The Last of Us – Episode 7 is out, and once again, we can all expect to be devastated emotionally, feel terrible, but also uplifted by the great characters. After the previous episode, where Joel was left gravely injured, Ellie was left hovering over him, wondering if he would survive. This episode ends the same way, what a coincidence! But let’s dive into what happened in the middle.
Ellie takes Joel into an abandoned house and searches for anything to help stitch him up. Joel tells her to leave him and go back, but Ellie freezes, unsure of what to do. This leads to a massive flashback, the meat and potatoes of the episode, which is called Left Behind. If you’ve played the DLC, you probably know what to expect, featuring Ellie and her friend Riley played by Storm Reed.
Before Joel met Ellie, this episode shows a little of what went on in Ellie’s life over the course of what was probably her favorite night ever that quickly turned dark. Her friend Riley shows up in her room in the middle of the night and declares that she’s become a firefly. This is shocking to Ellie because she’s being trained to fight that very thing. But Riley sneaks Ellie out in the middle of the night for a big surprise and takes her to an abandoned mall which still has power.
The set is an absolute wonder of production design, and I was watching this in complete awe of the work that this crew has done for the show. It really looks like they filmed in an abandoned mall, and maybe they did. The fact that I don’t know for sure is why the production design and the set decorators and everyone who worked on this deserves so much praise.
Riley takes Ellie on a series of what she calls “wonders,” and Ellie is shocked by so many things that aren’t necessarily on Riley’s list of wonders, like an electric staircase and an escalator, of course. Seeing Bella Ramsey portray Ellie as this wide-eyed awe-inspired kid who’s never seen anything like this brought actual joy to me. I felt real joy; it’s amazing.
This involves a carousel that still works, as well as a photo booth, a Halloween shop where they can dress up and listen to music. Throughout the course of this episode, you begin to see that Ellie has a crush on Riley and is trying to figure out if she can communicate that. I’m glad that they’re retaining all of that from the game. I had no doubt that they would, and in today’s day and age, I’m glad that’s being maintained.
Earlier episodes asked Ellie if she has parents or a boyfriend, and she’s like, “no.” When she has Bill and Frank’s magazine, she doesn’t give a sh*t about that; she throws it out the window. Seeing her take a chance on Riley makes you feel this looming sense of heartbreak coming because nobody that’s happy and The Last of Us stays happy for too long. Everyone’s always miserable eventually.
When one of the Stray infected attacked them both, we knew that Ellie was going to be okay. But when Riley gets bit, we start to think about things that Ellie said a couple of episodes ago when she said that the person she just helped Joel kill was not the first time that ever happened to her. This episode does not show Ellie have to defend herself against Riley after she turns, so we wonder exactly what happened and if Riley was the first person Ellie ever killed, which is so horrible. Even the implication of it is great, and it’s so smart.
Overall, The Last of Us – Episode 7 Review is an emotional rollercoaster that takes us through the backstory of Ellie and Riley’s friendship, and it’s a beautiful yet heartbreaking story that captures the essence of what makes The Last of Us franchise so special.
It’s impressive how the writers were able to create such a captivating story within the constraints of a single episode. The production design is also worthy of recognition, as the set pieces and visuals transport us into this post-apocalyptic world.
In conclusion: The Last of Us – Episode 7 Review is a must-watch for fans of the franchise and anyone who enjoys a good story filled with emotions, action, and heartbreak. As we wait for the next episode, I can’t help but wonder what other surprises and heartaches the show has in store for us.