So The Last Of Us episode 7 is now out, and this episode is filled with a ton of easter eggs, callbacks to the game, and lots of things that flesh out Ellie’s backstory. Based on the Left Behind DLC, we learned more about what happened with Ellie during the time that Joel was at death’s door. In the game originally, after he fell off the horse, you had a massive section where you played as her for about an hour and you had absolutely no idea whether Joel was alive or dead. It was agonizing fighting through infection to discover what happened, but here we find out in the opening that he’s ok.
When the Last of Us Part 1 remake was released last year, I was thinking that they might add in the “Left Behind” chapter so it happened in chronological order. They didn’t and Sandman is the only show I’ve seen come with DLC so here they dropped it in where it should take place in the story.
However, they do skip over a big part of it dealing with Ellie searching for supplies. The story was split in half, with us getting two scenarios set in a mall. Throughout the DLC, you jumped back and forth between the two, and in the first, you saw what we get in the mall with Riley. In the section set in the present, you followed Ellie as she looked for supplies, which took you to a crashed military helicopter in an area that was teaming with infected. After getting them, you made your way back to Joel, which is where you had to protect him from hunters who were out for blood.
The Last Of Us Episode 7 Breakdown
Now we start off in a snowy abandoned neighborhood, which looks like where Joel and Ellie went after the mall. His blood lines the street, and we see a garage doorway as well as a horse inside of it. Upon returning home from hunting, you saw that Ellie had hitched up somewhere like this, and they’ve really managed to recapture the location.
Similar to the source material, we find Joel in the basement on a mattress, and Ellie has been doing DIY surgery to try and heal him. In there, we can also catch an empty tool rack, and these have all been taken and likely used as weapons. Reminded me of the kinds of houses you’d find in the game where everything had been picked clean because I’d been spamming the triangle button.
Now Joel tells her to go to Tommy, and last week he, of course, wanted him to take her. His worst fear has come true, and he’s put her in a lot of danger and is holding her back. Now, Joel is very much the kind of person who would just ditch someone who was in the position he was because this world doesn’t really allow for hangers-on. As she puts the coat on him, I think we see genuine love in his eyes, and he realizes that this is more than what he’s had before. With Tess, she even said that she didn’t really love him and that they were just put together because they were both good at surviving. He very much sees Ellie as a second daughter, though, and she views him as the father that she never had.
Now we sort of get a similar plot device to be left behind, and as something new happens, we then cut to the past.
Ellie is about to step out of the basement, and at this point, we flash back to her in a Fedra training camp.
We can see that she has a Walkman, and this is something that she also had in the comics.
As she runs circuits, we can hear her listening to All or None by Pearl Jam. They’re quite an important band in the franchise, and their song Future Days was something that constantly popped up throughout. At the time of Part 2’s release, there was a big thing about how the song didn’t actually get released by the time the outbreak happened, but Naughty Dog pointed out that they’d done a live show where they played it so the characters could actually know the song. Honestly, I don’t think people would’ve cared cos it’s sad obsessing over that type of stuff.
However…the outbreak was moved forward ten years for the show, so if that song pops up, I’m going to f**king kick off.
Now this moment is pretty much the academy in the comic, and it’s clear they wanted to tie back to that often overlooked Last of Us offshoot. However, in that case, we saw Ellie with Riley, whereas here she’s already left.
The bullies there capitalize on this, and one rips her headphones off and taunts her for having no one to fight her battles anymore. It’s clear Ellie gravitates towards authority figures, and Riley is very much a prototype. Joel Protector figure
We learn from Captain Kwong that she’s been acting differently the last couple of weeks since Riley left, and her friend departing is another example of someone leaving her. Ellie never really got to know her mother; she was palmed off by Marlene, Tess died, and Joel tried to get rid of her with Tommy. You can see why she told Sam she was tired of being alone like Al Green, and I think it’s really good writing to show the seeds of this being sown in this flashback moment. It’s clear that everyone has ties to the past that they hold onto, just like Ellie does, and we see that even Captain Kwong has trouble letting go. He has a faded picture of his family on his desk and I’m guessing these died during the outbreak.
