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YMMV / The Walking Dead Season Four

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Season One

400 Days, Season Two and Michonne

A New Frontier

YMMV tab for Season Four: The Final Season. Beware of unmarked spoilers.

  • Alas, Poor Scrappy: Mitch. He gained a lot of haters for being a Jerkass through the majority of Episode 2, but many were shocked when he got stabbed in the neck while charging Lilly in an effort to save Tenn. It helps that he was beginning to warm up to Clem and AJ, whom he was particularly nasty towards at first, though for good reason. Some players were also beginning to like him for his skills as a Mad Bomber. Furthermore, Episode 3 makes it clear that for all his faults, he genuinely cared for Willy.
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  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Marlon. Is he really the villain of the episode or he is he just panicking from his string of bad decisions? Yes, he did sacrifice Minerva and Sophie to the raiders, and yes, he was planning to sacrifice Clem and A.J. the same way and yes, he did try to pin Brody's death on Clem. But everything Marlon did was because he didn't know how to handle the raiders and he needed to save everyone else—it's easier to give up two strangers than it is to sacrifice your friends. Marlon was seemingly forced into leadership and he's made several comments in Episode 1 about the stress from responsibility. In the final fight, Marlon isn't a gloating villain, he's panicking because he lost control and doesn't know what to do about the raiders. The official Telltale tumblr ran an AMA and one of the devs answered that he didn't see Marlon as a villain—rather, Marlon was a kid who was thrust into a position of leadership, something he wasn't ready for and had no experience with, which then led him to make a series of decisions to the detriment of his community.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • A common complain of A New Frontier is Clementine's lack of importance to the story and only being playable during short flashback segments. Here, she is once again the playable character and her actions will influence AJ similar to the relationship between Lee and Clementine in Season 1.
    • Kent Mudle stated in a Reddit AMA that he disliked a lot of the often unavoidable character deaths in Season 2, echoing a particular complaint from fans, and promised that if a character is determinant and is saved by the player, they will live to the end of the story.
    • Clementine's Ship Tease with Gabe in A New Frontier received mainly negative reactions, due to Gabe being considered The Scrappy for many, and since you didn't control Clementine, there was no way of influencing her opinion of him either way. Whether the crew was aware of this backlash or not, in The Final Season, you're back in control of Clementine and are given two different, much more likable love interests and can decide which one to romance, or even if you want Clementine to romance them at all, the choice is entirely yours.
      • Expanding on that, when Louis asks Clementine in Episode 1 if she's ever had a boyfriend, you can decide whether Clementine will mention Gabe and that she possibly liked him, or just dismiss him entirely.
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    • Season 2 received some criticism due to the group of able-bodied, healthy adults relying on an eleven-year-old girl to do everything on account of Clementine being the protagonist. In this season, Clementine becomes the protagonist once again, but this time she's surrounded by children her age or younger who don't know as much about fighting and survival as Clem does, so their reliance on her is much more believable.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • James became an Ensemble Dark Horse after his debut, as fans took favorably to his soft-spoken nature and ability to survive among walkers without killing them. His potential death in the penultimate episode upset many players. However, should he live, he turns on Clementine for telling AJ to brutally murder Lilly, going as far as to try and kidnap him. He's presented in-universe as in the wrong for his overreaction, but fans are split on just how forgivable his actions are. Some say that AJ did go overkill on Lilly and him going so far as to admit enjoying it was reason to be concerned. Others argue that considering everything Lilly did, James being upset over AJ killing her proves him to be too naive.
    • AJ himself divides between those who love him and those who hate him. For context, AJ is unlike Clem in that he has no idea what the world was like before the walkers, so death and violence is all he's ever known. Those who love him argue that this would reasonably murk his decisions and leave him hostile, and at such a young age, he shouldn't be blamed for seeing everything in such a black-and-white manner. Those who hate him counter that his age doesn't excuse his actions, and his borderline sociopathic behaviors (starting with murdering Marlon) made him more of a Creepy Child than anything. In the final episode, allowing him to finally make the call will result in him killing Tenn. Did this just prove that AJ is too messed up, and is incapable of being an empathetic human being? Or was this as emotional an action as can be expected of him, since he did so to save Louis/Violet?
