‘Please Maintain to My Hand’ on HBO
As we’re right here to speak in regards to the fourth episode of HBO’s The Final Of Us, I believe it’s okay to begin the recap with a little bit of a fourth wall break. Sunday’s episode, “Please Maintain To My Hand,” is nice. There’s numerous character-building, new conflicts, strong motion, and extra. Nonetheless, I really feel the necessity to disclose one thing. Having seen the remainder of the season already, and particularly what occurs in subsequent week’s episode, this episode performs even higher when you see it in tandem with episode 5.
I gained’t spoil why, however I do assume it’s necessary to notice. When you had been in any approach underwhelmed by this week’s short-ish episode, you’re not more likely to really feel that approach after subsequent week. In actuality, the 2 episodes are one and the storytelling decisions listed here are a lot extra highly effective and clear after seeing what’s subsequent. That mentioned, let’s get to the episode.
After the emotional bombshell that was final week’s episode, you might need nearly forgotten that Ellie stole a gun from Frank and Invoice’s home. She didn’t neglect although, and issues began together with her posing with it in a mirror. She’s excited, empowered, and for the primary time we see a duality beginning to develop. Ellie is a smart-ass teenager, however there’s one thing darker in there too.
Ellie and Joel are at a relaxation cease gassing up Invoice’s truck. Apparently, gasoline is so outdated, it’s degraded lots and now they should replenish each hour or so. To kill the time, Ellie breaks out a guide of puns, hoping to lighten the temper. Joel stoically responds, however in Pedro Pascal’s efficiency, we will start to see a few of Joel’s hardened exterior cracking.
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Set to the tunes of Hank Williams, Ellie and Joel get again on the street. Right here, for the primary time on the present, we actually get a full take a look at 2023 America in The Final of Us. Deserted vehicles, damaged bridges, and desolate theme parks seem on the horizon because the pair drive throughout the wide-open plains. At one level, Ellie even breaks out a sticky journal with a shirtless man on the duvet, in a second that’s positive to make followers of the online game very comfortable.
The desolation of the drive lets Joel and Ellie chat, bond, and joke earlier than deciding to name it an evening. Joel parks the truck within the woods and over a plate of 20-year-old Chef Boyardee, Joel explains his worry not of the contaminated, however of individuals and what they may do if anybody finds them. The thought retains him from sleeping, however not earlier than he blows Ellie’s thoughts by accurately guessing one among her puns.
After an uneventful night time, the pair hit the street once more. First Ellie can’t consider folks drink the “burnt shit”-smelling beverage referred to as espresso. Then, as they take a look at the map attempting to determine the most effective path to Wyoming, Ellie asks Joel about Tommy. Watching the present, we all know that Tommy was with Joel on the primary day of the outbreak and that Joel is searching for him now, however not what occurred in between. Lastly, we discover out. Joel tells Ellie that Tommy is a “joiner,” all the time searching for a technique to make a distinction. First, that meant the Military. Later, after the outbreak, Tommy and Joel joined a gaggle that labored its approach as much as Boston, which is how they met Tess. As soon as in Boston, Tommy met Marlene and he joined the Fireflies, which is how he discovered his technique to Wyoming. Nonetheless, Joel reveals, he doesn’t assume Tommy is even with the Fireflies anymore and that’s why he’s nervous about him.
Ellie senses Joel’s basic pessimism and asks him why he even tries then. Is there no hope for the world? Joel says you progress forward and check out for household. However no—Ellie isn’t household. She’s cargo that Tess made him promise to care for, and Tess was household. This change, in spite of everything nowadays bonding within the automobile, felt prefer it ought to’ve been extra necessary than the episode gave it credit score for. It was a really shitty factor to say.
The Boston to Wyoming drive takes the pair via Kansas Metropolis, besides the freeway is barricaded. As a substitute of doubling again, Joel decides he can discover the subsequent on-ramp by driving via the town. Which, even in our actuality, by no means ever works. So it’s no shock that he and Ellie instantly get misplaced within the quiet metropolis. Tensions rise as they frantically drive round searching for the freeway when a person comes into the road asking for assist. Sensing a lure, Joel speeds round him. Immediately, a cinder block smashes their window, the automobile’s tires are blown, they’re shot at, they usually crash right into a retailer. Joel’s instincts had been proper on the cash. It was certainly a lure.
A shoot-out ensues. One of many present’s patented brief however intense motion sequences. Joel picks off two attackers as Ellie crawls to security however, one other sneaks up on Joel and pins him to the bottom. Joel goes to die… till Ellie pulls out her gun and shoots the attacker within the again. It’s then we see he’s only a younger child and he begins begging for his life. Joel tells Ellie to enter the opposite room and we hear Joel finish the child’s life. They go away the constructing simply as a bunch of vehicles pull as much as the scene.
