It is an undeniable and may I say fundamental quality of man that when faced with extinction…every alternative is preferable. These are the words that kick off season six of Red vs Blue. These are the words that draw us in. Throughout the first seasons of the show we only got snippets of the larger conflict taking place. Season six brings to light of the conflict that gave rise to Project Freelancer, namely the fight against the aliens. Agent Washington describes Project Freelancer as one of the “silver bullet” ideas to turn the tide of the war. The situation sounded brutal and dire. Washington painted a gloomy picture of the situation that I was eager to see in these prequel seasons.
The problem? There were no aliens. Instead what we got as villains was a seemingly random group of humans dubbed “the Insurrection.” Their motives were not exactly made clear, we didn’t really know who they were or where they came from. Essentially all we are given to go on is that they are the bad guys. They are the ones fighting against Project Freelancer, that’s it. My problem with this set up is that the Insurrection isn’t really portrayed as villains worth fighting. The first time we see the Insurrection they are being absolutely wiped out by Agents North and South Dakota. It’s essentially an extended ass kicking as wave after wave of insurrection troops are wiped out by the twin agents. Even when the Insurrection finally seems to have the upper hand Agent Carolina shows up and an even more violent ass kicking ensues. Sure, there are a few characters from the Insurrection that put up a fight they too are defeated without much trouble. They put up enough of a fight to look competent without really being a threat.
That is where my issues lays, the fact that the villains are so easily dealt with. There are multiple scenes where Insurrection troops are being wiped out by the dozens by Project Freelancer. These people just don’t seem threatening. At no point did I feel like the main characters were in danger. They were pitted against inferior foes, there were no stakes involved. To be fair the fight scenes were certainly a spectacle, I am not complaining about that. Personally I feel that these scenes, and as a result the seasons, would have benefited from a more imposing villain.
The way I would have done it? Aliens. Aliens everywhere.
One of the first things that would be done in my take on this saga is that the main antagonists would be the aliens. As my take on the sage would be starting near the beginning of Project freelancer I feel like they would be more interesting compared to the Insurrection. Secondly, they would be far more imposing. That would be my big change; these aliens are going to be legitimate monsters. These guys need to be a real danger, and they are going to be. We are going back to the quote that started off season six. We are going to make the extinction of the human race a very real possibility. Much like their inspiration from the original Halo series these guys are going to be wiping out planets. My plan is to have a sense of doom hanging over the series. For all intents and purposes these aliens are going to be damn near unstoppable. I’d want to have similar scenes to the original with the aliens wiping out large numbers of human troops. The difference would be that these would not be the over the top kung-fu extravaganzas that they were before, these would be brutal showcases of just how much stronger the aliens are. These would be to show that the aliens are not to be trifled with. The entire point of these early confrontations with the aliens is to prove that they are worthy villains with clear intent. They are here to wipe out humanity. These fights are going to be ugly things. These will show that the aliens are a clear danger that wasn’t present in the original version.
Of course there would be fights between the aliens and the agents of Project freelancer. The aliens would be annihilating some colony world when the Freelancers make a dramatic entrance to the scene. As I stated before these fights wouldn’t really be anything flashy. These would be dirty and brutal. These fights aren’t about showing off to the audience, these would be about survival. This isn’t about the Freelancers being superheroes performing crazy feats of martial arts, this is about the freelancers being one of the last things that humanity could throw at the aliens to stop them. The aliens would be overpowering with the freelancer agents becoming more and more desperate. The Freelancers would be performing ever more desperate feats simply to stall the aliens. I feel like that would be an important theme for the start. It’s not about winning; it’s about buying time for the rest of humanity to get its collective shit together. These fights would go on and on, and not everyone would make it out.
Here is another thing that will change because of the alien threat. Characters from Project Freelancer are going to die in battle. I feel like this is important to highlight the fact that these aliens are a legitimate threat. Whereas against the Insurrection the agents felt nigh invincible there will be a definite sense of mortality amongst the characters. I’m not saying that we kill the original cast, but this allows us to introduce new characters to the show, perhaps even whole new teams from Project Freelancer (with the added runtime of this saga that all of a sudden becomes much more plausible). We can get to know these people, make them actual characters so that when the die we feel it too. This also paves the way to introduce the rookie Agent Washington later on.
I’m not saying that everything has to be gloom and doom, but having a legitimate threat in the form of these monsters would do the saga some good. Having something that is actually a danger for these characters to fight will help them grow and will set up how the series plays out further down the road. The inclusion of the aliens will feed into the quote from season six, people are dying and there is a very real sense of desperation amongst the characters to find a solution, more specifically the Director. The increasingly dire situation will lead various characters to do things that would previously been unthinkable.
Next Time: The Director