With the release of Life is Strange: Before the Storm - Episode 2: Brave New World, we find ourselves watching a new backdrop of Arcadia Bay unfold as a raging wildfire can be seen throughout most of the moments shared between characters.
The wildfire in Life is Strange: Before the Storm seems to be a metaphor for how the main characters are feeling and could be compared to the growing storm of the original Life is Strange. At the end of the first episode, we saw Rachel starting the fire when she tipped over a lit garbage can in a park, causing the flames to quickly spread amongst the foliage. What caused her to do this in rage was witnessing her dad from afar cheating on her mom with another woman.
Rachel manages to keep her anger towards her father contained in the opening scene of Episode 2 where she and Chloe are being lectured by the high school master about their insubordinate behaviour when they skipped school. After some heated banter about how Chloe is the cause of Rachel's newfound problem with society, Rachel offers Chloe an out by stating that it was Rachel that coerced Chloe into skipping school (although it was more of a mutual decision). I had the choice of going along with Rachel or not and I decided to go along with her and see what happened. Chloe was still suspended for the rest of the school year given her history with authority and Rachel was told she wouldn't be in the school play anymore which is something she had been looking forward to for a long time.
After leaving the principal's office, Chloe is told by her mom that David will be moving in to their home to help her deal with the family and try to make it more of a traditional family unit. David disgusts Chloe and she takes the opportunity to simply walk away instead of going home with them, prompting her mom to continuously text her in worry throughout the rest of the episode. Chloe heads to the junkyard and Rachel soon follows her. They have a moment together where they pretend to be each other's therapist and let out all their teen angst. That's after you spend some time walking around the junkyard looking for a bulb, a towel, and a mat to spruce up an old junky car for you to sit in. Before Rachel leaves, she gives Chloe a bag of clothes and Chloe changes into a new outfit. I chose the silly hotdog t-shirt because it's so cute!
Chloe gets a text from Frank (her drug dealer) and he comes to pick her up in his sketchy RV. He forces her to go collect some money he's owed from a kid at Chloe's school in order to pay off her tab. I had fun trying to get into the dormitory after being suspended from school, concocting a chain of events to get the keys and then mastering some backtalk with the security guard.
Once I was in and had found the stashed money in the kid's room, a fight broke out outside the room with the guy I was stealing from and another drug dealer. At this moment, I made the decision to jump out of the room and give the dealer the money I stole. I wasn't sure how this would reflect on my relationship with Frank but I found out as the rest of the episode unfolded that Frank thought I did the right thing and Frank actually ended up getting the money from the other dealer eventually anyway. What a great decision I made! Chloe's friend is the little brother of the guy that was buying drugs and he got hurt in the process but he quickly forgave me and saw I was just trying to do the right thing.
After the scene with the drug dealers, Chloe ended up backstage at the school play of The Tempest. Chloe chats with Victoria who was supposed to replace Rachel as the starring role after Rachel was forcefully removed from the play. As she does so, Chloe is unaware that Rachel has poured something into Victoria's tea that makes her collapse. The drama teacher has no choice but to put Rachel onstage and Chloe also gets up there as she subs in for someone that is stuck on a road blocked by the wildfire. The play goes quite well although I couldn't help but feel a little sorry for Nathan as he was clearly stressed out after I witnessed his father lecture him before the play started. However, I find it hard to care a ton for him knowing what he does in the first Life is Strange game.
The last scene of Episode 2 has Rachel and Chloe at Rachel's house trying to get through one last dinner before they leave Arcadia Bay forever. Rachel's dad goes on a monologue about how important family is and Rachel can't help but let out all her anger and disappointment in her father and tell everyone that she witnessed him cheating on her mom. In the last few words of the episode, Rachel is told that she actually witnessed her dad meeting up with Rachel's mother. The woman her dad met with keeps popping up through the episode and there are many hints that she spells trouble.
There's clearly a lot more to unravel here and I'm curious where the next episode will take things. What does he mean that her mom is not her actual mother? Why would he be kissing another woman when he's married? Why did this woman come out of Frank's RV before Chloe met up with him? Hopefully all of these questions are answered soon. What did you think of Episode 2: Brave New World?