Saturday, March 4, 2023

What I’m Watching: The Last of Us

The Last of Us: Season 1, Episode 7 “Left Behind” (B+)

One of the things this show is particularly good at is making us care about characters we know aren’t going to make it. We don’t know the exact specifics of how Ellie ended up where she was that then led to her being given to Joel for the journey westward. But it was absolutely enthralling to see her giving plenty of attitude to the FEDRA official played by Terry Chen from “Jessica Jones” when he was blunt with her about how she was going to end up with real-world consequences if she didn’t get her act together. Riley seemed like she really made her time in that school setting worthwhile, and their last night together really was magical until they both got infected. I’m somewhat glad that we didn’t see the end of that because it was a forceful return to the present and to Ellie’s desire not to let someone else she cared about die. I knew Storm Reid was talented from her role as Gia, Rue’s younger sister, on “Euphoria,” and she delivered just as well here in a performance that made Riley seem like the ideal version of Ellie, doing all the things she bragged about wanting to do or being able to do, in the process bringing out an unexpected fear in Ellie. The way their story ended was indeed tragic, but that’s part of what makes Ellie and Joel’s developing friendship all the more endearing since they’ve both lost the most important people to them and now have only each other.

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