Overwatch

Hero 30 Teaser 1 Analysis: We know a LOT about Baptiste

Overwatch4 - Hero 30 Teaser 1 Analysis: We know a LOT about Baptiste
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Spoilers for the teaser, obviously, which you can see here: https://twitter.com/PlayOverwatch/status/1098658706227646464?s=19

Visual detail: The Talon emblem stamped on the document certainly marks where this letter is from. We can then assume that all of the individuals named were or are associated with Talon.

Names:

  • Commander F. McManaway – Target of the letter sent by Nguyen. This is an Irish and/or Scottish name.
  • Senior Analyst Trung Le Nyugen – Sender of the letter to McManaway, apparently investigating Baptiste's disappearance, of which Cuerva's log is a part of that. Nguyen is an incredibly common Vietnamese surname, while Trung Le is fairly common as a given name.
  • Captain D. Cuerva – Leader of the strike team sent to track down Baptiste. Based on the frame of Nguyen's letter, we can assume that Cuerva and his team never reported back to Talon. Cuerva is a name of Spanish extraction, but widespread enough that it could come from Spain, Mexico, or virtually any Latin American nation.
  • Pacanowsky – Identified as male. This is a Jewish surname, which places the ancestry for this character as virtually anywhere in Eastern Europe; Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Romania, you name it. Obviously the likelihood of a descendant in the US is high.
  • Mazzei – This is a Southern Italian surname. No other details about Mazzei are provided aside from meeting the same fate as Pacanowsky and Doubleday.
  • Doubleday – This is an English surname. No other details about Doubleday are provided aside from meeting the same fate as Pacanowsky and Mazzei.
  • Unnamed members of the team: Cuerva has other assets on the team that weren't identified, so it's not him alone against Baptiste. We don't know how many, though.
  • Ti Otel Lanbi – Lanbi is a Creole word of Taino origin (meaning drawn from the Native American peoples who inhabited Haiti before it was discovered by Europe) and means "shell."
  • Port-de-Paix – This is a real location on the northern coast of Haiti.
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Now, here are the key details we're given about Baptiste:

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  • Full name: Jean-Baptiste Augustin – Identified as male. This is a name of French descent, but given the location in Haiti and the history of French colonialism, there's a LOT of different possibilities for Baptiste's background aside from strictly French. A Creole accent would set him apart from Widowmaker and any other French-speaking characters in the canon so far.
  • Medic.
  • Excellent shot.
  • Highly adaptable.
  • Built to survive.
  • Devil's own luck.
  • Baptiste is holed up on a rocky island near Port-de-Paix called Tortuga.
  • Note that Baptiste CHALLENGES Cuerva to come find him, indicating that a) he knows it's Cuerva hunting him and b) he's waiting for him. Using the possibility of three Talon agents as bait (note that he sent their emblems and not proof-of-death like their heads) is a ruthless tactic, so it demonstrates that Baptiste is an uncompromising character, not someone who is suddenly repenting his inclusion in a terror organization.

Conclusions:

  • Compared to Brigitte's tease campaign, this gives us a great deal more information about Baptiste than any other previous throwaway character, which lends credence to the possibility that he's our Hero 30. But assuming that is a little too easy.
  • Cuerva's message indicates that Talon "needs" Baptiste, suggesting that the organization is either gearing up for something big (implied by Doomfist's recent activity) or that they need to recover from a recent event (which, again, could be because of Doomfist or in reaction to the Venice incident, where Talon lost a LOT of assets to Blackwatch and invited a number of internal coups.
  • The infrastructure of Talon as an organization is really put on display here: this is an evil organization with data analysts and a distributed command structure, in addition to logging protocols for field agents. It's on par with something like Overwatch in terms of bureaucracy and record-keeping, and that's an ironic detail for an organization bent on destabilizing world order.
  • A hero that is a rogue on the run from the villainous organization in this universe presents an interesting opportunity. It's the opportunity for a more authentic anti-hero than Reyes/Reaper, and feeds into the narrative of a free agent character who could be working for either side at any given point in time. And it presents the tantalizing question of why someone would leave Talon when their retirement policies are probably well-known.
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The next few days ought to be interesting.

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