Walking Dead Season 2, Episode 2: Try to Make the Best of a Bad Situation

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Clementine. An eleven year old girl, awash in a zombie apocalypse. The first episode of The Walking Dead's second season was largely spent convincing the player that she doesn't need the kind of protection we fought so hard to give her in the first season. She's tougher than she was when we left her, she's resourceful and brave. The closing scenes of the previous episode made that all very clear. Uncomfortably so. With the player thus convinced, Episode 2, 'A House Divided' is free to deal more with Clem's attitude towards her new found group.

As with almost any episode of the Walking Dead, there are casualties. Most of these however, are unavoidable; not the result of a choice by Clem to save one over another, but circumstance and bad luck. This far into the apocalypse it's easy to forget that losing a loved one can still be hard on people. Seeing adults break in the face of it while Clem soldiers on  makes it easy to understand why they seem to trust her (for the most part). 

Clementine's hardened demeanor is juxtaposed by the na├»ve Sarah. Roughly the same age as Clementine, Sarah is everything Clem is not. She is panicky, unsure of herself, and knows very little about surviving on her own. It's hard to identify with her at all, despite her obvious need for a friend. 

Things with Clementine's new group get complicated very quickly. They're on the run from someone called Carver, and they may or may not be trustworthy. They're certainly quick to react, be it for better or worse, I've yet to decide. 

The episode ends on a cliffhanger, much as you may expect. "A House Divided" seems built more to set up the events in episodes to come than to stand alone. The events in this episode and (most of) the choices made in it don't appear to have any identifiable payoff, making some of the choices feel a little lackluster. I'm certain that they'll be resolved later on, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little worried.