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Hello! It's me again! Bet you didn't see that one coming! Just like Ryan didn't see all these plot revelations coming! Heyo!

Sorry, that was in poor taste. It's just if I don't joke about all these twists and turns I will collapse to a heap on the floor and never get up. As any rational person would.

Death Becomes Them II picks up exactly where its predecessor leaves off, but somehow manages to start with the audio equivalent of taking a nail-studded baseball bat straight to your knees. The opening montage of all of the Ryan-Akmazian greatest hits (but only Ryan's side, crucially) is enough to take the wind right out of your lungs, and then the rest of the story has to happen.

From the outset, it is abundantly clear that something's gone horribly wrong. Akmazian seems to not exist, the Admiral's alive again and on speaking terms with Elaine, and Urvidian has never drunk anything alcoholic in his life, which is honestly the most terrifying part of this. There is so much happening and we all need a break to dodge the consecutive left hooks the story keeps throwing.

Honestly, I don't really have much to say about this episode because I'm too busy being heartbroken and grappling with all of the time paradoxes. Every single revelation comes with a million more questions, most of them "why," "when," and "how," and there's barely enough time to recover from one before being clocked upside the head with another. It's frankly astonishing how fifteen minutes of audio can completely destabilize two seasons' worth of material. Equal parts tragic and remarkable.

Skipping ahead, the end scene with Levi and Jane is genuinely so touching. The fact that they're immediately ready and willing to jump on board to help Ryan with a problem they don't fully understand is testament to the depths of their care for each other. That morning, they were told their reality was wrong, and still decided to help their friend, no matter the danger to their lives or timelines.

And then, Ryan has to go and refuse it. In his eyes, a world where his parents never separated, his dad's still alive and is sincerely proud of him, and Urvidian actually cares about his work, is in every way superior to the one he left, even if it means leaving Akmazian behind. As he puts it, he stays, "Because… because this reality is better." To which I say: wait another season or two and then reassess. Shit's about to go crazy.

Also, I'm bashing the Admiral over the head for lying through his teeth during that phone call and also because he is a bitch and I hate him.