Major spoilers for Bioshock Infinite and its DLC, Burial at Sea. Didn’t watch/play? DON’T READ!
I know, I know, I blog about Infinite constantly, but did you see that trailer?
If you’ve been living under a rock for a month, go see it NOW.
Okay, now you’re back, confused? Me too. Where the hell did Booker come from – and how did he get to Rapture?
1) Booker has become “unstuck” like the Luteces and Elizabeth. Probably the most straightforward theory, but a little strange. I’ll admit, I didn’t think of it first, maybe because Booker doesn’t strike me as the omnipotent helper type. The remote stoicism was weirding me out.
That said, it’s entirely possible. Something about Booker’s death unstuck him from time. My hunch would be the fact that he was drowned before he became Comstock or remained Booker, but retained his memories of being Booker post-choice. The Elizabeths created a paradox where in order to drown Booker and erase Comstock they needed post-choice Booker but if they drown post-choice Booker to destroy the chance of Comstock they also destroy any chance of post-choice Booker which means that there is no Booker to drown. Time paradox! So maybe Booker exists on some omnipotent, time-traveling level with the Luteces.
2) Ok, I will admit it: my initial gut was that he is a hallucination. I am so used to trying to outwit shows/movies/games that my first thought was: This is the final twist: he isn’t real. ~Ooooooh~
But there is some credence to my crack!-ish theory:
First, Booker is helpful, but he doesn’t display any knowledge Elizabeth could not already know. If he is a manifestation, he could be her mind’s way of thinking through the information. It’s like that moment when you go apartment hunting and you’ve got your dad’s voice in your head telling you to check all the faucets and open all the doors. Booker gives advice on what he would know about: how to get out of a sticky situation with your life on the line.
Second, no one else can see him. There has never been any blatant indication that the Luteces are invisible to other people – the game developers never put them in a situation where other people would ignore them without good reason. And while I’m trying to think of a time when we saw the Luteces interacting with other people in the main game, I do remember two incidents where the must have had some interaction: first, they spoke to a photographer after their little ‘accident,’ as indicated in a voxophone, and second, there was the telegraph which an errand boy delivered Booker. So they can definitely interact with the world around them on some level, though that does not disprove the idea that they could be invisible. But, when we consider the mechanics of their ‘peculiar’ state, why would they be invisible to some people and not to others? What reasoning do we have for that?
Third, Elizabeth is surprised at Booker’s existence. She says, “Booker… how–?” If Booker was a Lutece-eqsue figure, why would they not have interacted already? It is clear that in Elizabeth’s own narrative that at least a few months-worth of time has passed: her hair is significantly longer than when she or her alternate selves drowned Booker and she appears to be older than Infinite Elizabeth. It seems strange for Booker to stay away for so long, but then again, this is Infinite: it could be a matter of seconds in his own timeline.
3) He is God. Just kidding, we know God doesn’t exist in Rapture. Andrew Ryan would chuck a golf club at his head.
What do you think? Got any more ideas?
Episode 2 comes out March 25. Get your fingers limber and your party hats ready.