  • Catharsis Factor:
    • After all the horrible things she’s done, Clem can tell AJ to kill Lilly in Episode 3.
    • On a meta level, being able to save Tenn or Louis/Violet without them dying in an extremely anticlimactic fashion later is a huge weight lifted after several characters from the previous two seasons such as Nick, Sarah, Luke, Kenny/Jane and Tripp/Ava suffered that exact fate regardless of the player's choices.
  • Crossover Ship:
    • While they previously had a fanbase for how similar their stories are of a small girl taken care of by an older man in a Zombie Apocalypse, Clementine/Ellie has only been further fuelled by the sequels of their games, with both of them growing into hardened, badass Action Girls and being confirmed as bisexual and gay, respectively.
    • Another popular one is between Clementine and Sean from Life Is Strange 2, though in this case it's usually portrayed as platonic. It's probably because of the similarities between the two characters (both being teenaged caretakers of younger children during an intensely stressful survival situation, as well as both being bisexual people of colour who suffer an injury that leaves them missing a body part over the course of their stories). All this coupled with the fact that their respective games are in the same genre and were released episodically during the same period, and it's not hard to see why plenty of people made the connection. At the very least, they'd have a lot to talk about!
  • Fanon: In the route where Louis loses his tongue, it's become a pretty accepted fan theory that all the kids learn sign language for his benefit - there probably being a book for it at the school.
  • Foe Yay Shipping: After Minerva was revealed to have survived in Episode 3, fanart and fanfics pairing her with Clementine — often in an antagonistic manner — began popping up, and some fans expressed dismay at Minerva not being able to be deprogrammed and redeemed.
  • Friendly Fandoms: With fans of Life Is Strange 2, due to similarities in characters and genre. Both are episodic, choice-based adventures games starring a bisexual teenage protagonist of color who has to take on a protective elder sibling role for a much younger character. What's more, The Walking Dead: The Final Season ended around the time that Life Is Strange 2 debuted, allowing fans of the former to easily transfer over.
  • Guide Dang It!: The only way to save Louis/Violet at the end of the final episode is to tell AJ you trust him to make the hard decisions. The significant choice happens a few scenes before Louis/Violet's potential death, in a scene where they don't appear, and seems at the time to have nothing to do with what happens to them until it's too late to avert it. Cue a lot of people reloading the last checkpoint, or even restarting the whole episode, after getting their favourite character killed accidentally.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • When Louis first meets Clementine and AJ, he's shocked and apprehensive that she lets AJ carry a gun, but Clem lets him know that she trusts him with it. It's played as mostly a comedic moment, but it turns out Louis had good reason to be worried as AJ later ends up shooting his best friend Marlon dead with it, creating the conflict for most of Episode 2.
    • During Clem and AJ`s first chat with Mitch in episode 1, he impresses them with a trick that involves twirling a knife. In the next episode, a knife to the throat and head is what ends up killing him.
    • Clem's statement to Violet that Louis knows when to keep his head down becomes this when it's revealed that he had his tongue cut out for not keeping his head down.
    • Before embarking on her mission to save her friends, Lee's line to Clementine foreshadows Violet/Louis reaction when she came to rescue them:
      • If Louis is captured, Lee tells Clementine "what will Louis say". It is then revealed that Louis is unable to talk at all as he had his tongue cut off.
      • If Violet is captured, Lee tells Clementine "how Violet would 'feel'". Violet has come to resent Clementine for not rescuing her and through the raiders' brainwashing, she is on the verge of becoming one of the enemy, even attacking Clementine when she tried to escape. It's also a reference to how she has to feel around the ground as she was blinded by the bomb..
