Telltale Autumn Sale

Criticizm on the final scene

edited December 2012 in The Walking Dead
*MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW*

I know, I know. I'm going to be BOMBARDED with hate for this. I honestly don't want to start a flame war over it or anything because I know practically everyone will disagree and think I'm crazy. But I just can't help but play devils advocate here. (All things considered, the bigger the disagreement, the more tempted I am to play the minorities opinion for the fun of it; lol. I'm kind of a trouble maker. :p)

Anyways, I have to say, that the final scene, for starters, just missed the mark. Don't get me wrong, the scene was heart-breaking in so many ways, I don't disagree with that at all. But as far as the potential it had for the most dramatic scene in video game history, I feel like it just barely missed the mark-as in it was just short of perfect. What bugs me was how close it was; all it needed was a few little tweaks and it would have left every copy-owned player shell shocked after the first play-through. I'm emotionally scarred, that's true. But I didn't exactly cry at the end.

What it needed had to come from Clementine, specifically. We got what we expected to see from her when she was told by Lee that he was bitten. A dramatic, "No, no, no, no!" And there was some crying, and in the end we had to watch her break. Again, a heartbreaking combo. But there was a particular lack of child psychology awareness missing from this scenario that made it slightly less realistic that we expected.
In particular, children are more likely to go through denial upon hearing bad news than any adult. Has anyone ever seen the Sesame Street episode where Big Bird learns about death? He acts very childlike when he hears the news of the death of his friend and acts as if he will see him again, as if death doesn't have a permanent meaning. Here's the link if you're curious:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxlj4Tk83xQ

Now, I know at the end of episode 5, Clem should know very well what death is, even at nine years of age. That, however, cannot rectify her natural childish tendency to deny the harsh truth no matter what. I personally believe that she accepted it as the truth a bit quickly for a child her age. Especially considering the connection she had with Lee, as we all did, I could say I was well in denial for much longer than she was. Some of you posters here still are, by the looks of it (no offence!).
For example, the moment Lee tells her about his bite, instead of the "no, no, no!" right away, we get something like, "B-But you'll be alright if we take you to a doctor..." or if you chopped off Lee's arm, "B-but you took off the arm that was bitten, so you'll be okay, r-right?" A good example is the denial Kenny went through when he finally had to confront his dying son. Remember? "Maybe there's a pill that will just... send him to sleep?"

One other thing that would have made the scene perfectly heartbreaking would be for Clementine to have broken down sooner, rather than right before she shot/left Lee. Just imagine all the dialogue she had during that scene, but with sniffles and deep sobs between. You know how it sounds when someone tries to talk while they're crying? That's how it should have been for Clementine.

And that's about it. Just short of that, the scene was still the most heart-wrenching scene in video game history. And you would all probably go into a suicidal depression if it was any sadder. BUT, I just had to get that off my chest.

Thoughts?

Comments

  • edited December 2012
    Having Clem completely break down would have shown she wasn't truly ready to be on her own yet, but instead she was strong for dying Lee. The ending breaks my heart still I don't think it needs to be any sadder. If you pick the right lines your heartstrings get pulled even more.
  • edited December 2012
    They probably did have a lot of lines like this, but a lot of things seem to get cut if you've seen the videos of cut lines which total to around 85 minutes of unused dialog. I wish they'd elongated the scene slightly more to accomodate the denial, but Lee probably didn't have much time left as it was.
  • edited December 2012
    Dildor wrote: »
    Having Clem completely break down would have shown she wasn't truly ready to be on her own yet, but instead she was strong for dying Lee. The ending breaks my heart still I don't think it needs to be any sadder. If you pick the right lines your heartstrings get pulled even more.

    Eh, I disagree. Lee was different than everyone else. And she had already gone though a lot of deaths at that point, there's no reason she shouldn't have shed every tear in her body for him. The only thing that would have insinuated her unpreparedness is if she wasn't able to shot or abandon Lee at the end. I certainly doesn't need to be any sadder, but if traumatic was what Telltale was going for, those tiny little details would have done the trick for sure. I'm a bit of a masochist, so I personally would have preferred if it were as sad as possible to get the maximum effect. Others, again, would disagree, but that's only because no one likes a sad ending.
  • edited December 2012
    I respect your opinions, but I have to disagree with what you said about Clementine being in denial, saying that Lee would be alright if he had been brought to a doctor.

    Clementine has already known that being bitten would result in a person turning into a Walker, due to Duck's death in Episode 3. She is very aware that a person must be shot in the head to avoid being turned into a zombie since Ep2, not only through Ben, but also through Larry's death...

    Furthermore, if you took her to Crawford with you, she manages to shoot her first Walker right in the head if you aren't able to shoot it in time. She has been somewhat desensitized to the violence and death that's already happening. However, none of the deaths that have happened so far (Carley / Doug, Katjaa, Duck ) affect her to the point that she starts breaking down,simply because she doesn't have a strong enough bond with them.

