But to start on a lighter note:
Among many other things, I saw the so-called rain scene tonight. My reaction was to say...
It's so beautiful.
She looked so happy. I was reminded of our battle back at those ruins in Afghanistan, where (and I assume not every player gets to experience this) I just happened to be in the right place at the right time to witness her dance in shallow water with a rainbow over her. Playing in the water at Mother Base, she looked like a natural performer expressing her joy through impromptu dance.
And then Snake joined in, having fun for the first and probably only time in the whole game. It was a more human side of him that had remained dormant for the entirety of Kiefer Sutherland's portrayal of the character. And now here he was, laughing with her.
I am so glad they put this in the game.
I enjoyed seeing that scene in the sequence that I did with a certain other one that comes later (or apparently, can come before or after).
I am speaking, of course, of the electro-shock torture scene.
Just out of nowhere, they're interrogating her in such a cruel way. I had worried back when I saw it teased in the chapter preview that this scene might represent some kind of breaking of the bond between Quiet and Mother Base, but by the time I got to it I already figured it wasn't, and the only mystery that remained was how that bond could possibly survive such treatment.
And then Kaz dropped the bombshell that Quiet was the woman who tried to kill Snake at the beginning of the game. I had been spending the entire game wondering who that woman at the beginning was, ultimately just assuming she was a random assassin! That little fact changed the entire tenor of the situation -- first of all making the harshness of the interrogation make more sense (given already how cruel these characters had shown they could be, what with the prior interrogations of Huey), and changing its nature into almost a kind of penance for Quiet for what she tried to do back then.
But then at the end, after the focal characters left and Code Talker speaks with her... That made my jaw drop most of all. Well, I don't need to repeat what the people who clicked this spoiler box and are reading this probably already know. But needless to say, I now see how strong Quiet's bond is, and all doubt in my mind as to the genuineness of her expressions of affection thus far is gone.
That makes her posing in the chopper all the sweeter.
The friend I've been playing this alongside (not together, but in parallel on our respective versions) got the rain scene after this one. I got mine before. I'm quite glad that I did, because it made the scene all the more shocking for its contrast with what had come just before, but I see how it really works either way. If I had seen the rain scene second, it would have made it a scene of healing after the testing of their relationship that was this scene. (Wait, maybe then it would have been even more beautiful... Oh well, no use second-guessing it now. I'm happy enough with how it turned out for me.)
After all this (or just before it?), well, I experienced yet another bombshell:
The body in the AI pod -- what the fuck happened there?! Huey was dodgy as fuck, and now I am suspecting him! I still don't think the torture he's endured was justified (obviously), but after he got found out on his lie claiming that he worked alone on Sahelanthropus, the way he "explained" the body made a very different and horrifying story emerge in my mind. Could Huey really be capable of murder, perhaps out of jealousy? I mean, he did kill Skull Face (and according to my friend does so whether you pull the trigger when the game asks you to or not), so he's capable of killing, but...
And of course, the identity of the body was just as shocking (Strangelove?! No, no, and yet it makes so much sense!), followed also by the first chronological mention of dear old Hal. I was actually getting to a point of suspecting that the reason why Huey and Hal are so similar must be because Hal is actually a clone of his father, but it seems like Huey probably conceived him the old-fashioned way -- with Strangelove no less, which is just weird. What happened there? Snake sure has missed a lot in these 9 years.
The game just keeps piling it on. There's so much juicy goodness here all coming to light after what would have been the climactic end of any lesser game. I haven't even gotten to my reaction to discovering the true identity of the Man on Fire, and what I've learned from the tapes of Code Talker explaining the parasites (no wonder Quiet and The End have such similar abilities!).
On a final note:
I spoilered this just because even mentioning the "Gray XOF" fatigues that you can unlock for her reveals at least an implication as to her (former) allegiance, though I suppose it should come as no surprise to anyone. But, uh... I find them to be pretty dull and don't think I'll be using them like at all. I was actually expecting something completely different, something more idiosyncratic-looking in keeping with the series tradition of such characters (which includes Ocelot and his cowboy getup), but maybe such an outfit comes later?