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YMMV / Freeman's Mind

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  • Adorkable: From his constant pop culture references to his incredibly awkward interactions with others, Gordon's about as awkwardly cute as an Ax-Crazy Jerkass can get.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Gordon Freeman's just plain bonkers here. Among other things, he spends a lot of time looking for drugs and fantasizing about murdering his coworkers. There are even hints that he's actually killed people in the past with lines such as these:
      Gordon: I haven't murdered anyone! Well, not today, anyway...
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    • He's degenerated to Nominal Hero by part 21 at the very latest, discussing his plans to climb the corporate ladder by kidnapping an executive's wife and framing his superiors.
    • Episode 27 has an Alternate Character Interpretation of the existing Alternate Character Interpretation; the neurotic Gordon Freeman, physicist, becomes the neurotic Captain Freeman, mighty pirate.
    • Are we listening to Gordon's Inner Monologue throughout the entire series, or is he actually speaking out loud? On the one hand, the people around him don't usually react to the more outlandish things he says. On the other hand, he mumbles while underwater as if he is trying to talk through his closed mouth.
      • Seeing as he has had several Did I Just Say That Out Loud? moments, and there are some instances of others reacting, it's likely that some of it is Inner Monologue and some is him actually talking,—in support of this is episode 1 of Barney's Mind, where Barney hears Gordon yelling "SUCKEEERRRR!"
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    • Gordon concludes that a Mengele-like scientist is trying to send everyone in the world to Xen to die, hence all the dead bodies of researchers.
    • Instead of the traditional Absent-Minded Professor, Gordon treats Isaac Kleiner as a full-on, potentially dangerous Mad Scientist.
    • In the original game, Barney's a nice, heroic guy who's good enough friends with Gordon to tease him now and then. Here, Gordon has no idea who Barney is and is pretty infuriated at what he perceives as Barney's mocking of his intelligence. He later struggles to decide if Barney is incompetent for sending him down a dangerous path with limited help or is a psycho who wants him dead. In episode 10, after realizing that the "dentist room" Barney led him into was actually a torture chamber...
      Gordon: You know, that says something about that Barney guy! Sure, he spared me for Kleiner, but what's he doing the rest of the time? Pulling teeth, probably!
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  • Angst? What Angst?: Gordon seems pretty chill about finding himself in a brutal, socially-decrepit police state instead of Hawaii as he requested. Then again, he was last marooned in an alien dimension with no food, and before that he was a refugee from a globe-spanning military organization willing to shoot him on sight, so it's actually a massive improvement of his circumstances.
  • Arc Fatigue: You will be glad the game is snipped up into little ten-minute segments where you can stop at, because it can get tedious if you're doing a marathon session.
  • Awesome Ego: Freeman is a narcissist, always has been, and the events of the series that turn him into a One-Man Army only serve to inflate his ego further. He's also extremely intelligent, and proves it many times over, not only in the field of theoretical physics, which his doctorate is in, but in many other fields as well. He is, as previously mentioned, a One-Man Army who stands up to everything the Xen, HECU, and Combine throw at him and emerges with barely a scratch. He's also capable of coming up with new verses to Modern Major-General and singing them without a hitch, on the fly, in the middle of a massive firefight. His opinion of himself is proven justified multiple times over.
  • Broken Base:
    • Episode 27 as to whether people found the pirate-talk to be funny or not.
    • Episode 47 gets hit hard with this. It's during this particular episode that Ross Scott allowed a friend of his to play around with sound effects from other games and such, and implement them into this episode. Such changes being the different gunfire sounds for Freeman's weapons, headcrab voices taken from Half-Life 2, and even much more realistic explosion sounds for tank fire. While some found these sound tweaks to be decent, others found it distracting, and out-of-place, after having watched the series through stock sounds for 46 episodes. Afterwards, Ross chose to just go back to stock sound completely, but episode 47 ends up leaving the new sound-effects intact; now making it seem even more out-of-place if the viewer feels distracted by the one-off sound tweaks.
