WHODUNNIT? The Big Bad Wolf: The Wolf Among Us

bigby copy

Say what?

Hear me out: I’m not saying Bigby did it – the existence and continuation of the Fables series (as focalized, initially, around him) is enough to clear him of our suspicion. What I’m saying is Telltale is setting us up for another frame-job.

“What’d I say? You want the Big Bad Wolf to take you away?” Toad threatens his son.

So far the game has been built around the idea that people are afraid of Bigby, afraid because they don’t know how much he has been tamed. Even our closest ally, Snow, is uncertain about who we are at our most basic element.

In “The Crooked Mile,” Snow asks Bigby if he enjoys it “when things go wrong” – other characters such as Gren or Holly have mirrored that same question. I doubt the developers have put this in as simple window dressing. The inclusion, particularly, of Snow’s questioning in Episode 3 and, soon after, the opportunity to kill Tweedle Dum have more significance that the overall theme of mistrust between Fabletown residents. The developers are building the narrative toward a plausible moment where someone like Snow, Beast, Holly or Beauty could believe that Bigby did killed those women, and they are doing it by showing people having doubts about his ‘goodness.’ The overwhelming narrative is that, despite a player’s choices, Bigby is violent and ‘out of control.’ This has to come back and bite him in the butt.

Then there’s the Huff and Puffs. In Episode 2 we discovered Huff and Puff cigarettes at the Open Arms crime scene. A brand, Beauty notes, that only Bigby huffs. (I’m sorry.)

Aside from the killer, Bigby is the last known person to see Faith alive. Lily is butchered when she is glamoured as Snow and waiting for a rendezvous with Ichabod Crane. It’s not exactly a secret how Bigby feels about Snow, or Crane. It was a crime of passion, they might argue. Snow, caught illicitly meeting Crane. Bigby couldn’t handle it. He ‘went wolf.’

I already discussed in my Crane post that Crane was framed for the murders. The “comprimising” photo that Faith stole reemerges at the murder scene of the Open Arms, planted most likely by the same person who killed Faith. Whoever is executing these murders is has enough foresight to plant false evidence in order to further their own interests. It seems unlikely, therefore, that those Huff & Puffs are at the crime scene for no significant plot reason.

So why frame Bigby?

For many of the same reasons Crane was framed: it weakens the justice system inside Fabletown, and removes a potential threat. Furthermore, the point isn’t for the accusations to hold up over time – the evidence, so far as we know, is tenuous at best. No, the point is to use it to tear Bigby down, to incite fear and make people turn against the Fabletown offices even more so than they already are.

And instead, residents will turn to the Crooked Man.

Bigby’s strength and size is emphasized throughout the game. Most, if not all of Fabletown live in fear of crossing him. The Huff & Puffs symbolize a secondary plan – an ace in the hole in case the big bad wolf sticks his snoot in any further.

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