- "You know, Devin, the way I see it, and hey, I'm no intelligent businessman like you, but the way I see it, there's two great evils that bedevil American capitalism of the type that you practice. Number one is outsourcing. You paid a private company to do your dirty work for ya, and then you underpaid that company because you thought you were big enough and bad enough that you didn't have to play by the rules."
- ― Michael De Santa, moments before killing Devin.
The Third Way is the final storyline mission in Grand Theft Auto V. The mission is triggered if the player has Franklin choose option C (Deathwish).
The mission begins with Franklin at the "F" marker on the map shortly after the final heist on the Union Depository Tower. Devin Weston shows up at Franklin's house and attempts to convince Franklin to kill Michael De Santa. After Devin leaves, the player is given a set of three options on his cell phone, to kill Trevor(A), kill Michael(B), or Deathwish(C). Choosing C leads to this mission, and has him call Lester instead.
The mission sends Franklin to the home of Lester Crest. Franklin and Lester, at first, seem to not have any hope of thinking of a way so both Trevor and Michael survive. But after a brainstorm, Lester comes up with a plan to avoid having to kill either Michael or Trevor Philips. They lead the FIB and Merryweather into a trap at the foundry under the pretense of melting down the gold there from the Union Depository heist.
Shootout At The Foundry
Franklin picks up Lamar Davis at his home and they go to the foundry, with Lamar having newfound respect for Franklin for doing this for both Trevor and Michael rather than himself. Lamar waits outside while Franklin goes inside to find Michael and Trevor about to kill each other; Michael with a sniper rifle and Trevor with a combat MG, but he easily stops them. Lamar then warns Franklin about the FIB agents approaching fast towards the foundry and their location, and Michael, Trevor, and Franklin team up to kill all of the FIB agents and Merryweather mercenaries sent against them in one swift ambush. Various stages of the ensuing battle require that the player provide backup to certain characters. First, Lamar will radio that he's being overrun and needs help. Franklin must get out to the foundry entrance where he dropped off Lamar and kill the FIB agents attacking him before he is wasted and the mission fails. Then Michael must go over to where Trevor was positioned to check on him. Trevor gets back up (supposedly being knocked out, and having not been shot possibly because the agents assumed they killed him most likely), and Michael and Trevor must fight their way out of the foundry and help Franklin kill off any remaining FIB and Merryweather forces in the area.
Finally, after all of the troops are killed, the trio take a moment to catch thier breaths before Franklin brings up the fact that they've still got work to do. Namely pick off different people who either betrayed or tried to kill the trio in the past. After getting locations courtesy of Lester, Franklin, Michael, and Trevor all go after their respective targets. Trevor personally jumps on the chance to kill Steve Haines, Michael offers to murder Stretch as a favor to Franklin, and Franklin is left with Wei Cheng to get rid of and they all go after a target they weren't directly involved with to throw off suspicion.
- Michael is sent to kill Stretch as revenge for betraying Franklin and Lamar in Lamar Down.
- Trevor is sent to kill Steve Haines for betraying Michael in The Wrap Up.
- Franklin is sent to kill Wei Cheng for betraying Trevor in Bury the Hatchet, kidnapping and torturing Michael in Fresh Meat, and interfering with Trevor's business interests.
- Once the above targets are eliminated, Trevor goes to Devin Weston's mansion to kidnap him as revenge for screwing him, Franklin, and Lamar out of a lucrative payday after they give him the luxury cars he wanted as well as sending Merryweather troops to Michael's house as payback for Molly's accidental death. Trevor must fight his way through Merryweather security forces to kidnap Devin.
Stretch is found on a basketball court next to the BJ Smith Recreational Center with several gang bangers around. He's relatively easy to eliminate and his homies are mostly packing pistols. Taking too long to escape, however, will make the surviving Ballas get in their cars and chase you. Kill him with a melee attack to get a Gold medal.
Killing Steve Haines
Steve is found on the ferris wheel on the boardwalk shooting a video for a TV show. Him and a camera man are in one of the ferris wheel cars. Approaching too close to the ferris wheel or missing too many shots will alert Steve and fail the mission. Trevor must pick off Steve from a distance, for which a sniper rifle is required. The bright lights and cluttered area around the ferris wheel can make this a difficult shot. After killing Steve, Trevor must lose the cops before heading after Devin. Kill Haines with a headshot to get a Gold medal.
Killing Wei Cheng
Wei Cheng is found surrounded by body guards near a series of vehicles. As soon as Franklin arrives, his body guards get him into a sedan and attempting to escape while shooting at Franklin from their SUV's. If Franklin acts quickly (likely with pre-placed Sticky Bombs or a Minigun), he can kill Wei Cheng before he leaves the parking lot and save himself from having to chase down the fleeing convoy on the highway. Kill Cheng with a sticky bomb to get a Gold medal.
Kidnapping Devin Weston
Trevor must make his way through a batallion of eight Merryweather guards patrolling the house to get To Devin. He can either take a subtle approach by sneaking around and knocking out the guards (or killing them with a suppressed weapon), or he can take a direct route and attack the guards head on. After Trevor makes his way through the Merryweather security forces, he finds Devin hiding in a trunk near the pool. Devin is pulled out and carried to his Tornado in the drive-way. Trevor throws Devin in the trunk and goes to meet up with Franklin and Michael.
