People complained that, at the end of the game, our choice was taken away. The thing that defined this game. Stolen. But, as others have pointed out, at the end of ME2 and ME1, when it comes to the final battles, our choices do not truly effect the outcome. Our choices really only affect who will survive – both now and in the future.
For this reason, I was prepared for my choice. Furthermore, I agreed with TIM. Control was the way to end this. I had a vague idea of what was to come, and as I played, I came to the conclusion that this was my only choice for Molly. Starchild gave me these choices and I was still determined. How could I possibly pick destroy if it meant destroying so many of the people I’ve worked so hard to bring together and save? Worse if I’d saved the geth! The relays would be gone. Citadel would be gone (as would earth, because that’s an awfully big explosion). I was willing to die to take the reapers away and have a long talk with them to explain why their logic is flawed (see right). I would explain to them that they are the ones who keep forcing evolution and synthetics and thereby the chaos they speak of on us by always leaving the technology behind for us to find and learn from.
I was walking into this ending thinking, “No, this all makes sense.” Anyone who wanted a happy survival ending is stupid. Anyone who wanted a final reaper showdown, well, that’s okay, but I prefer the more cerebral and realistic ending Bioware is giving us! The whole game has been leading up to this with its realism! Of course this isn’t a war that can be won in the simplest terms. There is no happy ending in a Phyrric victory! And this isn’t Hollywood. The hero, does not always survive.
So, I made my choice. And I watched it unfold. My husband paused Conan to see if I was crying. I almost was, until Joker ... “That’s the look I figure you’d give me if I ever cheated on you,” he said.
You see, I misunderstood what Starchild said. I didn’t realize he had meant that the Mass Relays would be destroyed in all cases. I thought Control would save them. Surely Synthesis would save them? Why would these two result in the destruction of the relays? Especially when Arrival taught me that the destruction of the relays would be a pretty big damn explosion, likely to take out any planet nearby.
And then as I died, I saw ... Joker, Anderson, Liara? Did the game know that I was having issues with my romance with Garrus and was making plans to go back to Liara? What about everyone else that I’ve loved and told Javik I was fighting for!?? And then. Joker and the Normandy. So, despite orders to return to the sword, or perhaps to help support the Crucible delivery, he somehow decides to return to pick up EDI and Garrus instead, who apparently didn’t follow me to the conduit afterall. Got my back? No.
So I went back and I tried again. I chose Destroy. There was cheering in London, but then ... Joker, Anderson, Liara ... Joker flies away from red explosions and Javik gets off the ship with Garrus this time. I sure hope they didn’t land on the Yahg planet, though, they might be able to hitch a ride with them when they get their spaceship working.
I suppose I should read up on Indoctrination Theory, but I don’t really care about it enough to do so. Fine, Shepard’s been exposed and the black tendrils when TIM appears is him exerting control over her and Anderson. Is this all a dream? Meh. Could be. That would explain why her armour changed, but ultimately, the real explanation is obvious to me: Bioware wanted a unique ending. They didn’t want the big show down. They wanted to give us something to think about, and they gave it to us. I give them 100 points for concept and theory, but I give them a massive fail, for rush to deadline delivery.
But that’s okay. I have my headcanon. And in my headcanon, Shepard assumes control. The reapers attacking earth stop and turn on the fleets, opening their main “eye,” only, they don’t fire. Then, one speaks. “I am Commander Shepard. I have assumed control. Fire at will.” Hackett stares incredulously at first, but then he understands. All the ships and people whom Shepard has brought together fire upon the reapers, not realizing that it is her they are killing. “It is finished,” she whispers as the reapers fall from the sky...