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Puncherson_64LadyBrain_64

Minor spoilers and wild speculation about Red Dead Redemption 2

Butch:

Hey! Played!

Robbed a bank (That was fun) and then had that rather odd cutscene with the debtor family where I didn’t do anything but watch it. The game obviously wanted me to see that. I remember that that dude, who is now dead, coughed on Arthur when he was collecting the debt. I sense a plot point. You think….?

Anyway, that HAS to be a plot point, as it had no other point.

And then I did the bit with Hosea and the Braithewaites and booze and being Fenton the idiot bartender (I kinda loved that bit), and all that.

I’m not sure how the Braithewaites and the Greys fit metaphorically. The game sure seems to want to be saying something here. It’s a civil war in the state that smacks of civil war imagery. Shit, one of the families is even called the Greys. If you’re gonna do that, might as well call the other family the Unions. That said, what all that is really standing for, and how we can read that the gang wants to rob them BOTH…there’s a metaphor here, but I’m still grasping for it.

I’m also not sure how Dutch’s “It’s payback for my daddy” shit plays in. First, I’m not entirely sure I buy that Dutch is all that upset about his daddy. If he is, I’m not sure I buy it narratively. He’s not the political type. Him harboring hatred for the south isn’t really his thing, is it? He is, however, the type to use that kind of thing (I shall avenge my daddy!) as a way to hype up himself and others, a storyline in his own half bullshit narrative.

So there’s metaphor there, too. Maybe I’ll be clearer on it when I get more towards the end of the story arc.

Feminina:

Yay for games!

Was that the bank where you’re trying to crack the safes while the other guys shout at you from the other room? Good times.

I agree, I don’t really buy that Dutch is especially motivated by any sentimental concerns about his daddy’s memory or whatever, but I could buy that he’s happy to use the IDEA of concern for his daddy’s memory to justify his actions (to himself and others).

And yeah, the Gray/Braithwaite feud is…honestly, I’m still a bit confused as well about what it was trying to say. Feuds are stupid, that was the main thing I got–these people are obsessing about each other/their shared bloody history rather than moving forward to accomplish anything today. They’re killing and dying for old grudges that don’t mean anything to anyone but themselves. Meanwhile, other people (in this case the gang) are coming through and taking advantage of their distraction to steal their stuff. And it’s pretty well stated that there’s considerable doubt whether there’s actually any buried family gold involved in this feud, but if we take ‘ancient gold’ as representing their general wealth in terms of land, social influence, etc., then it’s kind of saying “here you’re squandering everything you have fighting each other, and in a few years other people/the future will come and pick up the scraps for themselves and you’ll be completely forgotten.”

So, more of those contrasts between being stuck in the past and being part of progress/the future.

As for that debtor family…yeah. I kind of almost felt like that plot point was just about making us feel like Arthur’s kinda sorta trying to salvage something from this horrific event (which I felt bad about, and presumably Arthur might also feel some guilt over even if it’s only the kind of thing he’ll mutter about to Mary Beth later, next time he wants to apologize for being so angry or whatever) by telling the young guy not to waste his life looking for revenge. But it’s also true, he could have caught TB from that guy and that’s how his story will ignominiously end…that would be interesting.

Butch:

Games are the only thing keeping me even in the same time zone as sane, dude.

That’s the one. I still have no real idea as to how I cracked the safes. Something about sticks and the vibrating controllers. Did it, though! Fat cash!

Then the ominous cutscene.

Daddy’s memory: Right. It’s just another prop. Shit, we can’t even really be sure that his father was a veteran. Maybe that’s part of the bullshit, too.

Clinging to the past/moving to the future…I see that. Clinging to the bad parts of the past, or at least past anger, is counterproductive and yet so common.

Also, the more I ponder it, maybe it’s something about class, and how the “gangs” of the rich aren’t all that different than the gangs that sleep outside and eat stew. Here we have the braithewaites (now, I’m at the point where I have to investigate further…I’ve only met mama braithewaite once) who live in this fancy mansion with the trees leading up (nice touch, liked that) and their fancy clothes, and what are they doing? Running moonshine. That’s barely more respectable than robbing trains. They certainly aren’t investing in railroads or owning oil rigs or even banking. They’re, basically, low end criminals in fancier clothes.

And, as you say, there’s doubt as to whether there is “gold.” It would seem to me to be very unlikely, as why would people who truly are rich fuck around with moonshine? They’d be buying oil rigs. Dutch, however, seems too dense to get that. He sees the fancy house and thinks “Rich. Just like Cornwall.” But if you look at what they’re actually doing, I highly doubt these folks are rich just like Cornwall.

It’s yet more “people who the man is screwing screwing each other because they don’t know any better.”

And I dunno, man. That scene with the debtors was there to be SEEN. It was totally self contained. You didn’t even walk up tot he place, it was unavoidable. It was also meant to be seen THEN. There was no reason to put that there if all it was was a thing to mumble to Mary Beth later. Mumble later scenes can be anywhere. Why tack it onto that mission? Ok, maybe it’s just a thing like that, wrapping something up, but I dunno, man. Remember, it was pretty obvious that the dude coughed right in Arthur’s face when Arthur was collecting. Arthur made a face and wiped it off. Now, here’s the son who obviously can’t FIGHT Arthur, but still looking at him like “Oh, you’ll get yours.”

I dunno. It would be interesting.

I know nothing, though. This is WILD INTERNET SPECULATION. Do you know something?

Feminina:

I don’t know anything. Well, I don’t know anything about TB. I may know a little something about other aspects of the sad story of the Downes family, but not how it ends.

No argument, though, it was totally, totally there to be seen, at that specific time, so it’s making some kind of point in the larger story for sure.

Which makes one wonder…were those white quests actually optional? I’ve been assuming yellow were required and white were ones we could skip if we wanted, but the debt-collecting missions were white, right? And yet, this is apparently a significant angle in the main story, and it requires us to have completed the first missions related to this family.

So either the white missions are not actually optional, or the story is not actually THAT significant. (Meaning, him dying of TB can’t be the ending.) I’m not sure which.

Butch:

Hey yeah, that was white, wasn’t it? And yet, as you say, that sounds like a bigger part of the story, especially if they come back again. Maybe that bit after the bank robbery was tacked on, and would have been left out if we hadn’t done the debt stuff, but it didn’t feel that way.

I was going to say that maybe there’s a difference between little, easy to miss white quests (like the robberies or fishing) and the ones that show up all big on the map (debtors, gunslingers) but that nature dude who blinks in and out of existence is a big white blob with initials and that sure does feel missable, doesn’t it?

Hmm.

Well, wouldn’t be the first time we read too much into something, or thought something was more important than it turned out to be, but damn, this felt like it had some importance, and, you’re right. White quest.

Hmm.

Or, wait, shit, WAS it? Now that I think on it, THIS debtor might have been yellow where the other ones weren’t.

Or maybe I’m misremembering.

Shit.

Feminina:

I feel like they were all white quests. Surely we would have noticed if two debt collection missions had been white and one yellow, and I’m SURE they weren’t all yellow. Or maybe we wouldn’t have.

But you’re right, reading too much into things is certainly one of those things we sometimes do. No shame in it. It’s part of our process.

Of talking endlessly about whatever happens to cross our minds.

Butch:

And building our T SHIRT, brandy, lingerie, candle empire.

Don’t sell us short.