Ellies has been thrown in the hole several times before, and instead of punishing her, Kwong gives her some advice about the two paths she can take. He suggests that she aims to be an officer, and he demonstrates this path by throwing his keys down. The first path is a cup, and the second is a set of keys, which is symbolic because this will open up doors for her. They also added a really cool little easter egg on them too, and we can catch the Naughty Dog logo on a keyring that Kwong has.
Now this conversation and scene show us a very different side of Fedra than we’ve seen before. In the game, they’re very much your enemies, as are the bandits that you encounter along the way. However, the series has shown things from their point of view because, in the game, we were locked to Joel and Ellie’s perspective. It really shows you all these points of view, and it allows you to sympathize with them.
Kwong believes that Fedra is the only thing holding the world together and that if they go down, then the world will fall apart. In Kansas City, we saw what things were like if Fedra were ousted and the people there were murdering and tearing each other apart.
Fedra also helped push the infected underground, and Kathleen’s need for revenge unleashed this on her people.
Now in her room, we see some dinosaur drawings and also a picture of some moon cycles. We’ll go over what these foreshadow in the spoiler section, but these being Ellie’s interests, they are very important.
We also get the No Pun Intended book by Will Livingston, and her knife is just below it, slightly out of view.
This is actually volume 1, whereas we see Riley busting out volume 2 later on.
This is a slight change from the games, as in those, they found it in the mall when coming across a hermit’s camp. Riley then read it as you made your way through, whereas here she has it already.
We also catch Ellie reading a savage Starlight comic, which is titled Negentropy. In our episode 5 video, we talked about how these were collectibles that you’d pick up in the game, and the Negentropy issue was something that you came across on your travels.
We see the inside of it, with a big action scene involving a man and a woman busing their way somewhere. Probably reaching, but I think this is very much how Ellie views her and Joel, and the guy in the book even looks slightly like how he does in the game…doesn’t he…urrhhh? Well, either way, her room is very empty since Riley left.
However, it’s not too long until she returns, but we get another tour of the room and see some tapes. The top one by A-Ha foreshadows a great moment in the second game, and the one by Etta James plays into this episode later on. I got you, babe is the song we see Riley and Ellie dancing to at the end, and this music was also what they jammed away to in the mall on Riley’s fateful last night.
We also see a poster for Mortal Kombat 2, and this makes a big return later on in the episode. During the 3rd entry, we saw as Ellie and Joel came across a cabinet for it, which in the game was a fighter called The Turning. This starred the character Angel Knives, but with the show being a Warner Brothers property, they have the rights to use the Mortal Kombat characters.
I think that the game developers likely knew this was going to be an easter egg in advance, and in the recent Last of Us remake, they actually added in a Mortal Kombat 2 poster.
Riley climbs in through the window, and she ends up sticking her hand over Ellie’s mouth.
This is slightly different from the game in that she pretended to bite her.
This of course foreshadowed her fate, and let’s play the scenes side by side so you can see what they kept and what they changed.
So there are some slight changes there, but some similarities too. Riley is now a firefly, and huge shoutouts to our editor Matt for picking up the sort of Romeo and Juliet vibes here with them being on opposite sides.
Now in the game, as you’re cutting between timelines, you join Ellie and Riley jumping into an abandoned apartment block, which is where you hear trucks outside.
However, here we see them very much moving through the streets as trucks travel through them looking for people breaking curfew. They eventually go down an alleyway and into this, which is when they bust out the torches.
Ellie’s doesn’t work, and she has to hit it, and in the game, from time to time you’d have to shake the controller when your light went off.
Now at this point in the game, we learned how Riley became a Firefly, which I’m going to play with the show version so you can see how things slightly differ.
The woman she’s talking about is Marlene, who recruited her personally, whereas in the game, she was brought to her.