    • The Lambda Core's detour into Half-Life: Uplink; a nice trip down memory lane, or needless Padding? Part of the reason for the controversy was because of the multi-month hiatus between episodes 57 and 58. People were hyped to see how Ross would go about the Portal maze...only to realize that they were going to have to wait a little longer.
    • While some found the random "backrubs" heard in the background funny, Ross not reusing the line Adrian Shepard throws at Gordon as he jumped into the teleport to Xen was met with some criticism for those hoping that there would be a brief crossover with Shepard's Mind. Ross' explanation for why he didn't go with the line was because he thought that it would be too predictable if it unfolded exactly as how the fans wanted it to.
  • Can't Un-Hear It:
    • Ross Scott's voice for Gordon is so iconic to so many people who have watched the series, that they can't hear it any other way. Several fans have even said that if a Half-Life movie were ever to be made where Gordon talks, Ross should voice him.
    • In each episode's opening, the first few seconds of the track 'Military Precision' are used as the title theme. Over the years, it's become so iconic to the series, to the point of viewers associating it more with Freeman's Mind than the actual half life game it comes from.
  • Crazy Awesome: Gordon. Scott said that he went for a mentally unhinged and quirky characterization because he couldn't see a normal person surviving the events of Half-Life. His more eccentric attributes do indeed save his life a few times. In later episodes, he also gets pretty lax with his personal safety, seeing as how he considers running right past a Bradley through an open killing field while it attempts to hit him with its autocannon to be a completely viable strategy.
  • Designated Hero: Discussed.
    Gordon: Alvin York killed dozens of people, and he was a hero! He didn't even want to, he was like me! Am I a hero? Eh, I don't know, I don't think it's very heroic if the only person you've managed to save is yourself.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: The series as a whole is this in Ross' works. Ross Scott used to only create Civil Protection, but it took a long time to make new episodes, mostly due to the time it took to animate everything. So he created Episode 1 of Freeman's Mind as essentially a comedy skit/experiment to give his fans some entertainment in between episodes. After he created the second episode during another lull between Civil Protection episodes, he planned to end it right there, but fans really loved it and demanded more, and now it's one of the most popular machinimas around.
  • Epileptic Trees: Thinking about the many physics hurdles achieving teleportation would have to go through, Gordon brings up a theory that he's not exactly being transported from one place to another, but in fact cloned; his original body is destroyed on one end and a new body with all his memories is created on the other. This led to speculation that Episode 61.5 could very well be canon. The Gordon we see showing up in the park is the original or a duplicate that managed to flee from the troubles of Black Mesa while another Gordon got stuck with having to deal with Xen. Some have even gone as far as to theorize that Mike from Civil Protection is an older Gordon having changed his identity to prevent association with the high body count accumulated throughout the events of the series.
  • First Installment Wins: While the other Mind series are decently popular, Freeman's Mind is by far the most popular.
  • Fridge Brilliance: The second time Gordon is asked if he knows who ate all the doughnuts, Gordon snaps back, "No! Do you know if leptons are compound particles?! Friggin' doughnuts..." As it turns out, the DONUT experiment was dedicated to documenting the existence of the tau neutrino...which is, indeed, a lepton.
  • Fridge Logic: Invoked at several points, with Gordon wondering about the state of the rest of the facilities (and why the place is so recklessly dangerous), such as one time when he wondered if the janitors had a higher survival rate since they have rudimentary melee weapons, know the layout of the buildings, and have keys to everywhere.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • Many of the jokes relate to theoretical physics and science in general, in keeping with Gordon's occupation.
    • Gordon asks a scientist in Episode 61 to teleport him into the nearest city like Los Alamos or Santa Fe. This would put Black Mesa's location somewhere near Los Alamos National Laboratories, Black Mesa's real life inspiration.
