The Last of Us is a post-apocalyptic video game developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. The game follows the story of Joel, a smuggler who is tasked with escorting a young girl named Ellie across the United States that has been devastated by a fungal outbreak that has turned most of the population into infected monsters. The game was a critical and commercial success and has become one of the most beloved titles in modern gaming.
In February 2022, HBO premiered The Last of Us – Season 1, a television adaptation of the game that aims to bring its story and characters to a wider audience. The series has been well-received so far and has captured the same emotional depth and intensity that made the game so memorable. Episode 7, titled Left Behind, is a standout episode that explores Ellie’s past and sheds new light on her character.
In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into The Last of Us – Season 1, Episode 7: Left Behind. We’ll explore the episode’s themes, characters, and story, and discuss how it fits into the larger narrative of the series. We’ll also examine the episode’s production and direction, and how it captures the essence of the game’s world and characters.
The Last of Us: Left Behind
Left Behind is a departure from the main story of The Last of Us, and instead focuses on Ellie’s backstory. The episode begins with Ellie and Joel taking shelter in an abandoned mall, where Ellie begins to reminisce about her past. We’re then taken on a series of flashbacks that explore Ellie’s relationship with Riley, a character who was introduced in The Last of Us: Left Behind DLC.
The flashbacks show us how Ellie and Riley met and became friends, and how they spent their time exploring the mall and getting into mischief. We see them try on clothes, play video games, and dance to music, all while trying to forget the horrors of the world outside. It’s a touching and intimate look at two teenagers trying to find joy in a world that has little of it.
As the flashbacks progress, we see the friendship between Ellie and Riley deepen, and we see how important they were to each other. Storm Reid’s portrayal of Riley is a standout performance, and she brings warmth and sincerity to the character that makes her instantly likeable. We can see why Ellie was so drawn to her, and why her loss was so devastating.
The flashbacks also delve into Ellie’s past and her experiences with the infected. We see her first encounter with the infected, and the events that led to her becoming immune. These scenes are intense and frightening and remind us of the dangers that lurk around every corner in the world of The Last of Us. But they also show us just how much Ellie has been through, and how strong she has had to become to survive.
As the flashbacks come to an end, we’re brought back to the present, where Ellie is forced to confront her past and come to terms with the events that shaped her. It’s a powerful and emotional sequence that is expertly handled by the writers. We see Ellie struggle with the weight of her memories, and we see her start to understand just how much she has lost.
The episode also gives us a glimpse into the supporting characters of the series, like Tommy, who has been a key player in the story so far. As we learn more about Ellie’s past, we also get to see how Tommy helped shape her into the survivor she is today. It’s a reminder that the world of The Last of Us is full of complex characters, all with their own stories and struggles.
Riley’s Influence on Ellie
The main focus of The Last of Us – Season 1, Episode 7: Left Behind is Ellie’s relationship with Riley. The two girls share a deep bond that is built on a foundation of trust and mutual respect. As the episode unfolds, we see the evolution of their friendship through flashbacks, which are intercut with scenes from the present.
Ellie is initially wary of Riley, as she is not sure if she can trust her. However, as the two girls spend more time together, Ellie begins to see the good in Riley. The episode does an excellent job of showing how Riley’s carefree attitude and sense of humour help to lighten the mood and bring joy to Ellie’s life.
Riley is also an important influence on Ellie’s character development. Ellie is a tough survivor who has been through a lot in her young life, but she is still a teenager at heart. Riley helps Ellie to rediscover her sense of fun and playfulness, reminding her of the joys of youth.
Through Riley, we also see Ellie’s vulnerable side. She opens up to Riley about her fears and insecurities, and the two girls bond over their shared experiences. Riley is the first person who truly understands Ellie, and their friendship helps Ellie to grow and become more confident in herself.
Ellie’s Past and the Infected
Another key aspect of The Last of Us – Season 1, Episode 7: Left Behind is the exploration of Ellie’s past and her experiences with the infected. We see flashbacks of Ellie’s first encounter with the infected, which is a traumatic experience that haunts her to this day.
