The Final of Us episode 7 landed on HBO and HBO Max on Sunday, following Ellie and Joel (Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal) after a horrible encounter with a marauder left Joel stabbed and on the verge of dying. It interrupted their quest to convey Ellie to the insurgent group often called the Fireflies.
They’re hoping to probably restore society by replicating her immunity to the fungal an infection that is turned a lot of the world into lethal monsters. Earlier than that nonetheless, Ellie’s gotta cease Joel from bleeding to dying.
The scenario reminds her of a darkish second from her previous, one which sticks intently to a memorable a part of the sport. Let’s leap into SPOILERS for HBO’s adaptation of the Sony PlayStation recreation.
A lot of the episode takes place within the time earlier than Ellie and Joel met, when she was residing (and never 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.
The tune Ellie is listening to as she runs is 2002 Pearl Jam tune All or None, which alludes to repeating the identical cycle and ending up in battle. That is basically what she’s doing at this level.
After she will get in a tussle with certainly 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 sure die in some random accident. Or… present slightly self-discipline, turn into an officer, and dwell a reasonably snug life. She opts for the latter, however she does not appear wild about it.
After she stays up late studying a problem of Savage Starlight (a fictional comedian ebook collection you can acquire within the recreation), her sleep is interrupted by runaway finest 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 a number of hours and have one of the best evening of your life,” she orders her pal.
’80s fashion 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 dying), 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 traditional Take On Me. (Ellie has a duplicate of the group’s biggest hits in her quarters.) This tune makes a memorable look within the second recreation. Its iconic music video additionally reveals a lady taking a comic book ebook 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 true enjoyable. The pair hop on a carousel that performs a model of The Remedy’s Simply Like Heaven (particularly, one which sounds lots like Rockabye Child’s Lullaby Rendition). Songwriter Robert Smith mentioned this tune was impressed by the romance of a visit he took with girlfriend Mary Poole, who’d later turn into his spouse.
“The thought is that one evening 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 photograph sales space, the place they strike a number of poses and get actual cozy in shut quarters.
Their subsequent vacation spot seems to be “probably the most stunning factor I’ve ever seen” — a neon-drenched arcade. By way of some miracle, most of the cubicles nonetheless work and so they hop on iconic 1993 fighter Mortal Kombat 2 (a poster for this recreation can be seen over Ellie’s mattress, hinting at her fascination). HBO mother or father firm Warner Bros. Discovery additionally owns the Mortal Kombat franchise, synergy FTW.
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 wonderful bone-spitting fatality.
Ellie’s vengeance is available in a later spherical, when she manages Baraka’s nasty impalement finisher. They expertise that traditional 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 traditional 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 Meant: Quantity Too.
- 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, however it’s “an investigator.”
Ellie is briefly reminded of the fact 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 or he wished to spend this one final evening hanging out with Ellie earlier than departing. Ellie is not in any respect proud of this however in the end decides to proceed onto the ultimate marvel.
After sharing their emotions in a supercool costume store — because the 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 Acquired You Babe (you would possibly know the Sonny and Cher unique from the 1993 film Groundhog Day). The lyrics allude to younger individuals defying their elders to pursue love — very similar to these teenagers are.
That is when the romantic rigidity peaks and Ellie decides to make her transfer, giving Riley a quick however passionate kiss. With their emotional and sexual playing cards on the desk finally, Riley agrees to remain and it looks like issues are gonna be OK.
Till a horrible contaminated assaults. Ellie manages to shank it, however they each uncover they have been bitten. This may in the end result in Ellie discovering her mysterious immunity, however Riley is not so lucky. They each consider it is a dying sentence, however Riley needs to dwell so long as doable.
“We are able to 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 compelled to kill Riley as soon as the an infection took maintain. It is seemingly 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.
The part coated on this episode wasn’t within the 2013 recreation at launch, it was added the next 12 months within the Left Behind downloadable content material pack and got here included with remasters on PS4 and PS5.
The present sticks intently to the occasions of the sport, however the present-day part is way chunkier — it sees Ellie attempting to find meds in a shopping center as a wounded Joel lies unconscious. Avoiding contaminated and human marauders alongside the best way, she discovers the meds in a army helicopter that is crashed by means of the mall’s roof.
Throughout the flashback scenes with Riley, you play fictional recreation The Turning (which is principally Mortal Kombat) within the arcade… sorta. The cupboard does not work, so Riley has Ellie shut her eyes and place her fingers on the controls, after which Riley describes the motion. Theater of the thoughts, certainly.
In addition they battle with water weapons (a line within the present alludes to this) and share a quick kiss within the recreation. The flashback ends with Ellie and Riley fleeing the mall as hordes of contaminated chase them. Each find yourself bitten and determine to await their deaths collectively. Riley succumbs to the fungus, however Ellie’s survival reveals her immunity.
The spinoff comedian collection The Final of Us: American Desires additionally dives into Ellie and Riley’s friendship earlier than this incident.
You can even learn a word from Ellie’s unseen mother on this chapter (one given to her by Firefly chief Marlene):
I’ll share a secret with you, I am not a giant fan of youngsters and I hate infants. And but… I am observing you and I am simply awestruck.
You are not even a day previous and holding you is probably the most unimaginable factor I’ve accomplished in my life — a life that’s about to get minimize slightly quick.
Marlene will take care of you. There is not any one on this world I belief greater than her. When the time comes she’ll let you know all about me. Do not give her an excessive amount of of a tough time. Strive 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 at all times have to recollect is that life is value residing! Discover your objective and battle for it.
I see a lot energy in you. I do know you will develop into the girl you are meant to be.
Endlessly… your loving mom
Make me proud, Ellie!
Episode 8 of The Final of Us hits HBO Max subsequent Sunday, March 5.