It’s all come down to this, the build up is over and the finale for Telltale’s The Expanse has arrived.
Camina Drummer has to face the consequences of her actions and right out of the gate., I gotta to tell you, Telltale and Deck Nine have crammed several big moments into this one to really finish out the season in style.
It’s both a little frustrating but all the more impactful that within five minutes of this one you’re deciding the entire fate of a character. It feels like these are the moments we’ve been waiting for and Deck Nine had them in their locker all along.
But it also sets up a fast-paced, thrilling episode with shootouts, soliloquies and maybe even a redemption arc or two to try and allow some of these characters to feel truly three-dimensional. Something it doesn’t really succeed at with Camina’s looming shadow casting over everything and everyone.
Which, of course, all feeds into the final scene which serves as an effective bridge between the game and the first episode of the TV show. The point that connects the two experiences which we all knew was the inevitable destination starting out this season.
As such, that does make things feel a little too pre-determined. We knew there was a destination Drummer had to get to and a certain point in this story which was going to pivot towards that arc. That said, it’s still an enjoyable ride getting there.
Obviously I’m not going to dive too heavily into the story beats, there’s far too much potential for spoilers and giving the game away. Perhaps that’s another feature for another time.
What I will say is when I finally rolled credits and enjoyed the harmonious title track one final time, I’d barely gathered half of the achievement points which surprised me just a little bit. There was actually quite a bit I’d missed.
I also discovered that quite a few of my decisions and scenes were once again in the minority. I’m not sure what that says about my playstyle or how I got so off course, but it was a really interesting learning all the very same and I think it shows there’s a fair bit to uncover across all five episodes despite their seeming length.
For me, though, this episode had the right blend of everything. Things to find, situations to diffuse, big decisions to make, a suitable level of drama and even a few hidden things to find along the way.
It’s a great finale for the series, honestly, and the build up to get to this point has certainly helped add a bit more weight and feeling to the key moments. There’s even a well-crafted over the shoulder, shooter sequence that made quick time events fun and suitably tense.
It is pretty obvious though that Camina’s character was the only one to really develop. There were some interesting subplots throughout and a couple of interesting scenarios that played out, but I’ve mostly come away from the series thinking about two characters. Camina Drummer and [Redacted] – but you can probably guess who.
Even the surprising guest cameo from last episode is sort of squandered here and held up right to the closing moments. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great moment when it happens but some more time spent developing them in the game would have been nice.
That sort of sums up my experience with the whole series really, it’s a bit mixed. There’s some real highs, this episode chief among them and certainly the best of the entire crop. But the season definitely felt spread thin at times and the short length of the penultimate episodes definitely speaks to that. This one can be breezed through in barely an hour.
It’s like there just wasn’t enough story to sustain a five episode arc and maybe it would have been better to allow other characters to develop a bit more or maybe give one of the cameos a bit more of something else to do.
That said, I see enough here to know that Telltale are back, Deck Nine know how to deliver in the big moments and I would love to see them both take a shot at another franchise down the road.
I feel fans of the show – and Drummer – will feel quite pleased with how she develops and is portrayed in the final half of the season especially. Cara Gee is given some great lines and story to work with to really add more layers to a character we’re already pretty familiar with.
But I have a sneaking suspicion this whole season is going to be remembered for the Archangel Bonus Episode which features the excellent Shohreh Aghdashloo as Chrisjen Avasarala. No word on when that’s launching but based on her popularity in the show and the political agendas ripe for an arc – something this series kept poking at but never really got to the heart of – there’s potential for some really fun scenes and scenarios.
On the whole, though, this was a satisfying finale and a good way to end a season that never quite got into its stride but still managed to remind us of what both Telltale and Deck Nine are capable of.
Europa’s Folly is a fast-paced thrill ride that packs one big moment after another into its short run-time and is a great reminder of what Telltale and Deck Nine are capable of. It’s fed well by the build-up that came before it, adds further development for the Camina Drummer character, and gives players the important decisions they’ve been asking for. With drama, action and suspense aplenty, Europa’s Folly manages to do enough to make up from missteps earlier in the season, but most characters don’t really develop beyond what we’ve seen and others are unfortunately sidelined. It rounds out a season of ups, downs, compelling moments and ‘what ifs’.
+ Camina Drummer gets some great development ahead of the TV Show
+ A fast paced thrill-ride that keeps you engaged and on your toes
+ Big, impactful decisions come thick and fast
+ Can still be a surprising amount of content to find after rolling credits
– This one goes by in a heartbeat with an ending that feels rather sudden
– Drummer feels like the only character that meaningfully evolves with other storylines sidelined