• As always, while I will attempt to keep these reviews as spoiler free as possible, this review will have spoilers, especially with it being a season finale.  So if you’re yet to finish episode five (or four for that matter), consider this your spoiler warning.

Season Three of Telltale Games The Walking Dead: A New Frontier has come to its conclusion with Episode 5From the Gallows”.  While it’s been an enjoyable season and especially with the uphill task of introducing a new playable lead alongside series veteran and much loved Clementine, Javier García has finally been built up to the capabilities of being a lead man, perhaps not a direct replacement for Clem, but as a potential lead for a new spin-off further down the line.

Following the aftermath of all hell breaking loose within Richmond in Episode Four, Javier and newly declared love (depending on your choices) Kate are left to tidy up the devastation that has been left behind.  Walkers are loose, anarchy between the living population of Richmond is at an all-time high, but with the stigma being thrown by Javier’s unstable older brother and former leader at Richmond, Javier has tough choices to make, is blood truly thicker than water?  He can either stay behind with Kate in Richmond in the hope that they can rebuild this once safe haven or just think “fuck this shit, I’m outta here” and leave with David and his young son, Gabe.  Whichever choice you make, it seems that Clem will cover your back with either.  Stay at Richmond (as I did) and Clem will leave to follow David and watch over Gabe or presumably if you leave with David, Clem will stay behind to help Kate clean up the mess (though I’m sure Kate will not be too impressed with that choice should you make it).

While this season has fallen short in the highly intense and heartbreaking moments in previous seasons (especially with season one), it’s always going to be an uphill task to outdo the last.  Throughout this season, the common theme has all been about trust and family bond.  Attempting to repair a broken relationship with Javier and David, which is made all the more difficult as Javier and Kate have fallen in love during the time in which David was presumed dead.

Season three may have been short in terms of shock factor, but in its own kind of ‘relationship building’ kind of way, in the long-term at least, perhaps the decisions made here over the course of the season have been the toughest yet.  Especially with the increasingly unstable bond between Javier and David, not to mention the love interest angle with Kate and Clem’s burning desire to find baby AJ, after he was cruelly taken away from her by none other than David himself.

One of the aspects in particular that I’ve appreciated about this season, is that it seems on many occasions, perhaps more so then in previous seasons, no matter what choices you make, neither have been particularly great, so in many cases it’s been the choice of picking between the lesser of two evils, especially when choosing with your heart, which could lead into disastrous effects on not only you, but also the group that looks at you for leadership, and there will be moments when your trust (or lack of) will back fire on you as the individual you perhaps trusted least, takes the proverbial bullet for you when it seems all hope has been lost.

In comparison to previous seasons, its seems odd that season three would not end on a heart-wrenching cliff-hanger that we’ve come to expect from this series, and while it does seemingly leave a huge moment happening in the background following you making a tough choice early on (which might be worth replaying this episode to see what happens), this season more than any other is about trust and family bond.  It also feels strange to have Clem in many ways playing a supporting role, but amongst all the family struggles this episode possess, it’s also about Clem coming of age, a child that is forced to grow up quickly during to the harsh world in which she lives, as she becomes a young woman who is finally looking to the future and leaving her past behind.

Wherever season four may take us, it at the very least leaves us with a number of intriguing possibilities and I can’t wait to see how this series now evolves and takes us next, as if there’s one thing this season has achieved, is breath’s new life into a once potentially fading series.  For all the lack of shock this season might lack, it builds some strong foundations for stories to be told and this gruelling, maturing story as we prepare for season four, which will be the final series for Telltale Games The Walking Dead.