Originally Posted by zjs
I think we can agree that both the parents being together and the Stranger can be chalked up to the hasty writing in episode V. There was no reason not to have inserted the parents into their own separate scene; perhaps in one of the rooms in the (strangely deserted) hotel. Would've added more to it.
Now, let me know if you know any better (as with Chuck), but is there any particular reason for the shift in focus from Clem's parents to the Stranger, beyond his sinister 'you're here soon' message and his later kidnap of Clem? It seemed to me that the majority of the story had always been heading towards finding Clem's parents (right from when you first meet her), which is often clarified and reiterated. Given that Clem and Lee are the central focus, and that Lee's family are done and dusted before the end of episode I, this is logical. However, the story suddenly shifts to the Stranger and her parents become an afterthought - a five second cut scene, shambling together amongst a horde of walkers. Even the aftermath is awful, with Clem supposedly dragging Lee somewhere safe
--- this is completely off topic, but relates. I've seen people criticise animations such as the car battery in the bag and the blowtorch in the back pocket, but these were largely animation based while Clem dragging Lee wasn't just an artistic error; it was a real suspension of belief ---
I know what you're driving at, but what I'm really saying is that it worked better not having this happen. Duck might not be a character you really cared about, but he was important in the story and within the group. His death really is an emotional scene, not least because it encompasses Katja's suicide. I can't help but feel a lot of that poignancy would be lost if you went from choosing who should do it to his reanimation and a subsequent QT event. My Lee was one of the 5% of Lee's who never got a bullet in his head, but a reanimated character such as Lee would also have cheapened the emotional impact somewhat. Can't think of any other character they could have done it with, given that you're out of the pharmacy very soon after saving Carley/Doug.
It would be good to see the shoe on the other foot; but you'd really need to see real, impacting, determinable, choice for that to actually work.
I think you misunderstand me when I said I wanted to see a scene where someone we knows comes back. Or maybe I misspoke when I said there wasn't enough angst over loved ones becoming zombies. I wasn't suggesting the scene with Duck or Larry or Lee or anyone should have been changed to accommodate that, I wouldn't want them changed. I was just saying I'd like there to be a scene where that happens, but the ones where it didn't happen were done for a reason and I agree, there were done masterfully.
But I still think one instance of seeing that happen, seeing someone you got to know for a while and grew to like now shambling around as a zombie, helps drive home the idea that everyone ends up as the dead eventually. I feel there were a few moments where it would have been a natural fit. Specifically the pharmacy in episode three, not episode one. Where that zombie in the helicopter pilot gear attacks, it feels like the could have just as easily been a zombie model of Carley or Doug. That or that zombie at the end of the sewers could have been a zombie Chuck instead of finding Chuck on the ground already dead. In both cases I think they could have added a little emotional impact to what is, as of now, just another zombie attack.
As for the shift between Clem's parents and the Stranger, it feels like there was kind of a missing connection they were driving at. Specifically the Stranger said he had Clem's parents so that's why she probably ran off to him. I think maybe they were expecting the audience to just accept Clem's parents were probably dead by this point and that people were already focused on Lee being Clem's foster parent, and didn't anticipate some people would still earnestly want to find them so late in the game. So the "shift" was actually challenging your claim as Clem's parent, but for people who hadn't given up on finding her actual parents, it would seem jarring.
I've seen a lot of playthroughs where people assumed that straight from the answering machine message that Clem's parents were dead. I guess I was one of the few deluded fools who hoped maybe the mother was still alive. We don't hear her die and there was gun fire, so somebody was fighting back. She was a doctor, she certainly would be valuable to a group of survivors if she didn't die. So I still wanted to find some sign of her parents even after Crawford but I don't think the story was written to anticipate that, I think they assumed with the boat ready and with the time you already spent with Clem most people were ready to just move on.
I guess you could chalk it up to Lee himself already believing he was a father to Clementine. If you pick the "Walk away" option for Vernon he becomes furious. I was actually considering his offer. I figured maybe Lee and Clem could both stay with Vernon. That way we could stay in Savannah and maybe find out what happened to Clem's parents and there be enough room for everyone on Kenny's boat. (I've been wary of boats in ZA's ever since the remake of Dawn of the Dead.
Still, if the point was for Lee to give up on finding Clem's parents and that's why she runs off to the Stranger who lied and said he had them, I think it could have been made more clearly. Like the option to finally tell Clem about what you heard on the answering machine or point out the obvious that it's been months and even if they were alive they likely moved elsewhere. She could argue against that, clearly in denial about the possibility of them being dead, and that'd make her running off with the stranger a little more clear. Instead the scene we got kinda sounds like Lee can't look for Clem's parents because of inconvenient timing, what with the boat nearly being ready.
And for the record, I'm probably one of the few people who liked Duck from the beginning. An annoying energetic ten year old made things feel like normal. It took me forever to finally pull the trigger on him.