The conclusion of The Wolf Among Us is finally here and unlike the previous two episodes, episode five makes a triumphant return to how the series started. There were twists and turns and several answers to long standing questions. It was a fitting finale to a generally good series that could have been great. It is important, however, to keep in mind that this finale has its fair share of flaws, which contributes to the struggles the series has faced. Cry Wolf, for everything it does right, has a few pieces that just feel out of place or missing.
Picking up right where we left off rarely has as much meaning as it does in Cry Wolf as you start just after your final words of episode four. You finally stand face to face with The Crooked Man and his lackeys are none too pleased. After learning the true culprit of the murders, and a brief fight, you finally get to resolve the case that started it all. The revelation of who the true murder is unfortunately lacks any punch. It is delivered as an inconsequential matter, which is more or less how The Crooked Man treats it, but learning the truth behind should have carried more weight. Instead, it feels like you are being told to just move along to the next big sequence.
That sequence is actually much stronger and better addresses the circumstances of the murder and leads to a fairly shocking event. This event, much like the previous one, could have been stronger had there been more interaction with that character, but it still stands as a highlight of the episode. It harkens back to the first two episodes which were chock full of surprises and genuinely shocking events. It is a welcome return to form from the previous two episodes.
A brutal fight with Bloody Mary acts as the episode’s climax, and it is a fairly strong one. Though combat has never been a particularly exciting mechanic in Telltale games, they have generally been good about making the event itself thrilling. This sequence stands as a testament to that with a legendary brawl worthy of Bloody Mary and the Big Bad Wolf. After finishing the fight, you once again confront The Crooked Man, prepared to bring him in…or not, if that is more your thing. Bringing him in leads to a trial that actually stands as the low point of the episode. The trial seems to follow a general morality, whether Bigby was good or bad, rather than feed off of the decisions you made. For example, after burning down Greenleaf’s tree she still took my side in the trial and showed little bitterness toward me for it. This and the fact that the Fables primarily side with whoever is currently talking until the player is forced to make the final decision.
The ending itself is a fairly mellow affair, though there are many hints at a much greater story. This is likely a means for a second season, one where we will hopefully find answers to many still lingering questions. Though the loose ends were mostly tied up, the fact that several remain leaves a poor taste, but that follows the trend set by episodes three and four. Even still, the conclusion of the episode remains satisfying and the episode itself is one of the best in the series.
The Wolf Among Us was a fairly unique adventure, especially for those unfamiliar with the Fables graphic novel series (such as myself). This murder mystery is surely worth a second playthrough and is certainly worth the purchase if you have been holding out until the release of the final episode. Though not as well paced as The Walking Dead, an argument could be made that The Wolf Among Us tells a much more interesting story with a stronger cast of characters. With plenty of room left for a second season, hopefully it won’t be long before we return to Fabletown and Sheriff Bigby, surely with another mystery to solve.