As we learn more about Ellie’s past, we see the events that led to her becoming immune to the infection. The episode also sheds light on Ellie’s motivations for wanting to find a cure and the emotional toll that this quest has taken on her.
The flashbacks are interspersed with scenes from the present, where Ellie is forced to confront her past and come to terms with the events that shaped her. The emotional weight of these scenes is expertly handled by the writers, and the episode promises to be one of the most moving of the season.
The Supporting Cast
In addition to Ellie and Riley’s relationship, The Last of Us – Season 1, Episode 7: Left Behind also delves into the supporting cast of the series. We see more of Tommy, who has been a key player in the story so far.
As we learn more about Ellie’s past, we also get a glimpse into Tommy’s role in her life, and how he helped shape her into the survivor we know her as today. The episode does an excellent job of fleshing out the characters and providing a deeper understanding of their motivations.
The Direction and Atmosphere
The Last of Us – Season 1, Episode 7: Left Behind is directed by Johan Renck, who has worked on acclaimed shows like Chernobyl and Breaking Bad. Renck brings his signature style to the episode, creating a tense and atmospheric atmosphere that perfectly complements the story.
The episode is shot in a way that emphasizes the emotional weight of the story, with close-ups of the characters’ faces that highlight their expressions and reactions. The use of lighting and music also adds to the mood of the episode, creating a sense of unease and tension that keeps the viewer engaged.
The Last of Us – Season 1, Episode 7: Left Behind promises to be an unforgettable episode that will change the way we look at Ellie and her story. The episode does an excellent job of exploring Ellie’s past and the events that shaped her into the person she is today.
Through the relationship between Ellie and Riley, we see the evolution of Ellie’s character and the impact that Riley had.
The episode is also an opportunity for viewers to gain more insight into the world of The Last of Us. We get a chance to see more of the abandoned world, and the challenges that survivors face in their day-to-day lives.
One of the most intriguing aspects of the episode is the exploration of the relationship between Ellie and Riley. As two teenage girls in a post-apocalyptic world, they rely on each other for companionship and support. Their friendship is depicted in a nuanced and realistic way, and the chemistry between the two actresses is undeniable.
The bond between Ellie and Riley is strengthened through their shared experiences. They explore the abandoned mall, play games, and share personal stories. We get a chance to see their personalities and quirks, and how they complement each other in unexpected ways.
Storm Reid’s performance as Riley is a standout in the episode. She brings a vivacious and magnetic energy to the character, and her scenes with Ashley Johnson’s Ellie are some of the most heartwarming and memorable of the series.
Another important aspect of the episode is the exploration of Ellie’s backstory. We get to see how she grew up in the post-apocalyptic world, and the challenges she faced as a child. This adds an important layer of depth to the character and helps to explain some of her more impulsive and headstrong tendencies.
The flashbacks to Ellie’s past also shed light on her immunity to the fungal infection that has devastated the world. We see the moment when she is bitten by an infected person and the events that led to her discovery that she is immune. This adds an important element of mystery to the episode and helps to build anticipation for the rest of the series.
Throughout the episode, we also get a chance to see more of the supporting characters. Tommy, who has been a key player in the series so far, is given a more prominent role in this episode. We get to see how he has helped to shape Ellie into the survivor she is today, and the role he played in her early years.
The direction of the episode is handled by Johan Renck, who has worked on acclaimed shows like Breaking Bad and Chernobyl. Renck brings his unique style to the episode, creating an intense and atmospheric atmosphere that perfectly complements the story. The pacing of the episode is expertly handled, and the emotional weight of the scenes is given room to breathe.
Overall, The Last of Us – Season 1, Episode 7: Left Behind is a standout episode in the series. It offers an intimate and character-driven story that sheds light on the world of The Last of Us, while also deepening our understanding of Ellie and her past. With standout performances from Ashley Johnson and Storm Reid and expert direction from Johan Renck, this episode is not to be missed.