“The Last of Us” Episode Four: Relationships Keep Viewers Watching


In any apocalyptic series, one of my favorite aspects is the relationships between the characters and how unlikely people get close over time. The transition from distaste to friendship is outstandingly heartwarming, and I hope it develops into a close family-like bond.
My favorite sequence was when Joel stopped driving when there was a blockage on the highway, an otherwise simple scene, yet the imagery was so visceral it took my breath away. Moss-covered cars littered the road like a catastrophe stuck in time. A few scattered corpses within the vehicles help remind the main cast of what is at stake. Additionally, there was little to no dialogue, which would be boring in other circumstances, but it added a little breathing room for the viewer to take in the heaviness of the show.
After a detour around the hauntingly beautiful highway crash, a mysterious group ambushes Joel and Ellie in Kansas City, Missouri. The entire interaction was intense, and it was heartbreaking to see a young girl, Ellie, learn how to get by in a cruel world. A storyline that I hope gets more screen time in the upcoming episodes.
Kathleen is a fascinating character, a totalitarian leader of a rebel group driven by vengeance after her brother dies. She throws morality to the wind to get revenge on Henry, the boy who sold her brother out to FEDRA. These factors add realism to the series; they all have goals, reasons and aspirations that add to their actions. It makes the audience wonder what they would do if pushed to their limits. Otherwise, she is a compelling antagonist, and I cannot wait to see what she does next.
In episodic series, it is common to have mini-arcs or B-plots within the story to help round out the plotline. This episode’s side story may have been my favorite. Ellie found a book of puns while traversing the wasteland and tried out some jokes on Joel. Scoffing at her immaturity, Joel seemed mildly annoyed by her attempts, but in the end, he finally giggled along with Ellie after an awful joke.
While Kathleen rattled on about her mysterious sworn enemy, I wondered if he was a violent rebel, yet the ending revealed their true identities. Henry is a scared 25-year-old brother to Sam, an innocent young deaf boy scarred from being hunted down for years. The twist at the end shocked me and left a heavy enough cliffhanger to keep the audience going. Altogether this may have been the most compact and enjoyable episode yet, and I cannot wait to see what happens next.