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Since 2012 Telltale has semi-regularly put out parts to its episodic game, The Walking Dead. Since 2012 this sadistic company has gotten us attached to characters, only to violently take them away from us. They've depicted ordinary men and women who grew to be heroes when lives were put on the line, sadistic madmen that brought out the worst in humanity when tensions rose, and some of the most human and moving scenes I've ever witnessed in a video game. And this Tuesday, our long and grueling journey as Clementine in the unforgiving world of the Walking Dead will come to a close. And none of us have any idea what to expect.
If you're a fan of Telltale's The Walking Dead, Clementine's potential death is likely on your mind right now.
This Tuesday, the final episode of Season Two of the Walking Dead will release on PSN (it releases the following day on XBLA and Steam) and will close the Season. While it's been confirmed a third season is on the horizon, we don't yet know if Clementine will make an appearance in it, so for now we can assume her story arc will close at the end of this upcoming episode. But how will it close? Does Telltale have the balls to kill her off? Will she somehow survive and finally find safety in a world where safe havens no longer seem to exist? How many of her companions will survive alongside her? There's no definitive way to know any of this right now, but that's not going to stop me from trying to speculate the answers to these questions anyway. In this article, I will analyze the end of the previous episode (Amid the Ruins) as well as trends we've seen in the series to date to predict just how Telltale is going to end Clementine's story. Naturally, there will be utterly massive spoilers for every currently released episode of the game, so if you're falling behind with the episode releases, you'd best turn around and not read any of this....
To start, let's take a look at the dramatic way in which the penultimate episode of this season ended.
Amid the Ruins ends with Clem and her group held at gunpoint by an aggressive group of Russians. Depending on the player's choices earlier in the episode, either Clementine or Jane robbed a member of the Russian group, Arvo, of medical supplies that he supposedly needs to treat his sick sister. Naturally, when he meets up with Clem and her friends again later with a bigger group, he isn't too pleased. Arvo and his compatriots threaten to rob Clem's group of everything they have but promise not to hurt them so long as they don't put up resistance. Not finding this prospect appealing, Clem's group takes out their weapons as well and tensions rise as neither group can understand the other due to a language barrier. Suddenly, Clem turns to find that Rebecca, weakened after child birth, has succumbed to the elements and reanimated - with a baby on her lap. Horrified, Clem can either shoot Rebecca to save the baby or shout for help, at which point Kenny will shoot Rebecca. Either way, the outcome is the same - frightened by the gunshots, the Russians begin firing and the screen fades to black as a flurry of gunshots are heard.
At this point in time, we have no idea how many members of Clem's group or their assailants died in this confrontation. While Clem, Kenny, Luke, Bonnie, Mike, and Arvo are all listed in the credits for No Going Back, this could very well be to mislead the player. The final episode of Season One of Telltale's The Walking Dead slightly overlapped with Around Every Corner (to refresh the players memory as to where they left off) and it's very likely the same thing could happen again - although the screen won't fade to black when the shots start this time. This would also explain why these character's voice actors are listed in the credits.
I think the most likely of the many possible outcomes of this shootout are that Clem and Rebecca's newborn child are the sole survivors. They are the only ones that have been 100% confirmed to be alive based on the episode's description, and are the only ones depicted in this episode's promotional art. Furthermore, the recently released trailer for this episode has hinted this episode will force the player to make many choices that will shape what kind of person Clem is becoming (even creating the hastag "#MyClementine" to reflect this). This could be a fascinating way to start up this episode, as the only time Clem has truly been utterly alone without the guidance of any adults was for a brief interval in the first episode of Season Two. If this is how the episode plays out, she will be forced to battle the elements, starvation, and walkers - the usual suspects, but with a newborn depending on her for safety.
Clem's friends are all curiously absent from all the promotional artwork for this episode. Could that mean....?
Most Walking Dead fans also know newborns pose a threat to survivors, as their crying lures in nearby zombies, and you have to throw your life in harm's way frequently to procure the supplies they need to survive. This episode could be a test for both Clementine and the player as they are forced to choose between selfish decisions that will benefit Clementine, or selfless decisions that are best for the baby's well-being.
Another character whose fate I'd like to see explored in Episode Five that could very well have survived the shootout is Arvo. If you chose to steal from Arvo, he understandably hates you, plain and simple. However, if you decline taking his things and Jane does so instead, Arvo seems hesitant to rob Clementine's group, especially as they have a baby. His accomplices are the ones that egg him on to go through with the robbery. An interesting possible scenario I could envision in No Going Back is that Arvo survives the shootout alongside Clem and the newborn. The player is then prompted to decide whether to forgive Arvo and spare his life, or mercilessly kill him for indirectly starting the shootout and the potential deaths of Clem's friends. I'd also like to see for myself if Arvo was lying about his sick sister. At any rate, while the next episode could surprise me, I don't see much of a future in Mike and Bonnie as Telltale has been reluctant to flesh out their characters since Episode Three, and they more or less seem to exist for comic relief.
What's Arvo's deal anyway? Is he friend or foe? I hope he survives in No Going Back so we can find out...
Finally, we must wonder how many of Clem's attackers survived. If some did, then they could continue to pose some kind of a threat in No Going Back - regardless of who in Clem's group died or survived. But could walkers drawn in by the noise of the confrontation force an unlikely alliance? The possible outcomes of this shootout are endless, and I could go on and on describing them. But at any rate, who is alive and who died will drastically effect how the entirety of Episode Five plays out.
I can't rightfully say I have an idea of how exactly the entirety of Episode Five plays out. This is the first episode that takes place entirely in Winter, so surviving the elements will likely be the crux of this episode - walker attacks, less so. And as I stated earlier, there will likely be huge decisions to be made that will effect who Clem becomes - doubly so as this is the final episode in the Season, so Telltale can take bigger risks and force the player to make larger decisions that will have enormous impacts.
The biggest question fans of the series are asking themselves is will Clem die? Lee's death at the very end of Season One was one of the most heartwrenching moments in gaming history, even though we all knew it was coming as he was bitten at the end of Around Every Corner. While Clem is in sound health now, will history repeat itself and the protagonist of this Season get killed off? I actually doubt it. I think it would be too predictable for Clem to simply die in this Episode. I think terrible things may happen to Clem, and her life will forever be changed, but I think Clementine dying would be too expected, even though it would be punch right in the feels. I think a more likely ending is that Clem follows Jane's advice from Amid the Ruins. Jane told Clementine that her fellow survivors were cracking, and it would probably be more beneficial for Clementine to abandon them and live on her own. So I could see this episode ending with Clementine taking the baby and abandoning any survivors of the shootout - who are likely emotionally and physically wounded - to survive on her own without other people dragging her down. This could potentially set the scene for Season Three and set up somewhat of a parental bond between Clementine and the baby, like Lee had with Clem in Season One. But again, who can say for certain what the sadistic people at Telltale are plotting?At any rate, we won't have to wait long to find out. No Going Back is just a few days away, and regardless what platform you intend on playing it with, we'll have the answer to our burning questions soon enough. Just be sure to buy extra tissue boxes in advance.
What do you think Clem's future has in store? Who do you think will survive the shootout at the beginning of the episode? Could Clementine die at the end? Sound off in the comments below, and happy gaming!
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