*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:
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.