The Last of Us: Left Behind – TV Review

TL;DR – This episode shows that The Last of Us knows how to go small just as well as it can go big.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Binge service that viewed this show.


The Last of Us Review

We are at an interesting point in the season. You can see that we are on the cusp of the end game, having tramped almost across the continental USA during the season. However, we might be entering the darkest times, or at least the darkest times so far. But for me personally, this show has already emotionally wrecked me in episodes like Long Long Time, and I am not sure I am ready for it to twist the knife it has already stabbed in me.   

So to set the scene, in Kin, Ellie (Bella Ramsey) and Joel (Pedro Pascal) finally made it to Wyoming after walking for months after escaping Kansas City in Endure and Survive. It was a moment of celebration and also deep self-reflection for Joel. But more than that, they finally got a solid lead on the Fireflies, The University of Eastern Colorado. They had already left, but breadcrumbs on a map showed a new destination in Salt Lake City. Finally, an endpoint to their travels, well it would be, but then someone had to go stab Joel, and Ellie has to keep him alive. Or should she do what Joel says, leave him to die, and return to safety? Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead for the show.

Ellie looks after a wounded Joel.
This week we get to dive into Ellie’s past. Image Credit: HBO.

In any other show, this week’s episode would be considered a bottle episode. It has a limited guest cast and is primarily filmed in one location. But shows usually have bottle episodes to save money, but here I am honestly not sure just how much money they used to dress that mall to look like it was run down for twenty years. It felt like this odd time capsule for both the show’s characters and those watching who grew up about the same time this was set. It was also fascinating wondering how the conversation went with some of the businesses featured in the episode. “Hey, you are going to get a big plug in the episode, but the gist is that your product is intrinsically worthless at the end of the day.

The moment we see Ellie and Riley (Storm Reid) back in the Boston QZ and sneak out of the dorms after dark, you know how the episode will end. I think there were enough clues given earlier in the show that even if you have not played the game, you knew this night would not end well. We know Ellie got bitten back in Boston, we know it was in a place that meant the Fireflies picked her up, and that vein diagram does not have much wiggle space in it. But it was good to see that the show’s creators understood that people knew where the journey would end, so they focused on the ride there rather than the destination.  

Ellie and Riley in a photobooth.
Even if you knew how it ended, the journey was worth it. Image Credit: HBO.

When we finish the season, I hope we look back on all the actors that came in for one or two episodes and immediately stamped their mark on the show in that short time. Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey are, of course, the glue that holds everything together and the show’s emotional heart. However, it would not work nearly as well if there were not all these other solid characters for them to bounce off. This week, Storm Reid steps into the fray in what is probably one of the most critical characters moments in the show for Ellie.

This episode is such a complicated emotional balance to pull off when you think about it from the perspective of the characters. For Riley, this is one last goodbye to her closest friend. For Ellie, her friend has come back from the dead, and they suddenly have a future again. The juxtaposition of wants and needs is cast against feeling just bubbling under the surface. Which means even in those more electric moments, there is a tenderness that undercuts everything. This is an episode where the quiet moments shine through, which can only work because both actors are fully committed to that moment.

Ellie in a video arcade.
once again the production teams behind the scenes of this show should be championed. Image Credit: HBO.

In the end, do we recommend Left Behind? Absolutely. Even knowing how the episode would end, we were still committed to every moment of the journey. If nothing else, it will be fascinating for me because this is the first time we have reviewed a cinematic adaptation of DLC on the site.       

By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.

Have you seen The Last of Us yet ?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review
on any of the social medias and you can follow us Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day.    

Credits –
All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of The Last of Us
Directed by
– Liza Johnson
Written by – Neil Druckmann
Created by – Craig Mazin & Neil Druckmann
Based On – The Last of Us by Neil Druckmann and Naughty Dog
Production/Distribution Companies – Naughty Dog, PlayStation Productions, Sony Pictures Television, The Mighty Mint, Word Games, HBO & Binge
Starring – Pedro Pascal & Bella Ramsey with Storm Reid and Terry Chen, Ian Rozylo & Ruby Lybbert


2 thoughts on “The Last of Us: Left Behind – TV Review

  1. Pingback: The Last of Us: When We Are in Need – TV Review | TL;DR Movie Reviews and Analysis

  2. Pingback: The Last of Us: Look for the Light & Season 1– TV Review | TL;DR Movie Reviews and Analysis

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