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Criticizm on the final scene

posted by JulianAR on - last edited - Viewed by 540 users

*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:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxlj4Tk83xQ

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.

Thoughts?

27 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • Having Clem completely break down would have shown she wasn't truly ready to be on her own yet, but instead she was strong for dying Lee. The ending breaks my heart still I don't think it needs to be any sadder. If you pick the right lines your heartstrings get pulled even more.

  • They probably did have a lot of lines like this, but a lot of things seem to get cut if you've seen the videos of cut lines which total to around 85 minutes of unused dialog. I wish they'd elongated the scene slightly more to accomodate the denial, but Lee probably didn't have much time left as it was.

  • @Dildor said: Having Clem completely break down would have shown she wasn't truly ready to be on her own yet, but instead she was strong for dying Lee. The ending breaks my heart still I don't think it needs to be any sadder. If you pick the right lines your heartstrings get pulled even more.

    Eh, I disagree. Lee was different than everyone else. And she had already gone though a lot of deaths at that point, there's no reason she shouldn't have shed every tear in her body for him. The only thing that would have insinuated her unpreparedness is if she wasn't able to shot or abandon Lee at the end. I certainly doesn't need to be any sadder, but if traumatic was what Telltale was going for, those tiny little details would have done the trick for sure. I'm a bit of a masochist, so I personally would have preferred if it were as sad as possible to get the maximum effect. Others, again, would disagree, but that's only because no one likes a sad ending.

  • I respect your opinions, but I have to disagree with what you said about Clementine being in denial, saying that Lee would be alright if he had been brought to a doctor.

    Clementine has already known that being bitten would result in a person turning into a Walker, due to Duck's death in Episode 3. She is very aware that a person must be shot in the head to avoid being turned into a zombie since Ep2, not only through Ben, but also through Larry's death...

    Furthermore, if you took her to Crawford with you, she manages to shoot her first Walker right in the head if you aren't able to shoot it in time. She has been somewhat desensitized to the violence and death that's already happening. However, none of the deaths that have happened so far (Carley / Doug, Katjaa, Duck ) affect her to the point that she starts breaking down,simply because she doesn't have a strong enough bond with them.

    And as you have pointed out, there was one instance where she said "NO! NO! NO!" when Lee reveals the bite to her. However, I think her denial at the moment was not that she though Lee might not die, but that she wasn't ready to lose Lee, her guardian after just finding out her parents have been zombified.

  • @Ctn04132 said: I respect your opinions, but I have to disagree with what you said about Clementine being in denial, saying that Lee would be alright if he had been brought to a doctor.

    Clementine has already known that being bitten would result in a person turning into a Walker, due to Duck's death in Episode 3. She is very aware that a person must be shot in the head to avoid being turned into a zombie since Ep2, not only through Ben, but also through Larry's death...

    Furthermore, if you took her to Crawford with you, she manages to shoot her first Walker right in the head if you aren't able to shoot it in time. She has been somewhat desensitized to the violence and death that's already happening. However, none of the deaths that have happened so far (Carley / Doug, Katjaa, Duck ) affect her to the point that she starts breaking down,simply because she doesn't have a strong enough bond with them.

    And as you have pointed out, there was one instance where she said "NO! NO! NO!" when Lee reveals the bite to her. However, I think her denial at the moment was not that she though Lee might not die, but that she wasn't ready to lose Lee, her guardian after just finding out her parents have been zombified.

    Right, right, but didn't mean that she would actually believe something like that. As I said, she was well versed in the meaning of death by the end of episode 5. It was just an example of childish denial that I was portraying, when she knew well that Lee had no hope. Albeit a bad one, and I'm sure Telltale could come up with something much better.

  • They probably could have made that scene with Clem a little longer actually, Lee had just found her after all. I wonder how much they cut out.

  • Clementine was in denial, she asked Lee not to turn into a zombie

  • @thestalkinghead said: Clementine was in denial, she asked Lee not to turn into a zombie

    Mmm, that's not the kind of denial I'm talking about. Watch the big bird video, you'll see what I mean.

  • @JulianAR said: Mmm, that's not the kind of denial I'm talking about. Watch the big bird video, you'll see what I mean.

    I actually watched it, i think Clementine is past that emotional hurdle, she has personally witnessed many deaths including the one she was in denial about from the beginning her parents, for her to be in the "i will wait until they come back" stage would be wrong

  • @thestalkinghead said: I actually watched it, i think Clementine is past that emotional hurdle, she has personally witnessed many deaths including the one she was in denial about from the beginning her parents, for her to be in the "i will wait until they come back" stage would be wrong

    Yep, and again, that's true. I could have still imagined her to be like that with Lee, however. Emotional connections differ from person to person, and frankly, she hadn't seen her parents in a long time, whilst Lee was the reason she was alive. She could have been thinking, "as long as it doesn't happen to Lee," the entire time. So I could have seen it happen like that, personally.

    Am I the only one that thinks this, though? No one else thought it could've been a little more dramatic for what it was?

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