It seems like it just started, but The Walking Dead: Michonne’s third and final episode is here, and it’s a satisfying ending to a series that started off shaky. This episode focuses on Michonne more than the previous two, and it greatly benefits from it. The forgettable side characters take a back seat and we really get to explore Michonne’s past that we’ve been teased with for two episodes. The story still feels a little formulaic, but the writing and performances, especially Michonne’s, elevate the series finale to a fine conclusion.
Picking up right after the big decision from the second episode’s finale, Michonne and company are waiting for Norma’s horde of pissed off people with guns to try and save her brother Randall. Norma reveals that she’s found and captured your friends from the boat, and suddenly the stakes are raised just a little bit. Telltale spends a lot of the downtime before the confrontation expanding our knowledge of what exactly happened to Michonne’s daughters and why their presence still haunts her.
When the shit inevitably hits the fan in this episode, Telltale really steps up the action and provides some fun and gruesome sequences. Although some of the combat can be predictable (like when your weapon is kicked away while you and the enemy go for another weapon), the finesse with how it’s handled in execution makes it deeply satisfying. As with the first two episodes, Michonne steals the show in What We Deserve. Fighting as Michonne is a lot of fun, as her sheer badass nature sets up some pretty fantastic and brutal action. What makes Michonne so compelling is Telltale’s ability to show her as this machete-wielding badass, but also open up to her past and show a vulnerable side that has lead the Michonne of the past to become the Michonne that we’ve come to know and love. What I love even more is the choice of the player to either open up to others and show a more vulnerable Michonne, or you can decide to hide her demons and distance yourself from the group. I found myself opening up a little bit to let some people in and grow closer, but I kept my distance from some to avoid showing too much weakness in fear that it may bite me in the ass later.
Because this episode explores Michonne’s past, we’re treated to some fantastic set pieces that blend the present with the past. It’s something we haven’t seen in Telltale’s The Walking Dead franchise, but it’s certainly a welcome addition that allows us, as the player, to explore the main character’s mind to understand their pain and constant struggle with their demons. Moments where Michonne’s daughters will randomly appear scared the absolute hell out of me. This haunted me just as it haunts Michonne, and it helped me connect more with her character as the episode went on. Hopefully these flashbacks make an appearance in the main series, because they’re not only powerful moments, but visually stunning.
What I can’t get over about this mini-series and Telltale’s The Walking Dead games in general is the feeling of déjà vu. All the story threads found in Michonne feel like conflicts or decisions that we’ve faced before in seasons one and two of The Walking Dead. Different faces and names, sure, but decisions that feel too common in The Walking Dead universe. This isn’t to say the story isn’t good – it certainly is – but retreading on old story tropes makes some of the developments a little too predictable.
While Michonne is focused on more than ever, we’re not free from the mostly forgettable supporting cast. Without spoiling much, when certain characters meet their end, I found not only did I barely care about their fate – I didn’t remember half of their names. Whether this is a result of the shorter story or simply not enough character development, the result of your actions feel somewhat hollow as I couldn’t care less about those who aren’t named Michonne.
After feeling mostly underwhelmed by the first episode in Telltale’s The Walking Dead: Michonne mini-series, I must say, it’s found its footing and created a compelling story in only three episodes. What We Deserve is an uneasy and emotional ride not only through the conflict between Michonne and Norma, but also inside Michonne’s psyche and the demons from her past. What We Deserve is a solid finale that suffers from some of the issues the past episodes had, but the focus on Michonne makes the entire series worth playing, and it’s a superb option for those looking to get their The Walking Dead fill before we get our hands on season three.
This review is based on a review copy of the PlayStation 4 version of The Walking Dead: Michonne – Episode 3: What We Deserve by Telltale Games. Review copy provided by Telltale Games.
- Michonne, again.
- Michonne's flashbacks
- Great action
- Predictable plot
- Dull side characters