Decision Autopsy: The Walking Dead: Episode Two
This one really escalated the self loathing factor when it came to looking back on the things I did and why I did them. I was a bit annoyed because I figured out the twist of this episode ahead of time and still couldn’t really pre-empt it at all, but I guess Lee just didn’t see the writing on the wall as clearly as I did. At any rate, I wound up in the pretty large minority on a few of these, so without further delay…
Yeah, I axed the guy’s leg. I didn’t even really see an alternative here, but I guess I could’ve hesitated, or found some kind of miracle way to free him without dismembering him, but the pressure kind of forced my hand.
Goddamn did they ham this one up, though. That cutting sequence was torturous and gruesome, and I started to seriously question myself somewhere around the third dirty swing. In the end, this turned out to be pretty fruitless at best and arguably damaging at worst. At least I know the axe is still sharp?
This one confirmed what I was already thinking about Danny. If I’d been given the chance I probably would’ve shot Danny on the spot, as I pretty much instantly spotted the cannibalism angle after this. Danny got reaaal shifty when this situation started escalating, and the fact that he just puts a bullet in Jolene’s head unprovoked sealed the deal.
You’d have to be a hell of a snap decision maker to shoot Jolene here, I think. If you’re the kind of person that believes in shooting first and asking questions later when put down to it, I could see why the SHOOT HER INSTANTLY option would be appealing, but I was already extremely suspicious of the St. John family and this just drove it home. Again, it’s a bit disappointing that I didn’t get a chance to call out the St. John family earlier, as it felt like I was kind of railroaded into “falling for it” until I was in a vulnerable position where some narrative tension could erupt.
Well, this is the big one. Remember last week when I said I was going to throw Larry under the bus as soon as possible? I wasn’t joking. The second the game gave me a “kill Larry” button, I jumped on it, because if there’s one thing I can’t forgive in a scenario like this it’s, you know, attempted murder on me. Larry tried to kill me in episode one and failed, so I made sure to be a little more competent when I returned the favor.
That being said, I think the risk factor here was too high to screw around. Episode one made me pretty sure that Larry will die without medication, and we didn’t have any medication around in the meat locker. Larry was going to die, and he was going to turn when he did. I think Kenny may have jumped to conclusions a little hastily here, but the end result was the best possible outcome. Larry had it coming after the shit he pulled in episode one, and I wasn’t about to let Clem be locked in a room with a zombie that’s built like a brick shithouse. Sorry Lily.
Ironically, my vindictiveness above sort of waned here. I didn’t kill either of the St. John brothers, as much as I may have wanted to, for one simple reason: Clem was watching. I don’t want Clem to see me doing monstrous things, so I try to be restrained if she’s nearby. I knew if I’d thrown the pitchfork through Danny’s skull it would’ve immediately cut to Clem making a horrified face, and I didn’t have the heart for that one. The kid has to believe there’s SOME goodness in the world still.
As for Andy, the game gave me a perfect opportunity to cinematically embrace my remaining humanity, and so I jumped on it. That setpiece was bloody brilliant and I couldn’t resist the dramatic climax of walking away from killing Andy at the last minute in the rain. Besides, the zombies (including his now undead mother) almost certainly finished the job on both brothers for me.
Given what I just said about Larry and revenge, this probably makes me look like a huge hypocrite. Still, that situation was a high pressure do or die kind of moment, and these two were both just straight up cold blood murders with Clem and the rest watching. The two guys were doomed, and my soul is better off for not having done it with my own two hands.
On a similar note, I thought it was important to clutch to what humanity we had left and decline to steal supplies from the car we found. We didn’t take any time to wait and see if the car’s owner would return or what kind of situation they were in, how many people they had, if any were children, etc. I didn’t feel comfortable draining someone else’s survivability for my own in that situation; if that’s the kind of person I am, I’d be no better than the St. Johns.
I lost some points with Kenny for being sanctimonious on this choice, but Clem seemed to approve/agree with me, so Kenny can shove it. If the rest of them want to throw empathy to the wind, that’s their problem, but I’m going to at least try to hold on to some vestige of hope for the future. I’ll just say I got all my ruthlessness out of my system with the salt brick in Larry’s cranium and be done with it.
I’m excited to see where episode three is going after this. Tension is definitely mounting amongst the group and I think it’s probably going to come to blows between Lily and Kenny in the next episode. Personally, I think only Carley is fully level-headed and reliable, so it’s going to be tough to take sides if a civil war of some kind starts. As long as they keep Clem and me out of it, I’ll probably remain on the sidelines, but I have a feeling the game won’t give me that luxury.