In my mind, this second season of The Walking Dead is all about figuring out who Clementine actually is. Looking past the baseball cap and the bright eyes; rethinking many of those rose-tinted feelings that you couldn’t help but pick up when seeing her through Lee’s eyes. In Season One, she was portrayed as a symbol for something much bigger: perhaps a future worth fighting for. It’s what held that initial group together and it was certainly the motivation behind the decisions I made along the way.
Playing from her perspective immediately and irreversibly changes that. Whilst other characters may continue to see her as this innocent girl that must be protected, you’ll see a different person entirely. We’ve been forced to make a bunch of horrible, awful decisions already in this season (Episode 4 in particular) show that Clementine cares more about her own survival than that of a stranger. That sounds almost disappointing, but it’s actually the greatest strength of this season. Challenging the preconceptions that I brought with me from the first.
This final episode takes that idea to its extreme and eventually asks you just how far Clem would now go to ensure her own survival. The companions that she’s running with have come from several different groups and there isn’t a clear leader. Things usually get a bit heated when this happens, don’t they? You’ll be playing diplomat for a good portion of this episode – desperately trying to keep Kenny from murdering anyone – before things inevitably come to a head.
As this is the last episode in the season, it does feel like you’re finally being given some freedom to make impactful decisions. The Walking Dead has always been about difficult choices, but it often seems like you can only ever have a temporary effect over what happens. Choosing to save one character’s life over another has started to feel like we’re just delaying the inevitable. Episode five, thankfully, gives you the room to decide where Clementine ends up and suggests that your decisions are going to have a permanent effect on her future. It’s been a bloody great season.