues for joining the Blues and Reds during Season 15. Doc has even admitted to hating himself for doing this, and is overrun by guilt for all the pain they caused.
- Rather minor, but in episode 4, it's revealed that Tucker's mom died presumably while he was growing up.
- When Tucker and Sister go back to Blood Gulch, he reminisces about how much he misses the simpler times when they had less responsibilities and could just pass the time goofing off. Especially harsher in a meta sense, as Geoff has frequently said the same sentiment about Rooster Teeth itself. The company started off as a few friends in a spare bedroom making goofy internet videos for fun, and now they have huge responsibilities managing a significant media company. Both Geoff and Burnie have gone through at least one mental breakdown and one divorce a piece.
- Episode 6 comes with a shockingly tragic reveal in regards to Doc's past and as to why he became a medic. He once had a little brother named Deke, who fell into a river when Doc looked away for only a second, and drowned. Even though Doc managed to pull him out of the water, his brother wasn't breathing, and Doc didn't know CPR. Doc could only watch helplessly as Deke's pulse eventually faded... Doc's entire medic career was to atone for that one moment.
- Episode 8 shows that Wash has gotten better.. mostly. It is shown that he has lapses in memory, and Carolina wont tell him that because she doesnt want him to know that hes a broken man. At the end, when Wash offers to help Carolina, he asks if he ever talked about his cat Loki, something that he did at the start of the episode... and its quite possible that this isnt the first time Wash has retold that story to her.
- This comes to a dramatic head in episode 13, when Carolina reveals that Wash's brain was starved of oxygen for several minutes, causing brain damage severe enough to give Carolina good cause to make Wash sit out the upcoming fight against Chrovos. The worst part? Wash is angered enough to walk away as Carolina tells him she kept it hidden because she didn't want to upset him - in a manner which indicates that Carolina may have deeper feelings for Wash than seen before.
- Episode 14 shows Huggins get killed by being sucked into a black hole, followed by an intense eulogy from Muggins that left Kalirama genuinely touched. And the worst of it? It was Genkins who murdered Huggins, and none know of it.
- Despite the best efforts of Grif and Donut, Genkins succeeds in creating a paradox. Before reality breaks, Tucker tries to tell Sister something, and Sarge says to Grif and Simmons that it's been an honor. After that, the timeline resets to the Blood Gulch Chronicles, with Grif and Simmons getting a sense of déjà vu and not knowing why.
- The worst part? Genkins completely replaces CHURCH!! That's right, everyone's favorite snarky AI is gone, and there's no way to know if he'll ever be back.
- In the timeline where Church doesn't get blown up by the tank, Tucker managed to find his footing a lot sooner, and rose to become a particularly badass soldier... and then he got himself killed in a stupid as all hell stunt.
- It's subtle, but you can clearly hear Donut choke back a sob when talking to Paradox!Wash:
Donut: (hesitatingly) Yeah, funeral cannon...
- The first thing Wash does when he recovers from his "paradox-sickness" (for lack of a better term) is tell Donut that he's never speaking to Carolina again.
- Donut and Wash go back to Crash Site Bravonote , and are about to convince the others on what's going on... until Genkins, possessing Epsilon, convinces everyone that Wash is starting to snap under the pressure, something that Wash tries to deny. And then Carolina speaks up.
Carolina: (worried) All we're saying is this could be a leaky implant or... a legit flashback. We're veterans you know?
Wash: (sudden realization) I mean, no, so I-
- Following that incident, Donut and Wash wind up having to talk about it in private... and no punches are pulled:
- Donut, for lack of better word choice, outright goes for the throat:
Wash: (angrily) When you get injured and your best friend lies to you, makes you into a secret inviolate, I'll hear you out, I promise. But until you're misled about your own brain damage, I think-
Donut: You weren't brain damaged, you know that, right? She saved you, she went back and saved you.
- When Wash tries one last time to say that Donut doesn't get it, Donut point blank tells him that "Carolina was well aware that saving [him] could break time and she did it anyway," even going so far as to to convince everyone else to do the plan... which isn't entirely true. Donut is including himself in this, even though he had left before Carolina came up with the plan (due to being fed up with being mistreated by the others). Donut is aware that the plan happened, he just doesn't admit that Wash wasn't the only one hurt by what was going on.
- Donut even points out that it was the closest she had ever been to tears... which is now the second closest, following Wash snapping at her moments ago.
Donut: It was the closest to tears I've ever heard her.
Wash: It was?
- Command's relief when Wash finally answers after a long silence. She's already lost so many of the soldiers she worked with.
- Wash in turn calls her Ash, before asking if it's really her. While we still don't know what happened to her, Wash's reaction to hearing her voice again all but confirms that it's nothing pleasant.
- We get a good look at Project Freelancer at a time before what we've previously seen, where Wash hasn't made it on the leader board yet. The others are so cruel to him, with Carolina, who later in the project showed signs of being a Cool Big Sis to him, blowing him off every time he tries to talk her.
