Was bringing ***** back worth it?

edited June 2014 in The Walking Dead

After an episode has passed... was bringing Kenny back worth it?

I understand that Kenny has a lot of fans who were very excited to see him and love to see more of his character, but was it really a good decision from a storytelling perspective?

Ever since he came back, I've kind of divorced myself from the game logic. I noticed it most clearly after reading the thread asking why anyone thinks Sarita will survive... and my first thought was "Well it isn't about being realistic or it even being possible to live within the rules of the universe, it's about what Telltale wants to happen to her." And it shocked me that I had gotten so cynical about TWDG.

Additionally, where does Kenny have to go from here, as a character? His character arc (From the motor inn to the meat locker to Katjaa and Duck's death... all the way up to ultimately forgiving Ben/passively committing suicide by walker either for Christa or Ben) was really neatly and satisfyingly tied up for me in Ep5... his character progression feels "over". The whole "Kenny is losing it!" plotline that's continuing now just feels like a retread sometimes... and if they do something more interesting than just letting him stagnate, like having him be a villain like some are predicting, it feels almost like a betrayal of the character. It's the same reason why I don't want to see Molly again - she had her character arc with Crawford, it was resolved, and as a character in fiction she just has nowhere to go from where she was left except surviving.

Powerful and impactful characters have something that drives them, something to resolve or confront, some kind of journey they have to start and then finish... Obviously the loss of his family will never leave Kenny, but I think that ep 3,4,5 did such a great job of actually showing the progression and resolution of his grief and anger that it cheapens it to bring him back, still carrying it as his defining feature. When he learns of Sarita's fate (whatever it ends up being) in Ep 4, it will be fresh grief yes, but familiar. It stinks of fridging and it just really concerns me. I don't know where they can take Kenny from here and not disappoint.

So to reiterate... was it really worth it to have Kenny back?


  • Okay.. can a mod please delete all but one of these duplicate threads? I really did not mean to spam, the forum was giving me an error message and prompting me to retry, so I did.

    Sorry everyone.

  • did u seriously just post this 6 times

  • dojo32161dojo32161 Moderator

    While you're at it, you might want to spoiler free every title of your accidental spam.

    Nonatastic posted: »

    Okay.. can a mod please delete all but one of these duplicate threads? I really did not mean to spam, the forum was giving me an error message and prompting me to retry, so I did. Sorry everyone.

  • Trying to as we speak...

    dojo32161 posted: »

    While you're at it, you might want to spoiler free every title of your accidental spam.

  • I didn't mean to, sorry.

    Chateau posted: »

    did u seriously just post this 6 times

  • Servers are acting weird. It wasn't his fault.

    Chateau posted: »

    did u seriously just post this 6 times

  • Personally I think bring him back was a mistake because there's nobody to stand up to Kenny. In season 1 there was always a balance of power in terms of strong willed characters. Lee, Larry, Lilly, Carley, Kenny, Christa, and Molly were all characters that had a strong personality, and when push came to shove they stood up for themselves or others who they cared about. Now with Kenny's return there's no "Lee" to keep Kenny in check. Most of the cabin group are all pretty flimsy, personality wise, when compared to Kenny.

  • edited June 2014

    Okay, okay, okay. I have mixed feelings about his return which means I'll probably get a lot of downvotes, but it really doesn't matter.

    The positives: Kenny was one of the more memorable characters in season one. What a writer strives for is some sort of emotion from the player when they interact with the characters. Since Kenny has a really good heart, yet at the same time is reckless and has done a lot of controversial stuff, he makes for great discussion. People either absolutely adore him, hate him, or lean back and forth depending on the episode. Having a character be able to get so much reaction from the audience is good for the story and the game experience.

    Going back to being memorable, Kenny is also familiar. This will keep the interest of fans and players from season one. Obviously the people who love Kenny will want to stick around while Kenny does. Kenny, while you could argue that his arc finished in episode five, can also serve to provide conflict and even more character development for other characters. Take Luke, for example. Kenny's contrasting opinions and attitudes will reflect what kind of leader and person Luke is. The emotional struggle between Clementine's past with Kenny and new-found loyalty to Luke has a lot of potential to be a great storyline (if executed properly).

