The Last of Us: When We Are in Need – TV Review

TL;DR – In a show about the end of the world, this is the first episode to truly explore the levels of violence that could be found in the ruins of the old world.  

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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

Warning – Contains scenes that may cause distress.

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The Last of Us Review

There is a deep breath that you take when you can feel the endgame coming, and you might not be ready for what is about to go down. This is even true for me. Who knows just what is about to go down. So as we head into the penultimate episode of the season, it is a time to prepare ourselves for what we are about to see.

So to set the scene, at the end of Kin, just after Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) discovered the direction of the Fireflies and things were looking up. They were for a moment until Joel got stabbed by some raiders, and Ellie had to drag him to an abandoned house to survive. In Left Behind, Joel begged Ellie to leave him and fly back to Jackson, but she refused to let him die. But now they have bigger problems than a bleeding-out Joel because those raiders might be back for more. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead for the show.

James discuses with David.
It is a dangerous world out there. Image Credit: HBO.

When you hear the word ‘cannibal,’ usually you might default to some deeply problematic tropes from early Hollywood or some Hannibal-like killer. However, we rarely go to The Donner Party or Air Force Flight 571. Where desperation hits, and there are no good options left. We don’t tend to think about them because that could happen to anyone. Why wouldn’t you use it if you are starving and have a body? But what if you decide to make some more bodies to add to the stew and lo the slippery slope to depravity? All of this makes out bad guys this week all the more dangerous and also a bit more relatable.

Within this framework, we get David (Scott Shepherd), a terrifying villain in the way that he twists and controls the people around him. He uses the death of one of their town members as if they were not hunting for people to harvest. David uses religion as a control method, but even then, his position is tenuous, so he depends on his right-hand man James (Troy Baker). This makes his interactions with Ellie all the more unsettling, even before he reveals his overt reasons for his interest. The show has mentioned raiders since the start, and this week we see those words were not hollow.

Ellie warns Joel of the coming danger.
The bond between Ellie and Joel continues to grow. Image Credit: HBO.

All these facets bring us to this episode’s core theme – violence. Before the show started, the creators mentioned that there would be a different relationship with violence than the original video game. This makes sense when you realise that a video game is a medium where you can have as much violence as you want because if you fail and die, you can just reload until you have worked out the puzzle. You only get one shot in a show or a film, so you need to make your violence work within that context, or it loses its impact. To be clear, violence has not been absent from the show by any means. But it is on full display for the first time.

This film explores violence in many ways, from the explicit to the implied to the obscure. A lot of this violence is used to show the lengths that Joel and Ellie will do to get back to each other, and it is telling that there is no infected anywhere in sight this week. Then there is how violence is used to control people, where the monopoly on the legitimate use of violence gets contorted and weaponised. We see violence up close as a knife gets jammed into a knee and twisted, but also more obscure, like the sounds of spoons scraping against bowls. I found it all interesting because it shows some of the dialogue between the show and the game, especially some of the criticisms of TLOU2.            

David talks menacingly from behind a cage.
A villian in every sense of the word. Image Credit: HBO.

In the end, do we recommend The Last of Us: When We Are in Need? Yes, we do. This week’s episode was an interesting dialogue on violence, probably not for the last time. But it also demonstrated the growth of Ellie’s and Joel’s relationship, and you better not find yourself getting in the way.  

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
– Ali Abbasi
Written by – Craig Mazin
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 Scott Shepherd & Troy Baker and Ari Rombough, Sonia Maria-Chirila, Nelson Leis, Jason Vaisvila & Benjamin Rogers

1 thought on “The Last of Us: When We Are in Need – TV Review

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

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