In Harm’s Way might have been the most difficult episode of Telltale’s The Walking Dead series. Not because of any gameplay mechanics, but because of the decisions I was forced to make along the way. Anyone who's played a Telltale game knows you’re going to make some touch choices along the way, but in Episode 3: In Harm’s Way, it feels like those decisions finally mean something. More importantly, they make you feel something.
In Harm’s Way picks up following that monumental cliffhanger at the end of Episode 2: A House Divided, with Clementine and the remaining survivors of her group held captive by the stone cold Bill Carver. Introduced for the first time last episode, In Harm’s Way gives this season’s new antagonist a ton of attention. We know Carver is a twisted, evil man, but he raises an interesting point when he remarks that Clementine and him aren’t so different — each doing what they need to survive. This exchange, which is handled wonderfully, sets the tone not only for the episode but for the entire season.
Everything we’ve done up until this point has been about survival — at least, that’s how we justify our actions with Clementine. She’s a survivor, but at what cost? And Carver, through a simple exchange, cast seeds of doubt within my mind.
Whereas Season One is all about protecting this little girl. Season Two is all about shaping her. My actions, my responses, my choices — as good or bad as they may be — are determining the type of person Clementine is becoming in this post-apocalyptic world. Is she the same innocent girl we first met in Season One or has the brutal nature of the world around her hardened our dear Clementine? Ultimately, your choices will reflect that and no episode makes that more clear than In Harm’s Way.
The episode is full of difficult decisions, and you’ll meet new characters, which may come as an annoyance given that the already established characters are finding it hard to find screen time. What’s interesting is that you are forced to make some difficult decisions with these newly introduced characters whom you know nothing about. Who do you trust? How do you react to these situations Clem is put in? Trust me, by the end of the episode you’ll find yourself reliving some of these moments and wondering if the decisions you made were the right ones.
Note: We are handling our reviews for Telltale games a little differently now, given their unique episodic approach. Rather than assigning a score to each individual episode, we will be reviewing and talking about them each in length at first and assigning an overall score for the entire season at the end.