ok, I have the extended DLC, but when I beat the game, the game ended on the squad walking out of the normandy on some forest planet and the reapers retreated. I also only had three options to choose from. I read the extended cut has 4 options to choose from and a narration. I also heard the Normandy comes and picks up your squad mates right before you go up in the citedal laser beam, which never happened for me. I'm guessing I didn't see the true extended cut of this ending?
The extended cut doesn´t seem to be working for you. I advise to redownload it. Anyway, the EC will give you a more extensive dialogue with the catalyst. Will add a few cutscennes to show you the Normandy picking up your team mates, and gives you the chance to refuse all the 3 options given by the Catalyst (that being the fourth option) and simply allow the cycles to continue.
It isn't so much about not being able to think for myself so much as it is realizing the amount of inconsistencies and incoherent nonsense that exist. Only Casey Hudson and Mac Walters wrote the ending, and thus they weren't peer reviewed to make sure everything was sensical and logical. Aside from the superficial and obvious faults (the identical outcomes no matter which option you chose, the war assets not impacting anything, and the limited amount of player impact in terms of the dialogue wheel) the ending contradicts previously established plot points in the first two games in many instances And introduces an entirely new concept that doesn't tie in with what the series has been about.
In short, the ending was poorly thought out in terms of the concept of the Catalyst, poorly written in terms of the dialogue and inconsistencies, and overall poorly designed in terms of the lack of a final boss battle, how little player impact there is in the dialogue choices, and finally how the war assets accumulated throughout the game are essentially rendered meaningless.
You're correct in that, to some degree, every piece of fiction has moments that, if analyzed and thought carefully, may not be sensical. With that being said, most of those plot holes typically aren't all that noticeable, relevant, or important in the grand context of the story. In other words, they don't negatively impact the story because they aren't noticeable. In Mass Effect 3's ending, the examples are blatantly obvious to the point where it affects the quality of the storytelling, and I could practically point out line-for-line the inconsistencies. Over the summer I immensely enjoyed Star Trek: Into Darkenss. Sure, they were perhaps a few inconsistencies scattered throughout its 2-hour duration, but they didn't affect the story from being logical; on the other end of the spectrum, ME3's ending had at least several dozen types of errors within a very short time frame of roughly 20 minutes, and thus they were more negatively impactful towards the plot and characters.