It makes Marlene seem like she’s been keeping an eye on Ellie for a long time and that she’s noticed those around her too. Potentially, if she has someone on her side that is close to Ellie, Ellie would be warmer to her, which also explains why the fireflies didn’t immediately kill Ellie when she came in bitten. Marlene has a close attachment to Ellie, and her plan was to keep her safe, and knowing Riley might have helped with that.
However, it could also be the reason why she sent Riley off, as she didn’t want her running away with her friend.
We discover later on that Riley actually asked if Ellie could join her, but Marlene said no.
She just wanted to keep her in the QZ potentially because and may have moved Riley for that reason.
Now they also find a guy who’s seemingly overdosed on pills. Ellie and Joel, of course, come from the same QZ, and it’s possible that Joel even sold him these as they’re similar to what we saw him dealing in episode 1. It could be teasing the danger that Joel has around him and how his actions
Now, a body lying against a wall like this is also something that’s very much foreshadowing the infected later on. Most of those who had cordyseps take over their bodies ended up having it grow out of their face, and then they’d eventually hit a point where they knew they were dying if they didn’t become full-on clickers.
Thus they’d head to a wall, lay down, die, and grow into it, and in the games they’d send out spores. Though the one in the mall isn’t dead, he’s very much following the same pattern, and the body against the wall here, at least to me, sets that up.
Now he collapses through the fall, and they take their alcohol with them and drink it on the roof. Ellie pretends to love it, which is the complete opposite of the campfire scene in which she just spat it straight out. She’s trying to impress Riley, and we do see a different side to her here. Now we learn that it’s not the first dead body Riley has seen and that she witnessed her parents corpses. Most of the kids taken in by Fedra were orphans, and this allowed them to train the kids to be soldiers. If you have ties to your family and stuff, you’re less likely to be loyal to things like Fedra, especially when they’re oppressing the very people that you’re connected with.
Ellie asks to see Riley’s gun, and we see her obsessing over it. This is something she’s done throughout the series. The allure of power means a lot to her, and she’s yet to really experience the bad side of it.
Now at this point, they talk about Fedra and the Fireflies. Riley sees them as fascists, whereas Ellie sees them as holding everything together. Riley thinks the Fireflies are going to bring freedom, but we’ve already seen from Kathleen what kind of thing it leads to. She ended up promising fair trials, that people would live if they gave up others, and in the end this was shown to all just be a lie. Fedra also do terrible things, and I think what it boils down to is that no matter what happens, the worst traits of humanity will always emerge in some form or another, no matter the side. However, there are good sides too, and obviously these sides have their appeals as well.
In the end though, whichever side is in charge will oppress the other side in some form or another, and thus we get these divisions that lead to the others attempting to seek power. When they finally get it, they want to punish the other side, who now become the oppressed ones, and the cycle starts again.
Riley later brings up how Fedra starved people, and in the game, when you got to Pittsburgh, you found graffiti talking about how they’d starved people. Ellie says that it didn’t help that the Fireflies bombed the storage depot, which Riley sees as being propaganda. Hit up any social media site and you’re going to see people talking about the faults in the other political side while dismissing their own, but I think Ellie and Riley show we can find common ground with stuff like this as we are the people actually effected by it all.
Riley says that the fireflies don’t carry out attacks when civilians are involved, but tell that to Tess and Robert.
In the game, they added an extra dimension to this as there was an announcement that there hadn’t been a case of an infection for 30 days, but Riley said this was a lie and that it was just covered up. I was hoping they’d do this in the show, as we of course saw Joel having to burn lots of bodies in episode one.
Now, this scene does kind of mimic the game a bit, as you first run along rooftops before coming up alongside the mall like what we have here. The pair then drop through a collapsed roof, and they enter Liberty Gardens Mall. This is the same as what the location is called in the game, and they do rearrange things slightly.
