Open Forum! Hang With Us to Discuss ‘Life Is Strange,’ Episode 4

Life Is Strange

Are you huddled under a blanket nursing a cup of chamomile right about now? Yeah. Us too. So for the first time ever here at FemHype, we’re hosting an open forum! That means you’re welcome to jump into the comments section of this post and vent your heart out about the latest Life Is Strange episode, “Dark Room.” Just keep in mind a few guidelines so that we can continue to maintain a safe environment for everyone to share their thoughts!

  1. No inflammatory language (ableism, misogyny, -phobia of any kind, etc).
  2. Be patient if your comment hasn’t been approved yet! You only need one moderated approval and then your comments should appear automatically thereafter.
  3. We reserve the right to add further rules if necessary. Should you feel uncomfortable or have any questions for us, don’t hesitate to email FemHypeBiz@gmail.com.

Here be spoilers, friends! Peek into the comments below at your own risk, and have fun! We hope you enjoyed Episode 4, but even if you didn’t, that’s what this post is for. ✌

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21 Comments on “Open Forum! Hang With Us to Discuss ‘Life Is Strange,’ Episode 4

  1. i really wish the thing with rachel couldve been a consequence and not a fact, like that somehow, with the right decisions, you couldve saved her. :/
    also i ask myself if it was really neccessary to have someone like nathan be mentally ill again. i mean with his issues and how he behaves? it was clear that he is. but i mean this official psychologist therapist stuff you can find about nathan. i kind of get it, but on the other side, it feeds into this ‘mentally ill people are all crazy psychos who kill and should be locked up!’ thing we all suffer from..
    considering possible ableism, i personally found it a little insensitive how in the alternate life, where chloe is disabled, most of the dialogue focuses on how much chloe is a burden – not explicitly of course, but the dialogue made it seem like that for me. not just the dialogue you have with chloe, but the internal monologue of max. i feel like too much focuses on how brave and nice the parents are for sticking around their disabled child, how awesome they are for putting up with this, how selfless they are for caring for chloe, and how much of a burden chloe is because she costs so much money and destroys her parents lives, if we put it bluntly. it reminds me very much of how parents of disabled children are always portrayed as heroes and sooo nice just because they “put up with this”. the focus is clearly on how much the parents suffer from chloe, how much they have to sacrifice, and that theyre such heroes for caring so much about chloe, or rather still care for chloe even after she got disabled, which results in chloe being portrayed as the burden. the parents are celebrated for still caring about chloe despite her disability, as if a disability makes a child usually not worth then.. and as if the parents need to be celebrated for still treating their child as their child and a person even though theyre disabled. i know that this view aids the decision you have to make at the end and is tied to it, but on the other side, i’m pretty sure this is ableist in real life. i wouldnt call dontnod ableist or anything, i feel like it belonged in the episode because of the decision and because of what chloe tells you, but it still left a bitter taste in my mouth.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I definitely agree with your thoughts on Chloe at the beginning of the episode. I felt like they handled her disability poorly, and the entire sequence was set up to act as a consequence to Max using her power in the “wrong way”, in order to encourage her to restore the status quo. It’s a common time-travel trope to make changing the distant past have unintended repercussions, so I’m not surprised they used it here, but the portrayal as disability as a punishment is absolutely ableist, and mirrors real life ableism. Parents who believe their child’s disability is a form of karmic punishment for something they, the parents, did, are remarkably common.

      There are other, less skeevy ways to create an undesirable future, and I’m disappointed they chose this one.

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      • I’m in a wheelchair myself, so seeing Chloe in one was a way of feeling that I was being represented. We almost never get disabled leading characters, and it was really important to me. BUT they went the wrong way when Chloe asked Max to kill her. I spent two months thinking of Chloe as a really badass disabled woman, and they let me down. I wasn’t expecting she would remain disabled, no one would choose that I you could change it, but I thought she would be different: not exactly the same Chloe we knew, but something along the way.
        *sigh*

        Liked by 1 person

    • I think you still CAN save her though. I have a feeling something is going to happen with the storm that allows you to back and fix EVERYTHING somehow. But probably at the cost of your own life or something because of COURSE it would be.

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  2. I’ve really really enjoyed Life Is Strange up to this point. I’ve played each episode as soon as it released and even went back to grab all the photos. But this latest episode? Eh, I’m not so enthusiastic about. Because it went exactly where I didn’t want it to go: in the land of abducted, powerless, assaulted women. And I’m just not sure I’m really liking this new trend. Will have to wait and see, I guess.

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    • true. it makes me physically sick. i mean, the good thing i found about the entirety of life is strange is how they go about these things. its not exploiting this for atmosphere, or only shockvalue or even sexualization (it shocks, but its not the only purpose), but throughout the game, it has been very anti bullying, anti victim blaming, and educational about violence against women and general misogyny, even internalized one. other games use abducted, powerless, assaulted women negatively, but i guess if there is some ‘positive’ (wrong word, but i dont know a better one) use for it, i guess it’s in this game. where in other games its used as props, here you get actually behind the story and the characters and see the sickness of this.

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    • I had to think about this when I read your comment for a while, cause I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t agreeing 100%….
      I think what I like about how LIS is tackling it, is that it’s not using those women to be a vehicle for men’s angst, or revenge. It’s actually the story of those women, Kate and Chloe, especially. In a way, I guess it feels like instead of using them as a plot device or a handy “kickstart your superhero origin story with a murdered woman!” trope, they get to actually have a say in how their story is told.
      I mean, I’m still reserved about it. It’s still a bunch of men writing about assaulted women. But it’s different because it centres the narrative on them, instead of using them to further a man’s story?
      idk it’s not perfect in a lot of ways, but that’s still my personal take away!

