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The Last of Us episode 7 review: ‘Ellie’s greatest fear’

The seventh episode titled Left Behind provides a glimpse into Ellie’s past and her time at the Boston QZ

The Last of Us episode 7 review: ‘Ellie’s greatest fear’

Last Updated: 12.22 AM, Feb 28, 2023


Story: A severely injured Joel insists that Ellie leave him and find shelter at Jackson. The story then cuts to Ellie’s past when she was in the FEDRA military school, leading up to the fateful day when she gets infected along with her best friend Riley.


Review: The seventh episode is the final step in fully realising the father-daughter bond between Ellie and Joel. Ellie’s refusal to abandon Joel reaffirms how far their relationship has evolved since they first met with weapons pointed at each other. This segment in the original video game features Ellie venturing out in the cold weather on her own, fighting the infected, to get food and supplies. In the TV show, however, this has been scrapped, or not explored yet. Instead, it has added the storyline from the Left Behind DLC from the original game where the story takes the player through the day Ellie got infected.


It is one of the more faithful adaptations of the source material since the first episode, with a few minor tweaks to add more depth to the story. It is aimed at deconstructing Ellie’s psyche and what drives her. The episode also focuses on her relationship with her best friend Riley, who joined the Fireflies — the resistance group Ellie is being trained to kill. In fact, there is a fascinating debate between Riley and Ellie about their constraining political beliefs. It functions as a satire on contemporary socio-politics where the idea of political discourse is abandoned in favour of tribalism.


Bella Ramsey is outstanding yet again as Ellie. The manner in which she conveys emotions in each scene through subtle changes to her expression is something one would expect from a seasoned veteran and not a young actress in the relative infancy of her career. Euphoria star Storm Reid is no stranger when it comes to being part of emotionally charged scenes on television. Her cameo as Riley is almost on par with Ramsey’s stellar performance.


There could be criticisms that the episode is simply a filler, but unlike most fillers in TV shows the subplot is vital to the central character’s arc. The only gripe one might have with the episode is that the original Ellie from the games, Ashley Johnson, whose much-anticipated cameo as TV show-Ellie’s mother did not materialise despite being hinted in several trailers. But what is certain to happen in the next episode is a cameo by the legendary Troy Baker, the original Joel from the games. He will essay the role of a henchman part of the crew run by a mysterious man named David. The video game fans will be more than well aware of who David is.


Verdict: The seventh episode titled Left Behind is the perfect appetiser before the series heads towards the grand finale of season one.


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