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Was anyone else disappointed with Season 3's ending? (SPOILERS)

posted by Superninfreak on - last edited - Viewed by 2.4K users

Let me just start by saying that while I haven't posted much, I love Sam and Max. Some episodes (S1E4, S1E5, and S2E4 especially) were just brilliant. I also loved Season 3.

Until I got to the ending that is.

I had two major problems with it.

1. Max went completely out of character. After Max has been built up as evil for the entire series, it's not believable that he would die just so Sybil wouldn't have to give birth outside of a hospital. I don't think Max would even care if Sybil died, honestly.

2. Girl Stinky died despite the fact that she's alive in the future. This was a pretty glaring plot hole.


The worst part about it though is that I can SEE a brilliant ending in Season 3. Had they not made those mistakes, I would want that to be the finale of everything Sam and Max, just because of how beautiful an ending it would have been.

#1 could have easily been fixed if it were Sam who Max died for instead of Sybil. Sam is the only person I think Max would die for, and it would still get across the point that Max isn't completely irredeemable.

So yeah, thoughts?

67 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • It's not like Sam and Max is the kind of super serious setting where it would be that difficult for them to bring Girl Stinky back somehow.

  • The ending was awesome in all fronts.

  • @Flyingman356 said: That was what made it so powerful and moving. I'm sorry, maybe you just can't take emotional storytelling, but it was beautiful.

    The expectation of snide insults like this is exactly why I didn't comment on the ending when the game came out.

    I can definitely take emotional storytelling. I just don't tune into Sam & Max to get it. I tune into Sam & Max for chaotic, irreverent slapstick and high-speed absurdity.

    Telltale's otherwise done a good job of infusing an actual, gripping plot into the episodes without losing touch with the spirit of S&M, but the end of season three, IMHO, strayed too far from the tone which is the entire appeal of Sam & Max.

  • But why is it out of place? I take the comics as the basic Sam and Max canon, and there HAVE been serious moments there, even if they have been brief. The emotional aspect of the ending was not over the top, corny, or excessively melodramatic.

  • @Jake said: I don't know how on purpose that was, but it ended up coming up again and again in the season, so closing on a big version of that felt like an okay thing to do. I think we expected it to play as more over the top/gratuitous than it did, though, as a lot of people were bothered by it either positively (as in, were genuinely emotionally effected by it, which wasn't expected*), or negatively (felt that we didn't earn it**, or that it was inappropriate, or a cop out), but I'm still proud that we made the choice to go for it.

    The ending is something that elevates the game to the best Sam&Max game IMHO.
    So deeply emotional, asbolutely poetic, and not usual.
    Thank you TT for this.

  • @Jake said: Some of my favorite bits in the Sam & Max comics are when Sam and Max are super threatened or get separated and lose each other (both happen a few times in Monkeys Violating the Heavenly Temple, Auntie Alice genuinely freaked me out in On the Road, and obviously Max getting zapped into oblivion in Bad Day on the Moon is the textbook example), and most of the stories end with crazy deus ex machinas (the cult leader spontaneously combusting saves them from volcano sacrifice in Monkeys Violating the Heavenly Temple, Squiddo our octopus pal comes out of the sea and saves them from the pirates in On the Road, the Rubber Pants Commandos crash through the ceiling in Night of the Gilded Heron Shark to save Sam & Max from Mack Salmon, to name a few) -- when there are bits of contrast like that, of genuine fear or genuine loss, it makes all the regular flippant Sam & Max stuff resonate a lot more strongly to me, and the deus ex machinas are just trademark Sam & Max storytelling -- so I was beyond pleased that we could close the season out with a big version of both those things.

    It felt like a valid choice to me since, at least in my experience playing it, the season ended up dealing a lot with the nature of Sam & Max's friendships, and accidentally with their personalities underneath their veneer (303 for whatever faults it had, I thought did a great job with that, with the first half of the episode focusing on Sam without Max, and the second half including a lot of Max having to be self reliant for the first time). I don't know how on purpose that was, but it ended up coming up again and again in the season, so closing on a big version of that felt like an okay thing to do. I think we expected it to play as more over the top/gratuitous than it did, though, as a lot of people were bothered by it either positively (as in, were genuinely emotionally effected by it, which wasn't expected*), or negatively (felt that we didn't earn it**, or that it was inappropriate, or a cop out), but I'm still proud that we made the choice to go for it.

    * but which is okay!

    ** also a totally fair opinion to have!

    I wasn't bothered by the choice to be dramatic (though some other people were), I think for the most part things were handled quite well in Season 3.

    It's just that a couple things (particularly the fact that Max died for Sybil of all people) bothered me.

    I think I just get upset when something comes so close to being brilliant but is held back by a couple little things.

    Anyway, I'm kind of surprised someone from Telltale posted to give such a humble response.

  • @Superninfreak said: I wasn't bothered by the choice to be dramatic (though some other people were), I think for the most part things were handled quite well in Season 3.

    It's just that a couple things (particularly the fact that Max died for Sybil of all people) bothered me.

    I think I just get upset when something comes so close to being brilliant but is held back by a couple little things.

    Anyway, I'm kind of surprised someone from Telltale posted to give such a humble response.

    I think part of your issue with all of it might be that you're reading Max as being "evil" for the whole series. Was that the case? To me it seemed like Max was being built up as a force which could destroy itself and those near it; so, a strong damaging force yes, but not necessarily a malevolent or malicious one. Maybe that's too nuanced, or I'm totally off base? I don't know.

