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REVIEW | “The Walking Dead: Season 2 – Episode Five”

By
Posted on August 29, 2014 AT 10:39am

Well…that was kinda anti-climactic.

**WARNING: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS**

Since last December Season 2 of Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead has been building itself up towards something big. It started off great, and gave us a juicy middle in the form of “In Harm’s Way,” thanks in part to Michael Madsen’s chilling performance as Carver. Finally, with Rebecca dying soon after giving birth we were left with the sounds of a violent Mexican standoff at the end of “Amid The Ruins.” And now we have been given Season 2′s conclusion with “No Going Back,” which left this reviewer with a morsel that, while filling, lacked any sort of flavor to it.

It started off strongly, no doubt. Most of the Russians have all been killed, with Arvo now leading Clementine, Kenny, Jane, and the rest of the survivors towards shelter and food. Tensions are high, with Kenny incredibly high-strung after all the recent incidents. Clementine does her best to keep everyone together, for the sake of the baby and for the benefit of survival. Sure enough, before you can scream “Walker!” things turn sour. Backstabbing motives, shootings, deaths, and even a heartbreaking flashback come hurtling towards young Clementine, with the young girl nearly reaching a breaking point.

Episode Five, for the most part, was a very solid way to end off Season 2. There were many times when I had no idea where the story was going to take me, especially near the end when Arvo takes revenge on Clementine. It leads to a very emotional sequence, one that would’ve made a very interesting ending had there not been more story to tell. However as soon as the fight between Kenny and Jane ends, we’re left with a kind of conclusion that — depending on which path you take — doesn’t really show where Telltale Games can go with Clem’s story in Season 3. It left me confused, as if there was still something missing from the overall episode.

Perhaps this was Telltale’s way of telling us that Clementine’s story has come to a temporary end. Maybe she will be the protagonist in the next Walking Dead season, but from what I took from this episode all signs point to no. She could come back as a future side-character, but in what state of mind she’ll be in may depend on what you had Clementine do and witness throughout this season. (Considering my choices, I imagine her becoming a gritty take-no-prisoners fighter with severe trust issues.)

As a whole Season 2 of The Walking Dead had a lot of ups and only a few downs. From the introduction of Carver and the return of old friends to the countless internal battles Telltale Games did a fairly well job with keeping the interest of gamers and fans alike with the countless speed bumps and twists thrown in the way. Sure, there were some unnecessary deaths, a couple of which still left a bitter taste in my mouth, and while the end wasn’t as strong as the season’s beginning and middle the overall arc we were given had plenty of strengths to overshadow its weaknesses.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Even though it lacked a certain kind of punch we were given in Season One’s finale, Season Two of The Walking Dead did manage to get the job done right for the majority of its run-through. Where Telltale Games decides to take Season Three remains to be seen, and while the final moments ended with a shrug rather than a bang players will no doubt be looking forward to seeing what is next in store for those who are surviving this Hell on Earth.

FINAL GRADE (Episode Five): 7.5 (out of ten)
FINAL GRADE (Season Two): 8.75 (out of ten)

Xbox Live Arcade review code provided by Kimberly Manuel of Sandbox Strategies

Evan Bourgault is an accomplished music, anime, and video game critic. His passion for discovering new bands, developers, and Japanese pop culture began in his college radio days and continues on today. Evan joined the ElectricSistaHood team in 2008, where he is a contributing editor and host of one of the network's weekly podcasts. Follow Evan on Twitter at twitter.com/King_Baby_Duck


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