One of the Call of Duty franchise’s most impactful sequences comes back to haunt players over a decade later.
Infinity Ward’s latest spin on the Call of Duty series features a whole lot of action, high-stakes plotlines, and characters to get attached to. From classics, such as Ghost and Soap, to newcomers like, Vargas and even a reimagined villain in the form of General Shepherd, there’s a lot to unpack here.
While we got to enjoy familiar faces all over again, the series did have one striking omission from the main roster of characters, and it’s one that has major implications given the unfolding details from the game’s mysterious, nostalgia-inducing ending. Let’s take a closer look.
Echo 3-1 AKA ‘Alex’ is one of the ex-CIA operatives you can play as in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019), and was definitely one of the standout protagonists of the series. As a slick, effective, and loyal operator, his background and storyline took in elements of counter-insurgency, information warfare, and more, giving the initial push to Call of Duty: Warzone’s premise and seasonal story arcs.
So… why isn’t he featured in Modern Warfare II?
At the start of the 2019 title’s launch story arc, Alex was presumed dead via explosion, although in true COD fashion, we don’t get to see a corpse. Inevitably, the post-launch seasons confirmed that Alex was indeed alive, and just missing a leg from his unfortunate incident in Verdansk. All of this means that Alex should be in this game, right? Well, he isn’t. And in a disturbing turn of events, neither is Vladimir Makarov.
The ending scene of the game shows Agent Laswell introducing a ‘new threat’ to Task Force 141 in the form of Makarov, the Russian terrorist cell leader who served as the main antagonist for 2011’s Modern Warfare 3. It’s cool to see the infamous ‘No Russian’ classic mission referenced here, but what’s even more interesting is that Price is well aware of Makarov’s existence and plans.
The original No Russian mission saw us step into the shoes of an undercover US agent working within Makarov’s terrorist cell, as they carry out an attack on a Russian airport, mowing down dozens of innocent civilians. After carrying out their mission, Makarov shoots our playable character dead, clearly aware of their undercover status.
The character’s name? PFC. Joseph Allen, AKA Alexei Borodin.
This time around, Makarov’s terrorism will take place aboard one or multiple planes as opposed to inside an airport, leading to a lot of potential death and possibly another World-War-III scenario. Regardless of how “No Russian” occurs, it seems like Alex could be Price’s undercover agent. Not only do the names match up, but Alex himself has had plenty of time operating in Russian-speaking zones, making him an ideal candidate for Price to send on a super-covert mission, explaining his mysterious absence from the second game.
This fan theory ignited a major discussion on online forums, with fans conjecturing what lay in store for the character. Would Alex meet the same fate as Alexei, or would things play out differently in the future?
Sure, Makarov is smart enough to weed out a rat in his ranks, but Alex is pretty damn tough to kill as we’ve seen already. Perhaps the most interesting story would form through flashbacks of Alex’s initiation process into the terrorist cell, further darkening the gritty, serious tone that the reboot series has held on to since 2019. Hell, maybe Alex even goes rogue and betrays Price — one thing’s for sure, we’re excited to see what’s next in the Call of Duty storyline.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is available now on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.
Lead Image: Activision