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A New American Novel for a New American Century P.4

Those muscles though, oh those muscles. I’d be so interested to know who among us finds Abby attractive. Not young and slender Abby but muscled up and brutish Abby. I find myself strangely drawn to her at times and at certain angles but others, absolutely not. It’s Abby’s physical transformation that visualizes the plight of vengeance on the human spirit.

She starts out young, teenage as an average and pretty young girl, yes I feel a bit like an old perv, with her braid short and tight. Fast forward a few years, a young woman who has matured and bulked up, ready for combat. She was Isaacs number one scar killer after all. This is the Abby we’re introduced to and the one most of us think about. We end up with broken and emaciated Abby minus her braid. It’s been forcibly cut from her head. Samson has lost his object of power.

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Going from young and vibrant, full of energy and hope, to buffed and ready for the fight in an almost cartoonish way, to broken and a shell of her former self. That’s a story arc and an interesting character. Is she evil, as cold as ice and void of feeling, mostly? Has hatred and anger fully consumed her? Can she move beyond who she was and is at the end?

Just too back up a bit, that part about being “void of feeling, mostly” is interesting for two reasons/scenes in the game. The first is with Mel, who tells her she’s a piece of shit and if she wants to do right by Yara and Lev, she should just get out of their lives. She cries after this and it clearly affected her which was so interesting. At that point in the story it, for me, was totally believable as she had really experienced some negative consequences and was starting to come around. She would not have cried earlier on but would have snapped back at Mel. Speaking of Mel, that’s the bitch I hate. I could not stand her, that full of shit hypocrite.

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The second and perhaps the most controversial scene in the whole game, not Joel’s execution or the end fight between Ellie and Abby, nope; it’s the sex scene between Abby and Owen. I did not see that coming or expect it to be so graphic. I’m a big boy so I didn’t mind it at all and it actually added context to the story.

We knew about their past relationship and were fairly sure Owen was still in love with her but this sex was animistic and showed way more that any Sony game ever I think. One of the You Tubers, Gab Smolders commented that there was no intimacy between the two unlike Ellie and Dina’s scene where they were face to face and sharing more than the physical moment.

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Abby and Owen just unleashed onto one another in an explosion of pent up emotion and anger. I find it amusing that most people are just saying that Owen was just a cheater and that is his story arc. Wow, talk about missing the point/plot. And let’s be honest, do any of you really think he loved Mel? I have no idea what contraception in the world of TLOU is like but oops, they’re having a baby. Given the story and the state of the human race, would one more out of action, missing or dead father really be the deal breaker? A non infected and healthy child in the new world is gift enough. Spread your seed and help re-populate the earth.

The secondary characters have also gotten some shade thrown their way. Mostly in the form of people just not caring about them. Dina is integral to the story. She is the path to peace and the light Ellie should be seeking. Jesse, I thought he was going to be Joel’s successor/replacement, boy was I wrong, oh well I liked him. Owen and Manny could have been used a bit more but added context to the main characters. Tommy, I’m not sure what to say about him. His final appearance in the game was heart breaking and a bit of a break in the character for me. There are others but really, it’s Yara and Lev that seal the deal.

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Yara shows what a righteous path looks like to Abby when she sacrifices herself leaving Abby to defend Lev(Lilly). Lev provides Abby with the tool to transform herself. That Lev is trans is so unimportant in the end and a lesson for all of us. All human life is precious and worthy of our respect and love.

Will we get DLC or TLOU3? I hope so. This story and the current crop of characters, the ones left, have so much more to tell. Did Ellie go back to Jackson? Was Dina there and what happened between them? Did Abby and Lev make it to Catalina Island? Were the Fire Flies there or was that the Rattlers just suckering her in?

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What of the Rattlers? Did they get justice served to them? God I hope so. Did Tommy and Maria make up and live happily ever after? What will JJ grow up to be like? There are so many questions and possibilities even within the current timeline that you wouldn’t need to run the clock forward more than a year or less.

I was disappointed with the ending though. Not because it wasn’t plausible or real, no it’s because if you’re going to seal up the moral lesson then they could have done something better. That whole fight felt forced and contrived, not needed at all. Ellie putting a knife to Lev’s throat was so out of character; we didn’t need any further actions like that from her to show the hero getting knocked off the pedestal and not living up to expectations.

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Ellie leaving Dina and JJ behind was enough of an act needed to show her fall from grace and the loss of her humanity and priorities. The realization form both about their mistakes and an open accounting and apology for actions and consequences would have been so satisfying.

One other thing bugged and I’ll leave you with this little thought experiment; if the apocalypse happened tomorrow, which or your neighbors, friends and family members would join either the WLF , or Seraphites or gangs like the Rattlers. What would you do if a strong man like Isaac took over your city and the WLF was your overlord?

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The examination of such people, organizations and power grabs like this have gone on since the birth of humanity itself and we have yet to solve that problem. How do we stop men like Isaac or the Seraphite prophet from taking the reins of large groups of people and whole countries to their detriment? I would have liked to have seen some more of that struggle and the aftermath of the WLF/Seattle and the Seraphites/Haven.

TLOU Part 2 get’s a 9 out of 10.

P.S. Edit - I can’t post a single image with these posts so yeah, I don’t know why so no pictures to go with these blogs unlike the other ones. Thanks Kinja!

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