Sunday night and it is time to have your heart ripped out again by watching HBO Max’s amazing series The Last of Us.
This episode picks up with Ellie frantically trying to help Joel, who was stabbed in episode 6, but Joel tells her to leave, go north and find Tommy.
This triggered a flashback episode with Ellie at her military school and we get to meet her friend Riley, who had run off and joined the Fireflies, leaving Ellie behind. Riley comes back to give Ellie a night of fun at the mall before Riley has to leave on assignment.
Of course, as soon as we saw this flashback and the timing of it, it was clear that we were going to see the first time that Ellie was bitten and infected.
As I watched this episode, I kept thinking to myself that I knew the actor playing Riley and I was not sure where I had seen her before. I was racking my brain, but it wasn’t until they mentioned her name on the “Inside the Episode” bit that follows each week’s episode that I heard the name Storm Reid.
That name rang a bell. She was the lead protagonist in the film Missing, which came out in January of this year. I remember thinking that Storm Reid was going to be a star after such an exceptional performance leading her film. She and Bella Ramsey were excellent together. As Ellie, Ramsey showed the utter joy and childlike glee over little things at this mall, such as an escalator (aka ‘moving stairs’) or a Mortal Kombat II video game.
You knew that the episode was too happy and that some tragic circumstances were going to happen at this mall. It’s that kind of show.
Both girls wind up being infected. We know that Ellie was going to be immune, but we also knew that Riley was going to come to her end. Riley’s words of positivity, taking every second life gives you and making them count instead of giving up, lead to Ellie refusing to give up on Joel at the end of the show.
There are only two episodes remaining and it looks as if Joel is going to be in a bad way still next episode while Ellie is coming across some more humans.