‘The Last of Us’ Episode 7 Recap: Riley, ’80s Tunes and Mortal Kombat

The Last of Us reached episode 7 on HBO and HBO Max on Sunday, bringing us again to Ellie and Joel (Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal) after a nasty encounter with a marauder left him stabbed and close to loss of life.

It interrupted their quest to deliver Ellie to the insurgent group referred to as the Fireflies. They’re hoping to doubtlessly restore society by replicating her immunity to the fungal an infection that is turned most of the world into lethal monsters. 

Earlier than that, 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 carefully to a memorable half of the sport. Let’s leap into SPOILERS for HBO’s adaptation of the Sony PlayStation sport.

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 not getting alongside) with different youngsters within the custody of FEDRA, the Federal Catastrophe Response Company, which runs quarantine zones with the remnants of the US army.

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

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.


After she stays up late studying a difficulty of Savage Starlight (a fictional comedian e book collection you can collect within the sport), 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. 

“Include me for just a few hours and have the most effective night time 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 slightly 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 duplicate of the group’s biggest hits in her quarters.) This tune (*7*) within the second sport. Its iconic music video additionally exhibits a girl 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 seems to be 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 Treatment’s Just Like Heaven (particularly, one which sounds loads 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 night time like that’s value a thousand hours of drudgery,” he informed 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 way of some miracle, many of the cubicles nonetheless work and they hop on iconic 1993 fighter Mortal Kombat 2 (a poster for this sport can be seen over Ellie’s mattress, hinting at her fascination). 

Of their first battle, the extra skilled Riley opts for purple-garbed cannibal Mileena and Ellie opts for thunder god Raiden — it ends with Mileena’s excellent bone-spitting fatality.

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

Extra basic puns

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

Ellie reads to Riley in The Last of Us

Extra pun enjoyable awaits.

What did the pissed off 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, nevertheless it’s “an investigator.”

Ellie is briefly reminded of the truth 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 wished to spend this one final night time hanging out with Ellie earlier than departing. Ellie is not in any respect proud of this however finally 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 like these teenagers are.

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

Till a horrible contaminated assaults. Ellie manages to shank it, however they each uncover they have been bitten. It will finally 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 needs to stay so long as doable.

“We will 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 lined on this episode wasn’t within the 2013 sport 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’ll be able to 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 carefully to the occasions of the sport, however the present-day part is far 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 army helicopter that is crashed by means of the mall’s roof.

Through the flashback scenes with Riley, you play fictional game The Turning (which is principally Mortal Kombat) within the arcade… sorta. The cupboard would not work, so Riley has Ellie shut her eyes and place her fingers on the controls, and then 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 short kiss within the sport. The flashback ends with Ellie and Riley fleeing the mall as hordes of contaminated chase them. Each find yourself bitten and resolve to await their deaths collectively. Riley succumbs to the fungus, however Ellie’s survival reveals her immunity.

Mom’s love

You may as well learn a notice 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 youngsters and I hate infants. And but… I am gazing you and I am simply awestruck.

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

Marlene will take care of you. There is no one on this world I belief greater than her. When the time comes she’ll inform you all about me. Do not give her an excessive amount of of a tough time. Attempt to not be as cussed as me.

I am not going to lie, it is a fairly tousled world. It will not be straightforward. The factor you all the time have to recollect is that life is value residing! Discover your objective and battle for it.

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

Endlessly… 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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