The Mall In The Last Of Us Episode 7
Originally, you saw the Typhoon Blitz poster, which was a pistol that you used against Riley during one of the pair’s final scenes together. You also came across a tent for a man named Winston, who we learned had been living in the mall as a recluse. As I mentioned earlier, you got the pun book from him, and you learned that he died of old age. In this world, that’s a big thing, as there’s very much a survival of the fittest thing going on, so to actually make it to that point means a lot.
From here, you went to the Halloween shop, and then you threw bricks at some car windows to see who could smash the most. The winner smashed the like button as well, and then from here, the characters turned the power on and went to the merry-go-round.
Here, though, they flip the power on first before they head into the mall.
Now at this point, we get a scene that’s very reminiscent of the game, with Ellie opening up a door into the mall, which is where we see it all light up. We also have a play on the escalator scene that pulls directly from the game.
This is the first wonder of the date, and from here we catch a poster for Dawn of the Wolves Part 2. Like Curtis and Viper 2, this was a fictional movie within the Last of Us universe, and here’s what they had to say about it in the game.-
I also love the “back in five minutes” sign, which shows just how many people were caught off guard. Guy just popped out for a couple of minutes and didn’t end up coming back. Everything happened really quickly, but at least people had time to loot their footlockers and probably also get loads of toilet paper.
We also get an added lingerie scene with Ellie trying to smarten herself up after Riley makes a joke about imagining her in it.
From here, we go to the merry-go-round which pulls directly from the PlayStation Classic. It’s probably the most memorable part of Left Behind, and in the game, it’s during this that Riley gets out the pun book.
Symbolically, merry-go-rounds are a sign of innocence and simplicity that puts people in a loop far removed from the world around them. In literary works, they’re often used as sources of magic and adventure, and carousels like this are commonplace at amusement parks as they bring a lot of joy to people.
This is just the pair enjoying what for them is their last night on earth before major changes happen. Though they don’t know it, Riley is well aware that she’s meant to be going away, and either way, Ellie is about to lose her forever. Now, similar to what happens in the game, the ride breaks down and spoils the moment. We discover that Riley was about to turn 17 and that she’d been assigned to sewage detail. This is all that Kwong thought she was good for, and you can see why she ended up running away. Fedra and the duties assigned to people were very much prisons themselves, and in this world, people didn’t really have the freedom to do what they wanted. No one was lucky enough to just sit around talking about movies all day, and you can see why people gravitated towards the promise of freedom and liberation.
Now on the merry-go-round in the game, Riley busted out the pun book at this point, and you then went to the booth like what we see in the show.
The show being set ten years earlier does mean that they can’t bring certain things over, and in the game, it ended by asking if you wanted to share your photos on Facebook. Neither knew what that was, and instead you got printouts of the photo before the whole thing shut down. In a nice little fourth wall breaking moment, you could actually share the photos you made in the game to your own Facebook page, and that was an awkward conversation explaining to my dad why I was posting pictures of young computer generated women to my page.
Now in both the show and game, we get the little bunny cartoon, however, the names changed up because of the Facebook thing. The game has it being called Share Snap, whereas the show is Star Shot because they couldn’t have posted it online.
It’s genuinely one of my favorite Easter eggs in the entire show, and I love when they put this much detail into it.
Now from here, they go to the arcade. We see machines for Tetris, Frogger, and attacks from Mars and Daytona, USA. This was about driving across the country, which…may be a link to Joel and Ellie doing it… look, there are two seats there.
Also in the game, Ellie jumped in a Jak and Daxter machine, and Naughty Dog of course made that game. It’s also worth pointing out that Ellie is wearing the shirt that we saw her wearing in episode 1, and this was also the shirt that young Nathan Drake wore in Uncharted 3.
Anyway, in the show, Ellie gets to play Mortal Kombat 2, whereas in the game, the turning cabinet didn’t actually work. Instead, Riley described the game to Ellie as she had her eyes closed, and you imagined pulling off the combos as the character Angel Knives. I’m guessing Naugty Dog didn’t have the resources to design the mechanics for a fighting game for what amounted to two minutes in the game, but here we watch them play it out. They go to the dead pool stage, and a dead pool is when you bet on who’s going to die. Put my entire house on Riley, and now I’m moving to Vegas, baby.
