WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS EPISODE 1 SPOILERS
The first episode showed that Clementine was no longer the young, innocent girl that you had to protect whatever the cost. In the intervening years she had become a capable character in this post-apocalyptic nightmare, A House Divided further cements this fact. Episode 1 was just an appetiser, the real choices begin now.
We left Clementine in a difficult position at the end of episode 1. You could follow two characters in the last episodes final decision, although we only experienced one, we’re sure the other also came with ramifications. And that’s what this episode is really about, while there is an enemy threat from the “walkers”, much like the comic book it’s based on, the human element is still the most dangerous. You will meet new characters along the way, some friendly, others not so. And it’s how you deal with these interactions that reveal Episode 2’s strongest point.
A lot of the time violence or aggression may not be the best cause of action and the choices Clementine is given will provide a wide range of ways to approach each situation. Whether it makes much of a difference to how the overall story plays out is unknown as we only played it through once (the way you’re meant too!), but it feels like you’re having a massive impact on what happens, and that’s the important part.
One new character in particular is a menacing presence that you’re not sure whether to trust or not. It’s someone who has mystery, and being voiced by Michael Madsen means he has the voice to match his gruff nature. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the mystery in episode 2. The people you’ve met in episode 1 may not be who they seem and each newly introduced person has a fully fleshed out character that certainly puts the TV show to shame.
If there’s an issue we had having completed the previous episode, it was that the new group didn’t stick with you in the same way the original gang did, often forgetting characters names. Episode 2 doesn’t suffer from this, it spends more time with each and by the end of the season we’re expecting to feel a tinge of sadness when the inevitable happens and they become zombie food.
That’s not to say A House Divided is short of action, there are plenty of moments where the dead need to be dealt with. Clementine once again proving her more capable nature as she stealthily sneaks up on a walker before stabbing it in the head. Even these moments are given a dose of humour to accompany the visceral nature of the visuals. “I’ll take the big one” she says jokingly to her accomplice with a wry smile. It’s the human interaction that really makes this series something special. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to action, as you’d expect, thinks that you plan on happening and what does happen are rarely ever similar.
A House Divided manages to build on what the first episode started. It was a strong start, but episode 2 is where the season truly begins. With mystery and intrigue, it feels like no character is exactly who they seem. The coming episodes are going to be very interesting.