The Last of Us continues to introduce interesting characters while building upon what they already have, which will get me watching each and every week.
BY ELLIOT LINES MARCH 7, 2023
With last weeks episode being a flashback of the night Ellie got her bite, this is the second week in a row that we've seen very little of Joel, due to him being stabbed in episode 6. The penultimate episode seems to have come around extremely fast, but "When we are in need" and it's predecessor "Left Behind" have given the chance to Ellie to be front and centre of the screen.
After patching Joel (Pedro Pascal) up, the best she can, Ellie (Bella Ramsey) is forced to go out and hunt for food for them both. She manages to shoot a deer (a rather big one), but it runs off causing her to have to track the deer down to recover it. In this process she comes across a preacher David (Scott Shepherd) and James (Troy Baker). At this point she makes a deal with them to trade half the deer for penicillin, in which James goes to get. While sitting down to keep warm, David explains who he's is, but reveals that one of hit group was stabbed and killed, by a man travelling with a young girl. Ellie returns to Joel with the Penicillin, but it's not long before James and a group of men track their whereabouts, taking Ellie in the process, leaving the others to find Joel, who makes a miraculous recovery to fend them off, torturing them to find Ellie's whereabouts. Ellie finds herself caged up but notices an ear on the floor, confirming James is feeding the dead to his followers, he wants her to join him by his side as he admires her strength and violence. In a scuffle, she manages to bite James, then telling him she's infected. This leads to a big altercation between the both in the steakhouse while the whole this is burning to the ground.
The whole episode is showcasing Ellie. How far she has come since that little bratty teenager (there are still glimpses) that we first met. The way in which she conducts herself here to manipulate full grown adults just shows the amount she has learnt on this journey so far. Bella Ramsey has been great in this role so far, but this may just be the best showing from her yet. There is suspense, fear and emotion throughout the episode and she sells it perfectly.
The introduction of James and his followers is an interesting one. From the start there is an air of nervousness surrounding this character, something not quite trustworthy about him, and this proves to be correct. Clearly the man is willing to do anything to survive even kill his own, and the proposals he makes to Ellie show this mans true nature. This is a new kind of "villain" for Joel and Ellie to face and luckily Ellie is up to the task here.
For a show depicted in an apocalyptic "zombie" world there are a lack of infected. Here there are zero on show, which doesn't hinder the episode itself, but it does make you question if this is going down the The Walking Dead road, where the human v human episodes became worn out. We're only one season in, so hopefully this isn't the case, but going forward I for one would like to see more of the fungal infected.
The Last of Us has now taken me to a point that I'm not looking out for the "game to show" comparisons. This to me says that the show can stand on it's own in it entirety. Despite the lack of infected, The Last of Us continues to introduce interesting characters while building upon what they already have, which will get me watching each and every week.