The Last of Us, traveling with Joel and Ellie. The review of the fourth episode

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A long road trip across the United States in search of Tommy and a new contact with the Lights. After the wonderful parenthesis dedicated to the story of Bill and Frank in the third episode, The Last of Us (THE SPECIAL) returns to themes and atmospheres more familiar to lovers of the Naughty Dog video game. The fourth episode, aired in the original subtitled version on Monday 6 February at 3 in the morning exclusively on Sky and streaming only on NOW, simultaneously with the United States, is at least as close to the video game as the previous one was. complete with quotes and winks perfectly distributed along the way.

Joel and Ellie protagonists again

Joel and Ellie return protagonists, center stage, for half the episode by themselves. They, their thoughts, their relationship that begins to grow, their feelings sometimes expressed and sometimes suppressed, and all around the relics of a world that no longer exists and that is embodied in a book of jokes or a magazine gay erotica (with a scene that faithfully follows the one already known to those who played the 2013 Play Station title).


Above all, Ellie and the skill of Bella Ramsay stand out. For the first time, the protagonist shows signs of that lightness typical of 14 years, she allows herself a few laughs while she leafs through and quotes the jokes of No pun intended (another reference to the video game and especially to the expansion Left Behind), embarrasses the 56-year-old accompanying her, slowly begins to melt the ice in her heart. And Pedro Pascal is very good at following his colleague by slowly showing us the emergence of feelings that we haven’t seen the character feel since the prologue of the first episode. “If you think the world has no hope, why do you go on,” Ellie asks him. And he: “Go ahead for the family”. “I’m not family.” “No, you are a load. I promised Tess I’d bring you. Tess was family.” It is a tough dialogue, the pivot around which the episode, the series, the two protagonists and their relationship revolve. Joel affirms his emotional distance from Ellie, but it is precisely here that his coldness begins to crack.


But the fourth episode also introduces another new element: the others. Not the infected, not the FEDRA army, not the rebels of the Lights. Who am I, then? Joel replies to Ellie simply: “People.” People like Kathleen (Melanie Lynskey), ruthless leader of an unidentified group of rebels, on the hunt for a hitherto mysterious Henry. People you can’t trust, as dangerous as and more than a clicker, because they’re smarter and no less driven to kill by survival instinct. It’s a new piece on an increasingly complex chessboard that leads to the first real shooting since the beginning of the series (again the fidelity to the source material is total).


It is a transitory episode, which only in the finale introduces new characters who will certainly have an important role in the continuation of the story, but not for this reason unable to give moments of great emotional intensity and to keep you glued to the screen for all 43 minutes of its duration . An episode that shows us in a short time two extreme sides of Ellie’s adolescence, the search for escape, fear, the loss of an innocence that she could not survive for long in this context. “It’s not fair at your age,” Joel repeats to her. It’s not right, no, but it’s the only possible way.