    • Marlon and Brody's cover story about how the twins had "died" a year before Clem and A.J. arrived at the school, devoured by walkers while out in the forest past the safe zone, ended up becoming true in Minerva's case, as this is how she dies for real in the final episode.
    • At the beginning of episode 2, after A.J. killed Marlon and was being escorted back inside by Clementine, Mitch confronted them and accused A.J. of potentially killing someone else from Ericson. In episode four, A.J. can end up shooting Tenn dead, though in his defense it was in the heat of a tough decision with someone from the school dying no matter what.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: When Lee got bit in the first game, he could potentially have his arm sawn off in an attempt to survive, but because of it being done too late, his infection had spread too far for it to have an effect. As it's finally Clementine's turn to be bitten in the finale, AJ chops her infected leg off shortly after the bite happens, and unlike Lee, she survives.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Marlon. He traded Tenn's two sisters to raiders in order to protect his community, wanted to do the same with Clementine and AJ, and accidentally killed Brody but due to him being deeply regretful and remorseful of both actions (along with the constant stress and anxiety he deals with due to being a leader and the fact that he genuinely wanted to protect everyone in his group), it's hard not to pity and feel sorry for him. The jerkass part comes when he locks Clementine in the basement with a just-turned Brody and tries to pin Brody's death on Clem. He doesn't even get to amend for his actions despite wanting to as he gets killed by AJ at the end of the episode.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: Like Skybound was really going to kill off Clementine after players have grown attached to her for 4 entire seasons. Sure enough, while Clementine does get bitten, and you spend an entire play segment as AJ thinking she's dead, she later turns out to be alive with her walker bite having been amputated, thus explaining her survival.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Marlon crosses this when he hits Brody in the head with a flashlight hard enough to kill her and then tries to blame Clementine for her murder after he locks her in the cellar to die. This is all so he could cover his tracks on how he traded two of his own group's survivors to raiders in exchange for safety a year prior to Clem and AJ's arrival at the school.
    • If the player didn't believe Lilly crossed this in Season One after she murdered Carly/Doug in a fit of despair, she definitely crossed it this season either by chasing and trying to gun down Clem and AJ after they were kicked out of the school (resulting in AJ, a five year old kid, getting wounded by her accomplice Abel) or in the climax of the second episode where she kills Mitch and abducts Omar, Aasim and Violet/Louis alongside her raiders. To add an extra layer of cruelty, the latter also has her try to kill Clementine (and almost pulls the trigger if a certain response is picked) and then leaves the remaining kids behind for the approaching walkers after retreating.
      • Furthermore, in Episode 3 she will torture either Louis or Violet, amputating the former's tongue and ordering one of her guards to cut off either one's finger. Then, she attempts to kill Tenn and AJ, and if AJ doesn't kill her after she's on her knees, she'll kill James.
    • It is also worth noting that the raiders who attacked the school in episode two's climax also had their MEH at this point, with special mention going to Dorian (one of the named raiders who shoots Omar in the leg with her sniper riffle before Lilly shows up in the courtyard) and Sullene (another named raider who tries to shoot Clem inside the school during the raid with a vengeance after another co-raider of her group is killed).
      • In episode four two more named raiders, Gad and Gina, end up crossing the line. Gad crosses it when he tries to kill Clem and AJ with a bow and arrow after they make it back to the dock following the ship explosion, while Gina crosses it by trying to shoot Ruby and Willy dead without hesitation on Sullene`s orders while she and her group try to kill the approaching walkers.
    • As mentioned above in Lilly's example, Abel without a doubt crossed this near the beginning of episode two when he shoots A.J in the stomach while he and Lilly attempt to chase and gun down him and Clementine.
    • Minerva, in a Brainwashed and Crazy state, is revealed to have crossed the line long before her introduction in episode three. What she did was kill her twin sister Sophie during an attempt to flee the Delta, and when called out on it by her former friends she doesn't show remorse and goes out of her way to justify it instead.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: Near the very end of Episode 4, when AJ returns to the school after THAT scene...