Anyway, Riley chooses Mileena, and she pulls off her fatality, which Ellie described her as doing in episode 3.
Now as they’re playing away, we cut to one of the infected, who has been awakened by the lights coming on and all the noise. He’s located in a toy shop, and this is very much a symbol of innocence as well, which he ends up destroying.
We see two dolls here, and this could be a reference to the two mannequins in the clothes shop stand, which is where the attack happens in the game. Here, they just shrink it down so that it happens in the Halloween store rather than them going there. I think the change from mannequins to dolls again is to hammer home this creepy factor and also the idea that this is Ellie’s childhood being destroyed as things change drastically for her from this point on. She’s no longer under the protection of Fedra and is basically made to flee the QZ with Joel.
Now from here, Riley takes Ellie to Macho Nacho.
This is another great Naughty Dog easter egg, and in Uncharted, Nate asked Elena if she had actually worked at Macho Nacho.
You then came across this in the mall, and they’ve now brought it across to the show as being where Riley was camped out at.
Now the pun book comes out, and we hear these ones, which also show up in the game.
Now in the back, Ellie discovers that Riley has been making explosives and that she was actually posted here by the fireflies. These look identical to some of the weapons you get in the second game, and as Ellie goes over them, you can see that on the top shelf there’s a Fedra container. They likely were going to put one on this and deliver it, using guerilla warfare to take them out.
Riley promises Ellie that they wouldn’t be used on her, but there’s absolutely no way that Riley can actually guarantee that. Say Ellie did become an officer, then she would be the kind of person they’d target, and we see how people are very much forced to go against each other.
Like the game, we learn that this is her last night in Boston, and it plays off of this scene.
Now the Atlanta QZ is also something we hear about in the game, and when you’re in Pittsburgh, you learn about it. Pittsburgh was a city that had overthrown Fedra, and we discover that some of the remnants of it ended up fleeing and going there.
Ellie leaves, but she returns to hear screaming. In a Halloween store, we see a decoration popping out of a grave, and this is similar to the creature bursting out of the coffin in the game counterpart.
Riley gives her the pun book, explaining how she got it, and she talks about the doubt she has about going with them. However, Riley says that because Ellie never had a family, she doesn’t understand.
Even with all the bad, you still accept people, and later on, when Joel becomes her surrogate father, she very much accepts all the good and bad things in him.
Ellie has been put through the ringer, and she goes through how Riley left, gave her this amazing night, and is then leaving her again. I think Ellie is so attached to people that she’s willing to let them walk all over her to some extent and believe their lies because it’s easier than losing them.
Riley says she’s sure about leaving, and Ellie says that she’ll miss her, which is when Riley gives her a werewolf mask and Riley gets a clown one. They kind of combine two parts from the game, and originally, when you arrived at the mall, you went to the Halloween store. You tried on both of these masks, along with a couple of others. Ellie ended up doing her best roar in the werewolf one, and it was a really fun way to start off the mall section.
At the end of the DLC, you went to a clothes shop, which is where you had a water pistol fight using the Typhoon Blitz, which you saw a sign for early on.
After this, Riley put on the tape, and you danced on top of the table like what we see here. It’s side-by-side time, and just be aware that we have muted the music here for copyright reasons. Bit awkward, but…that’s a YouTube.
The Infected In The Last Of Us Episode 7
Now, like in the game, the moment is ruined by the infected. One thing I’ve criticized the show for is that I think they have kind of missed out on the bigger infected moments from the game, such as the skyscraper and hotel basement sections. This was another time where they lessened it a bit and removed the panic of running through the wall. The chase ended with it seeming like you got out, but then the scaffolding fell and Ellie plummeted down. Riley jumped back down, and this was very much her giving up her life to save Ellie. Here she ends up saving her as well, but to me, the impact of her having to jump back into the fire is kind of lessened a bit.
