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Ep 2 opening twist turned drama into soap opera

posted by Tinderboxxx on - Viewed by 734 users

(Disclaimer: since some posters seem focused on the metadata of commenters, I can confirm I only signed up to the community now to get my views on ep 2 off my chest. I've gone from being a big telltale fan to being a disappointed customer and wanted to say why.)

I've been reading a lot of the negative views on ep 2 but few seem to chime with my own opinion of why it fell down so badly. For me, it's simple: the opening twist turned a gripping drama into a bad soap opera.

I won't spoil it but for me it was on a level with Bigby waking up and saying: "ah, it was only a dream!", a plot device usually seen in cheap tv soaps like Dallas. To undo one of the biggest plot points of episode 1 in this totally anticlimactic way was as dumb as some of the characters' reactions (basically a total lack of surprise).

This cheapening of plot devices is repeated later on when you get into a fight over... Suspected adultery! Oh of course! I mean I'm always gripped when a telenovela comes up with this idea! I was rolling my eyes and waiting for the inevitable "oh I see! I'm sorry I got the wrong end of the stick" moment.

Look, I know this is just episode 2, that it's not fair to nit pick, that everything will make sense in the end. But this is a game that is 99 percent story, 1 percent gameplay and sold by the episode. It might have been different if the episode had been longer and packed with different story branches - but it wasn't.

Up until now I have always been happy to pay for this storytelling quality but based on this episode I will likely wait for the whole series to come out first. I think Telltale has a really interesting niche in the market but if they spread themselves too thin and deliver progressively weaker stories they will lose it.

9 Comments
  • You have to keep in mind that they need to adhere to the canon of the comics.

    • Thanks, it's true I don't read Fables but my problem was with the execution rather than the concept or idea. Maybe this is the wrong analogy but I feel like just because we know how and when Hitler died it doesn't make it impossible to create great WW2 dramas or plot tensions involving the accurate historical 'canon'. So for example in this case, had the explanation and revelation been better executed, I might have been persuaded.

      • Yeah, I understand what you're saying. It's a fair complaint. I suspect a lot of the issues with Episode 2 are related to whatever issues they had during development, that seemingly forced them to rewrite the episode.

  • While i agree the opening twist was not executed in the best way possible.... I assure you, it's better than to see Snow appearing at the end of 5 in my opinion.

  • Remembering the conversations people had here before the release of episode 2, a lot of players were imagining all possible ways Snow could be "resurrected", and imagined this would happen near the end of the game.

    When she showed up at the beginning of episode 2, never been killed in the first place, it was a real surprise to many a player, so Telltale did a great job there in my opinion.

    But I agree that the episode should have been "longer and packed with different story branches". Felt too short and too linear, even if I loved it.

  • I'm inclined to agree a little, with both sides of this discussion. I have to admit, the delivery of that twist felt kind of like, "Oh, by the way guys... HERE!" I wasn't shocked, moved or emotional about it, whatsoever. I was a little bewildered and confused though, and I literally had only the response of, "Uh... Um... Whut...?" Now, am I saying that TWAU is bad for that? No, I find it rather entertaining. I am saying that they could have either delivered that twist a little more gently, or a little more harshly. I felt that it would have added more value to reveal. :)

  • Its not quite the same because in the logic of the game and comic's universe, the explanation for Snow White not being dead is perfectly plausible and adds to the ongoing mystery. The suspected adultery was all in Beast's mind and we got a plausible explanation for why he thought that and was then proven wrong. I have watched soap operas for 20 years and believe me, this wasnt it, lol.

  • The ending of ep2 was shocking to me.

  • Personally, I thought the way they brought back Snow was brilliant and probably one of the best moments from the whole episode. They actually avoided a painfully common trope of the brooding male lead going off to avenge the death of his female love interest. I myself was geared up to tear Fabletown apart looking for Snow's killer, and then suddenly, there she is! It's that sudden surprise that makes you realize that there's more going on here than you thought. Frankly, I don't think it would have worked if the reveal hadn't been so abrupt. But then, I love it when I think I know where a story is going, and all of a sudden, it totally changes course and reveals that it's a completely different story than I thought.

    Admittedly, that's largely a matter of opinion. But I do have to disagree with this assertion:

    I won't spoil it but for me it was on a level with Bigby waking up and saying: "ah, it was only a dream!", a plot device usually seen in cheap tv soaps like Dallas.

    It may have been an abrupt reversal, but it's definitely not the same as the twist you're referring to from Dallas. The problem with the "just a dream" trope is that it's a lazy deus ex machina that ultimately invalidates everything else in the story that came before while resetting everything to the way it was at the beginning. The way they brought back Snow isn't like that at all.

    It may have been set up in such a way as to make players assume that Snow was dead--and many people took the bait--but that was never actually confirmed. The way they explained her "death" follows naturally from what was previously established in the story. Bigby spent a good part of Episode 1 talking about how fables can use glamours to make themselves look like something they aren't (I'm actually a little embarrassed I didn't think of it sooner). Snow's reappearance doesn't invalidate what came before it either. Whether or not Snow was one of them, there are still two women dead. On top of that, it actually raises more questions and propels the story forward. A large part of Episode 2 revolves around the questions raised by Lily's death. Why was she glamoured to look like Snow? How is Crane involved in all of this? How is Crane's Snow White fetish linked to Faith's murder?

    If it was just a case of Telltale throwing in a weird twist that ultimately adds nothing to the story just to surprise people, I might agree with you. But that's clearly not the case here.

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