So the Blackwater Massacre is a key event in the Red Dead story. It kicks off the decline of Dutch and the gang, yet we only have a fragmented understanding of what happened and why. Here's what we know so far.
My theory is that we're going to experience this event from Mac Callander's perspective (you can read about Mac here). Here’s why…
- We still don't know who tipped off the Pinkertons. The consensus is that the Blackwater robbery was a setup, yet Milton says they didn't pick Micah up until after Guarma, and Molly said nothing. Milton has no reason to lie about this, and it leaves a really weird gap in the story that could have easily been fixed by making Micah the rat the entire time. Rockstar put far too much effort into this story to leave a plot hole like this, in my opinion.
- To justify telling this story, it makes sense for Rockstar to give us a fresh understanding of these events. We already know everything that Arthur knows from cutscenes and his journal, and he wasn't involved in the robbery anyway. If Rockstar want to show Dutch's infamous killing of Heidi McCourt, then we need to play as someone involved in the robbery. And if we're to find out who tipped off the Pinkertons, then we either need to play from the perspective of a) the rat, or b) someone who discovers who the rat is, but doesn't get a chance to tell anyone. I think the existing characters are too well-defined for us to play them just a few months before the events of RDR2, which leaves Jenny, Davey Callander, and Mac Callander.
- Mac is the ideal candidate for this story, and he's mentioned a suspicious amount by the gang (even more than his brother Davey). We know he was violent and a 'vicious bastard', which basically describes a Red Dead protagonist, without completely boxing him in as being honourable or dishonourable. We also know he was well-liked, which is important because we spend so much time chatting to people in camp. Bill really liked him too, which would be an interesting new bond to experience. His brother Davey lives (and dies) in the gang, which would be a new relationship dynamic for Rockstar to explore. And most importantly, the only person who knows his fate is Milton. This is perfect, because the ending of his story is still really open and unknown. He could potentially be the rat, and Milton is just covering. He may still be alive during the events of Red Dead 2, tormented by the fact his actions killed his brother. Or he may have discovered who the rat was, and got shot and left for dead by them. This is classic Red Dead drama.
- I believe you can see where the Blackwater camp was in the game. Arthur sketches Blackwater in his journal from a cliff just north of the town. It's where Javier's mission to rescue Sean starts (which makes sense). It has all the staples of a good camp. It's beautiful and secluded, it has nice fishing spots, and even a little cliff where you can sit and overlook the town. More importantly, it really just looks right. I'd recommend going to there and seeing for yourself, because you can really imagine a camp there. It's closer to town that the other camps, which would be a nice change (Arthur comments that it makes him nervous in his journal).
- Blackwater at this point in the story is ideal for living our secret cowboy fantasies. People on this sub often talk about keeping saves in Horseshoe Overlook and Clemens Point so they can have a frozen moment in the story where they just hang out with the gang and be a cowboy. There’s definitely a demand for playing the game like this, and Blackwater is the gang as its absolute peak, and RDR2 Blackwater is such an idyllic western town. It literally has everything. I can see why they wouldn't want to put this in the opener of the main game, but as a DLC it offers players not only an important story event, but also a wonderful place and moment to just live in the open world.
I'm aware there's no hard evidence in any of that, but it seems like it ticks a lot of logical boxes to me. Anyway, let's discuss!
(Also, shout out to u/onetimeboar – they made a post about this, which prompted me to write up my own theories.)
© Post "I think we’ll play as Mac Callander in story DLC [Contains story spoilers]" for game Red Dead Redemption 2.
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