Now, we did go back and forth at the Kevin Spoilers Office over why they changed it to the one infected, and Matt actually said that if they had, then she wouldn’t have been scared of the hoard in episode 5. That was the first time this version of Ellie saw it, and therefore it wouldn’t have made sense if she’d seen one before. Personally, I think it’s just a budget thing, and having to film a chase through a mall would obviously cost a f**king sh*tload, and you’d have to loot more than Foot Locker to get that back.
Should we call it LootLocker?
Anyway, back in the present, Ellie goes up into the house and desperately searches for something to help Joel. Shoutouts all my games who know what its like hammering that triangle button constantly as you open up every drawer for a bit of cloth like we see here.
The frustration Ellie has here is mirrored in the past, with Ellie lashing out in anger and smashing the glass like it was a button with a thumbs up on it.
We get a similar shot composition to the game, and in the end Riley makes a pact that they will just lose their minds together.
This is a line referenced in the game by Ellie when she discusses her past.
Also did a bit of deep digging, and the mall in the game was apparently built in 1968, with the show of course starting off in that year.
Now back in the present, Ellie finally finds a needle and thread so that she can stitch Joel up. Make sure you sanitise that mate, been sat in a drawer for 20 years probably…probably cause an infec…ooop never mind.
Clearly, Ellie is fighting to keep Joel going, and I think this is because she lost Riley. She doesn’t want to go through that again, and she very much mirrors Joel in not wanting to go through losing his daughter again. They’ve found each other and two people to fight for, and we end with Ellie stitching up his wound to stop the bleeding.
This shot is framed to mirror the ending of last week’s episode, and whether that was a dour note or a more hopeful one,
That closes out the episode, and before we go into the spoiler easter egg section of the video, I thought I’d give my thoughts. As a standalone thing, I really enjoyed this as an adaptation of the left-behind DLC. I dunno if I’m a bit too close to the game, but I did think that parts of it paled in comparison, and I was hoping that things like the hoarde and the winter mall section would’ve been carried across. I think at this point I’m kind of just accepting that the series will always just strip back the game so that it’s mainly focused on the human moments. I do think that leaves stuff being sort of repetative at points though, and every episode other than 4 basically introduces one or two new characters that they then kill off at the end. It’s all well and good to be fair, but I think it keeps it from being great. Those first five episodes were classics, but the last two have kind of dropped for me personally. Still good, but yeah, I just feel like the constraints of the series are starting to show a bit.
Now, Storm Reid did a great job as Riley, and though I sound like I’m bashing it, I do think that viewed in a vacuum, this episode is really good. I just think that the show as a whole needs a bit more variety from the formula we’re getting. Maybe I am too close to the game, but it never really felt like they were following a format, or if they were, it wasn’t clear from that initial playthrough. Anyway, if you’re loving the show and everything that it does, then hopefully you can at least see things from my point of view, and before we get into the super spoiler section, let me know your thoughts.
Anyway, that takes us into the super spoiler section, and we have a couple of things that tie heavily into Part 2.
Now most of the items in here have a payoff down the line, and at one point we catch those dinosaur drawings and some moon cycles. In the arcade, Ellie also asks if the next surprise is a dinosaur, and these all tie together with where Joel takes her for her birthday.
The pair go out to a museum, which is filled with dinosaur exhibits as well as NASA ones that Ellie ends up getting into. We’ve been through that a number of times, so I apologize for constantly repeating it, but they also referenced it around the campfire last week.
Now the A-ha tape and Take on Me playing in the mall return in a big moment during Part 2 as well. At one point, Ellie comes across a guitar in a music store, and she picks it up and plays it to Dina. It’s a great version. I wanted to play it in the video but got hit with copyright claims. I can’t, so just imagine it’s that version as I serenade you with it as we fade out.