The Final Fate of Handsome Jack


(He Who Speaks Half Truths) #1

It’s time to prepare yourself for a ranting tangent on Handsome Jack. As none of you may know, I have always been a staunch defender of Handsome Jack. I somewhat controversially played Borderlands The Pre-Sequel to it’s completion before Borderlands 2, I’ve finished both now. Seeing how he first descended into who he is before seeing him as an anti-hero in Borderlands 2 was a game changer for me (forgive the pun). Contains medium-heavy spoilers for Tales From the Borderlands, Episode 5, first hour and a halfish.

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An Obituary

Jack’s decisions have always been controversial but from some capacity I’ve always been able to argue for him, but as I finished Tales From The Borderlands I had an epiphany that he cannot be saved, no matter how nice I am to him. In Tales I really did want to help Jack, thinking that his evil would be kept in check by Rhy’s good. I always told him what he wanted to hear while still being an overall good guy to everyone that I met on the adventure we had, striking the balance that I thought could stick. I ‘Trusted Jack’ at the end of Episode 2, and did so again at the end of Episode 4, and yet it was all for not. Because, in the end, once Jack has power he becomes Handsome Jack. I always believed the he had his reasons for the things he did, but with his plan to make an army of Handsome AI cyborg meat suits, I knew that there wasn’t a shred of heroism left in him, no matter what he said. He just wants carnage for his amusement. In the end, it was with great regret that I told Rhys, possibly Handsome Jack’s best friend, to kill him once and for all, crushing his own optical core, banishing the Handsome AI from our plane of existence. The saddest point about that is that after all he had done I said sorry to him, and meant it, as Handsome Jack died for the second, and most likely last, time.

Goodbye Handsome Jack, even after all you did and said I still won’t call you a monster, but your not the man that Pandora needs, deserves, or is going to get.

You are not the hero of this story.


(He Who Speaks Half Truths) #2

Or is he? As of the writing of this, only 40% of players decided to kill Jack. So it stands to reason he might be out there, somewhere. Waiting in a robot eye either in gratitude for Rhys, or waiting for a moment of revenge.


(clflanagan72) #3

You will have to speak for yourself there. Jack is nice and comfy in my pocket, and there he shall stay until I need to bring out the big dog. Tales ‘choices’ have their limitations, and I could never be the truly evil Rhys I would so delight in playing. I would say crack that rock of the planet in half and scoop out all the good stuff we can…the natives can rot.

On a personal level, if that was truly the end for Jack I am seriously disappointed. If we were going to kill off Jack once and for all they could have at least given Jack the ability to fight back. A character that awesome deserves and epic ending, not just crushed like a beer can for recycling.


(N.W.A. - Ninjaz With Attitude -) #4

[quote=“The_Herald, post:1, topic:691716”]
… but as I finished Tales From The Borderlands I had an epiphany that he cannot be saved, no matter how nice I am to him.[/quote]

I figured that as early as the completion of the “Handsome Jack Here!” side mission. Anyone who murders a widow after asking about her dead husband and still has the audacity to call himself a hero is clearly a douchebag.

I’m not. Jack was given every chance to fight back, and he still lost. And when he knew he had lost, he begged on his knees like a whiny little bitch. Jack was not awesome, merely entertaining. He deserved no epic ending because epic endings are reserved for those whose characters transcend the archetypical villain. Dark Vader, for example, deserves an epic ending. Jack was certainly entertaining, but was just a douchebag willing to lie, steal, and cheat his way to the top. In fact, I’m glad he got the Sam Haight treatment in the end. It’s what he deserved.


