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Thread: Rachel In The Dark Room

  1. #1
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    Rachel In The Dark Room

    When considering the many unexplainable and mysterious events befalling Arcadia Bay, the most elusive of these that defies understanding and continues to hide from the spotlight of reason is the sudden disappearance of Rachel Amber. It is Arcadia Bay's most closely guarded secret; locked away behind an impenetrable door which only the gods themselves hold the keys to unlock. With the much anticipated release of "Chaos Theory," several facts about Rachel came to light that exposed a seedier aspect of her personality that has marred her previously portrayed whiter than white image. But then again though, it is quite apparent that all the main characters have their own secrets which they may be not particularly proud of and so wilfully protect them with a passion; the only difference being none of them are missing as is the case with Rachel Amber.

    It is during the investigation inside the Principal's office that a curious discovery was made which may exist only as a metaphor in the mind of the psychotic Nathan Prescott. On a scanned picture file there is a repeatedly written scribble by Nathan where he wrote the words: "Rachel in the dark room." The words 'dark room,' as I am sure everyone knows, are synonymous to the world of photography for obvious reasons, but apart from that it is a widely used figure of speech intended as a metaphor to describe many varied situations and, more fittingly, someone's mental health and state of mind.

    There is no way to tell with any accuracy as to what exactly it is Nathan is really referring to when he wrote those words down about Rachel, and as it has now been discovered that Nathan is under medication - taking prescribed mild tranquilisers, he is not a very reliable source of information due to the struggle he has with mental psychosis. Nathan displays all the symptoms of a rebellious teenager gone wrong, but in saying that he is certainly not stupid and must have had a good reason to scribble what he did and, likewise, because he wrote down the name of a student who mysteriously disappeared is reason enough why Principal Wells has seen fit to include it in his personal file.

    It could of course be something he meant literally rather than metaphorically. For instance, does Mark Jefferson have a dark room at Blackwell that he uses to develop photographs taken by the students of his class? If so, then the dubious (very dubious) rumour voiced by Stella, whereby Rachel and Jefferson are alleged to have had physical relations, may have actually taken place in that very same room? It is doubtful though considering the fact that Stella has not said anything else since. But in the mind of Nathan Prescott it might grind and grate causing him much anguish which is manifesting itself as jealousy. The look of surprise and joy on his face were evident for all to see when, in the diner, he mistook Max as being the returning Rachel. Another possibility is that Rachel used the dark room as a means to sell on drugs to fellow students, and perhaps Nathan disapproved of her narcotic antics? But this is nothing more than conjecture all based around two little words which have so much more meaning than what they at first imply.

    Before going any farther, let's bear in mind that episode four is titled "Dark Room," this could well be, and probably is, a direct reference to the dimly lit conditions at the Vortex Club's "End of the World" party which was partially glimpsed in the trailer at the end of episode three, or does it refer to the seemingly sinister activities that occur during the course of the party such as what nearly befell Kate Marsh? And while we're on the subject; the trailer showed what looked like scantily clad girls dancing to disco music, so maybe Nathan's "Rachel in the dark room" scribble is representative of his lustful visions he has in his head of Rachel dancing at one of their previous parties in a semi naked state - just like the photograph found in Frank's trailer. Either way, episode four is going to be colossal and will probably have much to reveal before the series' explosive finale.


    * * *


    So moving out of the literal world and entering the domain of the metaphor, those two little words now take on an entirely different meaning when pertaining to Rachel Amber, and finding that scanned file cannot count for nothing. Does the 'dark room' metaphorically represent her state of mind, or a secretive place which she now occupies in spirit or attitude? It is now quite clear that Rachel has a dark side that no one else knew about or even suspected until she fell from grace and found herself under official investigation where all her activities where either closely monitored, or verbally reported to the appropriate authority. The homeless woman outside the diner said that she saw Rachel out and about with an older man who she assumed was her father. She also mentioned that Rachel was seen walking around the Bay by herself and appeared to be deep in thought about something and looked troubled. Is this an example of Rachel's struggle with her inner demons?

