The Walking Dead, regardless of the medium, is always at its best when looking at the grey line between good and evil. Episode 3 of Telltale’s Michonne miniseries not only nails that, but also offers a massive helping of tension, action and genuine emotion. Even while still a bit on the short side, “What We Deserve” is an excellent ending to Michonne’s standalone story.
Roughly an hour long each, it’s hard for any of the Michonne episodes to stand entirely on their own. But building off the foundation of the previous two, episode 3 has the added benefit of being able to present a full ending. Ultimately, “What We Deserve” is the best of the series.
Entirely centered on the final confrontation between Michonne and the group from Monroe, the episode wisely starts out slow. It takes the time to really build up the tension for the coming conflict. After the rather horrific events at the end of episode 2, it’s good to have a chance for things to sink in. Many of the problems the miniseries had so far, when it came to fleshing out the side characters, were largely addressed. “What We Deserve” gives more meat to the people surrounding Michonne, providing more of a stake not only for the player, but also for Michonne herself.
Seeing as they delay the conflict we were all on the edge of our seats and ready for at the end of episode 2, the quieter moments could easily come off as shoehorned in simply to fill time. Thankfully, that’s anything but the case.
Due to some truly fantastic writing, each scene throughout the beginning of the episode packs a surprisingly heartbreaking punch. While the option to stay silent with each dialogue choice is a staple of Telltale games, it’s never really felt like a legitimate response. At multiple points during Michonne’s third episode however, I found myself choosing to in fact not say anything, literally at a loss for words.
Sooner or later though, the quiet moments come to an end, and the final showdown begins. Even more than other Telltale games, all of The Walking Dead: Michonne has been building towards its climactic finale. From the introduction of Norma and the city of Monroe in the first episode, through the seemingly irreparable evils committed on both sides of the argument in the second, this conflict has been what the entire miniseries is about. And simply put, Telltale does not disappoint.
Playing even further on the ‘who is the real bad guy’ question raised in episode 2, the interactions between Michonne and Norma are tense and thought provoking. Admittedly, it would have been nice to see more of what happened to Monroe after Michonne left. As is, we only hear about it. Even with that said however, the uneasy back and forth between the two women is still intriguing all on its own. Both in terms of the action and the emotion involved, the confrontation is powerful and feels like a fitting climax.
The major resolution of the plot aside, The Walking Dead: Michonne’s finale also manages to pack in a sense of resolution for Michonne as a character. Her grip on reality has been at question since the opening of the first episode. Visions of her daughters haunt her wherever she goes, and the constant hallucinations invade her world, no matter what she does.
Though stopping short of providing any new backstory for the blade-wielding heroine, “What We Deserve” works as a poignant turning of the page for Michonne’s internal struggles. The episode rounds out the journey we’ve seen her on, without feeling forced, or worse, artificially fixed with a bow to end the game.
Able to deliver on the internal and external conflicts of the miniseries in a way that neither of previous episodes quite attempted, “What We Deserve” sends Michonne off in brutal, heartbreaking style. Despite only being an hour long and suffering the same occasional hiccups and black loading screens that plague all of Telltale’s games, The Walking Dead: Michonne’s third episode still excels. Well paced and expertly written, the emotion on hand in the finale gives the entire miniseries more weight. And just as importantly, it does justice to one of The Walking Dead’s most interesting characters.