I just finished playing the first episode of The Walking Dead Season 2, titled "All That Remains." It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of The Walking Dead series by Telltale Games, so this episode had massive expectations to live up to.
I was simultaneously thrilled and worried when I learned that Clementine was going to be the protagonist of the second season. In season 1, they created one of the most incredible child characters in all of fiction. For season 2, however, they decided to make her the protagonist, a much more challenging goal than season 1. I was skeptical along with a lot of other people that they could pull this off.
If it isn't completely obvious based on my use of past tense, these fears were completely unfounded. The first episode is stunning! Harrowing, frightening, mournful, depressing, this episode hits all the right notes.
Warning, vague semi-spoilers below (no specifics are mentioned).
Clementine is older now, emotionally and physically. She is becoming a survivor, with all of the good and bad that entails. It's heartbreaking to to have her make the decisions that she does, as necessary as they are. It's as if with every hard decision, Clementine looses a piece of herself. But the alternative? A world without Clementine?
Towards the end of the episode, I/Clementine made a decision. Telltale loves its decisions, but this one I felt was a little different. It has depth to it; heartbreaking, tragic depth. In the heat of the moment, the decision seemed like it was the right one to make. It probably was. And I hate myself for it.
The decision to help one person over another was based on a coldly-calculated rationale. Earlier in the episode, people were discussing the fate of Clementine and, had they used the same rationale I did when I made my decision, Clementine would be dead.
What does that make Clementine? Heartless? Hypocritical? Sane? I don't know, but it weighs on me.
If this is episode is anything to go on, this season just may top the first. I wait in agony for the second episode.