The Last of Us is the series format adaptation of one of the best video games in history. As a true fan, here are my most honest first impressions and review of its eighth episode, which premieres this Monday, March 6.
The Last of Us almost reached the end of the first season. After the last audience data I used to reveal to you, it had been several weeks since HBO did not disclose any data more, specifically from the fifth – it has been confirmed that it was because the audience remained or dropped – until, coincidentally, todayas I prepared to write this weekly review. These new data reveal to us that it has established two new milestones in audience. According to Nielsen streaming charts, The Last of Us hit a milestone the week the fifth episode debuted. The series was streamed for more than 1.2 billion minutes the week of January 30 to February 5 in the United States alone, including nothing more than a few hours of availability of the fifth episode. And not only that, this eighth episode what I will talk about today it reached 8.1 million viewers in the United States on its opening night. The last figures we have on record indicated that the fourth episode managed to accumulate 7.5 million, making it the holder of the previous record. Considering that The Last of Us debuted with 4.7 million, this eighth episode supposes a 74% increase. HBO has also confirmed that has been their top product on HBO Max for the eighth consecutive weekwith all episodes in the top 10 individual actives of the weekbeing the average audience of the top five around the 30 million viewers across all platforms.
Given all the new data, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty with some of the best, if not the best, episodes of the series. From here the spoilers will begin for both this episode and the previous ones, you are warned before continuing.
Reviews of all episodes of THE LAST OF US
A before and after for Ellie
The eighth episode is one of the most awaited moments for players. David enters the sceneplayed by Scott Shepherd, the evil one who transforms Ellie. The most disturbing and tense episode of the series so far, which us it shows humanity’s capacity to descend into barbarism. This is topped off by the introduction of David, a school teacher who presents himself as the leader and preacher of a group of survivors, who he ends up being a cannibalistic pedophile. We don’t know at what point he became this monster, but he did choose to embrace the darkness and reject the humanity within him. A concept that is also reflected in the chilling ending of the episode, where Ellie embraces that very darkness and repeatedly stabs David in the head right after she is almost raped. It is an alarming moment of excessive violence that establishes us that the little bit of innocence that still lived there dies with him.
Much of the episode is devoted to tension always terrifying that develops between David and Ellie. Both actors excel at crossing their character’s mistrust of each other, both in the first meeting and in the kitchen scene. In the game, the two build their bond over a longer period of time as they fight against various hordes of infected. It’s a shame we didn’t get to see this exciting scene, though instead it is replaced with a fascinating conversation in which we learn much more about David’s life than we do in the video game. Although the series has chosen to remove some momentshas constantly provided other more valuable additional which have provided more context to the development of the characters, further justifying itself as the fantastic adaptation that it is.
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We see a bit of the real Joel
The program’s unbeaten streak of presenting exceptional performances continues by Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal. Ramsey does a fantastic job showing us Ellie’s fighting spirit and toughness without neglecting her vulnerability. There is no better example of this than the heartbreaking moment when he kills David. As she does so, she is enraged, but also terrified of herself and how close she has come to being raped. She is traumatized before our eyes, which is very hard to see, though Ramsey handles the scene so skillfully that it makes us ignore the barbarity he just committed to get us to care about his character like never before. Pascal also has a standout scene. When Joel tortures and murders David’s men in search of Ellie, we can see that he is furious to find her, but we also clearly see that he has done this before. We know he’s done bad things in the past, but now we’re seeing that he’s willing to let that dark side out if it means protecting Ellie. It’s an ultra-violent scene, which Pascal knows how to handle perfectly and which shows us the real Joel of the video game.
To some extent, Joel and David are two sides of the same coin, although they operate at different ends of the moral spectrum. Both are determined to take care of those under their protection by using violent methods to achieve their goals. Until now we only knew small cracks about Joel’s questionable past, but lthe way he murders his two hostages is the first time we’ve seen him cross that moral line and it’s a pivotal moment where we realize he’d do anything to keep Ellie safe. It’s a flash of brutal fury that we also needed to see from Pascal’s Joel, who it has generally felt like a softer interpretation compared to Troy Baker’s portrayal in the video game.
Fortunately, after all the horror we’ve witnessed, the episode ends with the best revelation of all: Joel taking Ellie for the first time as his own daughter. He, after finally finding her, looks at her lovingly for the first time in the entire series. As he hugs and comforts her, he calls her ‘baby girl’, the same nickname he reserved for his daughter Sarah that we last heard as she died in his arms in the first episode. At this very moment, Joel hugs Ellie with his left arm, showing us the watch that Sarah gave him on his birthday over 20 years ago, a clear sign of the character’s progress thus far.
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The best adaptation so far
If it was already difficult to see The Last of Us as a series without thinking about the video gamethe original material on which it is based, it’s impossible not to when faced with this eighth episode. If until now the creators of the series, Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin, had already surprised us fans by introducing countless winks or copied scenes and dialogues, this new episode, without a doubt, takes the palm. since if we remove its only additionan inside look at David’s group at the beginning of the episode, we are left with the fact that the episode literally copies the video game in scenes, plans and almost entirely in the dialogues. It’s basically the closest thing to classic PlayStation stuff. Besides, continue with the winkssuch as the appearance of the white rabbit that in the video game Ellie kills with the bow, a scene well remembered by players for its rawness, or Jamesthe number two of David, who he is played by Troy Baker, who is in charge of giving movements and voice to Joel in the video game. Without a doubt, we are ahead an excellent episode, full of pivotal character moments and flashes of brutal actionwhich shows us a Ellie at her most desperate and that explores the depraved depths to which humanity would plummet in order to survive. A new gold brooch for one of the best video game adaptations ever.