The Walking Dead: Season 2 – Episode 3 Impressions
Posted on Friday, May 23 @ 15:00:00 Eastern by gil_almogi
The latest episode of The Walking Dead: Season 2, “In Harm’s Way,” starts as Clementine’s friends are being transported to Carver’s colony, located in an old hardware store. The truck has stopped so Sarah could take a bathroom break in the woods, and the following scene is meant to serve as an example of Carver’s persona. He says something moderately threatening to Clementine and if she talks back or stares at him (my choice), he slaps her hard enough to send her to the ground. Then, you’re reminded that this is The Walking Dead you’re playing.
The store has solar panels providing electricity, gardens and tons of scavenged food, and of course, a fully stocked artillery. All these amenities, of course, stand in stark contrast to the militaristic regime Carver has built. What I’m truly enjoying about this season is how each episode examines safe spaces. The first season had places where the party would hole up, but zombies typically hung out right nearby and food was often scarce.
Thus far, Clementine has visited places that felt like home. Although the situation in the first house was not perfect, things were OK and the party was comfortable. Then, the ski lodge was also well-stocked with food and had power from a wind turbine and now we have this hardware store. Like the previous two episodes, Clementine learns not to get comfortable as even comfortable moments are fraught with tension. Although these “homes” can feel like stopping points compared to the movement in Season 1, dispelling the notion of safety becomes increasingly vital to this season’s course.
We met Bonnie from the 400 Days DLC in “A House Divided,” and “In Harm’s Way” will let players meet the other principle characters from that story, including Tavia. Telltale Games established Tavia as a good guy at the end of 400 Days because her association with Carver’s gang manages to create authentic feelings of resentment towards her. Players who didn’t touch that DLC will likely just think her as just another one of the jerks holding the team hostage, but betrayal will burn in the hearts of others players like me. I trusted you, Tavia. Why did I help you recruit these folks?
Unfortunately, only Bonnie matters out of our DLC group. There are a number of scenes where she speaks with Clementine, providing a different perspective on the situation in the hardware store. I would have appreciated more involvement from the other characters, honestly. This just drives home the idea that Bonnie was always meant to join Tavia and there were no planned storylines for the other characters, at least none that this episode lets on.
I’ll wrap up noting that it is during “In Harm’s Way” that we finally get to see just how Kenny has been doing mentally, and why Sarita seemed so concerned about him in the previous episode. There is also an enlightening character dynamic created between Clementine and Carver that may catch players off guard. Of course, The Walking Dead is nothing without major decisions, but the one Telltale throws in at the last minute, though harrowing in the moment, is underwhelming in the grand scheme of our adventure. Still, I can’t wait to see how Clementine ends up having to deal with it.
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