The Last of Us recaps episode four – why the hell is the floor spinning like that? | Television
This article contains spoilers for The Last of Us television series. Do not read unless you have seen episodes one through four…
After the harrowing spectacle of Bill and Frank’s double, we saw Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) return to center stage as they embark on an epic road trip and adjust to life after Tess.
Everything was going great until they arrived in Kansas City, where the freeways were blocked and they had to find a detour. Of course, this being The Last of Us, nothing can go as planned. After a quick firefight, in which Joel quickly took out two of their attackers, a third took advantage of Joel’s poor hearing to crawl in and get the better of him. Fortunately, Ellie, who had pleaded for a gun, had retrieved one while snooping around Bill’s house and used it, saving Joel. I’m sure he wanted to be disappointed, but how could he be anything but satisfied. Later, he gave his ward some advice on position and grip for her problems.
Ellie, meanwhile, said she had already killed. Who could she be talking about? (I don’t think she was referring to that trapped infected she stabbed in the head in the bunker.)
We then caught up with Kathleen (Yellowjackets star Melanie Lynskey), leader of a local group of revolutionaries who apparently rose up to overthrow the Federal Disaster Response Agency (Fedra), which controls the city, and dismantle the quarantine area. The group’s rule is just as terrifying as Fedra’s, with Kathleen determined to find Henry (Lamar Johnson) and her little brother, Sam (Keivonn Woodard). The reason isn’t clear (something about giving Fedra information), but she tells the doctor about her brother being beaten to death, and rolls out a list of names of people she’s looking for – “collaborators” – later rushing back to the cell to calmly shoot the doctor. She may have a completely harmless voice, but make no mistake, she’s a ruthless person.
As the militia searched high and low for the boys and mysterious strangers we know to be Joel and Ellie, we saw a strange ripple in the ground. Never a good sign, especially in the survival-horror genre… “When do we tell others?” says Kathleen’s bearded right-hand man, Perry (Jeffrey Pierce). “Not yet,” Kathleen said. “Let’s manage what we have to manage. We can take care of it later. It definitely sounds like a sensible suggestion that won’t come back to bite you.
Ambush City Limits
As Joel and Ellie headed up that terrifying staircase – I expected something to be waiting for them as they climbed – Ellie seemed shocked to learn a little more about her fellow traveler. Joel was so quick to spot the previous ambush because he had done similar things with Tommy and Tess in the past. He’s also 56 and his hearing is probably even worse than he let on from firing too many shots.
Ellie wasn’t the only one with questions, however, with Joel picking up on something Ellie had said earlier about hurting people. “What did you mean it wasn’t your first time?” ” He asked. “I don’t want to talk about it,” she replied, as his attempt at comfort failed when he admitted that life doesn’t get easier with age. It’s the closest thing to a normal conversation and, ultimately, a bond. Thanks to the minimal script and great performances from Pascal and Ramsey, it’s utterly believable.
They fell asleep, but Joel’s hearing is totally bad – even his glass lap on the floor didn’t stop Henry and Sam from sneaking up on them. What a sight to wake up to; two boys holding guns. Let’s hope they’re not as dangerous as Kathleen thinks. I feel like they are not…
Notes and Observations
One person commenting on the recap of the first episode suggested that it was ridiculous that gas-powered cars still work in a world without gas production, correctly stating that fuel has a shelf life. It was good that it was addressed here, with Joel explaining why he and Ellie had to stop so often to siphon gas. “It’s basically water.” Bleak_T_W, hope you enjoyed this one.
I liked Joel’s attempt to explain how siphons work. Something, something, gravity is also about the extent of my understanding.
Ellie’s book, No Pun Intended: Volume Too, is straight out of the video game. It was an artifact first seen as a collectible in The Last of Us Pt I and later expansion spin-off The Last of Us: Left Behind. It was written by Will Livingston.
The Hank Williams song playing in the truck was aptly titled Alone and Forsaken.
Lincoln, Massachusetts, where Joel and Ellie picked up Bill’s truck, is about 2,500 miles from Jackson, Wyoming, where they’re headed. On a good course, with efficient fuel and no militia roadblocks, it would take around 39 hours to drive.
If you think eating 20-year-old canned ravioli is bad, here’s a video of someone eating 90-year-old canned soup.
Jeffrey Pierce, who plays Perry, provided the voice of Tommy in the video games. He was cast as Joel’s brother after initially auditioning for the role of Joel.
The closing song was a cover of New Order’s True Faith by Lotte Kestner. (This link is safe, but a word of warning for anyone hoping to learn more about this cover version: spoilers abound and the YouTube comments section is not your friend!)
What did you think of episode 4? Are you enjoying things so far? Who are Henry and Sam? What is this basement? Have your say below…