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  3. episode 4, oh man. I feel like my heart has been torn from my chest. I’ve been worried since the trailer, and when Max went back to the original universe, I was instantly relieved that Chloe was safe. And then dontnod destroys everything. Besides for alternate universe Chloe, the beginning of the game feels so hopeful, you’re finding all these clues, you visited Kate! You actually feel like you’re going to find Rachel. Max and Chloe are the dynamic duo saving Arcadia Bay! Deep down I figured that Rachel was dead, but the game just kept hyping me up thinking that she’d be alive. I still had hope even after finding Rachel that we could stop Nathan, although the situation was becoming more tense and desperate. I knew for a long time that Mr Jefferson was THE villain, but I really didn’t want to be him. It just feels odd, like, I don’t understand his motive. Is he really just a sadistic, awful man? How did he and Nathan team up/how does he have connections with the Prescotts? I guess we just have to painfully wait for 2 months…

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  4. Let me preface this by saying that I recently had to reformat my computer and unknowingly lost all of my saves for previous episodes. So I had to decide between going back and replaying everything or playing the newest part of the story. I chose to have decisions randomly generated for me so I could play the newest episode without my previous saves, thus erasing the fact that I had been playing Max as queerly as possible. Batting away Warren with as much “no I don’t want to go to the damn drive in with you” banter as possible. Since I was left with a more romantically neutral Max I missed out on seeing if kissing Chloe in Episode 3 actually went anywhere in Episode 4.

    That said, MY GOD would it have even mattered!!!!??? The end of the newest episode, man, WTF? Watching Chloe die and being left incapacitated was so unbearable I am hoping that it is not finite. I’m also hoping that just because Life is Strange is similar to the indie classic Donnie Darko we won’t be on the receiving end of a bleak conclusion when Episode 5 comes out. I.E: in order to save the girl the hero has to die. I have a little more faith in Life is Strange because of how well the story has been told so far but, dammit if I don’t feel a little upset after the end of Episode 4.

    Max and Chloe are some of the most unique female characters I’ve ever seen in a video game. It’s not everyday that two female characters are allowed to drive an entire narrative on their own, but the relationship between these two, platonic/romantic, is clearly what’s keeping it going. I’m not sure what a happy ending for Chloe and Max would look like right now but whatever it is I hope the story finds it’s way to it somehow.

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    • some people say that max will probably use the picture warren took of them at the party to go back in time and save chloe. would make sense.

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      • Yeah I was thinking of that too. I really hope that something like that happens because Chloe is too amazing to have such a lame end.

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  5. I won’t go on for too long, but I watched my girlfriend play the demo of the first episode yesterday and it looks like a wonderful game with wonderful characters. I know there has been disappointment in the latest episode by some people, so I have some catching up to do to be able to join the conversation with an educated voice, but I did have great first impressions and it looks like a game definitely worth talking about!

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  6. This was a brutal episode, in a way that the previous episodes really haven’t been. Obviously there has been dark and heavy stuff in the series prior to now, but it always felt very grounded in real life problems: bullies are a huge problem in schools; elite schools often have drug problems due to the pressures they put on their students; teen suicide is a huge issue in this country. All these things are very relatable. Even Nathan, who we were set up to believe was the primary antagonist, was a very believable human, someone who is privileged, used to getting his way even at the expense of others, and suffers from a substance abuse problem.

    Mark Jefferson though? Pulls us right out of that believable high school and into fantasy land. It stopped being a story about a relatable high school with low-fantasy and mystery elements and became a horror film about violence against women. What happens at the end of the episode is terrifying and horrible (and it’s supposed to be!) but it’s completely tonally inconsistent with the story they set up in the previous episodes. We’re not here for girls (and they are girls, not women) getting tortured and drugged and sexually abused. We’re here for two girls, Max and Chloe, standing up for and helping other girls, and maybe being kind of badass in the process. That’s interesting and empowering! Instead we get our main character literally damseled at the hands of an “edgy” comic book villain.*

    I’m sincerely worried about how much abuse we’re going to have to witness in the next episode.

    (* While I realize real humans like Mark Jefferson unfortunately do exist outside of comic books, I maintain from a storytelling perspective he is inconsistent with the reality and genre they set up at the beginning of the story, and exists primarily to horrify the audience, hence, edgy comic book villain.)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. anyone else that expected rachel to actually be alive at the junkyard? like, somewhere locked in a small shed or another underground bunker? maybe im naive, but i really didn’t think she was dead until that horrible moment when they started digging.. i expected them to search the area ..

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  8. I guess I saw the Mark Jefferson thing coming from episode one. And after going back and playing, his comment in the first classroom scene: “I could frame anyone of you in a dark corner, and capture you in a moment of desperation” was the dead giveaway. I think this episode NEARLY jumped the shark but not quite. I’m eager to see how episode five will pan out, because this was intense.

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    • I wonder if that’s why he moved?? We’re told he was this big thing in NYC but “returned to his roots” in Oregon suddenly. Are we dealing with a serial killer? There were wayyy too many of those binders for it to just be a one-off thing.

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      • Yeah I think this IS a serial thing and why he’s suddenly just a teacher at a high school, not working in the fashion industry. Though Rachel’s death might have been unintentional? Overdosed her by accident?

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  9. Seriously, this is some of the most intense story telling I’ve ever seen before in a video game. I do agree that this trend of women being assaulted to add drama value is getting out of hand. Personally I still think the scene with Kate on the roof is still my personal favorite of the series so far, but this episode had the most amazing pacing.

    Like

  10. Pingback: First Impressions of ‘Life Is Strange’ Episode 4: Our Community Responds! | FemHype

  11. Pingback: Open Forum: Your Predictions for ‘Life Is Strange’ Episode 5 | FemHype

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