This discussion may contain spoilers!
Warning, huge rant ahead :P
Now for all you Kenny fans, I’m sure that this season must have been a blast, what with all the Kenny bonding we got. But I implore you to take a second to think of the poor, horribly unfortunate souls who didn’t like Kenny
I hated how the game assumed that Clem shared some super special bond with Kenny, ignoring how absolutely nothing at all indicated Clem even liked Kenny in Season 1.
There was no option at the lodge to react to his return with, say, horror or anger, which would've been completely understandable as Clem knew how much of an ass Kenny could’ve potentially been to Lee, and Christa likely told her if he was unwilling to go rescue her in Around Every Corner.
Mike, Bonnie, Jane, and Luke also keep insisting that “you’re Kenny’s friend”, and “you guys are close”, when, no, my Clem is really not. This annoys me even more because the “Clem likes Kenny” plot point was even more forced in No Going Back and prevented me from making a lot of the choices I wanted. After all, this was why Mike and Bonnie didn’t ask Clem to leave with them at first, because they were afraid she’d tattle on Kenny because of how “close she is with him”. This why Jane had to do that stupid crap with AJ to convince Clem to leave Kenny, because clearly nothing short of attempted murder could convince Clem to leave her beloved dear Kenny.
No guys. Just ask me to leave Kenny. You didn’t need to sneak off into the night. You didn’t need to fake a baby’s death. I would’ve left him with no hesitation.
And that’s not to say that I don’t appreciate what Kenny has done for Clem this season. He took a beating from Carver. He begged Wellington to take her and AJ. But the thing is, I appreciated what other characters did for Clem just as much, yet the game didn’t allow me to bond with those characters in the same way at all. I appreciated Sarah when she disobeyed her father to help save Clem’s life, and yet there wasn’t even an option to cry or mourn for her death. I appreciated how Luke saved Clem in the forest and the lake, and yet no tears were shed for him. Hell, Clem doesn’t even cry about Omid’s death, and he took care of her for months considering how far into the pregnancy Christa was at that point. Why does Kenny deserve those indeterminate tears?
The fact that Clem always cries over Kenny, whether during his death or when they reach Wellington, is so infuriating to me, because there were plenty of other characters that Clem bonded with just as much as, if not more than, she did with Kenny, and yet she never shows that level of reaction to anyone else’s deaths. This isn't like with Clem and Lee in Season 1, where almost the entire fanbase unanimously loved their relationship. Was Telltale seriously completely blind to just how divisive a character Kenny was, and how the Clem/Kenny dynamic was nowhere near as universally loved? They alienated a good percentage of the players by deciding to cater only to the Kenny fans. You had the option to either be friends with Sarah or treat her like crap. You had the option to support Nick, or let Walter kill him. You had the option to forgive Bonnie, or never let her hear the end of it and even let her die in the lake. No such variability for Kenny, huh?
On a slightly related note, Kenny singlehandedly tore apart one of the most capable and functional groups Clem has ever had the pleasure of being a part of. Don’t deny it guys, the group in No Going Back would’ve stayed together and gotten along perfectly if not for Kenny’s mere presence and the game's refusal to be disloyal to him.
EDIT: For all you incredibly defensive Kenny fans, no, this isn't a Kenny Hate thread. I actually quite enjoyed Kenny's character in Season 1 and for a good chunk of Season 2. My post is intended to criticize how Telltale handled Kenny in No Going Back, which was rather poorly from the perspective of people who weren't huge fans of Kenny.
Jane: Hey Clem, let's play a game. Try to play "The Walking Dead Season Two" without sympathizing with Kenny.
Clem: You're fucking crazy!