    And as you have pointed out, there was one instance where she said "NO! NO! NO!" when Lee reveals the bite to her. However, I think her denial at the moment was not that she though Lee might not die, but that she wasn't ready to lose Lee, her guardian after just finding out her parents have been zombified.
  • edited December 2012
    Ctn04132 wrote: »
    I respect your opinions, but I have to disagree with what you said about Clementine being in denial, saying that Lee would be alright if he had been brought to a doctor.

    Clementine has already known that being bitten would result in a person turning into a Walker, due to Duck's death in Episode 3. She is very aware that a person must be shot in the head to avoid being turned into a zombie since Ep2, not only through Ben, but also through Larry's death...

    Furthermore, if you took her to Crawford with you, she manages to shoot her first Walker right in the head if you aren't able to shoot it in time. She has been somewhat desensitized to the violence and death that's already happening. However, none of the deaths that have happened so far (Carley / Doug, Katjaa, Duck ) affect her to the point that she starts breaking down,simply because she doesn't have a strong enough bond with them.

    And as you have pointed out, there was one instance where she said "NO! NO! NO!" when Lee reveals the bite to her. However, I think her denial at the moment was not that she though Lee might not die, but that she wasn't ready to lose Lee, her guardian after just finding out her parents have been zombified.

    Right, right, but didn't mean that she would actually believe something like that. As I said, she was well versed in the meaning of death by the end of episode 5. It was just an example of childish denial that I was portraying, when she knew well that Lee had no hope. Albeit a bad one, and I'm sure Telltale could come up with something much better.
  • edited December 2012
    They probably could have made that scene with Clem a little longer actually, Lee had just found her after all. I wonder how much they cut out.
  • edited December 2012
    Clementine was in denial, she asked Lee not to turn into a zombie
  • edited December 2012
    Clementine was in denial, she asked Lee not to turn into a zombie

    Mmm, that's not the kind of denial I'm talking about. Watch the big bird video, you'll see what I mean.
  • edited December 2012
    JulianAR wrote: »
    Mmm, that's not the kind of denial I'm talking about. Watch the big bird video, you'll see what I mean.

    I actually watched it, i think Clementine is past that emotional hurdle, she has personally witnessed many deaths including the one she was in denial about from the beginning her parents, for her to be in the "i will wait until they come back" stage would be wrong
  • edited December 2012
    I actually watched it, i think Clementine is past that emotional hurdle, she has personally witnessed many deaths including the one she was in denial about from the beginning her parents, for her to be in the "i will wait until they come back" stage would be wrong

    Yep, and again, that's true. I could have still imagined her to be like that with Lee, however. Emotional connections differ from person to person, and frankly, she hadn't seen her parents in a long time, whilst Lee was the reason she was alive. She could have been thinking, "as long as it doesn't happen to Lee," the entire time. So I could have seen it happen like that, personally.

    Am I the only one that thinks this, though? No one else thought it could've been a little more dramatic for what it was?
  • edited December 2012
    JulianAR wrote: »
    Yep, and again, that's true. I could have still imagined her to be like that with Lee, however. Emotional connections differ from person to person, and frankly, she hadn't seen her parents in a long time, whilst Lee was the reason she was alive. She could have been thinking, "as long as it doesn't happen to Lee," the entire time. So I could have seen it happen like that, personally.

    Am I the only one that thinks this, though? No one else thought it could've been a little more dramatic for what it was?

    i think the whole game was preparing her for that scene, if she all of a sudden didn't know what death was, it would probably have got her killed because Lee was dead in a few minutes and then he would come back and try to eat her
  • edited December 2012
    i think the whole game was preparing her for that scene, if she all of a sudden didn't know what death was, it would probably have got her killed because Lee was dead in a few minutes and then he would come back and try to eat her

    No, no, you're not understanding. The biggest trauma is in Lee himself getting bit, not death in general. That's why, despite knowing death well, she wouldn't be able to come to terms with specifically Lee dying. Death in general she can and does accept without much afterthought, but Lee's death I would have expected her to take as harshly as possible. Which, in truth, she did. But as I said, I thought she accepted the truth a bit too immediately. It's not abnormal for someone to take the death of a dear friend more tragically than the death of someone they were simply associated with.
  • edited December 2012
    JulianAR wrote: »
    No, no, you're not understanding. The biggest trauma is in Lee himself getting bit, not death in general. That's why, despite knowing death well, she wouldn't be able to come to terms with specifically Lee dying. Death in general she can and does accept without much afterthought, but Lee's death I would have expected her to take as harshly as possible. Which, in truth, she did. But as I said, I thought she accepted the truth a bit too immediately. It's not abnormal for someone to take the death of a dear friend more tragically than the death of someone they were simply associated with.

    its also not uncommon to block out the full pain or reality of a situation until later, she knew she had to do everything lee told her and escape, but i bet she sat down at the prologue to cry, then she saw the shadowy figures
  • edited December 2012
    its also not uncommon to block out the full pain or reality of a situation until later, she knew she had to do everything lee told her and escape, but i bet she sat down at the prologue to cry, then she saw the shadowy figures

    Maybe. It would work better in the moment, though.
  • edited December 2012
    JulianAR wrote: »
    Maybe. It would work better in the moment, though.

    how long did you want her to be in denial and devastated in front of a Lee that desperately wanted her escape because he was dying
  • edited December 2012
    how long did you want her to be in denial and devastated in front of a Lee that desperately wanted her escape because he was dying

    Long enough for him to possibly push himself too hard and hurt himself (on accident) to convince Clem that its over. To the point I think where he has to put his last bit of life into snapping Clementine out of it before he died.

