‘The Last of Us’ Episode 7 Recap: Absolutely Heartbreaking Neon Adventure


The Last of Us episode 7 landed on HBO and HBO Max on Sunday, following Ellie and Joel (Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal) after a horrible encounter with a marauder left Joel stabbed and on the verge of loss of life. It interrupted their quest to deliver Ellie to the insurgent group generally known as the Fireflies. 

They’re hoping to probably restore society by replicating her immunity to the fungal an infection that is turned most of the world into lethal monsters. Earlier than that nonetheless, Ellie’s gotta cease Joel from bleeding to loss of life. 

The scenario reminds her of a darkish second from her previous, one which sticks intently to a memorable half of the sport. Let’s leap into SPOILERS for HBO’s adaptation of the Sony PlayStation recreation.

spoiler alert

Strained friendship

A lot of the episode takes place within the time earlier than Ellie and Joel met, when she was residing (and never getting alongside) with different children within the custody of FEDRA, the Federal Catastrophe Response Company, which runs quarantine zones with the remnants of the US navy.

The tune Ellie is listening to as she runs is 2002 Pearl Jam tune All or None, which alludes to repeating the identical cycle and ending up in battle. That is basically what she’s doing at this level.

After she will get in a tussle with one of her friends, a FEDRA officer presents her with various visions of her future within the zone: Proceed messing about, find yourself a grunt with crappy duties, and sure die in some random accident. Or… present somewhat self-discipline, grow to be an officer, and stay a reasonably snug life. She opts for the latter, however she does not appear wild about it.

After she stays up late studying a problem of Savage Starlight (a fictional comedian e-book sequence you can collect within the recreation), her sleep is interrupted by runaway greatest buddy Riley (Storm Reid). Seems Riley deserted FEDRA take care of the opposing Fireflies, however she is not visiting to recruit Ellie. 

Ellie sits on her bed a dim room in The Last of Us

Ellie’s posters embody one for the 2000 field workplace catastrophe Purple Planet (to not be confused with the extraordinarily comparable Mission to Mars from the identical yr) and the 1987 sci-fi comedy Innerspace.


“Include me for just a few hours and have the most effective evening of your life,” she orders her pal.

Hell sure.

’80s type enjoyable

After transient stops to take a look at a useless man, knock again somewhat of the pre-apocalypse alcohol he left behind, and admire Riley’s sidearm (highlighting Ellie’s fascination with journey and loss of life), the pair head to — the place else? — the mall.

It seems FEDRA unknowingly restored energy to the mall, giving Ellie an opportunity to get a style of old-school consumerism. And run on an escalator to the tune of Norwegian synth-pop band A-ha’s ’80s classic Take On Me. (Ellie has a replica of the group’s best hits in her quarters.) This tune makes a memorable appearance within the second recreation. Its iconic music video additionally reveals a lady taking a comic book e-book character’s hand and getting pulled into an journey — Ellie has a equally transcendent expertise after metaphorically taking Riley’s hand on this episode.

Bella Ramsey is so good right here, with Ellie’s awkwardness in regards to the Victoria’s Secret lingerie and stolen glances at Riley hinting at her emotions. These appears to be like get longer because the alcohol takes impact.

Wonders of the mall

Seems the escalator was only a precursor to the actual enjoyable. The pair hop on a carousel that performs a model of The Remedy’s Just Like Heaven (particularly, one which sounds lots like Rockabye Baby’s Lullaby Rendition). Songwriter Robert Smith mentioned this tune was impressed by the romance of a trip he took with girlfriend Mary Poole, who’d later grow to be his spouse.   

“The concept is that one evening like that’s value a thousand hours of drudgery,” he instructed Blender journal in 2003, which is probably going how the present’s characters would expertise this journey.

Ellie and Riley’s night continues with a visit to the picture sales space, the place they strike just a few poses and get actual cozy in shut quarters.

Flawless victory

Their subsequent vacation spot seems to be “essentially the most stunning factor I’ve ever seen” — a neon-drenched arcade. By some miracle, many of the cubicles nonetheless work they usually hop on iconic 1993 fighter Mortal Kombat 2 (a poster for this recreation can also be seen over Ellie’s mattress, hinting at her fascination). HBO dad or mum firm Warner Bros. Discovery additionally owns the Mortal Kombat franchise, synergy FTW.

Of their first battle, the extra skilled Riley opts for purple-garbed cannibal Mileena and Ellie opts for thunder god Raiden — it ends with (*7*).

Ellie’s vengeance is available in a later spherical, when she manages Baraka’s nasty impalement finisher. They expertise that traditional Mortal Kombat ultraviolence euphoria afterward and the sparks of romance get somewhat stronger. (Be warned although: Watching too many cartoonish fatalities can have a bizarre impact in your mind.)

