Originally Posted by rwaddy2
While I do see how that he could be seen as a non Deus Ex Machina because of how long the Citadel has been present in the galaxy, I still believe that the ghostly figure just felt like a rushed denouement that didn't serve much of a purpose, other than to drive home the legitimately good argument that Shepard is indoctrinated/hallucinating.
One more point is that Bioware had a couple of games where they made a bold plot-twist and let players in the dark. Knights of the old Republic is famous for it's Revan-reveal. Even the blight in Dragon Age was not what it seemed at first. Games from Bioware also experimented a lot with dream sequences, so it's not that they'd never done something like this.
Think again about the whole last 10 minutes on the citadel: why can't you use any powers? How come Anderson is so far ahead, when he claims he came on the citadel after
Shepard? Why do you hear only one shot when killing TIM but also Anderson falls over? Why does the ghost kid look and sound so similar to the boy in the dreams, a boy no one else has actually seen or noticed? How can Shepard actually breath there, since it suggests he stands where the crucible connected to the citadel, which happens to be in space?
It's just too many details as if it could be a simple oversight. Or they started putting LSD in the tap water at Bioware. I don't know what ending you choose and what your galaxy readiness was. I took the "Renegade" ending, killing the reapers and had readiness rating of 94% with over 5000 points. I got a scene which apparently not everyone got, where you see Shepard lying in rubble, breathing in to suggest he/she is still alive. But the rubble doesn't look like the structure of the citadel, it looks like London, where he was hit by Harbinger himself.
I put some of my thoughts in the other Mass Effect 3 thread on these boards:
It's only a interpretation, of course, but it fits with a lot of things I encountered while playing through all the 3 games. Especially considering reaper indoctrination and that Shepard was actually dead (don't know if you saw all the vidlogs on Sanctuary) and it's hinted that reaper technology was at least used in the same research lab.