Game Review | The Walking Dead | Season 1, Episode 3 | "Long Road Ahead"
Episode Summary: When bandits and walkers attack the motel, the group is forced to flee without their supplies, leading to tensions on the road. The group finds an operating train, headed for Savannah, where Clementine hopes to find her parents. (Wikipedia)
This time around, not a lot happens in an episode of The Walking Dead in terms of story moving forward, but a hell of a lot happens with the characters. Some die, one leaves and there are also new arrivals. It seems appropriate for the middle episode to have the greatest upheaval so far, even if the material is dark as hell.
To start with, the Motor Inn is no longer a safe refuge for the group, as bandits stage an attack, which leads to Walkers also attacking. Everything goes downhill from there and the group escape with their lives in the now-working RV Kenny had been working on, only to discover that Duck, was bitten by a Walker during the chaos and is slowly growing sicker with every passing moment.
The whole bandit attack came about because Lilly and Lee had discovered that someone in the group was apparently sneaking medical supplies out of the motel and intercepted the latest shipment, which definitely didn’t go down well with the bandits.
After the escape, Lilly accuses both Ben and Carley of being individually responsible for the theft of the meds, before accusing the pair of working together. Lee jumps in to defend Carley, with the two on the verge of developing a romantic relationship thanks to my choices, but there’s no talking Lilly down.
With Kenny having to stop the RV briefly after hitting a Walker, Lilly crosses the line and guns down Carley, to the shock of everyone else. Lee is furious and slams Lilly against the RV before telling her that she can’t come with them, leaving her alone to survive in the woods if she can. A really dark scene, although I'm not sure if you're supposed to feel sympathy for Lilly and her fate or not - I certainly didn't.
The rest of the episode deals with taking an abandoned freight train and one boxcar to Savannah, with a homeless man named Chuck joining them, as the boxcar was his home. The misery parade that is the setting of The Walking Dead then decides the episode hasn't been dark enough so far and decides to up the ante in the biggest way possible as Katjaa reveals that Duck is about to die.
With the train stopped, Katjaa takes Duck into the trees to put him out of his misery as she knows that Kenny won’t be able to do it. The group hear a gunshot, prompting Lee and Kenny to go looking for Katjaa, believing that she will be an emotional mess. Instead, the two men find that Katjaa was unable to kill her son either, and shot herself in the head to avoid both having to kill her only child and see him return as a Walker.
A tearful Kenny picks up the gun and aims it at Duck, but can’t pull the trigger and the boy is left in the forest to die. This can go differently, changing the relationship between Lee and Kenny, but I think this was the best of some really bad options for the characters.
The last section deals with the arrival of Omid and Christa, who help the group in clearing an obstacle from the tracks before joining them on the train to Savannah. Omid seems like a fun, laid-back guy, but Christa is suspicious of Lee and his relationship with Clementine from the start.
The end of the episode comes with a shock, as Kenny and Lee discover Clementine’s walkie talkie – which they had thought was broken – is actually functioning fine, and a man’s voice comes over the radio, telling Clem to find him as he has her parents with him.
So there it is: escape from the Motor Inn to the train, before taking the train to Savannah. Not a huge amount of events, but this episode really proves that the journey matters just as much as the destination if not more so. It’s interesting just how The Walking Dead remains intriguing even during ‘quiet’ stretches of story, with so much personal drama playing out to fill in the gaps. Long may it continue.
"Long Road Ahead" still stands as a testament to how good 'lesser' episodes can be in an episode gaming series. I wouldn't exactly qualify it as a filler episode, but it certainly focuses more on the characters than the overarching plot, but - importantly - the quality remains high and keeps the player interested.