    Chloe went into melt-down mode when she discovered that Rachel did indeed have a relationship with Frank Bowers and had wilfully kept the truth of it from her, so the graffiti in Chloe's bedroom which reads: "Everybody lies, no exceptions" is now exposed as a fundamental truth that might underpin every single character in the entire game - including Max, who at times, has knowingly lied.

    So even Max has her own dark room!

    The 'dark room' could also be applied to Blackwell Academy as a whole and not a singular contained space within it. Rachel did attend the academy and was once highly thought of by the powers that be who recognised her innate talents as being instrumental for a bright and promising future. So what exactly happened to Rachel that had so extinguished her light and caused her to suddenly vanish without leaving any trace? It is arguable that Rachel led a double life: in one; a respected student, while in the other; a seedier character who, amongst other things, was involved with drug trafficking! Two extremities of a split personality, one existing in the light, and the other existing in the 'dark room' of life.

    There are many references in this game to television shows which all share similar themes to the core story of "Life is Strange," and the one that comes to mind more than any other when studying Rachel's behavioural patterns is "Twin Peaks." Without lingering too long on popular entertainment, the parallels that can be drawn between Laura Palmer and Rachel Amber are self evident and undeniable - the only difference at the moment is the uncertainty of whether or not Rachel is actually dead or alive.

    The dark room of death is a negative void deprived of any light that would expose the empty shell of a dead body lying inside a coffin. Encased and captured within a dank, airless wooden box. A final resting place of a life once saturated in light that has been extinguished leaving behind a blurry, unfocussed image of a life that once was.

    Author's note: sorry about the paragraph above, but I couldn't resist including something which figuratively speaking, related directly to photography.

    Little is known about the thought processes that crystallised in the dark room of Rachel Amber's mind, if it was known then it would help to understand whether or not her disappearance was voluntary or involuntary. It may well turn out that no one at Blackwell had any part at all to play in her disappearance and she did it through a need to get away or escape from a life she no longer wanted to live - it happens every day in the modern world. But this is an unlikely scenario given the mysterious events that are unfolding in Arcadia Bay and the fact that her parents have no idea as to her current whereabouts. Rachel is indeed in a dark room, perhaps a vortex where everything is sucked toward its centre leaving the victim trapped with no way of escape unless they can find a way to disperse the energy which created it in the first place.

    This thread, as I am sure you realise by now, is not about giving answers to questions that this author is unable to supply, but what it is all about is a single thought which began in the psychotic mind of a person who probably wrote it down as an exercise in self therapy with the hope that by doing so would relieve a mental disorder, a disorder that, amongst other things, suggests an infatuation for a girl who never liked him as much as he liked her. . .in other words, an unrequited love!

    So by way of an ending thought, this game likes to envelop its secrets in metaphors which maybe, just maybe, can be taken in a literal sense. And with this notion pulling at my own thought processes, allow me to end by simply stating. . .

    "Life is Strange" is a dark room!?


    JJ
    Last edited by julietxjules; 27th May 2015 at 06:20.
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  2. #2
    It started out a lot brighter than it is now. I like how it's developing into this "dark room" but at the same time, you develop some kind of attachment with all these characters. They go through all this.

    Right now, my main concern is Max. She needs to get back to reality. We all know there's a Chloe capable of walking. Even if she isn't happy. We can still fix it without altering the past.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alvare View Post
    It started out a lot brighter than it is now. I like how it's developing into this "dark room" but at the same time, you develop some kind of attachment with all these characters. They go through all this.

    Right now, my main concern is Max. She needs to get back to reality. We all know there's a Chloe capable of walking. Even if she isn't happy. We can still fix it without altering the past.
    Yes. . . and as a continuation of the metaphoric theme of this thread - everyone is disappearing down the BLACK-WELL of a strange academy!
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  4. #4
    It has to be connected with the time travel. Everything is. Maybe Max is now gone missing in the original timeline.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alvare View Post
    It has to be connected with the time travel. Everything is. Maybe Max is now gone missing in the original timeline.
    The portents were always there.
    1. Chloe's snow globe heralded the sudden snow flurry.
    2. Several pictures of a partially covered sun (one is in Max's dorm room) heralded the eclipse.
    3. The Two Whales Diner, in name, heralded the beached up whales.
    4?
    5?

