Episode seven of The Last of Us is known as Left Behind and covers the events of the first DLC of the same name, as well as some additional material from the American Dreams comic book series.
Essentially an extended flashback, this episode provides viewers with crucial background information about Ellie, revealing what drives her and what shaped her to become the Ellie we know today.
As always, episode seven leaves us with plenty to discuss, so let’s get to it.
PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE SHOW AND GAME SERIES IT IS BASED ON. PLEASE READ MORE AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION.
A little preview of episode 7.
Episode seven is booked by Joel and Ellie in the present day.
Joel, while alive, is off track following his run-in with the Marauders at the end of episode six. Ellie has managed to find refuge in an abandoned house and tries desperately to stop Joel’s bleeding, but doesn’t have much luck. In response to Ellie’s desperation, Joel uses what little strength he has to push Ellie away and tells her to go back to Tommy.
As Ellie turns to leave, we are then transported back to weeks before Joel and Ellie first met. The scene cuts to Ellie at the FEDRA School in Boston’s QZ, where she is doing laps in the gym while listening to her Walkman. Another student (Bethany) bumps into Ellie and pinches her Walkman before goading her about her missing friend.
Ellie reacts to Bethany’s taunts by lashing out at her, resulting in Ellie being sent to the school’s main equivalent – something that happens in the American Dreams comic book series – and Bethany being sent to the school. infirmary that needs stitches (the theme of stitches runs throughout this episode).
Here, Ellie is told by FEDRA soldier Captain Kwong that she’s “so smart [she is] stupid” and that she has the potential to be a leader. He then tells Ellie that she has a choice of two paths. The first is where she continues to “act like a grunt” and will live the life of The second is when she swallows her pride, follows the rules, and becomes a FEDRA officer.
“There’s a leader in you, and one day it might be your turn. Or not. So which way?” Kwong asks Ellie. In response, Ellie reluctantly says she will comply with FEDRA and goes back to her room.
Ellie has a black eye during the fight (offscreen). HBO picture.
Captain Kwong. HBO picture.
The rest of this episode stays largely true to its DLC source material. Late at night, when Ellie is back in her bedroom, her missing friend Riley sneaks out the window and wakes her up. It’s much like she does in the game, although she doesn’t pretend to bite Ellie on the show.
After a brief moment of anger at Riley for leaving her, with Ellie revealing that she thought Riley was dead, Ellie agrees to listen to what her friend has to say for herself. Turns out Riley has joined the Fireflies and won’t be going back to FEDRA school. Riley then promises Ellie “the best night of [her] life,” and the girls leave the school’s boarding school and head to the Boston QZ.
Ellie is angry that Riley ran away. HBO picture.
Riley wakes Ellie up by “biting” her in the DLC. Image Naughty Dog.
The two eventually arrive at the city mall via the rooftops and a bottle of whiskey (alas, in the show there’s no mention of Winston, the QZ soldier who taught Ellie how to ride a horse in the game and the comic book series In the Left Behind DLC, Riley and Ellie raid Winston’s hideout after he dies and get booze there).
Ellie warns Riley to enter the mall, stating he’s been doomed as it’s teeming with infected. Riley scoffs at this and takes Ellie inside the building. Those who have followed the series closely will recall that Ellie told Tess she had been bitten after sneaking through the Boston mall all the way back in episode two. However, at that time she told Tess that she was alone.
In the game, Riley does not operate the escalator like she does in the series. Image Naughty Dog.
Ellie and Riley find hooch in Winston’s tent. Image Naughty Dog.
The moments that follow between Ellie and Riley in the mall are almost scene-for-scene from the DLC, albeit in a slightly different order.
After Riley restores power to the mall for a wide-eyed Ellie, the two make their way through the various stores and stalls. They ride a merry-go-round, make faces in a photo booth, try on masks from a costume store (a wolf and a clown, of course) and dance on a window display. Riley gives Will Livingston’s Ellie No Pun Intended: Volume Too.
There were some lovely moments of awkward flirting in the episode. HBO picture.
It’s all very reminiscent of those teenage days of skipping school and hanging out with your crush. Bella Ramsey and Storm Reid (who plays Riley) do a great job of portraying hopeful innocence alongside a young couple’s sexual awakening.
Ellie and Riley on the carousel. HBO picture.
The same moment in the Left Behind DLC. Image Naughty Dog.
Pleasure of the photo booth. HBO picture.
Say cheese! Image Naughty Dog.
Buffoon. HBO picture.
The same masks. Image Naughty Dog.
