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The Illusive Man’s involvement – My issue with TIM, as he’s popularly abbreviated, isn’t that he becomes conveniently indoctrinated to give a conveniently evil face to a story that is full of convenient shortcuts. Rather, my issue is that TIM discovers that the Catalyst for the Magic Space Maguffin (aka the Crucible) is the Citadel and then tells the Reapers this secret. The Reapers, now empowered by this knowledge, move the Magic Space Maguffin directly over Earth and set up a magical space elevator between Earth and the Citadel. The Reapers apparently use the magical elevator to send human corpses up to the Citadel.
What. I don’t even… Where do I even start with this…
How exactly did TIM divulge this information to the Reapers? Did he call Harbinger on his cell phone? Did he tweet him, post it to his Facebook wall, what? Moving on… As you find out later, the Catalyst/Citadel/space-god-child-thing-whatever is the King of the Reapers, commanding the Reapers across the galaxy. If that’s the case, why in hell did the Reapers need to be told that the Citadel housed their leader? Why in hell did the Reapers need to be told that their own leader was the key to using the Magic Space Maguffin? You’d think that both of these little details would have been something that the god child would’ve mentioned hundreds of thousands of years prior to Mass Effect’s storyline, but no, apparently it was an unimportant detail.
Fine, okay. Let’s assume that makes sense. Once the Reapers discovered that the Citadel was the key to activating the Weapon of Mass Convenience, why would they move it directly over the one planet to which they absolutely know that Commander Shepard will return? If the Reapers simply moved it into some random part of space, they would eliminate the possibility of it being used against them. Not to mention that, if it’s that easy for them to move it (we have no idea how they move it since BioWare skipped over that little detail), they could simply wait for the Alliance fleet to deploy the Magic Space Maguffin and then move the Citadel to a different location.
Why are the Reapers sending the corpses to the Citadel? Even if I assume that there’s a logical reason why, what have they been doing with all of the corpses for the several months that they’ve been killing people? If the Reapers needed the corpses on the Citadel for any purpose at all, why did they wait until the Magic Space Maguffin was constructed to move the Citadel over Earth? The Citadel was never once being defended by any fleet, which means they could have simply gone to the Citadel at any time, moved it, and spent months sending corpses up to it, while simultaneously removing the only location in the entire galaxy that provided Shepard with supplies.
Sense, this doesn’t make.
Forgive me for quoting this post so much, but it does reflect a lot of my feelings that it’s not just the last ten minutes of Mass Effect 3 that are problematic, but that the issue runs deeper. Do read the article, it’s long but brings up a lot of points worthy to consider.