    Any thoughts as to the portents indicating how four and five will end?
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  6. #6
    I heard someone say all the David and the hunting stuff you find is also foreshadowing of something that will happen.
    Just like Chloe was foreshadowed with parking at the spot at episode 1 and taking the handicap fund.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alvare View Post
    I heard someone say all the David and the hunting stuff you find is also foreshadowing of something that will happen.
    Just like Chloe was foreshadowed with parking at the spot at episode 1 and taking the handicap fund.
    Indeed. Here's an interesting thought regarding David Madsen and his penchant for hunting deer. There is a trophy hanging up in the garage; one of Madsen's triumphs. There is also a picture of a person (probably him) on the wall which shows someone kneeling down next to a felled deer. You could say that he is a deer killer. The snow globe which Max found in Chloe's room once belonged to her father, and inside the globe there is a doe! So going back in time to the point when Chloe's father got killed through a motoring accident, who or what was responsible for the accident? This is something that we have not been told. Maybe it was Madsen himself who caused the accident while behind the wheel of his bus. We do not know what career Madsen headed into on leaving the armed forces, and in an alternate timeline he actually is the school bus driver. So in effect, the deer hunter found his prey.

    And that is the real reason why Chloe hates him so much - it is a sub conscious hate for someone who, unknown to Chloe has killed her father, although accidently, and has taken his place. And with Madsen in her life, nothing is right for Chloe.

    That could be Madsen's dark room?
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  8. #8
    Great points! I'm so excited on episode 4. I wonder how will they piece together everything in episode 4. Because the end of episode 3 leave us with more cliffhangers. But to be honest I'm not quite sure though if we will see Rachel in the Dark Room episode. But how about Frank guys? Will he come in to play in the next episode 4? Because we saw some pictures of Rachel on Frank's RV proving that they had a more than friends relationship.

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    There was no suggestion of an 'Rachel in the dark room' episode, it is just a metaphor.
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  10. #10
    This makes me think of what Max thinks about Kate after you see that poster on the side of one of her night stands.

    [This is not going to be a word by word account of what she said. Please forgive me.]

    "Maybe Kate has a spilt personality. Church girl by day, party animal by night?"

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    There has been only one spoken reference regarding Kate allegedly leading a double life - this was voiced by Nathan Prescott while in the Principal's office at the end of episode two. He expressed his own surprise on discovering this dubious fact about Kate but never elaborated any further on the subject. This in itself can, and should, be taken as a pinch of salt because Nathan is not a very reliable source for information. But in saying that, it is quite apparent that many of the major players have, and retain, their own secrets. As far as we know, Kate only ever attended one party which had dire consequences for her and severely damaged her state of mind.
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  12. #12
    Which makes me wonder why she even went in the first place.

    Poor Kate. She goes to ONE party, ends up getting drugged and then a video goes viral of her; in Victoria's words, "setting a tongue record."

    Now I'm curious about Mr. Jefferson's secrets. That phone call seems too ominous to me. [The third save that I made, I actually stood around to try to hear the whole conversation, but of course Dontnod accounted for that. However Mr. Jefferson's words and tone through the phone conversation sent chills up my spine.]

  13. #13
    I was thinking the same thing as well, but I'm still stuck on Samuel. I was thinking that Samuel and Mr. Jefferson look similar. I mean they both wear glasses, they both have brown eyes, brown hair. They have the same goatee (Mr. Jefferson's is longer though. I don't know if that's still a goatee.) Seriously! Do a side-by-side comparison. The resemblance is uncanny!

