Finishing Life is Strange Before the Storm game could leave the player on a rollercoaster of emotions in the end. There was little deviation to subplots as the main focus was on Chloe helping Rachel reuniting with her biological mother Sera. At the end, there were some lingering questions about the plot and some analysis and interpretations regarding characters. For sure, Rachel is the connection to many plot points and characters in the game.
The main plot line in episode 3 was about Rachel wanting to meet her birth mother. While this plot point is okay since the stakes are high in episode 3 that there it makes little sense for Chloe to explore some side plots, there are still plot points in general whole game that are unaddressed. Whether Rachel gets to meet her mother, Sera, or not in the end still does not explain why Rachel and Chloe decided to stay in Arcadia Bay for three whole years. Rachel was so eager to escape Arcadia Bay that’s puzzling that the Drew’s money played little to no role nor even get a mention in episode 3. In fact, it seems escaping Arcadia was put in the back burner behind the objective to meet Sera. Also while it makes sense that Chloe wouldn’t go to school to encounter Samantha, Nathan, or Victoria based on her expulsion or suspension in the last episode, there is still questions on what happened between Samantha and Nathan in the ending montage. Depending on the player’s choices back in episodes 1 and 2, Samantha and Nathan became amicable at the end or Samantha walks away from Nathan in anger. Neither Samantha nor Nathan played any part in a subplot in episode 3. Also, why were Steph, Mikey, and Drew absent from any mention in the main Life is Strange game? You’d think that since they could be interpreted as friends in Before the Storm that Chloe would have mentioned them.
On the subject of Rachel, she has quite the symbolism behind her besides the connection between Prospera, wind, and the the raven. Rachel and Sera are both the fire. William warns of Chloe of being blinded by fire and its destructive nature. Just like Chloe was blinded by Rachel’s manipulative ways and destructive ways, James was blinded by his love of Sera to see that Sera was a destructive woman who neglected her daughter to chase her habit. On the plus side fire represents passions, creativity, and motivation. Sera is described by James as passionate and full of life while Rachel is portrayed as creative, evidently by her art projects and type 4 Enneagram in her room. Fire burns with anger just like the forest fire raged after Rachel was angered at her dad for cheating and extinguished instantly once Rachel was injured. Rachel is further connected by her last name, Amber, and her borderline zodiac sign, Leo. The Leo sign and the Amber stone are both represented by fire.
Furthering exploring Rachel’s similarities to Sera and how their similarities impacts characters in the present, James’s explanation confirmed my theory of his past with Sera. Sera is shown to be an irresponsible drug addict who chose money over her daughter in the past, which led to the decision by James to take Rachel away and leave Sera. James’s past experience with Sera definitely explains his bias and elite classism against dysfunctional people, in which James classified Chloe as a broken girl from a broken home. Considering James must have seen so much of Sera in Rachel, it must have explained his initial cautiousness and hostility to Chloe and his desperation to keep Sera at a distance from Rachel. Sera in high school just like Rachel now was a popular girl that was adored by everyone, from her teachers to her friends to the boys who all wanted to date her. Like Rachel, Sera wanted escape albeit with drugs. While James wanted to protect Rachel from Sera due to his fear that Sera being a danger to Rachel due to her association with drug dealers and criminals, James could also fear Sera influencing Rachel greatly since Rachel takes so much of her biological mother. James also definitely feared Chloe leading Rachel into a destructive path into the same path that Sera walked. Unfortunately, Rachel is walking in the same destructive footsteps of Sera with her recklessness and rebellious in manipulating people, committing arson, ditching school, partying, stealing wine, potentially taking drugs, and cultivating relationships with a drug dealer and a serial killer.
On the discussion of Rachel’s destructive ways, Elliot of all people directly pointed it out to Chloe’s blindness in seeing Rachel for who she is truly. Elliot, despite showing red flags of a domestic abuser and being a crazy jealous guy, was right about Rachel’s manipulative ways and bad influence. It could be interpreted that Rachel is enabling Chloe’s bad habits that led to her expulsion or suspension and leaving Chloe in doing the dangerous dirty work for her such convincing Chloe to look for Sera, which led Chloe to tampering the evidence and meeting up with Damon Merrick all for her love of Rachel. In pointing out Rachel’s manipulations on Chloe, Elliot was also shown to be manipulative by blaming her for making him break an object and claiming he was the only one who cared about Chloe after her father’s death.
Once Rachel was stabbed after her reckless fighting with Damon despite him being a dangerous man who could easily over power her, she landed herself in the hospital. In the hospital, one character stood out was the nurse working at the front desk. The nurse resembles the homeless lady from the main Life is Strange game. It’s quite the nice easter egg if it is and it is too bad that there was no way for Chloe to talk to her.
The Enneagram reference was surprising as it is a comparatively obscure personality typing system compared to the popular personality systems of the Big 5 and Myers-Briggs. Rachel’s enneagram type is another side we get to see of her. From references of Rachel and first impressions, she is shown to be charming, popular, ambitious, and adored by students and teachers like. Before the prequel, one could easily assumed she might have been a type 3, which is the adaptable, elf-assured, attractive, and charming, Ambitious, competent, and success-oriented type. In the game, Rachel is revealed to be type 4, which is described to be creative and temperamental type. Her participation in leading role in the Tempest and explosiveness of her reaction to her dad’s affair supports the notion. From reading the Enneagram personality typing system, here is one interpretation in typing Enneagram of other characters in addition to their Myers-Briggs types in Life is Strange: Enneagram types
Type 1: Principled, purposeful, self-controlled, conscientious, perfectionistic, orderly – Ray Wells (ESTJ), Kate Marsh (ISFJ)
Type 2: Generous, interpersonal, warm-hearted, demonstrative, people-pleasing & possessive – William Price (ENFJ), Steph Gingrich (ESFJ)
Type 3: Ambitious, excelling, driven, adaptable, success-oriented, & image-conscious – Victoria Chase (ESTJ) or (ESFJ), Mark Jefferson (ENFJ), Sean Prescott (ESTJ)
Type 4: Expressive, dramatic, creative, temperamental, self-absorbed, self-indulgent – Rachel Amber (ENFJ) or (ESTP)
Type 5: Perceptive, innovative, secretive, curious, cerebral, isolated – Brooke Scott (INTP)
Type 6: Engaging, reliable, responsible, anxious, suspicious, security-oriented – David Madsen (ISTJ), James Amber (ESTJ)
Type 7: Spontaneous, versatile, extroverted, optimistic, acquisitive & scattered – Warren Graham (ENTP), Sera Gearhardt (ESFP), Chloe Price (ESFP)
Type 8: Self-confident, dominating, confrontational, aggressive, decisive, resourceful – Nathan Prescott (E/ISFP), Damon Merrick (ESTP), Frank Bowers (ISTP)
Type 9: Receptive, reassuring, agreeable, self-effacing, complacent, accepting – Max Caulfield (INFP), Rose Amber (ESFJ)