    • In episode 2 of season 1, Freeman complains that "all the babes are in the biology department", leaving him few options in his section of the facility. In real life, biology is one of the most common college topics women study, with them making up 50-60% of graduates in the subject depending on major sub-type and degree level. However, they're much less common (10-30%) in physics and engineering. Gordon works in the theoretical physics department, which is adjacent to (judging by the weapons and robotics research) the mechanical and chemical engineering departments. In fact, women make up 52% of the doctorates in biological sciences yet only 33% in the physical sciences and 22% in engineering.note 
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In 2011, Crysis's second game gave an internal monologue to the Heroic Mime protagonist of a popular sci-fi first person shooter, via the novelization, titled Legion. Like Ross Scott's Gordon Freeman, Peter Watts' Alcatraz is characterized as a wisecracking, sarcastic jackass going through Sanity Slippage, with a tendency to make pop culture references, attempt to justify weird in-universe technical details, crack jokes about the stupidity of his bosses, reference shady past events in his life, and occasionally Pet the Dog by saving civilians when he's not insulting them. He also shows himself to be knowledgeable and competent underneath it all. While the two characters (and the points of the stories) differ massively in other ways, it's still an amusing coincidence.
    • At one point, a dying guard tells Freeman that a tram leads to the surface. Freeman muses over it, saying that so far the guard had spoken in annoying half-truths. He follows the tram-track, and it does indeed lead to the surface... But not out of Black Mesa.
    • Freeman constantly lamenting his lack of a grappling hook becomes funnier if you've played Half-Life: Opposing Force, where Adrian indeed gets a grappling hook... that's just a Barnacle that was pulled off the ceiling, and that Gordon would probably just pass up anyway. This is even called back in Shephard's Mind when that comes into play.
    • In Freeman's Mind (Across the Universe), Gordon says that the only known physics model to deal with Portals makes him two dimensional. Come Portal 2's Perpetual Testing Initiative update, where your player character IS two dimensional.
    • In the early episodes, Gordon mocks the scientists for having to write the basic formula for gravity on the ink boards. The remake, Black Mesa, rectifies this with far more complicated writings.
    • In Episode 12 of the second series, Gordon muses that the CIA (whom he thinks hired him through the G-Man) are either staying firmly out of this or outright antagonistic in this mess, believing that since they have teleportation devices (or so he thinks), "if they wanted this over, they could just teleport the leader into space." As Half-Life: Alyx would prove a few months later, he's far, far more right than anyone would like him to be, since the G-Man's employers truly don't want the Combine to vanish.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Gordon might be insane, and even a pretty big prick with a giant ego, but there are times when you just can't help but feel sorry for the guy. All he wanted was to do his job without getting fired, and instead he got into a giant mess where he had to survive against all sorts of monsters, traps, and psychotic soldiers. Hearing Gordon gasping in pain and almost pleading for all of it to stop in Episode 17 makes you realize, for all his flaws, he probably didn't deserve all the shit that he went through.
  • Memetic Badass: Gordon starts to see himself this way.
    "That's why the dinosaurs went extinct — ME!!"
  • Memetic Mutation: See you in seven years... note 
    • The fandom is currently taking bets (figuratively) on whether or not Half-Life 2: Episode 3 or Half-Life 3 will be out before Ross finishes Half-Life 2.
  • Nightmare Retardant: Manhacks were creepy in Half-Life 2, being essentially flying buzzsaws. In Freeman's Mind 2, immediately after he sees his first one, Gordon begins picking apart all the not-so-creepy Fridge Logic in them, from the way you can duck around corners to avoid them easily to the way they look like something a drunk redneck would build. It reaches its peak when he defeats a swarm of them by simply closing a chain-link door and shooting through it while the manhacks bounce off it.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Some fans were disappointed when Freeman reflexively gunned down the first friendly Vortigaunt he saw, seeing it as a wasted opportunity for Gordon to snark at his comments and learn more about what the Vortigaunts are really like.
  • Unexpected Character: Fans were pleasantly surprised when, in Freeman's Mind 2, Episode 7, Freeman saw Mike and Dave run past the sewer grate he was near, expressing joy that it was Taco Tuesday.
  • Unpopular Popular Character: In Episode 48, Freeman (proudly) states that he has no friends, which is easy to see given his personality.

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