Okay, late to the party, I know (blame lack of time and Internet connection).
I'm still processing, mostly. That was...powerful, to say the least. Stunning writing. I do think there are some ethical implications of the way that this story, told in this particular fashion, intersects with the way LJ community functions that need to be unpacked (not a criticism--it's just interesting, especially as an effect you may not have been intending).
I think there could be some very interesting analysis of the interactions of episodes/LJs/writers/readers in this one. But unless there is already an academic Delta with interests in the right part of academia, I'm not sure they'd be getting the gestalt. Because the finale was a gestalt of the prior episodes, the teasers, the LJs, the fora, and the way it was episodic over the week, in very near real-time to the unfolding of the story itself. And that was a once-off. The experience of reading it now is not at all the same as reading it over the week in small pieces.
That said, on to the reactions I do have.
Reyes: Okay, I do actually understand why you did what you did. That does not mean you get a free pass. There is ethical ground that you will never be able to make up, and I do not respect you right now.
Totally with you on this one. Understand, but do not condone. And, as I said earlier: Be very afraid of what Hafs will do to you when she finds out, Doctor. Because she will
find out, and she will
make you pay.
Falkner: You may very well be a deity of some sort. Certainly you could not be a better person than you are.
I dunno about deity, but she is truly worthy of being the team's mother figure. Or anyone's mother figure. She definitely takes up all of the slack left by Reyes in the parental care department. And then some.
Todd: I heart you. You are a good person.
Not nearly far enough, IMO. Todd is a bona-fide, all too rare hero, as becomes clear in this episode. Running to place himself between Chaz and the cops, rescuing the civilian from the tanker crash, and still having enough presence of mind to talk Falkner down gently while still doing it quickly enough to clear the area prior to the tanks going boom. The bit that really nailed it for me? The way he calculated how long he had to rescue that woman from the tanker crash. Not if
he could do it, but how long he had
to do so. And doing it so... casually? Automatically, purely because it was The Right Thing To Do. In my dreams, I could one day be half the man that Sol Todd is.
Brady: Nice to see you wake up to a few things. You can stick around.
Not quite getting what you mean on this one.
Lau: Shut. The Frell. Up.
not getting you on this.
Worth: You will be Falkner one day, in your own way. You're already on the road.
Agreed. A worthy successor. Pun not at all intended.
Hafidha: Still love you. Just because.
Hafs didn't get a lot of screentime this episode, but what little she got, as usual, really packed a punch.
Chaz: Oh, frell, so many things are the wrong thing to say... My dear, you couldn't go gamma if you tried. You don't need to be afraid of yourself.
I definitely agree that he doesn't need to be as afraid of himself/as hard on himself. But if he had gone gamma, it wouldn't have been him doing it, so much as succumbing to The Relative. And there wasn't much chance of that happening, as provably Chaz would rather die (horribly!!) than do that.
My current theory: betas can't go gamma. They're intrinsically positive manifestations of the Anomaly. Reyes has missed it because he's obsessed (understandably) with the more visible, negative side, and he's pulled the others along in his wake.
Intrinsically different/opposite, I can agree with, but I'm not sure that betas/gammas fit so neatly into a positive/negative dichotomy. I think it's more complex than that, still.
Not just William doing people psychological damage, there.
No indeed. Not just The Relative, but also Reyes. And, I think, that might be a big part of why I'm so angry at him.
Not to pick on you, Cal, your post just gave me the right 'ground' to bounce off of.
I'm gonna be processing this one for a long while yet, I'm sure.