Wednesday, May 22, 2024

That’s Underrated: Sean and Finn from Life is Strange 2

From the beginning, Life is Strange has been a queer as hell series — and its second season is no exception. You’ve definitely heard of Chloe and Max, and probably of Chloe and Rachel, but maybe you haven’t heard of Sean and Finn from the most recent season.

LGBT characters aren’t easy to find in video games, period; but finding LGBT people of color in them feels like searching for a needle in a haystack. Sean Diaz from Life is Strange 2 is one of the precious few bisexual men of color that we have in video games. He meets Finn, one of the two people he can have a relationship with, in the second episode, but only gets close to him until he joins Finn’s traveling group in the third episode.

From the first moments of the episode, there’s a palpable tension between the two. Finn is more vulnerable, able to make his eagerness to frequently be physically and emotionally intimate with Sean visible. The two work at a weed farm, and on the way back to their camp from the job, Finn asks Sean, “So, did you have a good day at work, honey?”

On Sean’s end, there’s an attractive contrast between the two: Sean is on the run from the suburban life he once knew because he unwillingly and accidentally broke the law. He’s constantly anxious and in fear of getting caught, unable to allow himself to truly be free because he has to be a stand-in dad for his little brother. On the other hand, Finn breaks the law in small ways willingly, and is a person who enjoys uncertainty, adventure, and not adhering to society’s rules. He is free physically and spiritually, and someone who goes with the flow even when things aren’t going right.

Sean and Finn

There is some criticism that fans of the ship have expressed; namely, that to kiss Finn requires committing a crime that puts your brother in danger because of Finn’s selfish desires, as well as the fact that Sean can have sex with his other potential romance — a woman named Cassidy — but not with Finn. While I don’t exactly disagree with the criticisms, I understand at least why Sean has to make a specific and morally questionable choice to be able to kiss Finn. It’s a choice that matters to Finn; that represents his wishes for his future, one in which he never has to worry about money or instability ever again.

We’ve tried to spoil the least that we can, for you really should check out Life is Strange 2 since it’s an amazing game and an improvement upon the famous first season in every way. Sean and his relationship with his little brother is the core of the season’s story, but his moments of sexual exploration are more than welcome in a medium in which queer representation is scarce — especially for men, and even doubly so for people of color. Sean and Finn are messy human beings who can enter a messy relationship, and exploring the nuances in the messy, complicated parts of ourselves is something Life is Strange excels at doing in a plethora of ways.

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