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Tear Jerker / Wolf 359

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For a podcast that started with three people fighting over toothpaste, these happen with increasing frequency as the plot progresses.

  • The series one finale. Eiffel just wanted to smoke a cigarette and Minkowski just wanted to have a nice Christmas dinner. Instead, by the end one crew member has betrayed them, another is essentially brain dead, and they know they can't trust command.
  • Hera's breakdown at the end of "Let's Kill Hilbert."
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  • The mini-episode "Variations on a Theme." Lovelace isn't always the most sympathetic character, but it's painful to see what her experiences on the Hephaestus have done to her.
  • Literally all of "Mayday," but especially the end. The hopelessness in Doug's voice as he sends his last transmission, his conversation with Hera… ow.
  • The revelation that Hera has been in the AI equivalent of constant pain since Hilbert put her brain back together, and didn't tell the crew because she knew they already thought of her as broken.
  • "Limbo" has two: Hera's panic attack and revelation that Doug's kidnapping charges stemmed from him drunkenly taking his daughter from his ex-girlfriend's custody, crashing the car, crippling a high schooler and rendering his daughter permanently deaf.
    Eiffel: But I was fine. Of course I was fine. The driver's always fine.
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  • "Memoria" sees a journey through Hera's memory, and shows us the isolation she feels as an AI unit. It also shows us that she feels like she's inferior - and, if that isn't enough, there's the fact that her maker "programmed" the insecurity into her personality core. The speeches Maxwell gives her also can be tearjerkery to some.
  • Basically all of "Time to Kill" once the second Jacobi shows up. The real kicker is when it's revealed they can't open the module doors. Eiffel angrily refuses to let them turn the comms off, forcing everyone to listen to the second Jacobi screaming as the solar storm shreds him. Then Maxwell tearfully begs for him to answer after the storm passes, while the first Jacobi is right next to her.
  • Minkowski's phone call home in "Persuasion" was going to be one no matter what, but becomes so much more painful when she discovers that her husband and everyone she cares about believes she's dead. She is not able to correct the mistake before the battery runs out.
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  • Basically all of Bolero, which shows the characters coping with the deaths of Lovelace, Hilbert, and Maxwell. Among some of the most tearjerky points are Minkowski and Eiffel's survivors guilt, Hera's speech at the funeral, and the conversations Minkowski, Hera, and Eiffel have with the deceased characters.
    Hera: Then how does it work? Explain it to me! Talk to me about this like I'm four years old because, in case you've all forgotten, I am four! I haven't done this before. So help me understand, and don't patronize me, because I get the fundamental change in the randomization of their atoms; I get that! The people who put things into my head, oh... They made all that really clear. But they gave me nothing on how to... Just tell me, how do I stop thinking about this? Because right now I can't think of anything other than the fact that they're broken and I can't fix them! Tell me how I stop thinking about them, even the one that I hated, and, yes, I hated him and I can't even decide if I hated her or not, because—ugh! What is happening inside my head right now, it's wrong, it's all wrong! Just tell me why they have to be... gone! Just... just tell me why they're... gone.
  • In Episode 53, the deactivation sequence for Jacobi's "bomb" is Alpha Lima Alpha November Alpha...A-L-A-N-A.
  • In the series finale Doug's goodbye message to his daughter.
    • Minkowski, upon overhearing this, locks Eiffel on the Sol and sets its course back to Earth, ensuring Eiffel's survival, though she and the others are effectively doomed. This is also the first time we hear Eiffel refer to Minkowski by her first name.
    Minkowski: Listen to me! I need to know that at least one of us makes it back. That I got someone through this. Eiffel: No, you can’t! You have no right! I’m not leaving you behind! Minkowski: Go home, Eiffel. Hug your daughter. Eiffel: Minkowski, open this door! Goddammit Renée, don’t do this! Minkowski: Goodbye, Doug.

    • Also in the finale, Kepler calmly accepting that he's going to die without his only friend ever knowing he was with them the whole time. This makes his fight with Jacobi in the season premiere even sadder knowing that Kepler was desperate for Jacobi to trust him and was rejected even though he came through and was planning to all along.
    • "And Hera—"
  • When you get to it, Hilbert's entire life is this. Lost his sister to radiation, and spent his entire life working on genetic alteration and the Decima Virus to re-engineer humanity and make them more survivable so nobody would ever suffer what his sister did. He became an isolated workaholic with few friends, all so he could work on the virus, as it took such precedence over everything in his life that he was willing to throw his closest colleagues to it for experimentation. And in the end, when he finally thinks that his life's work came to something, that Eiffel's life was saved because of him... he dies with his work canceled, before he can find out that it was all for nothing, and that his life's work had nothing to do with Eiffel's survival. It was just a blood transfusion from Isabel Lovelace. To add insult to injury, Cutter then uses his work as a biological weapon in the finale. So basically, what we're saying is that it was all for nothing.
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