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Rooster Teeth’s Day 5 episode 5 review: The end is nigh, and full of terrors

With just a couple of episodes left, you can’t help but think about how Rooster Teeth’s Day 5 series will end. Will Rooster Teeth take the Game of Thrones route where everyone dies and the only thing that matters is the journey that the protagonists went on? Or will they perhaps take a page from the Marvel Cinematic Universe where all the main characters live and everything is sunshine and rainbows? They might even opt for a middle route where humanity is saved, but at a great price to both the main characters and the remnants of society (or vice versa). Either way, Jake, Sam, Ally, and Ellis must first wade their way through an increasingly thick and heavy plot that makes you question whether or not their search for a cure will unveil something much worse than the end of civilization.

Although the end may be in sight, and the protagonists may think that they are relatively safe, there is no stop to the wild ride that is Day 5’s emotional roller coaster. Physical dangers, visions of the main character’s worst nightmares, and hints of an even greater threat or conspiracy makes this episode of Day 5 one of the most tense in the series, not just due to the immediate dangers that plague the main characters, but also because it sets up the final episode of Day 5 wonderfully.

Potential spoilers ahead

Oh look, a syringe filled with a mysterious liquid, time to stick that in my arm!
Oh look, a syringe filled with a mysterious liquid, time to stick that in my arm!

Of course, being the second to last episode, episode 5 of Day 5 ends on a cliffhanger. While this is to be expected, it does (slightly) detract from the episode in that you may feel as though episode 5 can’t stand on its own as well as the previous episodes. Throw in the fact that Day 5’s format restricts any potential bonding you may have with any of the characters, and you’ve got a situation where most of the secondary characters barely exist and some of the (potentially important) new characters end up feeling a little bit exaggerated.

That being said, the strength of Day 5 episode 5 comes from its writing. Borrowing from Rooster Teeth’s flagship machinima series, Red Vs. Blue, the new characters introduced in this episode are not entirely black and white in their motivations. Instead, they are the embodiment of the human desire to do good, to be the hero that everyone looks up to in a crisis, but taken to the extremes. They may not be evil, and they are certainly portrayed as people who genuinely believe themselves to be helping humanity, but they are almost blindingly stubborn in their methods to the point that they are virtually paragons of the phrase “the ends justify the means”. Naturally, this leads to some very interesting encounters between them and the protagonists, who can easily be accused of the same crime.

If you liked seeing angry Ellis pointing his gun at things, you're in for a treat
If you liked seeing angry Ellis pointing his gun at things, you’re in for a treat

Potential spoilers end here

From a narrative perspective, Day 5 episode 5 is very strong. It may not resonate on an emotional level as well as the previous episode, but it certainly introduces some moments where you can empathize with the antagonist. As one may expect, this episode is more of a primer for the finale than anything else, but it can still stand on its own if you don’t mind cliffhanger endings.

Day 5 episode 5 will be available on July 24, 2016 for Rooster Teeth First members, with subsequent episodes releasing weekly. You can sign up for a free 30 day Rooster Teeth First membership trial here.  

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