Review: ‘The Walking Dead: Season 2’ Episode 3 (PC): One of the Herd

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Telltale has been doing good work lately. Initially I was excited about the second installment of The Walking Dead and curious (and later, quite pleased) with The Wolf Among Us, however I grew

concerned that the studio might be spreading itself thin by taking on two more projects featuring both the Borderlands and Game of Thrones universes. However, my worries were unfounded; with The Walking Dead: Season 2‘s Episode 3’s release last week, I can say Telltale is doing a bang-up job and hopefully the next two episodes can deliver just as strongly as this one.

***CAUTION: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS***

To begin, In Harm’s Way was a nice change of pace–granted, I’m using “nice” pretty loosely. Well, for Clementine and the gang. For gamers, it’s pretty intense. To pick up where we left off in the last episode, Clem was reunited with Kenny and despite the two being happy to see each other, the same couldn’t be said for the rest of their groups. Rightly so as Nick (from Clem’s group) accidentally shot Matthew (from Kenny’s group) on the way up the the abandoned ski lodge where Kenny and others were holed up.

However, just as the zombie apocalypse tore life as they knew apart, their shambling and moaning brought the two groups together. With all the ruckus and gunfire, Carver was hot on the trail and taking advantage of the chaos, rounded up the “lost members of his flock” like the good shepherd he is, while culling some of the unwilling survivors.

Episode 3 starts with our favorite remaining survivors bound up and on the road, traveling back to Carver’s compound which consists of an old, fortified hardware store. With plans to expand to the abandoned neighboring businesses, Carver uses the newfound manpower to help with the project while reasserting his authority over those who left the community (that is, Carlos, Sarah, Alvin, Nick, and the others in Clementine’s group).

Though most of the episode takes place within the safety of the compound, it’s a refreshing break from the usual zombie-shanking adventures we’ve grown so accustomed to in the past two chapters. No, In Harm’s Way serves as a reminder that the walkers aren’t the only danger in post-apocalyptia: it’s often those who are still alive that are also the most dangerous. I mean, live humans are smart enough to wield weapons and cunning enough to stab you in the back if they’d like. Zombies just kinda shuffle around looking for more flesh to gnaw on.

Personally, I find these instances the most riveting within the series, both within the game and the television shows. It’s the sort of moral gray areas that make me re-examine my own existence and feelings, constantly asking myself, “What would I do if I was in ________’s shoes?” And coupled with psychosis and Stockholm syndrome, this episode truly makes you tow the line with Carver being the personification of the age-old question of, “How far would you go to survive?”

From his standpoint and much like a sort of Frank Underwood of The Walking Dead universe (forgive me, I’ve been watching a lot of House of Cards lately, but hey, we’re talking about moral gray areas after all, eh?), Carver has no tolerance for weakness, disloyalty, or incompetence. Feared by his followers, you can deduce by their testimony that Carver wasn’t always as violent as he has become–or perhaps he was better at hiding it. But his flock are beginning to grow more scared of their shepherd than the undead lurking just outside their makeshift walls.

This episode focuses on the group’s escape from the so-called community and a few others feel the same way. With a large herd of zombies threatening to swallow the hardware store whole, Kenny, Clem, and the rest want to use the horde for cover as they try to make their getaway, using some… uncouth methods to sneak through the corpse parade unscathed. Well, as unscathed as they can.

Without getting too far into it (since I don’t want to spoil all of the twists and turns of this episode), you can rest assured that a lot of loose ends are tied up. However, a new set of questions arises as the darkness falls and credits roll: what will come of Clementine and her friends now that they’re out in the wilderness again? And, more importantly, how much must a person lose before they lose their humanity? Make no mistake: though this season’s protagonist is a little girl physically, Clementine is definitely an adult. Most chilling was a conversation she had with Carver, where he has a whole spiel of “we aren’t so different, you and I,” remarking how both Clementine and himself are leaders whereas most people are simply followers, almost demanding to be told what to do.

Things are looking grim for our friends. I wonder what Episode 4 will bring.

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Anthony Magestro

Anthony "Tony" Magestro--or known on the field of battle as Metzge--is an avid writer, gamer, and entrepreneur. When he's not writing, gaming, or entrepreneuring, he enjoys cooking, trippy movies, and trying to be awesome to varying degrees of success. Feel free to check out his LinkedIn page, especially if you need freelance help with content writing or digital marketing. Or just like to network, that's fine too.