I decided to replay the entire Mass Effect series rather than continue with my return to the Mojave Wasteland. I decided on a completely Renegade playthrough, but more or less abandoned that after completing Mass Effect. Being a complete and total asshole really isn’t in my nature, although I made a heroic stab at it for the sake of the story. But I racked up entirely too many Paragon points in Mass Effect and more or less turned Paragon for Mass Effect 2, although I did not pass up the opportunity to give the Illusive Man a piece of my mind at almost every opportunity. In the end I blew up the Collector Base and then moved in to Mass Effect 3.
As much as it galls me to admit that the Illusive Man was correct, I took the Control option for the ending of Mass Effect 3. But I did it because it was the only option that fit with all of the decisions I had taken up to that point and then started a New Game Plus with the same character (male Shepard with an Infiltrator Class).
In following up on that choice, a thought dawned that perhaps my dissatisfaction with the ending of ME3 might be more related to the failure of the Hero’s Journey than to any major inconsistencies in the ME3 story itself. I’m still trying to digest that idea and will have more to say on it later, but I haven’t changed my opinion on the ending. I’m just trying to get a better handle on why I’ve been dissatisfied. The quest for clarity will bear some interesting fruit, I hope.