(Matrixneo42) #5

It’s unclear to me. It’s such a wide open door now. Probably won’t be closed until Borderlands 3. Or possibly Season 2 of TftBL if they make it. If it’s in TftBL then they will have to write themselves out of a possible hole. Is it possible for example that Jack is still copied to the Helios computers? In any case there certainly is a way, especially if they got the Dr. Who writers involved. They always find a way to defy expectations. :stuck_out_tongue:


(He Who Speaks Half Truths) #6

I’ve never thought of the idea that Jack could be in the remnants of Helios but it seems Vaughn went over the facility pretty well and would have noticed of their was still some Jack programming in their. Another thing that they never mentioned was where the Nakayama drive went after Rhys used it in Episode 1. If Gearbox makes the majority choices by the players canon, then Jack will either have died for good in this game, or will return in Tales From The Borderlands Season 2 or Borderlands 3. I’m thinking that if there is a Season 2 then possibly we’ll play as Vaughn and Sasha instead. I also think that if they keep The Handsome AI around for Borderlands 3, he will be used as a last resort superweapon against the antagonist of Borderlands 3, because, though people don’t really talk about it, Handsome Jack is probably the most intelligent planner on (or orbiting) Pandora, he just doesn’t act like it.


(clflanagan72) #7

Just personally, if I was a vault hunter I would want Jack to be contained but available. In this universe he has gotten open more vaults than any other human. Of course, he used others to do the labor, but the result is he got them open and got the goodies.

I never say that Jack isn’t pure evil, or not a gigantic ass. Just think it would be a stupid move to kill off someone that useful. Uranium is deadly, but contain it and you get the energy to make good things happen. If you can control the environment he exists in, he would have to play nice.


(Matrixneo42) #8

Completely agree.

Imagine Lilith assigning you a mission in BL3:

“I didn’t want to have to do this but we’re out of options, go talk to our prisoner. He may have some insight on X.” You walk to the objective. Some isolated room in the depths of the Crimson Raider base that’s protected by both physical and digital security. You get a pat down for any tech you might have to leave at the door. You walk into the empty interrogation room and you hear Lilith say: “ok, boot him up”. And there you get to talk to Jack. You’d have to go back to him for a bunch of story missions and of course, some optional missions (that have to get approved by Lilith).

edit: oh and the name of the first mission with him would totally be a reference to Hannibal Lecter


(The Handsome One) #9

An end to one of my favorite characters. He will be missed.


(clflanagan72) #10

I ate bandit livers with some stinging cactus berries and a nice Moxxy special ~slurping sound~


(robotigerx) #11

At the same time, you’d EXPECT a dramatic, beyond-fantastically-written hero/villain to get a dramatic death like that. As we all know, Borderlands doesn’t do what’s expected, even if you hate it. That movie Kingsman reminds me a lot of Borderlands-- if you’ve seen it, you’ll know one point in the movie where you probably went “WHAT THE ACTUAL ■■■■” and sat in awe staring at the screen. I feel like BL pulls these kinds of things too. And I think that actually, having such a crappy or unsatisfying or not-that-dramatic death for someone so immensely grand and intricate is sort of great, in a way, because you don’t expect it, and because it feels so much more realistic than making sure he has his money-making mind-blowing last moments. Yknow what I’m sayin?


(clflanagan72) #12

I do, but considering all things, Borderlands is still a game. It would be as much for the game players as it is for the character to have it end in a boss fight. Games are kinetic. If you aren’t directly involved there really isn’t a point of making it a game. An undramatic ending would we poetic if this was a comic book or movie. For a game, it’s a stealing of an experience for the player.


(Boring Ol' Album Cover) #13

Honestly, Jack’s ending gave me a nice sense of closure… And about his ending, considering Tales is basically an interactive novel in game form, it really doesn’t follow the same rules as a normal game, I would think.


(robertjcooling) #14

It’s not that I don’t like jack far from it, however I decided not to keep him as it would have been better letting him rest in peace and move on then to batter and butcher what was left by allowing him any type of access to ruin his name by killing and harming even more, he lived as a “hero” and died as a “warrior” as it were.


(robotigerx) #15

Also true. The only place I can sort of counter that argument is the fact that this one wasn’t a typical Borderlands game; in BL2 they had the ultimate boss fight with Jack, one that is probably my favorite boss fight of all time. But with Telltale, the point of their games is to blur the line between games and movies, in which case they have every right to do a more cinematic death of Jack than a badass final boss explosion. You’re not really directly involved in a majority of TFTB, I feel like, contrary to what Telltale advertises. You get to be a part of it and tweak minor things, but in the end there is one true story that will always happen. That’s just the point of Telltale, and that’s why I think Jack’s death scene works for it.