Game Review | The Wolf Among Us | Season 1, Episode 2 | "Smoke & Mirrors"
Episode Summary: Bigby continues investigating for the now 'serial killer' walking the streets of Fabletown. He also attempts to find answers from Faith's pimp: Georgie Porgie, and becomes more involved with Beauty and Beast's affairs. (Wikipedia)
This is going to be a difficult review to write, because although a fair amount happens, the story shoots along so quickly that you don’t really get time to process things and when the episode suddenly ends, you might find yourself thinking “is that it?”
It really is very odd as this isn’t like Life is Strange, where you’ll end up thinking the same thing for the entirely different reason of sod all actually happening in an episode. Quite the opposite, actually – plenty of characters and locations are seen, but never quite fully connect.
The game picks up after the shocking conclusion of “Faith”, with Snow White apparently dead, although she turns up alive and well, learning with Bigby and Bufkin (a flying monkey), that the body belonged to a troll named Lily, who used a glamour to alter her appearance to match that of Snow.
Investigating, Bigby learns from Lily’s sister that she was a prostitute working for Georgie Porgie at the Pudding & Pie club. The scene at the club is equally awesome and unsettling: unsettling for Georgie’s treatment of the near-nude girl on stage that we later learn is the Little Mermaid; awesome for getting the information you need from the sleazy Georgie without touching the guy.
As a side note here, the scene where Bigby can choose to just intimidate Georgie or smash up the guy and his club is where I actually got the choices I wanted. In an earlier scene where you interrogate Tweedledee, the choices seemed to veer from beating the shit out of the guy or being super nice. It was nice to get a moment where you could threaten without necessarily becoming physically violent.
After speaking with the Little Mermaid, Nerissa, Bigby heads to the hotel where Lily met her last client and runs into Beauty on the front desk. She’s working there to earn some money, but is terrified Beast will find out and offers to help Bigby in exchange for his silence.
The pair head up to the room, only for Beast to see them about to enter and immediately jumps to the wrong conclusion. After a very brief fight, Bigby slams Beast through the locked door of the hotel room, saving Bigby from looking for the key.
Inside, there is a bed covered in blood and flowers, an apple with a bite taken out of it, a Snow White fairy-tale costume and a book about the ‘Mundy’ (as in mundane) version of her life story. All of the items are connected to the book, revealing that someone is obsessed with Snow.
The last lot of evidence is found in the same closet as the costumes, secretly-taken photos of Snow, Snow & Bigby, and the last picture appearing to show the glamoured Lily being… touched by Snow White’s boss at the Woodlands (where a lot of the more better off Fables live), Ichabod Crane.
See? A lot happens, but there’s never any real time to digest anything other than a car ride with Ichabod back from a police station at the very start of the game, where he and Bigby talk about how the previous episode ended. That’s it though, and while the events of the game are still fun to play through, there never seems to be a moment where the player can catch their breath and take in the implications of everything going on.
“Smoke & Mirrors” does let you have more fun with the characters this time out compared to “Faith", and - again - the voice acting is superb and with the setting firmly established, but things feel a little too rushed this time out and the series is yet to really hit its stride.