    The negatives: Unfortunately, since Kenny does have a lot of fans... his presence takes the spotlight away from the new characters and back onto him. We already know Kenny. We know his backstory, what his personality is, his struggles and why he does what he does. The new characters? Not so much. We don't really know a lot about Rebecca, Carlos, Alvin, Nick, etc. and having a character that already had his own development will distract us from that.

    Also, this is the mostly a personal opinion, but I loved how his story ended in season one. His sacrifice to put Ben out of his misery, despite the harm he indirectly caused to Kenny's family, was beautiful in a heartbreaking way. In that moment, he fully redeemed himself for whatever wrongdoings he may have done in the past. But now he's reverted back to calling Ben names and regrets what he had done. It takes away from that beautiful moment. :/

    Conclusion: There's both positives and negatives. I like that he's back but it comes with problems, for sure.

  • Ultimately, no, I don't think it was. I can't say for sure, because there are still two episodes left to go, but eh. I don't care much about their abuse of our nostalgia. It was a nice moment, seeing him again, but then all the problems of his return began to dawn on me.

    This is my perception, but I think it's sad that they had to bring back a strong S1 personality into the fold whose arc- as you say- was effectively ended, to hold this season up. Were the new characters they came up with so weak in the first place?

    His visible arc in the near future reads "retread". Retread to his grief over the loss of a loved one with Sarita, retread of his friction/rivalry dynamic with Luke, and finally, retread of his sacrifice or Lee's death, because let's face it: fat chance he leaves this season alive. Or they could show hm finally losing it.

    That came out shorter than expected. We'll see what's what next episode. I am not holding my breath.

  • I do think it was worth bringing him back. I did kinda think it should have ended for him in that alley, going out heroically, so he could reunite with his family, and the pain would end. Still, I'm actually really glad he's back, and I'm interested in his character a lot. I have been interested in him since episode 101.

  • I love Kenny but if they knew they were bringing him back, what I would personally have done is keep Omid and Christa around and have Kenny just with them from escaping the horde. The start of the season could've been Clem, Kenny, Omid, and Christa trying to survive the bandits in the woods and finding the Cabin group and then dealing with whether or not they can trust them. Also, we could have to deal with TWO pregnant women to increase the drama. Boy, I really got off on a tangent. But in other words, I'm starting to wonder if it would have been better for his character to stay 'dead'. No death scene will top his redemptive 'death' scenes in S01E05.

  • The only negative thing about the return of Kenny in my view. as you well said, is the fact that his presence is overshadowing the new characters. unbalancing them.

    His return was something fantastic, but at the same time demanded a fairly high price for the new characters.

    quinnics posted: »

    Okay, okay, okay. I have mixed feelings about his return which means I'll probably get a lot of downvotes, but it really doesn't m

  • That's the thing - who knows if the s2 characters would still be wallflowers if they had to carry the season themselves? 400 days managed to endear us to some pretty average people in maybe 30 min apiece, because they were all there was to see for the time being. Now the group could be Clem, Kenny, and filler and the story can still move. It's no longer necessary to develop new characters, so it doesn't happen because it would be harder and require more screentime not spent on action.

    Ultimately, no, I don't think it was. I can't say for sure, because there are still two episodes left to go, but eh. I don't care

  • No simply because Kenny is now the star of the show. I dont want more of the same. Give me something fresh and new. He leaves little time for the new characters to do anything.

  • I don't think it was worth it and would rather have seen Christa and/or Omid continue into this season in his place. Everyone else has pretty much said it well, but I'm just a little...burnt out on the character at this point, I think. He was a crucial and especially memorable component of S1 and there he had a powerfully done arc with a perfect conclusion. In S2 thus far, he's far more fanservicey crutch than something I couldn't picture this season without.

    I guess we can't know for sure that TellTale would've bothered to flesh the other characters of this season out more without Kenny around, but I do feel like he's become a hindrance to anyone else's development. If he's present, he's dominating the situation, he gets the most significant interactions with Clem and it's a little frustrating at times. He is seriously the last side character in need of moments. And the fact that some people consider Kenny on par with Clem in terms of importance is just evidence of the problem.

