“Pew-pew,” Ellie (Bella Ramsey) mumbles whereas posing along with her new gun within the mirror of some Midwestern gasoline station toilet. Like automobiles and airplanes, weapons are one thing she understands on a conceptual stage, however not a private one. She ejects a bullet, research it. It is harmful, she is aware of that a lot, but it surely’s nonetheless only a factor — a factor that shoots bullets at unhealthy guys. As Joel (Pedro Pascal) tries (and fails) to elucidate to her later, it is not that straightforward.
When she returns to the lot, Joel is siphoning gasoline from the scattered automobiles. Gasoline erodes over time, he explains, and a full tank of gasoline on this situation solely lasts about an hour. That is a complete lot of pit stops. As he siphons, Ellie giddily regales him with puns from an historic joke e-book. Joel acts irritated, however he is quietly amused.
As they drive previous eroded, deserted amusement parks, truck stops, and quick meals joints, he and Ellie share smiles over a Hank Williams tape and, in a nod to a memorable moment from the game, an outdated porno magazine that once belonged to Bill. “Why are all these pages caught collectively?” she asks, making Joel squirm earlier than revealing she’s not that oblivious and chucking it by means of the window.
They pull over to a distant stretch of woods and eat 20-year-old Chef Boyardee ravioli earlier than slipping into Invoice and Frank’s sleeping luggage. When Ellie asks why they cannot mild a fireplace, Joel reveals it is not Contaminated he is nervous about, however different folks. “What are they gonna do, rob us?” Ellie asks. He replies ominously, saying, “They received far more on their thoughts than that.”
After extra puns, Joel tries to consolation Ellie. “Nobody is gonna discover us,” he says as she drifts to sleep. However he is extra nervous than he lets on. When she wakes in the midst of the evening, she sees he is standing watch over them.
Liane Hentscher/HBO Pedro Pascal, Bella Ramsey
They set off the following morning, Ellie navigating with map in hand. Joel says they’re heading for Cody, Wyo., the place Tommy (Gabriel Luna) was final seen. When Ellie asks about him, Joel describes Tommy as a “joiner,” somebody who “goals of being a hero.” It was Tommy, he explains, who urged Joel to affix a gaggle that was heading for Boston within the aftermath of the outbreak. After Tommy met Marlene (Merle Dandridge), he joined the Fireflies. “Desires to save lots of the world,” he says dismissively, calling the Fireflies’ mission “delusional” and a “pipe dream.” Tommy give up the Fireflies, final he heard, and “now he is on his personal on the market and I gotta go get him.”
Ellie is postpone by his nihilism. “For those who do not suppose there’s hope for the world, why hassle happening?” she asks.
“I maintain going for household, that is about it,” he says. When she presses him additional, he stonewalls, uncomfortable, maybe, with how weak he is made himself. He calls Ellie “cargo,” says he is solely nonetheless along with her as a result of he “made a promise to Tess and she or he was like household.”
A freeway pileup outdoors Kansas Metropolis blocks their path, so Joel drives into town to attempt to get round it. The bombed-out downtown is as dire because the ruins of Boston, with burnt our bodies piled beneath hollowed, plant-infested buildings. Once they drive by what seems to be town’s QZ, it additionally seems deserted. “The place’s FEDRA?” Ellie asks.
All of the sudden, a person stumbles into the highway, begging for assist. Joel immediately is aware of it is a lure and hits the gasoline. From above, a tossed cinder block shatters their windshield. Highway spikes tear up their tires and armed interlopers cross their path, weapons pointed. Joel loses management of the automobile, which crashes by means of the storefront of a laundromat. Bullets ring towards the facet of the automobile as Joel and Ellie take cowl.
As gunshots pummel their ears, Joel calls for Ellie climb by means of a small gap within the wall and take cowl. She does in order Joel picks off the would-be thieves. He is not so fortunate when a 3rd man bursts by means of a door and takes him to the bottom, choking him out along with his rifle. Ellie, hiding within the again room, pulls out her knife, however shortly places it away. She reaches for the gun.
Ellie sneaks up on the person choking Joel and shoots him within the again. Joel frees himself as the person, who says his title is Brian, begs them to not kill him. He is younger, a teen not that a lot older than Ellie. “My mother is not far, if you will get me to her,” he pleads. “We are able to commerce with you guys.” He even unsheathes his knife and gives it to Joel. Sadly for him, Joel takes it, then tells Ellie to get again behind the wall. There, she listens to Brian’s ultimate pleas for mercy earlier than he is stabbed within the coronary heart by Joel.
