The Telltale version of The Walking Dead has wrapped up its second season, and opened a flood gate of possibilities for the third. While the show and comic have focused on Rick for the majority, the game barely touches on the source material at all, sticking to a new story within the same apocalyptic scenario. This season gave multiple endings, allowing you to really shape the stalwart of the series, Clementine, into who you wanted her to grow into. This is the story of one particular Clementine that was forced to fight through this dystopia and hurt some people along the way.
Warning: There will be light spoilers for the first season and some events of the second.
Clementine, after some time and distance from a disaster, comes back to a campfire still hanging onto the past. She has a different, weathered look in her eyes; the innocent girl from the tree house grew and learned from Lee, changing her in incremental ways. The world around her, however, is not going to patiently wait for her to learn. She quickly has to fight her way from a group of Walkers and scavengers, falling and being carried away from her friend.
Her journey is to search for food from there, and even though she must fight to grab even a single can of goods, she is merciful to the attacker, relating to that daily struggle. The food isn’t enough for her small body and she is soon asking others for help —a dangerous proposition here— and there is suspicion on both sides. Still, she is compassionate and accepts their terms, quietly moving to her ordered spot. Eventually, the group comes to admire and trust Clementine with one of them taking a brotherly interest in her past and journey. This Clementine is forward with her answers, perhaps a little perturbed by her treatment thus far, but softens when talking about Lee, her lost loved one.
The Walking Dead is still about survival, and that is a job Clementine has developed a sense for. When a stranger comes knocking and Clementine answers, she immediately senses the malicious intent swarming from his questions. Upon returning, the group decides it is time to leave and heads north.
Their march forward is stopped by a face from Clementine’s past, a face she loves to see again, one that instantly makes her smile. Dinner is spent getting to know that person again, but an assumption pushes Clementine away and splits the traveling group from the new. This friction comes as the stranger from before finds them with a group in tow. Clementine is hidden as altercations escalate; she decides to stay quiet as two men die and one is hurt, only then breaking her silence and surrendering to save the rest of the group.
What is left of them marches back to a stronghold as Clementine is shown no mercy despite her total cooperation. Tyrannical law rallies many survivors to the cause of escape, all the while, Clementine is fearless in the presence of their leader. Here, she lies; she misleads him into thinking the two are alike, pleasing the leader and easing her escape from the encounter. She watches as the escape plan around her, watches as two men are savagely beaten and barely cringes, becoming numb to this kind of horror.
Her group shambles away in pieces, some greatly upset at Clementine for a choice she made and a life she tried to save. She is sympathetic but will not apologize for what she did; she is done apologizing for doing what she thought was right. A chance encounter brings them to a hazardous spot where, despite Clementine trying as hard as she could, another member dies.
The dwindling bundle of people trudges through the snow with new hope, but, as with most in The Walking Dead lore, that glimmer is short-lived. Clementine has to act fast to save another life with gunfire and some enraged compatriots around her, and helps them push forward after the traumatic event. Their path to a house crosses icy territory where Clem cannot protect everyone, yet another death heightening tensions between everyone. Loyalties are tested to their extremes until Clementine, seeing the actual nature of some people she thought she knew, has to take matters into her own hands.
The Walking Dead season two finale concludes with Clementine feeling a mix of indifference and focus, fury and determination. This Clementine saw the one sliver of hope in this world and decided to protect that above anything and anyone else. She still cares, but is not afraid of any Walker or human. Her arrow is pointing ahead no matter what anyone does, no matter how much of the world is against her. She has her hope, and the hope of The Walking Dead world, and will do anything to protect this dying ember in a snowy frontier.
Opinion By Myles Gann