Ayy I’m back, my thoughts on Take Us Back

So I got back from my spring break vacation and I just finished the episode... I don’t really know what to think. I wanted to put this in a “Ep4 discussion thread” but this place got a lot more active and I cant even find it. I doubt many of you even know who I am but I just wanted to document my initial thoughts after playing the episode. Before I say anything, I want to mention that I loved this season, including Broken Toys, I defended this season hard and really enjoyed it. That being said... man this episode was, uhhh, not terrible but pretty disappointing tbh. Like man did that episode feel short and the pacing was by far the worst in the season. The ending was alright but, to me, the whole Clem death fake out was gimmicky. The surprise of seeing her alive was definitely enjoyable at first but after sitting on it for a while it felt so fake, like the whole ending would be some sort of dream if “everything went perfectly” ya know.

Here’s the thing that really ruins this episode for me, granted I haven’t seen the “other endings” but judging off of my quick browse through the forums I have a basic idea of what they are. WHAT THE FUCK happened to shaping Aj! Like your kidding right? The whole thing with trusting him or not near the beginning of the episode is the only thing that affects what he does!? What happened to all those choices throughout the season? Oh that’s right, we see them at the fucking credits lmao, that feels so “ANF” it’s pretty gross (it’s the “42 different Clem’s all over again). AJ’s just a happy little angel at the end of the season and acts the same no matter what... very disappointing. Judging from what happened with James in my playthrough, I’m guessing Lily doesn’t really do anything either, after the Louis/Violet scenario in Broken Toys I was hoping they would do them well but no, classic Telltale determinant characters. The Ranch flashback didn’t live up to the hype either, why tf did they foreshadow this the whole fucking season, it makes no sense. Man what a bummer...

I really want to like this episode, like I REALLY do. But it’s honestly hard to. The ending feels like pure fan service and, lets be real here, they’re really no “multiple endings”. God I feel so fucking depressed saying this, I fucking loved this season up to Broken Toys but that episode just didn’t live up to the hype for me. Ultimately as a series finale... it fails imo. I hope over time my opinion will change and maybe I will end up changing my mind but as of right now, my initial thoughts are just... disappointment. This is the first episode in TFS that left me feeling this way, and the fact that it’s the last episode just makes it worse. Overall it was an OK finale, but imo it wasn’t as well done as No Time Left or No Going Back.

Edit: Ok, I’ve got a lot to say and I deeply regret some of the conclusions I jumped to. I recently replayed the episode again and I honestly liked it a lot more a second time around. The pacing didn’t feel as off as I recalled (I was kinda tired when I played it the first time). The episode also branches out a lot more then I thought when it comes to Violet, Louis, and Tenn, I still think James and particularly Lily deserved a bit more though. The scene with Clementine and AJ in the barn is very well done, even though it was earlier on in the episode, I still teared up a little bit upon my second time. I understand the ranch flashback a bit more now, as it kinda symbolized Clementine “making it up as she went along” very much like Lee. My biggest criticism about past decisions regarding teaching AJ kinda didn’t hold up when I realized what the episode was trying to convey the whole time: Clementine doesn’t know everything and doesn’t always know what to do, she isn’t perfect. The episode shows AJ’s final leap from becoming the “student” to becoming an independent survivor who can make the tough calls without Clementine’s guidance, it reminds me a lot of S2’s premise and I think they pulled it off pretty well. The biggest thing that changed for me though was definitely the ending, I feel like having a one and only happy ending for Clementine was a fair move and while I would’ve liked to see multiple endings, I’m happy with what we got and it felt more enjoyable this time around. Maybe it was the disbelief of Clementine actually being alive that got me the first time, idk.

It’s so weird, I’ve never really had such a huge change in mind about something like this, but I personally really like this episode now. First impressions can be dangerous sometimes, I’m glad I gave this episode a second chance.

Comments

  • How was your holiday?

  • Pretty fun! I went to the Bahamas and swam with Turtles and shit.

    How was your holiday?

  • That sounds cool! ?

    Pretty fun! I went to the Bahamas and swam with Turtles and shit.

  • I'm in the same boat as you and i hated episode 3 but i gave EP4 every chance, went in all blind thinking that i was gonna enjoy the episode because i enjoyed them all but i was fucking disappointed.
    This episode in one word was : underwhelming.

    Episode 3 was a terrible setup for the final episode and you can see that,you start the episode there's no real stakes Lilly if alive
    (and i shit you not) just floats away on a fucking raft and disappear lmao
    Your goal : Going home,great goal for the final episode.

    The whole "shaping up AJ" was a complete failure but i kinda expected that they didn't get it with John in Batman S2 and they didn't get it here either,instead of having a "point" system or something it all comes down to one choice,that cave choice in EP4 is the only one that really matters.
    There's some small changes here and there based on what you told him in the previous episodes but thats it.

    The atmosphere in the ranch flashback was nice but other than that it sucked 3 episodes of build up for just nothing,and they put it after clem "died" so it was even more confusing it didnt really explain anything either you go from point A to point B get AJ and just leave.