    The way I see Max at least, I know he revels in screwing with people, and that he's generally just a bundle of id, but I don't think he ever wants to hurt people if he thinks they don't deserve it. He'll ploink a purse snatcher in the eyes and pull out a clump of his hair and maybe an eyebrow, but the lady who was being robbed won't suffer a scratch. (She may suffer the unshakeable trauma of watching a crazy 3 foot tall lagomorph leap into the air, scream "booga booga!" and turn some dude inside out (metaphorically speaking), and Max might get some glee from that knowledge, but that would be the extent of it.)

    Maybe the turn at the end of 305 was too abrupt (though it was deliberately abrupt, it may have gone too far), I think it still played fair, in that while Max is always a chaotic force of destruction and general gnawing on things, he's always aimed more or less in the direction of Justice and Truth and Stopping Bad Guys (or at least whoever falls into his personal definition of People Who Deserve It). When Sam says "there's still some of Max in there, I know it," he's quoting Star Wars, but also I think he's right -- the Max he knows wouldn't blow up a friend, unless they were really asking for it. I don't know why Sybil in particular was chosen, other than the fact that she was the last one talking (and has a baby), but I was personally glad that a specific non-Sam character was chosen. We all know Max will save Sam. Max giving a crap about anyone else makes it a more interesting test. Again, maybe "a more interesting test" makes it less "Sam & Max," but I was glad it went somewhere unexpected, even if it didn't fully work for everyone.

  • @Jake said: I think part of your issue with all of it might be that you're reading Max as being "evil" for the whole series. Was that the case? To me it seemed like Max was being built up as a force which could destroy itself and those near it; so, a strong damaging force yes, but not necessarily a malevolent or malicious one. Maybe that's too nuanced, or I'm totally off base? I don't know.

    The way I see Max at least, I know he revels in screwing with people, and that he's generally just a bundle of id, but I don't think he ever wants to hurt people if he thinks they don't deserve it. He'll ploink a purse snatcher in the eyes and pull out a clump of his hair and maybe an eyebrow, but the lady who was being robbed won't suffer a scratch. (She may suffer the unshakeable trauma of watching a crazy 3 foot tall lagomorph leap into the air, scream "booga booga!" and turn some dude inside out (metaphorically speaking), and Max might get some glee from that knowledge, but that would be the extent of it.)

    Maybe the turn at the end of 305 was too abrupt (though it was deliberately abrupt, it may have gone too far), I think it still played fair, in that while Max is always a chaotic force of destruction and general gnawing on things, he's always aimed more or less in the direction of Justice and Truth and Stopping Bad Guys (or at least whoever falls into his personal definition of People Who Deserve It). When Sam says "there's still some of Max in there, I know it," he's quoting Star Wars, but also I think he's right -- the Max he knows wouldn't blow up a friend, unless they were really asking for it. I don't know why Sybil in particular was chosen, other than the fact that she was the last one talking (and has a baby), but I was personally glad that a specific non-Sam character was chosen. We all know Max will save Sam. Max giving a crap about anyone else makes it a more interesting test. Again, maybe "a more interesting test" makes it less "Sam & Max," but I was glad it went somewhere unexpected, even if it didn't fully work for everyone.

    Thats what made it more emotional. Max is violant to those that deserve it(he ripped the head off someone in hit the road's begining) but never to those that dont deserve it(then again he did willingly shoot sam for no reason in episode 102).
    I was basicaly shouting at the computer "WHAT DID HE DO TO DESERVE THIS" when I watched as their was no hope for his survival.
    Great ending telltale, a little deues ex michanimaie with the "oh he was time traveling, there was another max" thing, which is my complaint, but sam and max has done that before.

  • The appearance of alternate time Max is not truly a deus ex machina if you consider the overall series as opposed to just the season.

  • There was a lot about season 3 that was good in my opinion, but it got to the point of being difficult to follow for me. Granted Sam and Max is not supposed to be known for its realistic plots, but it can be said that there are points where even the universe can't account for everything.

    Girl Stinky was a major plot point at the end of "Beyond Space and Time". Later on in "The Devil's Playhouse" we are told that the hole turning her into a cake was an optical illusion. Which makes me question the ending of "What's New, Beelzebub?", with using the recipe to make a cake to help defeat the poppers.

    The Penal Zone seemed to be a nice place to spend a weekend. Even after Sam and Max send Skun-ka'pe back into it, in "The Penal Zone", he comes escapes without any mention of how he did it, though I could have missed that bit of information.

    I felt a bit overwhelmed by the storyline this time around. The Toy abilities were nice to have, but they did add to a few headaches for me personally. Time travel was fun in "Chariot of the Dogs", but it felt like too much of a good thing when using future vision.

    Short list of what I liked and still remember from my playthrough of "The Devil's Playhouse". Flipping between the reels and playing with the curses in "The Tomb of Sammun-Mak" was extremely fun and the comedy in that episode was spot on(Tally Hoo!). The hardboiled detective work that Sam did to try and find Max's Brain in "They Stole Max's Brain!" made talking to people more interesting. The epic battle with Charlie Ho-Tep was the highlight of "Beyond the Alley of the Dolls". Also I can't wait to see how the german tourist does in the next season. ;)

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