the last of us episode 1x04

    We have not seen a single zombie this week in ‘The Last of Us’. Rather, infected, let’s get technical. Neither runners, nor stalkers, nor clickers have appeared in episode 1×04 of the HBO series, although they will be seen in the next one, as the trailer for episode 1×05 shows us. However, the lack of little monsters has not diminished the tension of the series nor has its quality suffered; on the contrary, this It has been his perfect opportunity to show us where he can shine and it is in the exhibition of human conflicts very recognizable within a situation as bizarre as a fungal apocalypse can be. Plain and simple: the depth of the human drama surpasses any fireworks scene.

    And although this demonstration of the writing skills of Craig Mazin (co-author of the series and screenwriter of this particular chapter, who already dazzled us with ‘Chernobyl’) occurs on several fronts, where it is most palpable here is through the Ellie’s character, but always with Joel as a reflection and counterpart. At this point in the story, Ellie represents innocence and, although we notice that she has suffered something in her short life, she still retains the look of a girl. The one that picks up a revolver like a toy, doing “pum, pum” with it while looking in the mirror. Joel, by his side, has been shaken so many times by life and so hard that it is hard to believe that he is still standing, but there he is, short on words, firm, at times hard, but still with hope.


    Their conversation in the car says it all. “If the world is lost, why bother to continue? You have to try, right?” the girl asks opportunely. “You have not seen the world, you do not understand it. You continue for your family and that’s it,” he replies. Not only is it a great allusion to the previous episode of ‘The Last of Us’ in which HBO completely changed the story of Bill and Frank from the video game, the one in which the character played by Nick Offerman decided to stop living when he no longer had Frank as the reason for doing it, but Joel’s motivation: Tess dead, only Tommy remains. for now, He does not consider Ellie as his family but as “merchandise”, something that as viewers it is not difficult to intuit that will soon change (or that he is already changing even if he resists it). They are harsh words, without a doubt, but they seem not to affect her too much or she hides it.

    But the heart of episode 1×04 comes later, after the ambush, when Ellie must make use of that gun that she wanted so much and kept secret. Once the situation becomes real, she discovers that it’s not as easy as pulling a trigger. Of course, Ellie ends up crossing the line and shooting Bryan, who is no longer a child although he is not much older than her either and sobs inconsolably at the prospect of inescapable death, begging to be taken to his mother. This initiatory step —which so many characters in post-apocalyptic fiction go through— is especially well told because the series stops at the right moments to delve into its consequences.. She does it in the shock that Ellie feels, almost unable to react to what has happened, then in her tears and in the pain that Joel feels to see a girl have to face something like this. Also, when she claims to have already hurt someone in the past, we don’t know if it’s true or just a shell so that Joel doesn’t see her as childish. And, even, they show us how at the end of the world sometimes there is no time for feelings: as much as Joel feels that a girl should not live that, he becomes aware that he should give her a weapon just in case.

    the last of us episode 1x04 joel ellie


    The dialectical crossings of the protagonists are concise, but they always say a lot, it shows more of the talent that exists in the writing of ‘The Last of Us’. Ellie asks out of childish curiosity and also out of the admiration she has developed for Joel and he resists becoming attached to her, but takes care of her and prepares her for a terrible world. Back in the skyscraper, the young woman asks him if he has ever killed innocents (he doesn’t answer, perhaps because he avoids saying yes, perhaps because the moral barriers of innocent-guilty no longer make sense) or if it becomes easier to kill and Live with it as the years go by. he denies with the head.

    Humor, unexpected in this type of series, is another of its greatest assets: the gag from the gay porn magazine that Ellie finds or the book of bad jokes serve to relax the viewer but, above all, to portray that inevitable turkey age of hers that humanizes her so much and that bond that is growing between them. Much to her chagrin, Joel is becoming Ellie’s protector, not because it’s her mission but because he’s beginning to feel it. That fit of laughter at the dumbest joke in the world (very well translated in the subtitles, by the way) is the best way to exemplify their connection. Quite possibly, Joel hadn’t laughed in years. His wall has fallen.

    I was born on Wisteria Lane, I was a roommate with Hannah Horvath, and ‘Chicago’ drove me crazy because Roxie Hart is me.

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