Thoughts on The Walking Dead: The Final Season - Episode 1
I remember when my husband Jimmy first got me the special edition of the first season of Telltale Games' The Walking Dead for Christmas in 2012. I wasn't familiar with Telltale, and all I knew of The Walking Dead was the TV show that I didn't like very much. He swore that this was a game I would enjoy, so I gave it a shot.
Now, here we are. It's August 2018 and I am playing the first episode ("Done Running") of The Walking Dead: The Final Season. I put off playing it for a few days because I am so emotional about it. Clementine is such a special character to me, and seeing her grow over the years has been both rewarding and devastating. When I, as Lee, first found Clem in her treehouse, she was tiny, innocent, and scared. Now, she's acting as a mother figure to A.J., a little boy born into this horrible world by a woman who tragically lost her life. Clem is hardened; she's seen so much and lost so many. She's a badass, and she's a leader. The way she effortlessly stabs walkers in the face makes me exclaim, "YES, Clem!," but it also breaks my heart. Clem has been robbed of her childhood, just like every other child in this series. In "Done Running," we meet more children than we ever have in an episode of The Walking Dead.
Every single person in Clem's newfound group is a child. The group mainly consists of teenagers, with A.J. being the youngest one there. I think this adds a much needed component to the series, as I'm getting a little tired of meeting new groups of adults over and over, only to have most or all of them die. Seeing other kids in this universe is really inspiring, to me; these are kids who should be worried about what they're going to wear go school, not about how they're going to get their next meal and how to kill walkers.
Since there are no adults around, this world feels even more terrifying than ever before. Although Clem is very capable of taking care of herself and A.J., I feel more vulnerable knowing there are no adults around to help protect us. I also feel a huge responsibility as a mother figure to A.J.; the game reminds me that "A.J. is always listening," so I have to be really careful about the choices I make and everything I say around him. For instance, during my playthrough I made a decision that A.J. did not agree with, and he quickly let me know it was the wrong one in his eyes. Having the responsibility of making sure he is fed and has a safe place to lay his head at night is sometimes overwhelming...and I absolutely love it.
I don't want to give too much of the story away, so I will just say that if you're a fan of Telltale's The Walking Dead, you need to play "Done Running" immediately. I know it's scary, because we're all afraid that Clem is going to end up like Lee...but we owe it to Clem to see her story through. She has been through so much, and I want to be by her side until the very end.
What did you think of "Done Running?" Let me know on Twitter: @cgottowhite