Burial at Sea: Episode Two Full Analysis

This is a post that I started last year after the release of Burial at Sea, Episode 2, but never got to finish it. I figured that since Steam held their 2K Sale a week ago, discussions regarding BioShock would rise again, so I thought it would be a good time to finish writing this piece and publish it around the time new players beat the game.  So here is my review of the Episode 2’s story as well the entire ending of the BioShock saga. Again, if you have not completed any game in the BioShock series, don’t read this article as it contains significant plot details.

As a recap, in episode two we find that after the Big Daddy kills Comstock, it kills Elizabeth as well. As a result, Elizabeths across all realities collapse into one physical form. Told by the Luteces that returning to Rapture is dangerous (you don’t say!), Elizabeth ignores their advice to find Sally again, wracked by guilt for letting her go. She meets Fontaine disguised as Atlas, who captured Sally, and convinces him to return her in exchange for getting him back to Rapture. Throughout her mission, Elizabeth travels back to Columbia, at same time finding out how she and Songbird were paired, all the while haunted by illusions of Booker DeWitt. She also finds out that Daisy Fitzroy did not intend to kill the boy at Finkton, but instead provoked Elizabeth to kill her so she would be more mature.

When she gets back to Rapture, Elizabeth is pursued by Andrew Ryan’s men before being captured by Fontaine, believing that she is more valuable than Sally. Elizabeth is forced to bring Fontaine the trigger code that summons Jack to Rapture, and is then killed by Fontaine. But before she dies, Elizabeth sees a vision where Sally will be returned to the surface with Jack in the events of BioShock and dies happily, satisfied that Sally’s future is safe.

I thought that story in this DLC was a great addition to the already intricate plot of the original game, with its purpose of answering all the questions fans had. It explained how Elizabeth was bonded with Songbird, where unlike Little Sisters and Big Daddies being biologically paired, Songbird was paired after Elizabeth showed it an act of kindness. We also learned that myth that fans have always theorised is true, that Fink stole technologies from Rapture such as Songbird from Big Daddies, and Vigors from Plasmids, through communication with Suchong. Seeing that Elizabeth had a role in the ending of the original game was also a great way to end the BioShock series.

However, what the storytellers from Irrational Games did the best was highlighting the emotions of Elizabeth, a girl who has been plagued by misfortune all her life. There never was a time where she was truly happy, she involuntarily left her family at an early age, and became a puppet in a web of vicious personal agendas that she should have never been involved in. The only time where she found peace was probably before she died, knowing that Sally is safe. The conversations she had with herself every time she saw illusions of Booker also showed how lonely she was.

The only segment of the story that bothers me is that, since the ending of Infinite showed that all Comstocks were gone, since all Bookers across reality were killed before the baptism. But afterwards, Elizabeth still travels to Rapture to hunt down another Comstock.

The game does imply that the Comstock killed in Rapture a special type, since he does not remember any memories of being Booker before being baptised by Preacher Witting. Like all time travel stories, this element of the story opens a new can of worms because someone will always ask if there are any more of these “special Comstocks” lying around?

If all Comstocks were gone after grand finale of BioShock Infinite, here is a list of characters and all their ultimate fates.

  • Columbia ceases, ceased, and will cease to exist from reality without a “Comstock” ever being born
  • Rapture still stands in the bottom of the North Atlantic, overrun by Splicers with no sane individuals maintain the city
  • Booker DeWitt’s story ends in BioShock Infinite. He is now back home to his original reality in the year of 1893, on the day he lost Anna, and is up to the player to decide if she is still with him
  • Elizabeth sacrifices her life in Rapture to save Sally’s life, knowing that she will safely return to the surface with Jack. She also ceases to exist across all realities from that point since all of her quantum-superposition were fused into one physical form before she died
  • Zachary Hale Comstock never existed in a reality, since Booker always dies before he is baptised
  • Daisy Fitzroy sacrifices herself, to be killed by Elizabeth in the events of Infinite as a way to help her
  • The Luteces Twins’ fate is unknown, but it is generally taken that they are still exploring the universe with their ability to travel across spacetime
  • Sally returns to the surface with Jack after the events of BioShock and settles in upstate New York, becoming the woman shown in the Fact from Myth video.

And with that, this is the sendoff that finally completes the incredible storyline of BioShock. It is a shame that Irrational Games is now defunct, but I think they should be incredibly proud of themselves for creating a game that put so much life into its characters and setting.


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