- At one point, Wash is so frustrated that no one will listen to him, he openly asks himself "Is this how Donut feels all the time?"
- Reaching the end of his rope, and just needing someone to talk to, where does Wash ultimately go to find a helpful voice? The Triplets.
- This one was unavoidable: When he catches up to Carolinanote , Wash admits that he had Delta help him figure out where she was... whereupon Carolina abruptly pulls out her gun and demands to know what happened to York. And even after being told by Wash, it takes Delta telling her to make it sink in that York was killed.
- Afterwards, her implied vow to avenge York (implied because Wash cuts her off by telling her he took care of it) is a thing of grief and fury. Just listen to how raw and intense her voice becomes.
- Genkins almost reveals to Grif that he killed Huggins, and Donut opts to not confirm what he was talking about. And then we find out she survived being sent into the black hole.
- While doubling as a CMOA, Caboose beats the shit out of Genkins because of him possessing Church, openly admitting that Genkins doing this is severely upsetting him.
- It's minor, but Donut confirms that Doc died at the end of Season 16... only for that to be deconfirmed in the following episode by Doc himself.
- After finally having had enough of being The Friend Nobody Likes, as well as being treated like a traitor by the Reds and Blues (except Wash) after risking everything to save them, Donut gives them a piece of his mind, and... it's not pretty.
: Alright, you fuckers
, listen up! Simmons
: ...What? Donut
: I have had it with this "traitor" crap!
You all think you're better than me because I have pink armor! Sarge
: Whoa! Donut
: Yeah, I said it. I'm owning
You put me down, sideline me, leave me to rot, shoot me over and over- Wash
: Sorry... Donut
: -and when I die horribly at the hands of some time god, and come back with the explicit
task of saving your lives, and when I'm the only person, the only
person with any
interest in preserving the universe, while your dumb asses wander off and break time itself- Carolina
: Sorry... Donut
: Shut up!
All you can think to do after I fight O'Malley across time, space, World War II, the Moon, and a labyrinth prison inside of a black hole is execute me?! Sarge
: Vote to execute you. Donut
: You wanna know what my crime was, huh? You wanna know what I did? How I slipped up when I trusted Chrovos? I believed someone could like me. Sister
: Whoa... Donut
: So when I teach you all how to time-travel and thwart Genkins, I'm out!
Next time you're stuck in your boring-ass lives, with your ugly decor and drab fashion sense, cry to some other
- It was bad enough for Church when he saw Tex's Pelican blow up because of Andy. Now, because of Genkins' time travel bullshit, Church gets to see Grif blow up the Pelican with a rocket launcher.
- Via an Easter Egg, we get to see Sarge recreate the Thanos Snap, turning Caboose and Church to ash, and erasing the "Blue" from the show's title.
- Genkins possessed Dos.0 during the shootout at Crash Site Bravo, meaning that the Reds and Blues were going to win... so Tucker had to sabotage his team by taking out Dos.0. And to make matters worse, when Tucker escaped from the battle to let things take their course, Lopez followed him, prompting Tucker to shoot him.
Tucker: (regretful) Sorry, everybody...
- Wash takes Carolina to a moment in the past where they were at a cliffside at sunset. There was nothing to fix there. He took her there before he went to fix the last paradox...
- Sister's experience in the Labyrinth. As it depicts her and Grif's family home in burning ruins, the latter walks up to her and begins to coldly berate her, driving her to tears as he calls her an arsonist. And then the real Grif shows up to save her.
- The Blood Gulch Crew finally leaving to fix the last paradox after Genkins' defeat can be excruciatingly heartwrenching, especially once you know what exactly is going to happen. The fact that the scene is accompanied by a slow, solemn version of ''Blood Gulch Blues'' only helps further break open the waterworks.
- While their trustworthiness is questionable, Chrovos states that they never would've destroyed the universe and the Cosmic Powers, and even says that the only thing they wanted was a second chance at being a family with them. If this is actually true, this makes the Cosmic Powers' perception of them, as well as their ultimate re-imprisonment, a lot sadder in retrospect. If they're telling the truth, this also means that Genkins, who is Chrovos, for all of his plotting, betrayal and ambition, at the absolute least wasn't a Complete Monster.
- 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. Season 15, where Caboose finally accepts that Church is gone, makes it even sadder. THEN Season 16 comes along, where Church is possibly Ret Goned and replaced with the Big Bad.
- 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.
- End credits of Season 13: "Very Special Thanks to Monty Oum."
- As explained in the Red vs Blue Ultimate Fan Guide, the reason for Dr Grey's personality. She was relatively normal (we get a brief view of it when she's making a log entry at the temple), but the stress of constantly putting back together the wounded, well, she just kept telling herself to go to her happy place. She lives there now.note
- The song "Outpost Sunset" by Trocadero is one of the most heartbreaking bits of music in the series, and is almost always used in the most tearjerking scenes in the series.