[Episode Recap] THE LAST OF US Season 1 Episode 8

[Episode Recap] THE LAST OF US Season 1 Episode 8
Episode seven was an iconic episode for everything involving THE LAST OF US. Not only did it faithfully recreate the source material, but it became a real showcase for Bella Ramsey and their portrayal of Ellie. As we witnessed this origin story, viewers now understand Ellie’s motives and her need to save Joel. All this and more are explored further in episode eight.

Ellie now finds herself hunting in a harsh winter. This was a significant point in the game as it was the first time players got to control someone other than Joel. Ellie’s skills got to improve and she learned more about self-defense in this segment and this episode. She comes across David (Scott Shepherd) and James (the original voice of Joel, Troy Baker), two men who offer to help her get medicine but are actually using her to get to Joel as he had previously killed one of their men. This dead man left behind a grieving daughter hungry for revenge, reminiscent of a certain character in the video game sequel that will surely play a big part in season two.

They give Ellie the supplies she needs and let her run back to Joel. They follow her trail the next morning, but she hears them before they reach Joel. James knocks her down as she tries to lure them away from Joel and take her captive. Joel gathers his strength and defends himself from the other men, figuring out where they took Ellie.

Trapped in a poor man’s interrogation cell, Ellie gathers from David that he is a cannibal, feeding his people the meat from other humans unbeknownst to them. It’s a means of survival for him and it’s clear that she will be their next meal. She bites off his finger and he retaliates by teaming up with James to chop her up while still breathing. Ellie confesses to being infected which makes him realize that he too is infected.

She manages to fight them off, killing James first. Venturing into the attached empty restaurant, they play a game of cat and mouse until she slices him up with a machete. His final attack on her leans heavily on rape and she has to let her inner animal come out. Too much has been pushed onto her shoulders and David feels every brunt of it, deservingly so. Ellie runs out and ends up in Joel’s arms, who holds her tight, doing anything he can to assure her that she is safe.

HBO’s version of THE LAST OF US pursues the correct narrative from the game and that’s the fact that the real monsters in this world are human. Yes, the monsters are scary and threatening, but those who are supposed to watch out for each other are willing to use each other as shields. The world here has turned for the worst. The real infected are the cannibals, the new leaders, and the military forces looking to control everyone who are technically still human. Ellie is the only one who fits both sides of the spectrum, only adding to her already exhausted sense of loneliness.

THE LAST OF US episode eight shows us that Ellie is now a fighter, the result of an infected population of murderous humans who seek their own solace. We have one episode left, but the bond between Ellie and Joel has been solidified with another hour of survival hour driven by love.

The eighth episode of the HBO Original drama series THE LAST OF US debuted on March 5, 2023, at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on HBO and will be available to stream in 4K on HBO Max.

Jovy Skol
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