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FEATURED VOXPOP LinksOcarina This is another article from Blistered Thumbs I wrote, back from the dead after being buried in the way-back machine. I posted this back in April of 2013, and many of the issues present seem to be prevalent right now in some cases, namely the decrees of sexism and misogony. Considering current...

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The Wolf Among Us: Smoke, Mirrors, and Red Herrings

Posted on Monday, March 17 @ 22:17:27 Eastern by gil_almogi

It was Georgie in the tub with the candlestick maker!

THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE FIRST TWO EPISODES OF THE WOLF AMONG US.

I just finished playing the two episodes of The Wolf Among Us currently available twice in order to see the differences my choices made (and acquire some cheevos). The series is certainly intriguing so far and I can definitely understand one of the major criticisms against the second episode, Smoke & Mirrors, for its length and lack of interactivity. There is more time spent watching the story unfold than performing in QTEs, something I’m ambivalent about, but it makes a difference in how you perceive your time playing.

Either way, now that I’ve sunk my teeth into the story I’m looking forward to what’s coming next. I know a number of people felt that the surprise ending was lackluster and predictable compared to the first episode, Faith, but I feel like Telltale Games is actually manipulating us. Think about it. At the end of Faith, we were floored to see Snow White dead and decapitated, but then Smoke & Mirrors basically said, “Fooled ya! Now, let’s get on with things.” Although I’m happy they didn’t kill two women for the sake of the leading man’s character development, it felt awfully convenient to magic-away the events of the previous episode and return to business as usual.

The end of Smoke & Mirrors pointed us towards the obvious, that Crane is involved with the whole prostitution, Snow White mess. And the immediate response is “OMG he killed them!” but he’s a big red herring, which is apparent despite his connection to the second victim, Lily. Here are a few key points to consider:

  • Why would Crane have a photo of himself having sex with Snow White? Who would take that photo for him if his public persona would not allow for anyone to know about his dirtier predilections? I don’t think he would just leave that hanging out in his book.
  • If Crane is the murderer, what’s his connection to Faith? He slept with Lily, who was hired to Glamour herself as Snow White, but it doesn’t appear that he’s ever met Faith.
  • From his actions in Smoke & Mirrors, Crane was obviously nervous about Bigby and Snow digging into Lily’s personal life. If he murdered her, why wouldn’t he dump the whole body in the East River? The body in the river was not meant to be found, unlike the head. The head on the doorstep just attracts unnecessary attention to Crane.
  • Finally, as someone obsessed with Snow’s story, Crane would want to be the prince that woke her up, not the creep who beheaded her.
These are just a few of my thoughts, but I’d love to hear yours on the subject. Also, to get a better idea of the relationship between Faith and the Woodsman (i.e. why were they fighting and what was she looking for?), I suggest arresting and interrogating the Woodsman instead of Tweedledee, which is the minority action according to the community statistics. I didn’t like roughing him up, but you’ll never know why Faith appeared in the story if you don’t.

While it’s easy to suggest that Telltale Games gave us a predictable twist at the end, looking at the clues suggests that the next episode is going to be throwing the real revelations at us. I think the killer hasn’t been introduced yet. Either that or it’s Colin. He’s kind of a dick.
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