Life Is Strange 2’s Second Episode Smells Like Captain Spirit

What's the first rule of superhero club?

After almost four long months since the first episode, Sean and Daniel’s lives on the run are set to continue next week. We were left with dozens of questions and possibilities at the end of Roads, not least of which was how the brothers would manage to survive. Would we see them scrabbling to stay alive? Forced to turn to theft and put in increasingly perilous situations? What’s most unexpected is a return to something approaching peaceful suburban life, even with the emergence of supernatural powers.

Note: Spoilers for the first and second episodes Life Is Strange 2 and The Awesome Adventure of Captain Spirit lie ahead.

With Daniel discovering the truth at the end of the first episode, realising his telekinetic powers in a moment of emotional distress, it’s no real surprise that he and his older brother start to try and hone those latent abilities. Where stress and anger can obviously fuel his abilities, they did so without much control before, but here we find the pair of them a few months on and in the middle of a training session out in the wilderness. Sean is the Yoda to Daniel’s Luke, encouraging him to try and lift different rocks by the side of a river and marvelling at how far his abilities have come.

Daniel’s starting to use them in everday situations, such as to avoid putting his hand into the freezing cold river to refill a water canteen, and it’s interesting how Dontnod have put you one step removed from the supernatural abilities in this particular tale. Where you had direct control over time with Max in the first series, here you’re not in control. You have to ask Daniel to get something down from a tree, you have to push him to use his abilities wisely and conservatively, and when he’s still so young it’s a recipe for future disaster and drama.

It’s this that forces Sean to put his foot down about their use. It’s a deep secret that the two of them need to protect, not just because people would freak out, but because it would draw more unwanted attention to them as fugitives. Does he listen though? He certainly says he will behave, but does he?

Skipping deeper into the episode, and we find the main series colliding with the free spin off episode The Awesome Adventure of Captain Spirit. Sean and Daniel’s situation at this point have completely changed, to find them hanging out in the back garden of a suburban house, but with the snow blanketing the environment, it should feel familiar to those who have played Captain Spirit. You know what’s going to happen before it does, as Daniel sees Chris rushing from his neighbouring home and clambering up into his treehouse. A plank of wood slips and he tumbles to ground, but he’s caught inches from the floor by an invisible field.

Chris and his father Charles were never really going to be throwaway characters in Captain Spirit, but I’ll admit that I wasn’t expecting to see them appearing quite so soon in the story of Life Is Strange 2. However, they provide a lot from the brief glimpse of them that I’ve had so far. Chris and Daniel being of the same age means they can bond over shared interests in comics and superheroes, giving Daniel an outlet of being someone that he can play with.

That brings a different kind of peril to the one I was expecting, however. You can feel Sean’s already loose control of Daniel’s burgeoning abilities slipping even further as childish exuberance gets in the way. It’s asking for trouble, especially when put into a pressure cooker situation with Chris’ father and his alcohol fuelled temper.

It’s been a long wait for a continuation to the Life Is Strange story, but from these three short scenes, Dontnod are building up the intrigue and danger for the two brothers in an interesting fashion. I’m certainly looking forward to seeing how the rest of the episode pans out next week and where their journey takes them in future.

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