    Clementine: Whatcha doin' there, goofball?
  • Narm:
    • When a card game is suggested in episode 1, one of Clem's possible responses is, "Get ready losers, 'cause you're about to lose." Really, Clem?
    • Some of the longer "game over" scenes can cause some unintentional giggles. For example, if Clementine is gunned down in the water in Episode 3, Louis/Violet and AJ react to this (and her hat floating back up the water) with only somewhat uncomfortable expressions. Given, the scenes are supposed to be short and to-the-point, but some laugh at the major under-reactions.
    • If you don't buy James's assertion that walkers are actually still somewhat human and good, the incredibly drawn-out scene in which he urges Clem to wander through the barn in his skin mask and touch the wind chimes to see their reaction can come off as this. Yes, James, the walkers reacted to a noise (because that's what they do) and didn't try to eat the wind chimes but instead stood staring at them (because they're out of reach). The player can choose to direct Clem to tell him all this when she's finished.
    • James' attempted kidnapping of AJ in Episode 4 happens so suddenly and is so jarring of James' character that it can come off as this more than the dramatic scene it was meant to be. See here for full Narm (with commentary!). In the same scene, James and Clem's threats to each other come across as a bit cat-fighty compared to some of the more brutal action dialogue in the series. James threatens to "sprain [her] ankle" and Clem responds that she'll "claw [his] eyes out", for example. It kind of makes a bit more sense in context (they're sort-of allies and don't really want to hurt each other, after all), but delivered in such a dramatic and tense scene it comes off as a bit silly.
    • You can have Clementine be a jerk to Louis or Violet (perhaps especially towards Louis if she doesn't forgive him for kicking her and AJ out), and they will still be thrilled if she tells either of them she has feelings for them. It has led some fans to think it should really have been possible for Louis/Violet to reject Clementine if you weren't nice to them and then say you like them out of the blue. Though it might be justified as the meanest she can be to them is either snark which everyone in Ericson does or justifiable anger which Louis eventually understandS.
  • Narm Charm: Clementine potentially flirting with either Violet or Louis can be very cheesy, but also very sweet. It can be forgiven though, since they're only teenagers. Special mention goes to a moment with Louis where, after he and Clementine carved their initials on his piano, Clementine can carve a heart around it right in front of him as a way of confessing (though she still has to say it with words for him to fully realize).
  • Overshadowed by Controversy: The game is likely known more for how Telltale Games closed between the second and third episode, the circumstances of which (such as workers being treated terribly and being fired with no severance pay, and a class-action lawsuit being filed against the company afterward) ended up greater talking points than the game itself.
  • Player Punch: In Episode 4, if you "don't trust" AJ to make the hard calls, you're treated to seeing fan-favourites Violet or Louis being surrounded and eaten by walkers. If you "do trust" AJ, you have to watch sweet little Tenn be shot and eaten instead. There were many reports of gamers immediately quitting the episode and redoing it to save the character they loved.
  • Ron the Death Eater: Due to Ship-to-Ship Combat, fans of either Clementine/Louis or Clementine/Violet give the opposing love interests this treatment, often making their in-game actions and attitudes toward Clementine out to be worse than they actually are.
  • Sequel Difficulty Spike: Due to the change in combat sequence, players must be careful on how they fight walkers. If there are two walkers that are too close to each other for example, it is a must to stun one of them before taking out the other or Clementine will be outnumbered.
  • Ship Sinking: Most fans who pair Clementine with James feel dejected in Episode 3 when he was confirmed to be gay. It sinks further when he either dies if AJ doesn't shoot Lilly or is so upset with Clementine for encouraging AJ to shoot Lilly that they part on really bad terms with Word of God even confirming that they are not speaking to each other anymore.
