First, a moment of silence for Persnickety.
This was a lot of fun to listen to, and there were a couple of things that stood out to me that I wanted to expand upon.
Bri raised the point that the world probably looks like shit to various PCs because they are adventurers with a unique perspective granted by their experience, much like police and their daily experience on the job. Conversely, the world probably didn't seem that bad to the general populace, who didn't have to deal with demons and all that other terrible horseshit on the regular. This was pointed out about G2 specifically, and it made me think about G2's experience with the wider world as opposed to G3's. Has G3 actually run into an environment where things are actively horrible for the citizenry in the area, beyond Overwatch? G4 got torn apart in Lochfort, where werewolves have been besieging the town for years, along with whatever other monstrosities exist in the Silver Glade. G1 has been to Aubrey with its vampire threat (as has G4, come to think of it) and Durnhollow while it was still under the slavers' sway (can't remember or find the name of the group). G2 survived the disaster that befell Onak'al, got savaged in the Silver Glade, fought the vampires in Aubrey, witnessed what the Chained God did to the eladrin, and spent a ton of time in Brightport where evil wizards and a house of assassins once and still hold sway, respectively. G3's been through Brightport, though only after House Darksbane became House Dragonkeep, and besides Overwatch, the most oppressive locale I can remember them visiting was Esterholt, where nonhumans aren't exactly on even footing with humans. Correct me if I'm wrong (I did check the wiki for a bit to make sure I wasn't speaking entirely out of my ass, but I freely admit that I could have missed some stuff), but it seems to me that the average person in a lot of areas have to or have had to deal with some truly heinous stuff, and G3 as a whole hasn't really seen a ton of that everyday fear and suffering outside of Overwatch, no?
I also liked the revisiting of Marrek's wolf-out and Calluna helping to calm him down. You can call it a cliche if you like, but I think there's a reason why it's a popular go-to in storytelling. If you invest that scene with the proper emotion and gravity that it deserves, then that payoff more than overcomes any sort of "Simpsons did it" reaction that might arise. Jasper and Mac did exactly that, and they can't get enough props for it.
I definitely felt for Bri a little bit when G3 went to the library, 'cause I've had moments like that with characters of my own. You head into a scenario that's perfectly tailor-made for your character, except that character is no longer in play, and you want to put your head through your desk. I liked how Thantos was played throughout that setting, but dude, that place was goddamn Disney for Jadzia.
And Orden. Oh, what could have been (and maybe could be in the next arc? Hopefully?). I think the lesson to be taken from him is to always have your knives out, ready to stick them in anything that crosses you. Hell, do so preemptively. You never know when someone might shank you for walking into their house and pissing on their rug, so you might as well beat them to the punch.
What about you guys? Anything in particular stand out to you, be it mentioned or unmentioned on the podcast?