Category Archives: The Wolf Among Us

The Wolf Among Us: Final Twist Explained

bigbyending copyWow.

Wow.

Let’s get started.

The woman we meet at the end is the real Nerissa. She glamoured herself as Faith and instigated the showdown with the Woodsman in Episode One in order make sure Bigby would recognize Faith’s head. Bigby never met Faith. I repeat: Bigby never met Faith.

When we hear Nerissa repeat “Faith’s” last words the initial “Keyser Soze” supposition is that it’s Faith who has been glamoured as Nerissa the whole time. But that doesn’t add up. Continue reading

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WHODUNNIT? The Big Bad Wolf: The Wolf Among Us

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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.

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WHODUNNIT? Icky-Ichabod Crane: The Wolf Among Us

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Oh, Ichabod. Can we all agree that it isn’t him?

Let’s be honest: a man who runs, screaming in terror, from a horseman with less than optimal (optical?) eyesight is not exactly a man of brave constitution. Killing and butchering bodies takes a certain physical, as well as stomach, strength. While ~magic~ might solve the first, it doesn’t solve the second. For all his nastiness, I doubt Crane can stand the gore.

Also, this revelation happens in the second episode. Plot-wise, it’s crazy to reveal the killer less than half way through the story when the point of the game is to solve the mystery. (This might work for something like True Detective, down the road, but I think Telltale’s sticking to the beaten path here.)

Crane’s relative innocence is also reflected in key characters’ opinions: Snow intuits that Crane is not the killer and Bloody Mary laughs in his face.

“Bigby, I don’t think he did it.” Snow says. “Look at him. Do you really think this man murdered these women? He’s not… he wouldn’t be brave enough. Not to put his stamp on the world like that.”

She’s not correct about everything, but I agree with her on this. Crane can be a bully when he’s comfortable enough, but killing someone involves a level of risk he can’t stomach.

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WHODUNNIT? Bluebeard, the (Ex) Serial Killer: The Wolf Among Us

bluebeard copy3I just love that – “ex” serial killer. Oh, no worries, it was a college thing. I stopped butchering young women when I got my first job and became a real adult. I’m a new man now, babe, I promise. Marry me?

It’s even worse that he has sweet Lee’s deep voice. (Run Clementine! Run!) He probably lulls his prey with that smoky timber and then POW! Head detached from body. This man is Danger, with a capital D, but not in the same way that Bigby can be. This is the Lex Luthor to our muscular, but slightly clueless, Superman, and he’s already making a power play.

Ransacking Crane’s room? Roughing up Flycatcher? This man has a penchant for violence and something to hide. That is why he’s on our suspect list.

Bluebeard comes from a French literary fairy tale about a man who murders his wives if they open the secret room in his house. The secret room happens to hold the bodies of his former beaus. He has a blue beard which disturbs everyone profoundly, even his soon-to-be wife…. who quickly gets over it when she finds out how stinkin’ rich he is. Still, as a safeguard she makes her weapon-competent brothers promise to come running if she ever calls.

Bluebeard then runs off to deal with business, entrusting his new wife with the house keys, but making her promise to not use one golden key to open the small room beneath the house.

Naturally, she goes and opens it right after he leaves.

Turns out, she isn’t Bluebeard’s first wife: in fact, he’s had slews of them – they’re all hanging from hooks on the walls, dead. Horrified, she drops the gold key into the pool of blood, staining it so, when Bluebeard comes home, he knows exactly what she has done. Time to get a new bride!

The soon-to-be-dead wife pleads for time to say her prayers and, when granted it, promptly locks herself in the highest tower, where she screams her head off for her brothers to come. Smart girl.

Bluebeard’s not a fan of this and tries to break the door down, only to be stopped by the weapon-proficient brothers, who dispatch of him. And they all live happily ever after!

Now, this is the “mundy” version of the story: as Bluebeard appears to still be kicking, it must have ended differently in the Fables universe.

What can we take away from this? First, Bluebeard definitely has the constitution to murder someone, particularly women who enter into a sexual relationship with him. More importantly, it reveals something about Bluebeard’s nature: he likes to manipulate people.

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New Series: WHODUNNIT? The Wolf Among Us

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Hi all, long time, no post. Sorry for the absence, I had to take my GRE this past Friday, which was about as fun as it sounds. (Seriously, it was four hours long and manned by TSA agents in training.) But it’s done and my free time is actually free.

To celebrate my freedom, I’m kicking off another series of blog posts revolving around The Wolf Among Us. This game, like all Telltale games, is awesome. I’ve been watching since the beginning, and recently been going through on my own and with my siblings. (My little sister is in charge of the controls for our group play-through, so I have enjoyed yelling “Q! Q! Q!” in a loud, panicked voice. It is cruel? Maybe, but I like to think of it as concentration practice for high-stress situations. She could become a surgeon.)

If you haven’t played through The Wolf Among Us, do it – I haven’t “died” (or failed) once, and I die every five minutes I play Half-Life 2. Even when it’s on Easy. I know. Plus, the game’s got a strong story, fairytale goodness, a crime-noir feel and talking pigs. Talking, snarky pigs.

My one gripe is that most of these characters and their stories technically do not fit the criteria of a ‘fable’ so it’s a misnomer to call them one. Of course, they’re not all fairy tales or folk stories either, so there’s no categorical term we can use that adheres to its usual criteria. Oh well.

All literary-wanking side, this blog series will go through all the primary suspects – as well as some ancillary ones. Is it Bluebeard? Is Crane a nasty old pervert? Is Bufkin secretly a crime lord with a monopoly on alcohol? Two of those things are true. (Or not.)

I want to pull in some source material as well – and by source, I mean the fairy tales/fables/folk stories themselves. I took a course on the construction and history of fairy tales, so this should be fun.

Just a heads up: I have not read the comics. I want to, but I’m waiting until this series is over (which may or may not be when I retire at a ripe old age.) so all of this commentary/wild theorizing is based on the released episodes only. Please don’t spoil me. Please.

Expect profiles to come up soon, though I want to play through the last episode once more before I make my speculations/theories. (I may have left Bluebeard alone in Crane’s room the last time… whoops?)

Okay, it’s time to get my thinking cap on. Talk to you soon!

 

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