    My theory is evolving. I still think Samuel has something to do with Rachel Amber. People look at him like he's a nice, sweet guy, but I'm not so sure. He has that box of sunglasses, he has that fashion magazine, the missing poster of Rachel Amber, and a woman's silk scarf.

    Everyone knew 'Rachel Amber'. Also the rumor of Mr. Jefferson knowing Rachel is well known as well. We don't know if it was actually sexual or not, but he knew her.

    Also remember his attitude towards Kate? He said that she may have brought it on herself. I mean she's getting harassed in his class, everyone messed with her because of that video, and he doesn't even seem to care that she's going through such hell. He acts like it's all her fault.

    The 'Dark Room' is important. I mean it's the name of the chapter, and it's something Nathan drew. I mean he's having fits, but that's the one thing he concentrated on long enough to draw. I think he may be someones pawn. I also think the 'Dark Room' is literal. Whether it's for developing photos is anyone's guess, but like everyone said, it might be foreshadowing.

    So that's my two cents.

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    Well, I don't think Samuel plays a bigger part in the story, because you don't have to talk to him at all. Many people know him as "that guy who splashed paint on Victoria's cashmere coat".

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    Quote Originally Posted by StrangerThanFiction View Post
    Now I'm curious about Mr. Jefferson's secrets. That phone call seems too ominous to me. [The third save that I made, I actually stood around to try to hear the whole conversation, but of course Dontnod accounted for that. However Mr. Jefferson's words and tone through the phone conversation sent chills up my spine.]
    That was a cunningly positioned fly on the wall moment designed to cast suspicion on Jefferson. We see another one of these fly on the wall moments outside the main doors of the academy when he has a conversation with Victoria, but this time it serves to dispel suspicion on Jefferson and makes him appear as an upright and moral character. Two extremes of the behavioural scale which continue, by design, to keep us all wondering.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnimeSuperFan View Post
    I was thinking the same thing as well, but I'm still stuck on Samuel. I was thinking that Samuel and Mr. Jefferson look similar. I mean they both wear glasses, they both have brown eyes, brown hair. They have the same goatee (Mr. Jefferson's is longer though. I don't know if that's still a goatee.) Seriously! Do a side-by-side comparison. The resemblance is uncanny!
    When you mention the facial similarities between Samuel and Jefferson - what are you trying to say? You did not elaborate.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tataboj View Post
    Well, I don't think Samuel plays a bigger part in the story, because you don't have to talk to him at all. Many people know him as "that guy who splashed paint on Victoria's cashmere coat".
    Quite a few characters have now disappeared off the radar - but that is not to say they will not resurface. Who knows? No one!
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    Yes, but Samuel is too played down. Unlike Frank which we have to meet. People who just quickly run through the game (errm-Pewdiepie-errm) have most certainly forgotten who Samuel is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tataboj View Post
    Yes, but Samuel is too played down. Unlike Frank which we have to meet. People who just quickly run through the game (errm-Pewdiepie-errm) have most certainly forgotten who Samuel is.
    Well I certainly have not forgotten him by any degree. I think he was there initially to introduce the concept of the animal spirit guide. . .but there's no harm in casting suspicion on him either, is there?
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  20. #20
    Nathan no sabe que Rachel esta muerta, posiblemente Rachel haya estado en el Dark Room, y cuando pudo recordar lo que le hicieron, fue a confrontar al Prof Jefferson, quien la termino matando y enterrando en el junkjard, y quizas por eso Nathan no sabe que Rachel esta muerta y se sorprende al verla en el restaurante cuando la confunde con Max

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoelGrosso View Post
    Nathan no sabe que Rachel esta muerta, posiblemente Rachel haya estado en el Dark Room, y cuando pudo recordar lo que le hicieron, fue a confrontar al Prof Jefferson, quien la termino matando y enterrando en el junkjard, y quizas por eso Nathan no sabe que Rachel esta muerta y se sorprende al verla en el restaurante cuando la confunde con Max
    I am sorry, but I do not understand what you are saying. This is an English language forum.
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