    The ending was pure fan service for sure,some people hate it,some people love it forget about the fact that Clem surviving makes no sense the real problem is that you get this ending no matter what,Clem always live.
    And for a choice-based game this fucking blows,there's no determinant endings at all they were like "all the choices you made and the relationship with your characters (even love interest) will determinate your ending" which turned out to be a fucking lie.

    So yeah it was "ok" but an ok episode is not what we needed,they had a chance to go out with a bang and pull off something amazing and they blew it imo.

  • edited March 31

    This episode in one word was : underwhelming.

    Exactly.

    Episode 3 was a terrible setup for the final episode and you can see that,you start the episode there's no real stakes Lilly if alive (and i shit you not) just floats away on a fucking raft and disappear lmao, Your goal : Going home,great goal for the final episode.

    While this is somewhat true, it’s definitely a very minor issue in the grand scheme of things. S2’s finale had jack shit to work with but was still able to pull off a good ending. Yea Broken Toys could’ve done a little better setting up the next episode but that’s definitely not what’s really at fault here.

    The whole "shaping up AJ" was a complete failure but i kinda expected that they didn't get it with John in Batman S2 and they didn't get it here either,instead of having a "point" system or something it all comes down to one choice,that cave choice in EP4 is the only one that really matters.

    This was by far the biggest issue for me, out of all the choices that should’ve mattered in the finale, what you taught Aj was the most important. It’s literally the first thing the game tells you in Episode 1, “what you teach him shapes what he will become” lmao what a fucking joke.

    The atmosphere in the ranch flashback was nice but other than that it sucked 3 episodes of build up for just nothing,and they put it after clem "died" so it was even more confusing it didnt really explain anything either you go from point A to point B get AJ and just leave.

    The ranch flashback was a huge letdown, it didn’t reveal anything like we hoped it would and was only there to cover up some plot holes real quick and try and make you more sad over Clementine “dying” I guess. Eddy’s inclusion was so pointless as well, like why tf...

    The ending was pure fan service for sure,some people hate it,some people love it forget about the fact that Clem surviving makes no sense the real problem is that you get this ending no matter what,Clem always live.

    Honestly, after playing the ending I finally understand what you meant with the whole “This season doesn’t feel like TWD” because I was half expecting that ending to be some sort of dream sequence it was so unrealistic. Like everyone’s happy sitting at the dinner table, Clementine’s alive and they all live happily ever after... WTF, this sounds like something a 12 year old fan would write for an ending. I’m all for a happy ending, but this one just didn’t feel deserved and just felt awkward and fake, I honestly expected to wake up as AJ in the middle of the scene revealing it was a dream.

    And for a choice-based game this fucking blows,there's no determinant endings at all they were like "all the choices you made and the relationship with your characters (even love interest) will determinate your ending" which turned out to be a fucking lie.

    Looking back at it, they did have a decent amount of determinant scenes based of past and current choices, but none of them affect the overall ending. If you’re going to do a one and only ending for a series that revolves around “choices mattering”, you better have something fucking amazing, and what we got was far from amazing.

    So yeah it was "ok" but an ok episode is not what we needed,they had a chance to go out with a bang and pull off something amazing and they blew it imo.

    Agreed. It’s just sad that I’ll never get to experience a WD finale like No Time Left or No Going Back ever again, this was the last chance for something like that, they fucking blew it tbh.

    iFoRias posted: »

    I'm in the same boat as you and i hated episode 3 but i gave EP4 every chance, went in all blind thinking that i was gonna enjoy the episode

  • So you’ve saaaid. Mannnyyy timeessss

    iFoRias posted: »

    I'm in the same boat as you and i hated episode 3 but i gave EP4 every chance, went in all blind thinking that i was gonna enjoy the episode

  • I did it 'cause I wanna and I did it 'cause I'm gonna
    and I did it just because I can
    I did it 'cause it makes me feel so good,
    and I did it because fuck ‘the man’
    I did it 'cause I'm crazy and no ones gonna save me
    and I did it just to cut the noise
    I did it 'cause I'm drunk and I did it yea so what
    'cause baby I'm just one of the boys.

    Melton23 posted: »

    So you’ve saaaid. Mannnyyy timeessss

  • I think the only thing that would please them at this point is an episode where you play Kenny beating the shit out of Arvo in one continuous, 4-hour quick time event while choosing between toxically macho dialogue options as 8-year old Clem watches with glee.

    Melton23 posted: »

    So you’ve saaaid. Mannnyyy timeessss

  • Lmao.

    I don’t know if I fall under the “them” considering I was one of the people on here who defended the season from episodes 1-3.

    Idk man, after being on Reddit for a while I’ve seen more people who disliked the finale then any other episode in TFS. You could argue people overhyped it but I personally don’t think it’s just that. I expected a finale on par or close to No Time Left and No Going Back and I personally don’t think it delivered.