In addition to a great chemistry between the actors, this episode is full of Easter eggs for fans of the games. If I’m being honest, I was expecting a few more, namely the water gun combat and the Skelesee, but I really enjoyed all of the ones that were included.
Have I exhausted these options? I feel it in my bones… Image Naughty Dog.
Water path to go. Image Naughty Dog.
One of the biggest changes between the overall show and its source material, in my opinion, is in the arcade.
In the game, Riley brings Ellie to an old arcade center with rows of machines. Unlike the game, however, both Riley and Ellie play on a machine (in the series, as in episode threeit’s a Mortal Kombat 2 cabinet rather than “The Turning”).
Alone, it’s definitely a good time for both girls, but after playing the Left Behind DLC, I have to say I prefer the way the game turned out.
In the game, the machine itself does not work. So, to give her friend some sort of gaming experience, Riley tells Ellie to close her eyes and then describes the action to her. Ellie only plays the arcade machine in her mind, and that moment (for me at least) further underscored how characters born after the outbreak began could only wonder what the world was like. before cordyceps.
Either way, it’s always a joyful moment between Riley and Ellie before things take a turn for the worse for the duo. After all, despite the fun and the games, it’s still The Last of Us.
Riley describes the game to Ellie. Image Naughty Dog.
Ellie imagines that she is playing on the arcade machine. Image Naughty Dog.
After spending a truly rather magical (or early morning) night together, Ellie asks Riley not to leave Boston with the Fireflies. As in the game, Riley agrees to stay and the two share their first kiss. It’s a beautiful moment, which once again recalls those first teenage loves.
Riley and Ellie decide to figure things out both on the show and in the game. HBO image.
Riley says she will stay with Ellie in Boston. Image Naughty Dog.
Unfortunately, this beautiful moment is broken far too soon by the arrival of an infected.
The two girls try to fight off the infected with their limited combat experience, but the whole situation is messy, with the girls both falling through displays as they try to defend themselves from their only attacker (in the DLC, Riley and Ellie are overwhelmed by a swarm of infected).
However, despite eventually managing to kill the infected using Riley’s gun, Ellie’s knife, and other makeshift weapons found in the store, the two girls both receive a bite. As in the game, Ellie reacts by shattering her surroundings as Riley sits in a state of calm shock.
Ellie tries to escape the infected. HBO picture.
Both in game and on the show, Riley states that the girls have two options – they could take the easy way out and kill themselves with Riley’s gun, or they could be “all poetic” and lose their minds together. . Of course, as we all know by now, that doesn’t happen to Ellie because she’s immune.
Ellie is in shock after being bitten. HBO picture.
Ellie tries to wipe away her bite. Image Naughty Dog.
Riley reveals that she was also bitten. Image Naughty Dog.
Episode seven ends in the present day, with Ellie raiding the house she is in to get supplies to treat Joel. She comes across a needle and thread, and after grabbing his hand, she proceeds to stitch up Joel’s wound. This is different from the DLC.
In the DLC, Ellie makes her way through an old modern day mall while dodging hunters and infected, eventually stumbling across an old military helicopter with a first aid kit. With the contents of this kit, she sews up Joel.
The show and the game left me with tears in my eyes.
Ellie prepares to sew up Joel. Image Naughty Dog.
As always, some honorable mentions from episode seven.
First off, though seen briefly, you’ll notice that Captain Kwong’s keychain has the Naughty Dog paw logo on it. I always like to spot things like this in shows or movies (there’s also a Naughty Dog logo sticker inside Nate’s trunk in the recent film adaptation of Uncharted), so this intrigued me. made her smile.
A nice inclusion. HBO picture.
The second thing to mention is the set dressing. I loved that Ellie’s room in the FEDRA boarding house was surrounded by space posters and dinosaur stickers.
It also gave us a look at some of his tapes, with the episode’s music helping to paint the scene for viewers.
Ellie’s bedroom reflects her interests. HBO picture.
Finally, I liked how Ellie had to shake her torch to make it work. It felt like you had to shake your controller when playing the game, and a really nice touch from the showrunners.
Shake it. HBO picture.
While I’m enjoying this episode, I have a slight concern that the rest of the series might feel a bit rushed now.
While I loved seeing Ellie’s story with Riley told in such detail, I’m also aware that we only have two episodes left of this season. I hope I’m wrong and the pace stays strong for the rest of the series. I guess time will tell. Discuss again next week!
Article source https://www.eurogamer.net/lets-discuss-the-last-of-us-episode-seven