The bumbling genius’ influence will be kill or cure for Earth in Episode Three. Although he’s been a benevolent old uncle to the resistance throughout the Half-Life 2 story, the news of the Borealis’ recovery brought about a binary disagreement between himself and Eli. Kleiner wants to use whatever secrets the ship holds against the Combine, whereas Eli wanted it destroyed without question for fear of its use bringing about an event as horrific as the original Black Mesa incident. Given Eli’s revealed knowledge of the G-Man and presumed greater understanding of the bigger picture, we’re highly tempted to assume that Kleiner is the misguided party.
But with Eli out of the picture, Mossman’s condition unknown and Dr. Magnussen a glory-hunting egotist, Kleiner is now Gordon’s most likely scientific influence. Our prediction? Definite conflict between Kleiner and Alyx over what could be the most pivotal decision in the story so far. As usual, the weight of responsibility will fall upon Gordon, but depending on how heated things get we might see a major fracturing of the resistance. If we were to be even more suspicious, we might even guess at secret motives on Kleiner’s part. Is his plan mere bumbling enthusiasm, or is there some Mossman-style double agentry going on? Could it even be the G-Man’s influence, assuming he isn’t on Earth’s side?
This one’s a definite long shot, but definitely not outside the realms of possibility. The US marine hasn’t been seen or heard of since the G-Man quarantined him at the end of the original Half-Life’s Opposing Force expansion pack, but that doesn’t mean he’s out of the picture. Just the opposite, in fact.
Shephard’s journal entries in the manuals to Opposing Force and Blue Shift make it quite clear that the G-Man was pulling his strings before the Black Mesa incident in order to make sure he was present. The G-Man also makes it quite clear at the end of the game that he personally argued to save his life, so the fact that he was subsequently detained in the same way as Gordon heavily implies that the suited pawn-collector has definite plans for him in the future.
With Barney nowhere to be seen in Episode Two and Alyx an unknown quantity, we’ll tentatively put a small amount of money down on Adrian being put back into play as back-up for Gordon at some point in Episode Three. After all, Valve have openly stated that they’d like to bring him back at some point.
We’ll see the comedy headcrab again, we’re absolutely sure of it. She might have been blasted skyward on the portal-killing rocket at the end of Episode Two, but headcrabs are a hardy bunch. So much so in fact, that the Combine are known to launch them into cities inside missiles for use as biological weapons. Trust us, she’s safe.
Our dream Lamarr appearance? We want to see her follow Dog’s example by dropping in (literally) to make a surprise rescue during a hairy Combine ambush. She might be safely de-beaked now, but she could more than distract any Combine trooper by trying to couple with his head during a fire-fight.
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