If Episode 2's main problem is that it didn't have enough really happen, Episode 3 almost has too much - though, it's all happens to be pretty good. I don't want to go into too much detail, but when the episode was still going on after finding and joining up with Soren, I was incredibly surprised. This episode ends on multiple great notes piled on top of each other – and I'm also really glad that, for it being a "kid's game" they're working on, they don't shy away from things like death of a major character on screen.
I also want to take a moment to pause and give props to something that they've been totally killing in this series: the opening credit sequences. Each of these, when the late title card pops up, I sit back and smile. The sequences as they happen are exciting, and when an item passes by or the camera pans to reveal some more credits, it somehow feels really good. Episode 3 continues this sweet tradition.
But back on topic. Episode 3 is indeed the strongest episode so far, which considering how much I enjoyed the first is a surprise to me. It's just full of so many fun experiences and moments, even attempting to flesh things out about creatures that we see all the time in Minecraft, like the Endermen. While it's a little silly it's done via audiolog, it results in things like Soren, voiced very gamely by John Hodgman, growling in an Enderman voice as though he's speaking their language. Excellent stuff.
Endermen actually feature quite prevalently in this – not that surprising when you see that the titlecard image is Jessie and Lucas surrounded by them. But the tension as you walk through is still pretty high, hoping they won't notice you and have everything go wrong. And when it does – because of course it does – there's a very nice escalation.
In fact the amount of things they have you do regarding the Endermen was pretty cool, including multiple moments of you walking around in their midst and just hoping you don't make eye contact and they don't freak out. Although even if you do it doesn't really matter – part of the experience of a Telltale game is always that they just don't let you do some things, including in this case making the Endermen react when you look directly at their faces unless scripted.
Even though there isn't actually a danger of anything going wrong there, it still feels tense enough thanks to length and great camera work. Telltale knows how to ply their specific trade, and this is a great example of that.
The end of the episode is great as well – the escalation from leaving The End to the next 3 or 4 big things that happen is super strong, and just comes one after another incredibly quickly so that when the episode ended, it was a super exciting lead in to what could happen in Episode 4. While the final line does hew a little close to an "I HAVE AMNEEEEEESIA" twist, I think there are further implications to it, and we'll have to see if it plays out any better then I think it will.
Episode 3 wound up being a lot closer to what I feel is the ideal for an episode in this series – a fun, high-stakes adventure that throws in interesting elements of the license to create cool moments. There's more to Minecraft than just the zombies and spiders that are constantly ambushing you, and the small bits that add to this world so many of us already know are really cool. The story driving it is just getting more and more intense, and with such a cliffhanger, the last episodes of this have a good path laid out for them.