Games like Telling Lies contain many characters with their unique and hidden plotlines. Use this list to find out what lies beneath the game’s main story.
There are hidden plotlines in Telling Lies
In the Telling Lies game, the core of the story focuses primarily on David, Ava, Emma, and Max. For the most part, this is a very personal story.
One can be a bit painful at times, as it can feel uncomfortable voyeuristic.
While this interpersonal story is clearly front and center, there are a number of other storylines that intertwine (and end up being easily overlooked).
Things like the nature of the FBI’s operations or the role of fairy tales in predicting events can easily be confusing.
However, these narrative threads help fill the story and shed light on potentially much bigger issues than David and all those closely associated with him.
They called Emma “Texas Backhand”
One of the small threads woven into the story is Emma’s tennis story.
Emma was an elite tennis player when she was young. Her room was full of tennis trophies, and according to her mother, she was competitive at the national level.
She even has a nickname: Texas Backhand. Paul, her ex, is also a talented tennis player. This relationship seems to show that tennis is something that binds the two together.
At one point, David said that Emma “hates tennis.”
This is a dubious statement because after the main event of the match, Emma will be leaving the nurse to become a tennis coach.
His comments seemed to indicate that David didn’t know his wife very well.
Or maybe her abusive relationship with Paul really made her hate tennis. And being a coach shows that she’s getting it back and forgetting her past.
Anyway, when Emma lifts her old tennis trophy, we see her smile in a way she doesn’t have in most of the games.
Eric and his crew are hypocrites
They all knew Peter was trash, but they didn’t do anything for him.
Worse, they took his side and wiped out what he had done to Ava.
Even Eric, who otherwise seems like a nice guy, apologizes for Peter (who is a rapist, by the way).
They had waged their great war against big oil, but they had waged it with someone they knew was absolutely despicable.
That doesn’t mean the whole group sucks. However, it does show that people are complex and even good people are more than capable of closing their eyes.
They were simply protesters
Ava, Eric, and the whole Silver Ridge group were not extremists.
They are ordinary environmental activists. One of the guys at Silver Ridge proudly blocked the way in forty minutes. That’s the threat they pose.
Eric and his crew first talked about how they could use social media to put pressure on the pipeline.
They specifically said they didn’t want to be known as “bad guys” and said they had to keep things “classy”.
David actively urged them to take more extreme action on behalf of the government (to no avail).
It was he who suggested blowing up the bridge and everyone was clearly not happy with the idea.
Even Green Storm, Operation’s primary goal, was an operation that used to be just about closing bridges and pouring a glass of water on the CEO.
None of these people were ever dangerous.
The FBI attempted to manufacture terrorists
Eric’s crew was not involved in anything illegal.
All they meant was blocking the bridge to slow down pipe production.
The FBI knows that.
However, when they stopped operations, they were still trying to capture the last member of this peaceful group of people to serve as an example.
The FBI maliciously tries to target these people.
And when they get no bait, they just make accusations.
Ironically, in an attempt to incite these harmless environmentalists to extremism, their own agents end up becoming true terrorists.
Hell hath no fury…
Despite being the character we play, we see very little of Karen in Telling Lies (that is, beyond her shadow on the monitor).
However, we can gather some details.
In one video with David, she says she was close to filing an internal complaint about the surgery but didn’t want to ruin her career.
Later, when we got the final in-game report, she referred to him as a “former special agent”.
It seems that as a result of the failed operation, the head must have overflowed.
Karen filed a complaint (and was later fired) or otherwise got involved afterward.
The report also said Karen’s motives seemed “political”.
After all, what you did in Telling Lies seemed to trigger Karen’s revenge.
The exact motive remains unclear, we don’t know if it was all revenge or generosity. But we do know that she managed to rattle a few cages.
David’s code name is “Prince Charming”. Of course he seemed to have given himself that name.
However, the character he most agrees with is Rumpelstiltskin.
He told Alba the story of Rumpelstiltskin twice during the Telling Lies game.
For the uninitiated, Rumpelstiltskin is the story of a mysterious man who hides his name. A man who pretends to help a young woman is in danger, but then reveals that he is threatening her.
Rumpelstiltskin, like David, was completely undone by revealing his real name.
In his first story, David even said that Rumpelstiltskin exploded after colliding with his real name.
There are clearly many similarities between Rumpelstiltskin and David. The story acts as a wise warning.
David’s fantasy of being a knight
David wanted to be a hero in every way.
He wants to help people.
The problem, however, is that he sees women as damsels.
He often called himself a knight.
When called out on his troubling behavior, he shouted more than once about how he protects people.
He is determined to save women, leading him to repeatedly attack previous abusers. Which turned out to be a bit ironic.
And of course that was why Emma had lost some of the gleam in her eyes: she didn’t need help anymore.
He’s attracted to women who think they need to save (no matter how many times they tell him they don’t want to).
However, as soon as they retreated, the masks began to slide.
A woman who doesn’t give David what he wants is called a “bitch”.
Basically it’s a mess and the inner logic falls apart when people don’t play.
Eventually he even shows up at Max’s house and threatens her with a gun.
Truly a Prince Charming. Like many other characters in Telling Lies, David is a hypocrite.
What goes around comes around
One of the hallmarks of the many stories mentioned throughout the Telling Lies game is the simple dessert idea.
After all, this quality is a very important element in Telling Lies.
David met Chris once. He decides to take matters into his own hands, sabotaging him and forcing him to leave the operation.
Not long after, David does the same thing, where he is interrupted by another agent (Tom) while trying to convince the Green Storm activists of his plan.
Their reasons are also exactly the same.
Emma also tells the story of Paul, his offended ex-girlfriend, and how David creates a situation that justifies Paul’s shooting.
How does the game end?
With Max, he takes David to their apartment and then shoots him (albeit non-fatally).
It seems that much of what David did to others was later reconsidered.
In the end, the idea of reciprocity turned out to be a very central theme of the story.
About Telling Lies
Telling Lies is available now for the PC and mobile devices. The game was released on PS4, Switch, and Xbox One on April 28, 2020.
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