After taunting Devin about their final victory against him, the three protagonists push the Tornado with Devin in the trunk off a cliff and into the ocean below, with the car exploding, killing Devin. Trevor then asks what they're going to do now, with Michael responding that they're going to lay low for a while then get on with their lives, with Trevor suggesting as friends, and Michael accepting, as "flawed, awful, totally uncomfortable, and poorly matched friends." Trevor then states that they could then go back to the "capitalism they practice," planning even more heists, but being better funded with the money from the Union Depository, but this time with Franklin saying that what they'll do will not be as different as what Devin Weston did. Trevor then tells Michael that his therapist has a lot to answer to for, which Michael calmly agrees too, saying that even though he hates himself, now he knows how to say it, responded by Trevor asking if he has to go to a therapy session because he hates Michael. Sensing another argument break out, Franklin tells the two that they make him scared of turning middle-aged, backing away to his motorcycle and starting to drive-off. Michael soon follows after him, but not before announcing to Trevor about his official retirement from his life of crime. As Trevor looks on at the both of them driving away, he starts to awkwardly walk off-screen as the credits roll. After the credits the player gains control of Trevor just as he arrives home in Sandy Shores.
- Stretch - Killed for trying to have Franklin Clinton and Lamar Davis killed.
- Steve Haines - Killed for attempting to have Trevor killed and for betraying Michael at the Kortz Center.
- Wei Cheng - Killed for attempting to kill both Trevor Philips and Michael De Santa.
- Tao Cheng (optional) - Can be killed by Franklin.
- Devin Weston - Killed for attempting to have Michael De Santa and his family killed, and for cheating them out of a payday for the car thefts.
- Many Merryweather and FIB members - Killed by Franklin, Trevor, Lamar and Michael.
- Several Ballas members - (optional) Can be killed by Michael.
- Several Triad members - (optional) Can be killed by Frankiln.
- Several Los Santos Police Department Officers - (optional) Can be killed by Trevor after he kills Haines.
- Devin Weston's Merryweather bodyguards- Killed by Trevor for trying to stop him from kidnapping Devin.
- Go pick up Lamar at his house. (Franklin)
- Ambush the FIB team when ready.
- Go to Lamar. (Franklin)
- Take out the attackers.
- Rescue Trevor. - (Michael)
- Take out the attackers.
- Go outside. (Franklin)
- Regroup outside the main doors.
- Get rid of Mr. Cheng. - (Franklin)
- Escape the Triads. - (Franklin)
- Take out Stretch. - (Michael)
- Escape the Ballas. - (Michael)
- Bring down Haines. - (Trevor)
- Lose the Cops. - (Trevor)
- Go to Devin's house. - (Trevor)
- Kidnap Devin. - (Trevor)
- Take out the guards. - (Trevor)
- Kidnap Devin. - (Trevor)
- Go to the rendezvous point. - (Trevor)
- Finish Devin.
Gold Medal Objectives
- Time - Complete within 21:30
- Headshots - Kill 20 enemies with a headshot
- Accuracy - Finish with a shooting accuracy of at least 70%
- Stick, Tick... Boom! - Kill Cheng with a Sticky Bomb
- Lead Lobotomy - Kill Steve Haines with a headshot
- Stretched Out - Kill Stretch with a melee attack
- After you help Lamar fight off Merryweather soldiers outside of the warehouse, he is nowhere to be found and isn't seen leaving the area after the soldiers are all dead. However, Franklin talks to him on the phone afterwards, proving that he survived the shoot out.
- After completing this mission, each character will receive their cut from the final heist in The Big Score.
- This is the only ending in which all of the main antagonists are killed.
- "The Setup " by Favored Nations plays after this mission, at the beginning of the credits.
- This is the first time in the GTA series where all the major antagonists are killed in the same mission.
- Trevor will always be the one to kidnap Devin regardless of whoever finished their tasks first or last. It should be noted that the player must then hunt Devin all the way to his house if Trevor is the last character to kill his target, which can be very time consuming and make the time check for the golden award difficult.
- To some people, when playing as Michael to assassinate Stretch, it might be difficult to identify who he is, leading to mistakes that some of his goons that are with him are assassinated instead, and then Stretch makes a run for it. This might be caused because of the lack of appearances Stretch had in game. Despite this, however, he is fairly easy to kill, likely taking the same amount of bullets as his cronies, if not a few more.
- When Trevor enters the Tornado after putting Devin in the trunk, the radio station will be tuned in to Los Santos Rock Radio, and the track "I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You" will always play.
- Devin's Tornado has a personal license plate, which reads "MONIED".
- In the beta, the scene where Trevor turns to Michael and Franklin and says: "So, now what?", was supposed to happen in the mission Blitz Play and the scene where Trevor tells Michael "Jesus your therapist has a lot to answer for" was originally going to play in Three's Company. Although it is likely that Rockstar simply reskinned these cutscenes to mask their context.
- It IS possible to purposely fail the mission at the very start of getting to Devin. Get out of Trevor's truck when you get to Devin's house as Trevor, head out a ways back up the road, equip a sniper rifle, aim at Devin by the pool, and score a clean hit, as 1 sniper bullet will do it. The mission will fail as "Devin died", as Trevor was supposed to kidnap him first, then head to the cliff, wait for Michael and Franklin, THEN finish him off.
- This is the only ending mission of GTA V that does not involve a scripted car chase.
- When Michael, Trevor, and Franklin are pushing Devin's car off the cliff, this is the only time in the game you are technically controlling all three of the main characters at once.
- After completing this mission if you switch to Michael, Dave Norton will call and say that he hopes Michael is "behaving" himself. If the player gets a wanted level, Dave will call again and tell Michael to stop causing trouble. This only happens for the first wanted level obtained after completing the mission.