With sufficient of their gear in tow, Joel and Ellie sneak by means of a again alley, avoiding the vehicles roaming the road. They appear to be FEDRA autos, however they’re spray painted with phrases like “We the folks.” The women and men driving them put on tattered FEDRA gear, however do not appear to be any troopers we have seen.
Liane Hentscher/HBO Bella Ramsey, Pedro Pascal
“They are not FEDRA and never Fireflies, so who’re they?” Ellie asks.
“Individuals,” Joel replies.
A type of folks is Kathleen (Melanie Lynskey). Kathleen is the chief of this Kansas Metropolis horde, which seems to have taken management of their QZ after toppling its FEDRA forces. After we meet Kathleen, she’s interrogating a physician in a makeshift cell. She’s in search of somebody named Henry, who she believes snitched on members of their revolutionary motion whereas FEDRA was nonetheless in management. Certainly one of them was her brother, who was overwhelmed to dying.
The person tries to motive along with her. He is recognized Kathleen her complete life. He was the physician who delivered her when she was born. And this motion? It is “gone too far,” he says. When she stays chilly, he reminds her that he is “your physician,” implying that, snitch or not, they want him. (That does not work, both; Kathleen shoots him simply minutes later.)
Kathleen retreats outdoors, the place a crowd gathers over the our bodies of the lads who ambushed Joel. Her troopers imagine “outsiders” are accountable, however she’s satisfied they have been referred to as in by Henry. “Discover who did this,” she orders, determined to make Henry pay for what occurred to her brother. “Discover each collaborator and kill all of them.”
As Kathleen’s males raid houses and flats seeking them, Joel and Ellie take refuge in a bar. They will conceal on the market till the vehicles disappear, then head to the tallest constructing in sight. As soon as there, they’ll get a take a look at the entire metropolis and plot their escape.
Joel feels terrible about Ellie having to shoot Brian. He takes duty and apologizes. She tells him, “It wasn’t my first time.” He is struck, however would not ask her to elaborate. Not but.
As an alternative, he provides the gun again to her, then exhibits her methods to correctly maintain it. When she tries to place it in her pocket, he tells her it is safer in her bag. “You will shoot your rattling ass off,” he grumbles. Moments later, he adopts a softer tone: “We’ll get by means of this.”
In the meantime, Perry (Jeffrey Pierce, who played Tommy in The Last of Us game and its sequel) informs Kathleen that he is found one in every of Henry’s hideouts. He leads her to the attic of an empty constructing. There, empty cans of soup are scattered beneath infantile drawings of superheroes. We be taught that Henry is not alone — a boy, Sam, is with him. “They’re out of meals,” Kathleen deducts, telling Perry to beef up the safety round their provisions. “He is shut, I can really feel it,” she says.
That is not all Perry desires to point out her. He leads her to the basement of the identical constructing. In a single room, there is a concave impression in a patch of cracked concrete. Moreover, there appears to be one thing transferring beneath it. Kathleen is as scared as Perry, however tells him they’re going to cope with it after they discover Henry. For now, she says, they’re going to seal off the constructing.
Liane Hentscher/HBO Melanie Lynskey
Because the solar units, Joel and Ellie discover their method to the tall constructing. They climb 33 of the 45 flights earlier than Joel collapses and reminds us his character is meant to be 56, which, c’mon (Pascal is 47). Ellie asks him how he knew it was an ambush, and Joel admits he is “been on either side.” He and Tess and Tommy, they “did what we would have liked to outlive.”
“Did you kill harmless folks?” she asks, the picture of younger, bloody, pleading Brian doubtless working by means of her head. However Joel would not reply, leaving her to ponder how deep his darkness goes. Later, when he asks her what she meant when she mentioned it wasn’t her “first time,” she’s tight-lipped, saying she would not need to discuss it. They each have secrets and techniques.
“I am simply saying,” he replies, “it is not truthful, your age, having to cope with all of this.”
“So it will get simpler while you become old?” she asks.
“No, probably not,” he says. “However nonetheless.”
After Joel spreads damaged glass close to the door and the pair put together for mattress, Ellie treats Joel to a diarrhea pun that, regardless of being “so goddamned silly,” makes him giggle out loud. It is essentially the most pleasure we have seen from 2023 Joel to this point, and it is pretty the best way that, even on this most dire of circumstances, the 2 cannot comprise their giggles.
The episode ends when Ellie wakes Joel from his slumber. They are not alone within the room. It is Henry and Sam, who greets Joel with an ominous shush.
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