Tales From The Borderlands Episode Four: ‘Escape Plan Bravo’ Review

“You are totally blowing my mind right now”

‘Escape Plan Bravo’ is an excellent and highly emotional penultimate episode that sets up an eagerly anticipated finale. It may forsake the frantic action on dusty Pandora for quieter character reflections back up on Helios, but this lull in pace isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It allows the narrative to breathe a little, not to mention offering a welcome change in scenery; hey Pandora can get a little tiresome no matter how many hilarious scenarios it may present. It also represents to certain characters a full circle, with the final choice arguably a culmination of every step you’ve chosen for that version of the characters, and that’s with an episode still to go!

Catch-A-Riiiiiiiiide in space

Episode Four opens with our group in a perilous situation, under the heel of ruthless criminal ‘Queenpin’ Vallory, but also one step closer toward the fabled Vault of the Traveler. Only problem is that this Vault only stays in one place for a few minutes at a time, Gortys needs one last piece to be able to summon it for long enough for the group to snag the untold riches that await inside. It just so happens that this piece is up on the Hyperion Space Station of Helios, right where you started the series with Rhys and Vaughn. So as already mentioned, the story pretty much comes full circle on Rhys’ side anyway, especially when Handome Jack’s burgeoning influence is taken into consideration as well.

Fiona’s role this episode is a bit more low-key, for her and Sasha it’s the first time they’ve ever left Pandora, hence there’s a sense of melancholy when the duo realise the life they’ve endured down there. Fiona is also heavily involved in the big emotional set-piece of the episode, one which I obviously won’t spoil but it’s clear that Tales From The Borderlands is permanent fixture in the Borderlands universe, with big ramifications on the mainline series too.

The gang’s all here

However a single choice concerning Handsome Jack feels like the only meaningful one in the entire episode, the rest seem completely superficial and just plain pointless really. This is a bit of a shame because previous episodes have spun different narratives based on what were low-key choices. In this episode it’s reduced to what clothes you wish to wear when breaking into Helios. An unimportant decision to be sure.

Although it’s true there’s a perceptible lack of energy this episode due to the absence of insane action sequences, and a range of insignificant choices representing a step down from previous instalments. ‘Escape Plan Bravo’ nonetheless maintains the superb sense of humour that has become a stable of the series. The characters in the story feel like organic additions and the more grounded exchanges in this episode add a genuineness that is sometimes needed considering the absolute absurdity that transpires in this series. A mellower episode certainly, but Escape Plan Bravo is nevertheless a great couple hours of entertainment. Crucially, it does what a penultimate episode needs to do, set up the pieces for the grand finale.

8/10

+Sense of humour is still fantastic

+Returning to Helios

+Emotional moments which I can’t spoil

+ Sets up the finale well

-Not enough significant choices