  • I say yes, but that it also could have been handled better. Kenny stole the show in Episode 3 which, even though I like him, I wasn't entirely a fan of, but it's not entirely his fault that the new characters don't stand out very much. Their introduction in All That Remains was pretty bad and didn't endear many players to them, save Luke and maybe Pete. They got better in AHD, but then one was killed and two were made determinant which is basically the same thing as killing them. While the spotlight being on Kenny is partially to blame for the new group not getting very much development, it's not entirely his fault. All they need to do is focus a bit more on the other characters in the next Episode, maybe by having Kenny resting from having his eye beaten in so we can get to know Mike, Jane, and whoever else is left.

  • I would say no. At first I felt kind of mixed since I felt his "death" in season 1 was a good way to end his story and gave his character justice, since I did not like him for the entirety of season 1, and his supposed death made me somewhat respect him and tolerate him as a character. Then when he was brought back it just ruined that moment, and made me dislike his character even more. But I had hope he was brought back for a reason, so I was interested where they could take his character. Then episode 3 really just made me think Kenny's only here to retread on old season 1 plot lines such as the meat locker scene, losing his family, and the whole rivalry thing with Luke, and ultimately the game seems to have become a huge Kenny show imo. I know Kenny has a lot of fans, and it's nice Telltale is trying to please its fans, but I honestly think Kenny's return was just fan pandering. They didn't even bother to explain how he escaped that alley yet, which either means they're saving it for a DLC or they're just being lazy. One meaning more Kenny with money involved, and the other meaning they just brought him back for the hell of it.

    My biggest issue with Kenny's return though is that none of the new characters get any time to shine, and a lot of them seem like they could've been really interesting characters, but a good portion of them have already been killed off. And most people will obviously favour Kenny over any of them because he's from season 1. The number one reason I keep seeing when the overly asked "Luke or Kenny?" question is asked for people choosing Kenny is that he's had history with Clementine, and is from season 1, so how are any of the new characters able to compete with that? People will obviously place Kenny the highest on their character priorities list, especially with how he was in season 1. It was also very annoying that Kenny is the only season 1 character kept around when others like Omid and Christa were quickly tossed aside. It's also come to the point where Kenny may even become a more prominent figure to the game series than Lee since he's been in the most episodes now after Clementine.

    I think they handled bringing Kenny back nicely, it was a touching scene for most people, but I still think it was done just for that. Kenny hasn't really added anything much to the plot that wasn't seen in season 1 so far... and any of the new characters could've easily filled his role. I don't mean to offend any Kenny fans with my comment, but as someone that paid for a new story revolving around Clementine growing up, I find it very distracting to have Kenny take so much attention when he's just doing the same old stuff from season 1. I still have hope they may do something interesting with his character in the remaining episodes, especially since it's highly hinted at that he's not the same man as season 1, and with the current situation with Sarita... it seems there's only dark things for Kenny's future.

  • Depends on who you ask.

  • We ask you.

    Depends on who you ask.

  • I don't think it has been a mistake yet since he has proven himself in several ways. But he has yet to die to my answer may change...

  • "Predictable" has been on my mind lately when it comes to Kenny. I find his character dull and ultimately boring.

  • Who's "we?"

    We ask you.

  • I like Kenny. But until we get a logic explanation on how he survived, the story will be quite ruined for me.

  • It was very predictable he came back. I do think him trying to help Ben would have been a good ending for him. However I don't have a problem with him coming back, except that he seems to overshadow everyone else. Hopefully episode 4 will feature more of everyone else.

  • The OP and I, two people, hence "we".

    Who's "we?"

  • When word got out that they revised his "death", most of us were pretty sure that he was coming back.

    Although I'm glad he's alive and well, I do think he would've been better off unknown, or at least, reintroduced MUCH later. If I had to pick someone to replace Kenny in Episode 2, I think I would have picked Vernon. While he IS presumed dead, I would've liked the tension angle that would come from him. HIS story doesn't seem over. Not to me at least.

  • thinks of Kenny's beard

    Fuck yeah!

  • Kenny's character arc in Season 1 was amazing. Now it feels meaningless.

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