‘The Last of Us’ Features Hell’s Cannibal Leader – Rolling Stone

THIS POST CONTAINS spoilers for this week’s episode of The last of us“When we are in need.

“When We Are in Need” is, for its first half, among the more low-key episodes of The last of us Season 1. We’re still in Colorado, still with Ellie helping Joel heal from the injury he suffered a few episodes ago. No infected appear at all, after several episodes this season where mushrooms appeared briefly at maximum. Much of the first conflict simply involves characters sitting in the oppressive cold talking about their hunger and deprivation. In particular, there’s a lengthy conversation between Ellie and David (played by Scott Shepherd), a former math teacher who claims he only found God after the apocalypse – “which is either the best time or the worst moment to find it,” he acknowledges. He comes across as a Mr. Rogers type, albeit with less warmth considering the desperate circumstances he and his flock find themselves in. But Ellie is suspicious of him and his sidekick James.

from the first minute. Is this guy the soft cloth man he claims to be, or is he, as Ellie describes it, “a weird cult thing?”

There is a version of this episode where David could have been the man he said he was, because we get a story about what generally good people are forced to do when resources are scarce, or guilt how Joel and Ellie might feel upon learning about the family left behind by the man whose neck Joel broke in college. But this season has gotten relatively light on the whole “The real monsters are the human survivors” theme, and it seems overdue for one of them. So David turns out to be somehow worse than Ellie’s most paranoid assumptions about him. He’s not just a cult leader, who blames the dead man’s daughter for talking to him, and describes himself as her real father. He’s also a cannibal – and quite deadpan when Ellie finds out the truth about the meat he serves his hungry followers – and a rapist.

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Scott Shepherd in episode 8 of “The Last of Us”.

Liane Hentscher/HBO

The slow reveal of all the sins David happily committed in the name of God is followed by a series of brutal sequences in the second half of the episode, featuring our two heroes. Joel recovers enough to torture and/or kill several of David’s future soldiers, just to find out what happened to his surrogate daughter. He’s (to quote Ned Flanders) more animal than man, and while of course we want him and Ellie to get out of this situation safely, it’s more than a little nerve-wracking to see how far he’ll go – especially when he murders people after they’ve told him what he wants to know and are no longer a threat.

Tendency Episode 8 preview | The Last of Us | HBO Max From there, the episode takes the idea of ​​having Ellie live in hell somewhat literally, as David assaults her on the floor of a steakhouse she once burned down. HBO has a long and often unfortunate history of using rape as a dramatic crutch. It works here, however, both as a final symbol of David’s evil and hypocrisy, and because she brutally kills him in the middle, hacking him again and again and again with the cleaver, the flames behind her speaking for her rage against less as much as the primal screams she lets out each time. (In case you haven’t already noticed, Bella Ramsey is


on this show.) When our protagonists finally reunite, it’s not the reunion they would have wanted. Joel is still not at his best physically and Ellie is in extreme shock from everything David has put her through. It’s a very bad place for both of them to end up with just one episode to go in what has been a terribly strong season – but, at times like this, terribly heartbreaking.

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