    • Before the game came out, fans got to see concept art of Violet, Louis and Marlon. Some fans speculated that Marlon will be a third romance option for Clementine and were excited to see how their romance would look like. Marlon ends up shutting Clem in a basement with zombiefied Brody, frames her for killing Brody, and ends up being shot in the head by AJ.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: Those who ship either Clementine/Louis or Clementine/Violet tend to get into it with each other fairly often when the topic of who Clementine is better suited to end up with is brought up. The character deemed incompatible with her is more often than not given the Ron the Death Eater treatment based on their behavior during the game as well as how they treated Clementine when not on a romantic path with her (especially post-Marlin being shot). While this behavior is fairly common, there are part of the fandom that are Ship Mates, approving of either pairing due to how Clementine interacts with them.
  • Shocking Moments:
    • Finding Louis with his tongue cut out in the Raiders' brig (if you're on the "Save Violet" route) is an absolutely brutal one.
    • When choosing to have AJ kill Lilly, so few expected him to empty half a clip onto her.
  • Squick: Willy's reason for being enrolled to Ericson's: chronic masturbation.
  • That One Level:The intro of Take Us Back is chock-full of QTE's.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The ending is the same for Clementine and AJ regardless OF the choices you've made throughout the season. Meaning that even if you frequently picked the "meanest" options for their personalities, it ultimately doesn't matter and they'll still have a happy ending. While many are happy that Clem does survive, many would have also liked to see an ending based on your choices, for example if there was a "bad" ending where AJ did kill or leave Clem, while the "good" ending was the one where he cut her leg off.
  • Uncanny Valley:The animation at the beginning of Act 3 of Broken Toys when the kids are looking for a way out of the brigs, only their mouths move.
  • Unexpected Character:
    • Due to having been retconned into an entirely separate character, it was fully expected that Lilly died in the interim between seasons, especially since no matter her situation (whether you left her on the road or her having stolen the RV that was about to give out), there was a strong implication that she wasn't going to survive. She ends up making her return as the Big Bad.
    • Many fans were taken aback in the final episode when Eddie, Wyatt's friend from the 400 Days DLC, shows up as one of the guards in Clementine's flashback to McCaroll range especially since he was such a minor character and only shows up to die by Clem's hands.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: How some fans felt about Louis due to how he behaves toward Clementine and AJ after AJ shoots Marlon in the head. While most fans are understanding of his situation as despite what Marlon had done, he was still Louis’ best friend, others have felt that his attitude to Clementine was unnecessary and ignore the fact that Louis eventually agrees that he was in the wrong for his behavior, comes to terms with Marlon’s misdeeds and forgives both of them.
  • What an Idiot!: In Episode 3. If you chose to discourage AJ from shooting Lilly, James retrieves the gun from AJ with his back turned on Lilly. Instead of waiting until Lilly is disarmed and tied up, Lilly exploits James's bad positioning and fatally stabs him. Possibly justified, considering that James hasn't seen or heard as much about what Lilly is capable of, but it's still painful to watch.
  • Win Back the Crowd: This season is looking to be more well-received than the previous two. Players and fans alike have praised it so far for several reasons: bringing beloved Clementine back into the main spotlight, the relationship between her and AJ, the writing being stronger, and the effort put in to make the boarding school survivors endearing and interesting (which was an oft-cited complaint regarding the Seasonal Rot of Season 2 and A New Frontier).
  • The Woobie: All of the Ericson kids counts as this. They were all children with various mental health and behavioural issues who got sent to the school for rehabilitation when the Zombie Apocalypse happened, upon which the adults there to take care of them either died or abandoned them. The kids, aged no more than between 5 to 11 years, never saw their parents again and were left to fend for themselves for the best part of eight years, and would lose many of their residents in the years to come to either walkers or raiders. By the time Clementine and AJ arrive at the school, the surviving kids account for less than one-quarter of how many were at the school in the beginning, and are hanging in there the best they can with the limited knowledge of the outside world they really have.


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