‘The Final of Us’ Episode 7 Recap: Riley, ’80s Tunes and Mortal Kombat
The Final of Us reached episode 7 on HBO and HBO Max on Sunday, bringing us again to Ellie and Joel (Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal) after a nasty encounter with a marauder left him stabbed and close to loss of life.
It interrupted their quest to deliver Ellie to the insurgent group often called the Fireflies. They’re hoping to probably restore society by replicating her immunity to the fungal an infection that is turned a lot of the world into lethal monsters.
Earlier than that, Ellie’s gotta cease Joel from bleeding to loss of life. The scenario reminds her of a darkish second from her previous, one which sticks intently to a memorable a part of the sport. Let’s bounce into SPOILERS for HBO’s adaptation of the Sony PlayStation recreation.
A lot of the episode takes place within the time earlier than Ellie and Joel met, when she was residing (and never getting alongside) with different youngsters within the custody of FEDRA, the Federal Catastrophe Response Company, which runs quarantine zones with the remnants of the US navy.
After she will get in a tussle with certainly one of her friends, a FEDRA officer presents her with various visions of her future within the zone: Proceed messing about, find yourself a grunt with crappy duties, and sure die in some random accident. Or… present somewhat self-discipline, grow to be an officer, and dwell a reasonably snug life. She opts for the latter, however she would not appear wild about it.
After she stays up late studying a difficulty of Savage Starlight (a fictional comedian guide collection you can accumulate within the recreation), her sleep is interrupted by runaway greatest buddy Riley (Storm Reid). Seems Riley deserted FEDRA take care of the opposing Fireflies, however she is not visiting to recruit Ellie.
“Include me for just a few hours and have one of the best evening of your life,” she orders her pal.
’80s fashion enjoyable
After temporary stops to take a look at a useless man, knock again somewhat of the pre-apocalypse alcohol he left behind, and admire Riley’s sidearm (highlighting Ellie’s fascination with journey and loss of life), the pair head to — the place else? — the mall.
It seems FEDRA unknowingly restored energy to the mall, giving Ellie an opportunity to get a style of old-school consumerism. And run on an escalator to the tune of Norwegian synth-pop band A-ha’s ’80s traditional Take On Me. (Ellie has a duplicate of the group’s best hits in her quarters.) This tune makes a memorable look within the second recreation. Its iconic music video additionally reveals a lady taking a comic book guide character’s hand and getting pulled into an journey — Ellie has a equally transcendent expertise after metaphorically taking Riley’s hand on this episode.
Bella Ramsey is so good right here, with Ellie’s awkwardness concerning the Victoria’s Secret lingerie and stolen glances at Riley hinting at her emotions. These seems get longer because the alcohol takes impact.
Wonders of the mall
Seems the escalator was only a precursor to the true enjoyable. The pair hop on a carousel that performs a model of The Remedy’s Simply Like Heaven (particularly, one which sounds lots like Rockabye Child’s Lullaby Rendition). Songwriter Robert Smith mentioned this tune was impressed by the romance of a visit he took with girlfriend Mary Poole, who’d later grow to be his spouse.
“The thought is that one evening like that’s price a thousand hours of drudgery,” he advised Blender journal in 2003, which is probably going how the present’s characters would expertise this journey.
Ellie and Riley’s night continues with a visit to the picture sales space, the place they strike just a few poses and get actual cozy in shut quarters.
Their subsequent vacation spot seems to be “essentially the most lovely factor I’ve ever seen” — a neon-drenched arcade. Via some miracle, most of the cubicles nonetheless work and so they hop on iconic 1993 fighter Mortal Kombat 2 (a poster for this recreation can be seen over Ellie’s mattress, hinting at her fascination).
Of their first battle, the extra skilled Riley opts for purple-garbed cannibal Mileena and Ellie opts for thunder god Raiden — it ends with Mileena’s glorious bone-spitting fatality.
Ellie’s vengeance is available in a later spherical, when she manages Baraka’s nasty impalement finisher. They expertise that traditional Mortal Kombat ultraviolence euphoria afterward and the sparks of romance get somewhat stronger. (Be warned although: Watching too many cartoonish fatalities can have a bizarre impact in your mind.)