Extra traditional puns

Riley’s subsequent shock reminds us of Ellie’s penchant for unhealthy jokes, as she presents her pal with a replica of No Pun Meant: Quantity Too.

Ellie reads to Riley in The Last of Us

Extra pun enjoyable awaits.

What did the annoyed cannibal do? He threw up his fingers.What did the triangle say to the circle? You are so pointless.How does a pc get drunk? It takes screenshots.What do you name an alligator in a vest? They’re interrupted earlier than Riley can learn the reply, however it’s “an investigator.”

Ellie is briefly reminded of the fact of their scenario when she discovers explosives Riley ready. Riley admits that the Fireflies are sending her away to the Atlanta quarantine zone, and she or he wished to spend this one final evening hanging out with Ellie earlier than departing. Ellie is not in any respect proud of this however in the end decides to proceed onto the ultimate marvel.

Halloween time

After sharing their emotions in a supercool costume store — for the reason that outbreak occurred in late September 2003, it is nonetheless arrange for the spooky season — the pair don masks and dance to Etta James’ cowl of ’60s tune I Got You Babe (you may know the Sonny and Cher authentic from the 1993 film Groundhog Day). The lyrics allude to younger folks defying their elders to pursue love — very similar to these teenagers are.

That is when the romantic pressure peaks and Ellie decides to make her transfer, giving Riley a quick however passionate kiss. With their emotional and sexual playing cards on the desk ultimately, Riley agrees to remain and it looks like issues are gonna be OK.

Till a horrible contaminated assaults. Ellie manages to shank it, however they each uncover they have been bitten. This can in the end result in Ellie discovering her mysterious immunity, however Riley is not so lucky. They each imagine it is a loss of life sentence, however Riley desires to stay so long as attainable.

“We are able to simply be all poetic and shit, and lose our minds collectively,” she says tearfully earlier than they embrace.

We do not see what occurs after this, however presumably Ellie was pressured to kill Riley as soon as the an infection took maintain. It is probably Marlene discovered her afterward.

Leaping again to 2023, Ellie maintains the spirit of refusing to surrender hope — she’s decided to deal with Joel’s wounds reasonably than abandon him. She finds a needle and thread, so she goes to work on stitching him up. 

Left Behind

The part coated on this episode wasn’t within the 2013 recreation at launch, it was added the next yr within the Left Behind downloadable content material pack and got here included with remasters on PS4 and PS5. 

Ellie and Riley post in a photo booth in The Last of Us Part 1

You may check out a bunch of poses in The Last of Us Half 1’s picture sales space scene.

Naughty Canine; screenshot by ClassyBuzz

The present sticks intently to the occasions of the sport, however the present-day part is way chunkier — it sees Ellie looking for meds in a shopping center as a wounded Joel lies unconscious. Avoiding contaminated and human marauders alongside the way in which, she discovers the meds in a navy helicopter that is crashed by the mall’s roof.

In the course of the flashback scenes with Riley, you play fictional game The Turning (which is mainly Mortal Kombat) within the arcade… sorta. The cupboard does not work, so Riley has Ellie shut her eyes and place her fingers on the controls, after which Riley describes the motion. Theater of the thoughts, certainly.

Additionally they battle with water weapons (a line within the present alludes to this) and share a quick kiss within the recreation. The flashback ends with Ellie and Riley fleeing the mall as hordes of contaminated chase them. Each find yourself bitten and determine to await their deaths collectively. Riley succumbs to the fungus, however Ellie’s survival reveals her immunity.

The spinoff comedian sequence The Last of Us: American Dreams additionally dives into Ellie and Riley’s friendship earlier than this incident.

Mom’s love

You may also learn a be aware from Ellie’s unseen mother on this chapter (one given to her by Firefly chief Marlene):


I will share a secret with you, I am not a giant fan of children and I hate infants. And but… I am watching you and I am simply awestruck.

You are not even a day outdated and holding you is essentially the most unbelievable factor I’ve performed in my life — a life that’s about to get minimize somewhat brief. 

Marlene will take care of you. There is not any one on this world I belief greater than her. When the time comes she’ll let you know all about me. Do not give her an excessive amount of of a tough time. Strive to not be as cussed as me.

I am not going to lie, this can be a fairly tousled world. It will not be straightforward. The factor you at all times have to recollect is that life is value residing! Discover your function and struggle for it.

I see a lot power in you. I do know you will become the lady you are meant to be.

Perpetually… your loving mom


Make me proud, Ellie!

Episode 8 of The Last of Us hits HBO Max subsequent Sunday, March 5.

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