A lot of people probably haven’t heard of Red vs Blue, but it’s one of my favorite web shows of all time. Some of the jokes may be outdated from the test of time, but the characters and story still reach emotional levels that are timeless. We’ve seen these characters go through 17 seasons, through multiple different challenges and obstacles, different villains, and hilarious shenanigans. I wrote an article last year about why it’s my favorite, and I recommend giving it a read if you want to know more about the show itself before I dive deep into the upcoming season: Red vs Blue: Zero.
There have been a lot of issues with this season’s release. As expected, COVID-19 has impacted the production, causing employees to socially distance themselves when filming motion-captured scenes and record voice lines on their own and not in the professional studio. Along with that, they also had to deal with internal employee turnover. Two key voice actors left the company, one on good terms and the other being let go after many disputes. There was also another employee scandal that came out earlier this week, causing the voice actor for their character to be recast mere days before the release of the season. That alone caused another setback for this season that should’ve been released back in April.
From what we know so far, the season will feature a new set of characters, both villains and ‘good guys’. Only two of the characters from the original show will be returning, and there is no telling if any of the other original cast will be mentioned, have cameos, or if they will be forgotten completely. We don’t know much of the story except that the villains, known as “Zero’s Syndicates,” are looking for the ultimate power. This could allude to prior events that happened in the show, which links back to the original cast of characters. However, the main issue I have with this soft ‘reboot’ is the showrunners.
Torrian and Fiona wrote this new season of Red vs Blue, and they come off very passionate about it, which I can appreciate. I would want someone working on a project to be genuinely enthusiastic about it. However, the sticking point a lot of us fans have an issue with is that neither of them have actually watched the show. As said in a recent podcast interview, Torrian has only watched part of Season 9 and we can assume it was to see how the action sequences were done, and Fiona hasn’t seen any of it. How can you write for a show that you’ve barely seen? It honestly makes no sense, and I really hope this doesn’t impact anything major in terms of the prior 17 seasons of development.
Despite that, there are things I’m looking forward to. It’s another season of Red vs Blue, and they brought back two of our favorite characters with hopes of seeing cameos of others. Since the plot is still shrouded in mystery, it could go in lots of different directions, which can be both good and bad. Personally, my fears outweigh my hopes. The biggest fear I have is Agent Washington’s injury being retconned into oblivion.
Washington sustained a neck injury during season 17, causing him to be hospitalized. We were told he would have brain damage, leading to gaps in his memory where he would forget where he was and what was happening around him. When Rooster Teeth released the first episode of Season 18 as an early preview, they essentially told us that due to advanced medical technology, he was perfectly fine, minus the ability to know right before a microwave was set to go off. In this preview episode, we didn’t exactly see much of him, but he seemed fine. This makes me slightly angry.
On one hand, I’m happy he’s okay, but on the other hand, the writers did the fans a huge disservice. When you give a character a major disability, like an injury, and you make them come out fine on the other end as if nothing happened, you as the content creator are basically saying that anything can happen to this character and they will turn out 100% fine. Even if it was a small repercussion like, “Every Tuesday when it rains in the morning, Washington gets a debilitating headache,” or something similar, it’s still a hindrance and a consequence for what happened to him. He doesn’t, like any other human, get off scot clean.
Overall, I’m excited but worried about this next season. I want to keep an open mind, but I’m afraid things will turn south and completely ruin the future for this series. I would like to go in with zero doubts, but I definitely have a few.