Thicker than Water is a thrilling penultimate episode that spins its own gripping yarn, while escalating the stakes to lead us into the season’s fifth, and final, outing with baited breath.
Thicker than Water escalates the stakes to lead us into the season’s fifth and final outing with baited breath.
Returning with firearms aplenty in hand, Javi and the group hatch a desperate plan to go on the offensive. Not happy with his assigned role, however, Gabe - Javi’s nephew - blurts out a revelation that divides the unit. We aren’t quite ready to offer the bugger up as zombie bait, à la Ben, but he’s edging ever closer every time he ignores us and does something stupid. Why can’t all kids be like Clem?
Now executing the plan with a dwindling group and Gabe sulking over our refusal to revise his role (deal with it), those guns come in handy. Telltale chose to forego the forgiving aiming mechanics they’ve used in the past, keeping shootouts frenetic with QTE button prompts instead; while less personal than engaging in fisticuffs, encounters are well-choreographed and still somewhat engaging.
With their world falling down around them, and things becoming truly desperate, the key cast members - along with the player - gain some much-needed respite in a fleeting moment of normality. It’s touchingly human and reminds you that this fight is one worth seeing through.
That tactical break from the action makes the closing chapter all the more impactful, as it quickfires the season’s first two properly difficult choices at you back to back. The community stats seem to reveal that most players were similarly torn, with (at the time) the decisions weighted a close 53.6/46.4% and an exact 50/50% split respectively.
With the ending leaving us in limbo and teasing elements, both exciting and unnerving, to come, we’re eagerly anticipating not only the finale, but also where Telltale’s take on The Walking Dead might go beyond A New Frontier. With just a month between the release of this episode and the last, we can only hope Telltale don’t keep us waiting much longer than that for our next fix.
Check out our reviews for the season’s two-part opener and third episode, if you haven’t already.
To see Thicker than Water in action, check out Gabriella's full playthrough below.