After a solid engagement in episode 2 where we find Clementine and Nick briefly trapped in a shed only to be separated and eventually reunited with the rest of their group, Clem has randomly stumbled upon a friendly and familiar face from season 1. Good ole Kenny and Clem are a sight for sore eyes, however the joy of this reunion is short-lived when former associates of Luke and his group storm the party forcing everyone at gun point to join their forced labor camp, and so begins episode 3.
Episode 3 is one of those episodes where you walk away fueled by what all took place. It is one thing to be forced against your will to do what could possibly be understood as an act of the greater good, assisting with making a better life for yourself and your friends, but it is yet another when those with the muscle have no regard for human life. Instigating your vengeful greed, the short-tempered self-proclaimed leader of this hostile group is known other than Carver, who stands in the way of your freedom.
If you haven’t guessed it by now, the evolution of Clementine is at the heart of season 2 from where we’re sitting. Telltale Games is gradually evolving this young lady through the games enticing dialogue system, allowing you to form your own reality for little Ms. Clementine. She has been through a lot, seen too much and now we are beginning to notice her innocence and vulnerabilities become slowly chiseled away. While season #1 revealed her as a bundle of innocent joy season #2 is propelling our favorite daughter to form a strong perspective and outlook on life and death.
Not to give away too much of Carver’s relationship with one of the members of your group who has also been forced in this work camp, Carver becomes Clementine’s complete opposite forcing her to be placed in compromising situations which could be her demise. Dealing with the walking dead is one thing, actually a more simpler one in comparison. Now Clem must go out her way to help the group while mastering the art of deception and who she can trust.
As with each episode, Telltale does a great job of balancing character interest. Somehow through the practical conversations exercised by those in your group as well as Carver’s AK-47 touting men and women, you get the sense that if one person in particular is taking out of the equation, all could be well and good. A father who fingers have been deliberately broken is forced smack his daughter, an innocent man is thrown head first from a roof top, a boyfriend is beating to within an inch of his life, a close friend is beaten to the point of losing sight in one eye, and in the distance a herd of the walking dead are quickly approaching.
Fans of the TV show will also find TV influences in this latest episode supported by instances where the group must cover themselves with zombie intestines in order to blend and Carver is but a hint at the diabolical nature of the Governor. Episode 3 has become the best in season 2 so far and that is saying a great deal after episode 1.
Nearing the conclusion of this latest episode Telltale gives Clementine the option of stepping up to the plate big time, once again. Literally staring in the face of your enemy as their life is beaten from their body to eventually being made to hack off a limb…or not, of a dear acquaintance and these are the crash course circumstances which befall our Clementine in episode 3 and you are going to love every minute of it.
Unfortunately, you will begin to gravitate towards characters hoping they will make it safely out of the episode, and of course, Telltale never disappoints by breaking your heart once again. Ending on a most satisfying cliffhanger, the dynamics of the group has changed. With new and key characters now in place, it is anyone’s guess what new obstacle Telltale will thrown your way in episode 4.