    I think the only thing that would please them at this point is an episode where you play Kenny beating the shit out of Arvo in one continuou

  • Ignoring all other flaws in Final Season, I feel like most people can agree Ep 4 had some of the worst pacing Telltale has ever done. First act feels like it drags on the same plot line for too long, and then after that its rapid fire and scenes are stitched together very questionably. Whole bridge scene, followed by bite, followed by Clem is already dying scene, followed by awkwardly placed Ranch flashback that doesnt even reveal anything to the plot to justify its inclusion at that time.

    Also the plot of episode 4 is basically just "walkin back home dude lmao" and then Clem gets bit and then we immediately go to the Clem "death scene." Like it feels like no stakes at all. Remember when Season 1 was about Lee marked with death the whole episode as we run out of time to track down Clem to save her knowing our time is short? Actual high stakes and feeling of dred the entire time because we know Lee isnt going to make it. Contrast to this episode of walking back home after completing our goal, feeling like we have no motive, then a rushed Clem fake death.

    Just a lot of awkwardness. And like you said, as a series finale, pretty disappointing. I feel most of my disappointment comes from the fact that looking at the episode you can immediately think about how it could have been immediately improved. (which is the case for alot of TFS)

    Its not a bad finale, but it isnt great either. Feels like bare minimum was put into it and had a check box mark to go through. It also still bothers me how they said "they started with the ending because they knew they had to nail it" and then the ending is just generic and doesnt really feel like we worked up for it. Like they knew from the start they wanted to just do a Clem death fake out lmao.

  • It also still bothers me how they said "they started with the ending because they knew they had to nail it" and then the ending is just generic and doesnt really feel like we worked up for it.

    Yea idk about you, but Im starting to think that was a load of bs considering Take Us Back is arguably the worst episode of the whole season lol.

    Poogers555 posted: »

    Ignoring all other flaws in Final Season, I feel like most people can agree Ep 4 had some of the worst pacing Telltale has ever done. First

  • edited March 31

    I'm starting to have a feeling that they've simply rushed the last two episodes out. Something must have gotten changed. Just compare the last two episodes with the previous two.

    When the game got released, the storyline was already re-written, but you could still see the potential in it.

    You've had Episode 1 which was a really good starting point, and you've also had Episode 2, which although had a rather lackluster Lilly in it, was pretty good. But it's like all the interactivity that we've had within the first two episodes suddenly disappeared in the later episodes. No more hubs, "minigames" or the little things that you could find within the environment and interact with. You only ever had collectibles in the last two episodes. And the salt lick.

    All of that happened after Telltale went down the drain.

    I'm still intensily thankful that Skybound has saved the game, but it's rather obvious that the quality of the episodes has dropped heavily since.

    I guess it was either that or it not be finished at all. At least I prefer our current predicament. We would have nothing to talk about if the game didn't even release...

    Poogers555 posted: »

    Ignoring all other flaws in Final Season, I feel like most people can agree Ep 4 had some of the worst pacing Telltale has ever done. First

  • ...Yeah. Yeah.
    I was getting flashbacks to From the Gallows more than once.

    Poogers555 posted: »

    Ignoring all other flaws in Final Season, I feel like most people can agree Ep 4 had some of the worst pacing Telltale has ever done. First

  • I replayed Take Us Back recently after thinking about the episode all day, and my opinion heavily shifted. I put an edit in my main post if anyone is interested... I’m just some random dude though so u probably don’t care lmao.

  • It also bothered me how saying that 'protecting this school will require sacrifice' usually you could say that with anything in TWD, you don't even have to have the story planned out, but with TFS, there has been pretty much no sacrifice to save the school. That's kinda funny when you think about it, turned out the complete opposite way. And no, Clem's bite wasn't a sacrifice.

    Poogers555 posted: »

    Ignoring all other flaws in Final Season, I feel like most people can agree Ep 4 had some of the worst pacing Telltale has ever done. First

  • Eh, I don't feel like that. To me this seems like a simple case of 'we're bad writers and we think what we did is amazing, I mean many are praising it so we must have done our job right'. You can tell there is a good amount of effort put into it. They had even more time. The game probably would've been worse had Telltale not gone down. It's just that overall you can see a lot of the problems from the first two episodes. One being the lack of character development/how characters are left out. Regarding the school of nobodies thing, I bet Kent will be like 'oh this was intended, we wanted to do something different this time' but Clem and AJ are risking their lives and the remaining kids' lives by doing this attack on the Delta. So it's kind of important that these characters can't be nobodies.

    BigBadPaul posted: »

    I'm starting to have a feeling that they've simply rushed the last two episodes out. Something must have gotten changed. Just compare the la

  • Flashbacks to Amid the Ruins

    DabigRG posted: »

    ...Yeah. Yeah. I was getting flashbacks to From the Gallows more than once.

  • That too, a bit.

    Dan10 posted: »

    Flashbacks to Amid the Ruins

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