Author Topic: Why the ending was NOT corny, cheesy or deus ex machina (Spoilers)  (Read 2241 times)

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Saw this being mentioned here the other day and wanted to adress the subject.

First of all, the title here is a bit misleading, because, yes, the ending was corny and cheesy. (If not the correct expressions, I apologize, not English in mothertongue.)

But why is that not to be criticized?

Because that's the whole point to begin with. The idea behind the memory altering device is exactly this, namely to give a person the corny and cheesy ending his or her real life did not grant them. So to call To The Moon out for having an overly sentimental or happy ending is rather ... silly. (No offense.) On top of it, the player knows exactly that it's not the real ending to Johnny's life, it's just his imagination burned into his brain and we're still left with the question whether dying happily in a dream is better than dying unsatisfied in reality. So overall, there's not really much of a corny and cheesy ending, just because Johnny's memories end in a corny and cheesy way.

The only way to have a little less happy ending would've been to let the two scientists fail at their job which would've been an interesting way to end the story as well, but it wouldn't have been more realistic or a better ending, just different.

So what about the Deus Ex Machina reproval? Well, it's totally false. A deus ex machina basically is understood as an unrelated, surprising event occuring out of nowhere without any working towards it or upbuilding ect. to solve a problem unsolvable by the characters themselves.

Johnny making it to the Moon, is, of course, no deus ex machina at all as it's what has been worked for throughout the story and by means the characters have regular access to.

How about River re-appearing into Johnny's fake life? As Dr. Rosalene said repeatedly, she did NOT delete her from Johnny's memory, she just deleted when and how they met. She expressed confidence in her return several times and it was actually kind of sure she would. The memory of River and River being a huge part of his life was still there. His fake life is constructed out of his actual memories around the lie implanted into them. Having met her, having become a couple ect was all part of this, the memories were still inside his brain, so it's no surprise his mind and the machine worked her back into the new memories. More importantly, the impression of him and her meeting on the moon and becoming re-united was such a strong subconscious theme for him, it turned into his dying wish even though he didn't understand it, didn't know why he wanted to or where that desire came from. It was pretty much expected this would somehow happen when his mind is allowed to create a new, alternative life memory for himself. So joining up with River and being united with her on the moon was pretty much bound to happen and her becoming his collegue astronaut was the only believable fake reality which would allow it to happen.

There's nothing Deus Ex Machina about it, it is a direct effect of the previous events and circumstances.

Long story short: the key to appreciating the ending (at least Johnny's ending) is remembering it is just his perfect fantasy and it is meant to be just that