Already a number of of the stuff you’ve seen on this episode are going to make extra sense while you see subsequent week’s episode—however, particularly, all of what occurs subsequent is much more necessary. The scene shifts to what appears like a FEDRA jail. Solely, FEDRA is nowhere to be seen. As a substitute, we meet a girl named Kathleen, performed by Yellowjackets’ star Melanie Lynskey. She interrogates a mysterious (for now) physician and asks him if he is aware of the whereabouts of somebody named Henry. This Henry, apparently, instructed FEDRA the place Kathleen’s brother was, and, in consequence, her brother was killed. She now desires the physician to rat on Henry like Henry ratted on her brother. It’s a tense scene that ends in Kathleen placing a gun to the physician’s head. Nonetheless, he doesn’t assume she’ll kill him and he’s proper.
Kathleen is distracted by some noises and goes exterior. She learns from what appears to be her second in command (a Will Forte-meets-Commando useless ringer performed by Jeffrey Pierce) that strangers who arrived in a totally loaded truck killed a number of of their males. She thinks that these may be mercenaries employed by Henry to assist him so she orders everybody to exit into the town and discover them. It’s right here that we see the true energy of Kathleen’s group, as a number of vehicles and dozens of individuals set out into the town. She has a military. One which, in some way, overthrew FEDRA to take Kansas Metropolis again for the folks.
Oh, and when Kathleen realizes her captured physician gained’t be capable to assist one of many males Joel and Ellie wounded, she walks again in and kills the physician in chilly blood. Kathleen is not any joke.
Joel and Ellie are hiding and peek out to see Kathleen’s military looking for them. Ellie asks Joel who they’re since they aren’t FEDRA or Fireflies and Joel says they’re simply folks. Individuals who, he is aware of, will discover them quickly in the event that they don’t begin shifting. As they await the vehicles to go via, Ellie checks in on Joel. He did, in spite of everything, simply nearly get killed. Joel responds by asking Ellie how she is—since actually, it was Ellie who had the traumatic expertise of getting shot a person within the again. Joel blames himself for getting right into a place the place she had to try this and he apologizes. She says it’s okay as a result of it’s not the primary time she’s needed to harm somebody. A mysterious assertion that’s left unanswered not simply now, however later within the episode too when Joel brings it again up. (Followers of the sport, nevertheless, might need a clue what she’s referring to.)
Earlier than heading out, Joel offers Ellie her gun again and teaches her the best way to correctly maintain it. She’s excited to lastly have Joel’s permission to have a gun and also you see extra of his armor coming down and their belief and respect proceed to develop.
One final time on this episode, issues reduce to Kathleen’s folks. The Will Forte-ish man takes her right into a hidden attic the place, it appears, this mysterious Henry has been hiding. The attic is roofed in empty canned items and drawings of superheroes. Clearly, Henry is with a baby, who Kathleen says is called Sam. In the identical constructing, Kathleen and the soldier discover a crater within the basement. A crater that begins to rumble. Petrified of it, they run out, however Kathleen says they’ll’t inform anybody about what they simply noticed and to simply seal up the constructing. This too, as you possibly can anticipate, all grow to be a bit clearer subsequent week.
Hoping to get a transparent view of the complete metropolis to allow them to discover a approach out, Joel and Ellie begin to climb the steps of a 45-story constructing. On the best way up, Ellie asks Joel how he knew the state of affairs earlier than was an ambush and he explains his group did comparable issues to outlive up to now. When Ellie asks him if he’s ever killed harmless folks, although, Joel stops answering.
They get 33 flights up the constructing earlier than Joel will get too drained to proceed. In order that they discover a good quiet residence, Joel spreads damaged glass on the bottom Die Exhausting type so nobody can sneak up on them in a single day, and Ellie mentions to him that he in all probability wouldn’t even hear it anyway as a result of she’s observed he doesn’t hear in his proper ear very properly.
Joel does hear Ellie inform yet another of her punny jokes and although he tries to carry again fun, he can’t. The pair bust out laughing and only for a second it looks as if possibly these two are going to be okay. If they’ll share fun, can it actually be that dangerous? The reply is sure. Just a few hours later Joel, now together with his proper ear within the air, is woken up by Ellie. A person is holding her at gunpoint. Joel appears up and he’s additionally being held at gunpoint, this time by a younger little one. The kid holds his finger to his mouth so Joel shall be quiet, and the episode ends.
Who’re the folks holding up Joel and Ellie? When you’ve been paying consideration, it must be fairly apparent, however I gained’t spoil it right here. However, suffice to say, we be taught extra about how they obtained to this room subsequent week and it’ll make a number of scenes on this episode work so, so significantly better.
“Please Maintain To My Hand” could not have been wherever close to the genius of “Lengthy, Lengthy Time” however we obtained to see Ellie develop into herself a bit, Joel grow to be extra snug together with her, and the pair make good progress on their street to Wyoming. Plus, Melanie Lynskey shoots a dude in chilly blood. What may very well be higher than that?
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