The Last of Us Episode 7: I can’t believe I leave for a minute and Joel gets (possibly) killed! Despite the suspenseful ending, I refuse to believe that HBO will pull a “Ned Stark” and kill off Pedro Pascal.
The Last of Us Episode 7
Thankfully, Joel will still be around when we pick up with our favorite duo again. But there, in a dark and forsaken cellar, he is fighting for his life. It seems like everyone just up and left this world. (Sorry. Having spent some time in the post-apocalyptic mushroom world (not to be confused with Princess Peach’s kingdom), I return to my The Last of Us house to find Joel fighting for his life. I’m feeling sick. Because of Joel’s accident, the show will be able to focus on Ellie’s point of view for a while, as HBO planned to do this week. Something reminds me of the past.
In the first scene of The Last of Us Episode 7, Ellie is being disciplined by a corporal at the Boston QZ Military Academy. She is so combative and rebellious that no amount of punishment seems to deter her. Three times I put you in the hole and it still doesn’t work,” he says to her. Having an outbreak of cordyceps on top of everything else makes life in a pandemic boarding school pretty miserable.
Storm Reid, who plays Riley on Euphoria, portrays Ellie’s one friend. She has defected from the QZ and joined the Fireflies, where she is now fairly embedded. Against the fascist FEDRA “dickbags,” Riley cites the ideology of these freedom fighters. Since this world is full of monsters, Ellie and Riley sneak out in the middle of the night to investigate a building that seems even less safe than usual. They discover a body and help themselves to his booze. Is that the first dead body you’ve seen?” Ellie probes. Riley clarifies, “No, my parents.” Yikes! Disruption to the party.
After that, Riley plans to take Ellie on a surprise trip to the mall on the outskirts of town that has been cordoned off. The United States of Danger (also known as “Danger Land”). Riley doesn’t believe Ellie when she says the building is crawling with infected people. Please hear me out, Last of Us. I know you’re going to Frank and Bill us all because we’ve been here before. That means they’ll keep partying until something terrible happens, I suppose. Riley turns on the mall’s lights in a memorable scene, creating a neon-hued romantic atmosphere à la Blade Runner or Cyber Punk 2077.
It’s the kind of place where the Joker and Harley Quinn might hang out in Gotham, what with the creepy carnival dates and the prizes that look like stuffed animals with their guts ripped out. A broken photo booth and a giant carousel with a piano made out of toy boxes playing The Church’s “Under the Milky Way” from 1987 are also present. One of the few still-living series traditions in The Last of Us is the series’ penchant for excellent song selection.
Unfortunately, one of the most messed up-looking mushroom monsters ever lurks behind the arcade. Timing-wise, he couldn’t have picked a better moment: Riley is leaving the city, and she wants Ellie to come with her, and the two girls are arguing about it. As soon as Ellie kisses her, the infected man appears, unaffected by Riley’s gunfire. When he tries to tackle them, Ellie is ready with her knife and he takes a fatal blow to the head. During the attack, both Ellie and Riley are bitten, but we know that Ellie is immune while Riley is probably not.
The flashback halts at this point, leaving the audience to assume the worst for Riley. It’s a heartbreaking development on par with Tess’s death. Sam and Henry! Bill and Frank. Even so, it’s nice to get Ellie’s side of the story for a change, since this may be the only love she finds in this crazy world.
Ellie finds a needle and thread and returns to Joel to bandage his injury. This time, she’ll be the one to rescue her loved ones.
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