    ... oh man, I just realized how evil I am... o_o
  • edited December 2012
    But to be fair, Clem HAD already seen it happen to Duck, and realized that there was no cure, that a bite is a death sentence :/
  • edited December 2012
    I think Clem is a lot stronger and smarter than every person in the game. So she has accepted what happened to Lee. It was myself who could not let him go, it was myself who could not let her go. "My Lee" is probably now a one-armed walker, chained to some radiator because he was not strong enough to see his little girl pointing a gun at him.

    In the scene in the RV, where Lee dreams Clem is a Walker, I did not even try to escape from her. She was the reason, why "my Lee" did all this. He was not strong enough to live without her, what made him weaker than Kenny, Lily and Clem, too.

    But Clem is a strong child and will (hopefully) become a even stronger young woman. She can handle herself, she can do whats necessary, what my Lee never could.

    Edit:
    I think, now I do not want to play a season 2 when Clem is a part of it...
  • edited December 2012
    I agree that it's not clear why Clem is so much more mature than the adults who aren't able to cope with the environment like she does. However, she helps kill zombies and even the stranger, so it's clear she's not operating like a child. So it seems ok how she responded to Lee.

    Clem rarely acts like a child. She doesn't get too frustrated and can see the bigger picture. She's usually reasonable, cooperative, and brave. She does get a bit excited and try to help Lee even though it puts her in danger, and she runs away because she doesn't want to give up on her parents. Apart from not having the judgment of an adult, she acts more mature than her age.

    Clem is an unusual girl who can adapt to the TWD. Some kids are never really kids, and that's how Clem is.
  • edited December 2012
    I see where you come from, though I don't agree with your point that her bond with Lee should be stronger than with her parents just because she hasn't seen them for a bit over 3 months. Her parents were her reason to go on, they were her character motivation. Her seeing them was for her the hardest thing to encounter the entire season for her personally (though not for us as players because we didn't know the people of course). If there was a moment to break down completely in denial, it was then.
    Heck, I imagined her doing that really "No Lee, they are just acting like Walkers just like us!" and get them both killed..

    But she didn't, she conquered that moment and saved Lee after he fainted. She was long passed the denial response already as it was shown in that decision of hers. For her to then fall into denial a few minutes later when Lee shows he was bitten would have her break already defined character.

    I understand your point entirely, though I appreciate it wasn't done by Telltale for those reasons.
  • edited December 2012
    Heck, I imagined her doing that really "No Lee, they are just acting like Walkers just like us!" and get them both killed..

    Don't be stupid. Clem is a child, not retarded.
  • edited December 2012
    Don't be stupid. Clem is a child, not retarded.

    It is probably the most traumatic experience she can have: seeing her parents as Walkers. Don't you think she will have lost all reason over that?

    Don't forget: In all of TWD video game, not once is Clem confronted with a zombiefied version of someone she knows besides the babysitter. And she looked a lot worse than her parents did. Her parents looked pretty well preserved besides the eyes.

    But yeah, she stayed strong and avoided being lost in emotion and denial. Hence, her being able to do the same with Lee's fate.
  • edited December 2012
    Alot of her ability to cope with her parents death has to stem from the fact that Lee needed her in that moment. He was not going to ever wake up again if she didn't save him and so she did. She choose life. The thing that scared me though is what if she knew Lee was already bit before you left the marsh house. When you passed out would she think you turned and give up....She needed something to fight for, something to get her past that moment.
    I have an 8yr old and his mother and grandmother have passed away and for his mom denial was definitely there but with his grandmother there was no denial, no asking to go visit her, just sad acceptance. This game broke me more than it would most people because I could almost see what would happen were I to get bit during the ZA. Makes me check for walkers constantly...cuz fuck that:p
  • edited December 2012
    Ed and Diana had both missing chunks of flesh. And I do not think Clem would let Lee just get eaten by a bunch of zombies, even if she would have known he is infected. She even wants to put him out of his misery, after he said that she could leave her.
  • edited December 2012
    I don't think normal children psychology applies to a child who's going through a zombie apocalypse. Especially one as strong and mature as Clementine.
  • edited December 2012
    CarScar wrote: »
    I don't think normal children psychology applies to a child who's going through a zombie apocalypse. Especially one as strong and mature as Clementine.

    Unless she's super-child, I think it does.


    ... but on that note, it certainly is debatable. :P
  • edited December 2012
    I see where you're coming from.

    She accepting her parent's deaths and Lee's death was a bit too fast. They way she cries whenever you suggest that they're probably dead or when you say you can't look look for them contradicts her behavior in Episode 5.

    "I saw my parents. It was horrible." - Clem

    That's basically all she says about them after seeing them as zombies. A bit melodramatic down you think?
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