Last week, Joel and Ellie stocked up on supplies after finding Bill and Frank dead in Lincoln and despite his previous reluctance to get Ellie to the Fireflies, Joel commits to the task. Their journey west has begun.
No Pun Intended
Let’s all scream in pure elation, Ellie has her joke book. After a quick stop in an abandoned truck stop where she plays with the handgun she stole from Bill, Ellie entertains Joel with some of her classic puns while he siphons gas from the abandoned cars lining the road. Joel is just as unenchanted as he is in the game. The pair continues on to Hank Williams’ “Alone and Forsaken” and game players everywhere rejoiced. Then we continue after Ellie finds some of Bill’s preferred…reading material and flusters Joel as he considers all of his choices that led him to this moment.
Off to Wyoming
After a night camping in the woods where Joel was definitely pacing around on the lookout for raiders instead of sleeping, Ellie wakes up to coffee brewing. When they set out, Ellie inquires about Tommy and Joel tells a very abridged version of what he and Tommy did after Outbreak Day. They’d joined a group heading up to Boston where Tommy met Marlene, who convinced him to join the Fireflies in his quest to save the world, a goal he’s had since he was 18 after joining the Army. However, Joel knows Tommy has quit the Fireflies and assumes he’s out on his own, meaning Joel has to go and get him.
It’s highway ambush time! After hitting a roadblock in Kansas City, MO (not Pittsburgh like the game) Joel tries to get around and find a free road all to be ambushed by raiders. He doesn’t fall for the charade, opting to plow right through the man limping and begging for help on the street, he knows what he’s up to. He’s been on both sides.
The truck crashes and a firefight ensues (and tell me those raiders don’t sound like they were ripped right from the game audio?), Joel telling Ellie to go hide as he takes them out. Just when he thinks it’s clear, another breaks in and gets him on the ground, forcing Ellie to get her first taste of blood and shoot the raider as he has Joel pinned by the throat.
Joel takes her gun as the man begs for his life, tossing Joel his knife in an attempt to surrender, but of course, Joel isn’t having it. He sends Ellie back behind the wall and like the resourceful man he is, he stabs the guy with his own knife. Ya gotta save ammo, right?
The Hunt for Henry
A series-created character named Kathleen is on the hunt for the people who ratted out her brother who had been beaten to death. She’s got a doctor in holding and she’s looking for a Henry … yeah, that Henry. She’s called out and the raider Joel killed is presented to her and she sends out all available hands to find Henry and his “collaborators” with the assumption Joel is working with Henry. (And yes, that’s Jeffrey Pierce, the original voice actor for Tommy playing Perry, her right-hand man!)
Joel and Ellie are holed up in an old diner while the raiders … raid … in their search. In a big character deviation, Joel apologizes to Ellie about her having to resort to shooting that raider. Ellie admits that it wasn’t her first time and Joel returns the handgun to her with a little lesson before they head out.
Perry has found evidence of Henry and his younger brother Sam in an attic, bringing Kathleen up to inspect the place. She notes they’re out of food and will have to come out of hiding soon, but Perry has more. Something is fighting to get up out of the pavement inside an old building. She tells him to seal it off and keep it from the others while they hunt for Henry. That’s the priority.
Joel and Ellie make it to the building Joel had spotted earlier, bunkering down for the night until he can get a good look at the city from the roof in the morning. Ellie asks about how he knew the raider from before hadn’t actually been hurt and if he’s killed innocent people, but he didn’t answer. Then, as they’re falling asleep, Joel asks Ellie about what she meant when it wasn’t her first time hurting someone, and I’m sure you guessed it, she doesn’t answer. He tells her the world she’s grown up in is unfair for a kid her age.
After a day of bad puns, and maybe it’s the exhaustion, but Joel finally lets the dam break and laughs as Ellie whispers one last quip out. The ease doesn’t last for long, however. The two awake to being held at gunpoint by a man and a young boy.
Episode 5 of The Last of Us premieres Sunday, February 12 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO and HBO Max.