Friday, September 11, 2015

redvsblue Season 7

When we last left off in the saga of redvsblue, season sixmarked the conclusion of the first part of a new three season arc dubbed Recollection. Season seven marks part two of Recollection, and is called, Recreation (trailer). If you have been keeping up watching along with me, you may recall things went pretty off the walls at the end of season six when it brought some major revelations to the character of Church (Burnie Burns) when the red and blue armies joined up to invade the freelancer command center.

Before jumping into season seven I recommend watching the four part mini-series, Relocated, which is included as a bonus on the BluRay. It takes place right where season six left off, with Sarge (Matt Hullum), Grif (Geoff Ramsey), Simmons (Gus Sorola) and Caboose (Joel Heyman) stranded after their vehicles malfunctioned after the EMP attack they launched effected their vehicles as well in their escape. They are stranded on the popular Halo multiplayer map, Valhalla. Caboose claims a base for the blues while the reds get to a top secret project on their own new base and recruits Lopez back from Blood Gulch, who has a quick throwaway line on how he won the war for the reds on Blood Gulch that you just have to hear to believe. The power of Lopez grants the reds an awesome new hologram simulation room for Sarge’s own personal training sessions, and things were going swimmingly before the mini-series concludes with the return of Donut (Dan Godwin).

Season seven kicks off proper with Donut bouncing between bases and eventually delivering a vital message that they need to track down Tucker (Jason Saldana). That is a great thing about this season because last season featured little to none of Tucker, Donut and Lopez and it really changes the dynamic of the show this season with these three having prominent roles throughout Recreation. With other characters gaining momentum this season, do not be surprised that a few other key players that I will not spoil here are reduced to small cameos or not featured at all this season, which I feel is for the better and will have a bigger impact when they make their inevitable returns.

The gang splits up where Caboose, Sarge and Grif team up to track down Tucker while Donut, Simmons and Lopez hang back at Valhalla. One of the standout scenes of the season is Caboose, Sarge and Grif attempting to navigate the M12LRV/Warthog/Puma through a minefield in their own unique way. Of course their awesome navigation skills lead them into another round of shenanigans in their pursuit of Tucker that play out just as good as any previous plans do for the reds and blues.

Back at Valhalla, we get an amusing little side story where Simmons is revealed to be a Mexican cyborg racist in his many failed attempts to win over Lopez, and the gang has to deal with the return of the invading Meta AI. I really dug the chemistry between the guys back at Valhalla and they definitely deliver a lot of comic relief this season, and it was just awesome to see Lopez get some much deserved star power this season after a couple seasons being regulated to very minor roles.

The season comes to a head with Agent Washington (Shannon McCormick) returning to help out the reds fend off the Meta. Meanwhile, Caboose, Tucker, Sarge and Grif learn even more major revelations concerning Church’s character, but not before fending off a big attack from a mysterious rogue faction of alien and human soldiers headed up by this season’s main antagonist going by the name of C.T. (Michael Joplin). Like many past seasons, there is a big cliffhanger at the end of Recreation leaving the fate of a couple key characters in dire straights to keep me glued to my seat for season eight.

I am enjoying how the Recollection saga is playing out so far, and I am down with their ‘less is more’ approach by reducing the amount of key characters in each season so we get more out of the ones featured instead. Like part one of Recollection, part two is filmed primarily with Halo 3’s theater mode, and the guys at Rooster Teeth keep impressing me with their improving camera work and utilizing some seriously good special effects at this point compared to their amusing-yet-low-rent photoshop effects they relied on in earlier seasons.

Besides the aforementioned Relocated mini-series, the standard set of special features are included with Recreation. The commentary took a different route this year, where keeping up the theme of this ‘less is more’ trilogy and instead of the usual several Rooster Teeth cast members the commentary only features Burnie Burns and the season’s director, Gavin Free. Burns directed all the previous seasons, but only wrote the script for this season. The two of them stay on point for most of the commentary and are very engaged throughout it, but be warned the two go deep into technical details on how they pulled off a lot of the complex camera shots and special effects this season. There is less of the friendly jesting that dominated a lot of prior commentaries so if that is not up your alley than this is a skippable commentary this season.

Aside from the commentary, there are about five minutes apiece of deleted scenes and outtakes, and nearly 20 minutes of bonus videos themed around Halloween, Thanksgiving and fire safety. Definitely check out the super short, but awesome Halloween video and their six-year anniversary video is also worth going out of your way to check out. Mark season seven of redvsblue as a success as I am very much digging the new direction of the series at this point. As I alluded to before, the ending of Recreation has me on my toes on a couple of characters so tune in next month where I cover the conclusion of the Recollection saga.

Past redvsblue Blogs

Season 1
Season 2
Season 3
Season 4
Season 5
Season 6

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