Extra traditional puns
Riley’s subsequent shock reminds us of Ellie’s penchant for unhealthy jokes, as she presents her pal with a duplicate of No Pun Supposed: Quantity Too.
- What did the annoyed cannibal do? He threw up his palms.
- What did the triangle say to the circle? You are so pointless.
- How does a pc get drunk? It takes screenshots.
- What do you name an alligator in a vest? They’re interrupted earlier than Riley can learn the reply, however it’s “an investigator.”
Ellie is briefly reminded of the fact of their scenario when she discovers explosives Riley ready. Riley admits that the Fireflies are sending her away to the Atlanta quarantine zone, and he or she needed to spend this one final evening hanging out with Ellie earlier than departing. Ellie is not in any respect proud of this however finally decides to proceed onto the ultimate marvel.
After sharing their emotions in a supercool costume store — because the outbreak occurred in late September 2003, it is nonetheless arrange for the spooky season — the pair don masks and dance to Etta James’ cowl of ’60s tune I Acquired You Babe (you would possibly know the Sonny and Cher authentic from the 1993 film Groundhog Day). The lyrics allude to younger individuals defying their elders to pursue love — very similar to these teenagers are.
That is when the romantic rigidity peaks and Ellie decides to make her transfer, giving Riley a short however passionate kiss. With their emotional and sexual playing cards on the desk ultimately, Riley agrees to remain and it looks as if issues are gonna be OK.
Till a horrible contaminated assaults. Ellie manages to shank it, however they each uncover they have been bitten. This may finally result in Ellie discovering her mysterious immunity, however Riley is not so lucky. They each imagine it is a loss of life sentence, however Riley desires to dwell so long as potential.
“We will simply be all poetic and shit, and lose our minds collectively,” she says tearfully earlier than they embrace.
We do not see what occurs after this, however presumably Ellie was compelled to kill Riley as soon as the an infection took maintain. It is possible Marlene discovered her afterward.
Leaping again to 2023, Ellie maintains the spirit of refusing to surrender hope — she’s decided to deal with Joel’s wounds reasonably than abandon him. She finds a needle and thread, so she goes to work on stitching him up.
The part lined on this episode wasn’t within the 2013 recreation at launch, it was added the next yr within the Left Behind downloadable content material pack and got here included with remasters on PS4 and PS5.
The present sticks intently to the occasions of the sport, however the present-day part is far chunkier — it sees Ellie looking for meds in a shopping center as a wounded Joel lies unconscious. Avoiding contaminated and human marauders alongside the way in which, she discovers the meds in a navy helicopter that is crashed by the mall’s roof.
In the course of the flashback scenes with Riley, you play fictional recreation The Turning (which is principally Mortal Kombat) within the arcade… sorta. The cupboard would not work, so Riley has Ellie shut her eyes and place her palms on the controls, after which Riley describes the motion. Theater of the thoughts, certainly.
In addition they battle with water weapons (a line within the present alludes to this) and share a short kiss within the recreation. The flashback ends with Ellie and Riley fleeing the mall as hordes of contaminated chase them. Each find yourself bitten and resolve to await their deaths collectively. Riley succumbs to the fungus, however Ellie’s survival reveals her immunity.
You too can learn a notice from Ellie’s unseen mother on this chapter (one given to her by Firefly chief Marlene):
I will share a secret with you, I am not an enormous fan of children and I hate infants. And but… I am looking at you and I am simply awestruck.
You are not even a day previous and holding you is essentially the most unbelievable factor I’ve achieved in my life — a life that’s about to get lower somewhat brief.
Marlene will take care of you. There is no one on this world I belief greater than her. When the time comes she’ll let you know all about me. Do not give her an excessive amount of of a tough time. Strive to not be as cussed as me.
I am not going to lie, this can be a fairly tousled world. It will not be straightforward. The factor you at all times have to recollect is that life is price residing! Discover your objective and struggle for it.
I see a lot energy in you. I do know you will grow to be the lady you are meant to be.
Endlessly… your loving mom
Make me proud, Ellie!
Episode 8 of The Final of Us hits HBO Max subsequent Sunday, March 5.
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