The Last Of Us Episode 7 Breakdown And Easter Eggs

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The latest episode of The Last of Us on HBO and HBO Max was a killer! We caught up with Ellie and Joel (played by Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal) after a rough run-in with a marauder that left Joel stabbed and in pretty bad shape.

Their mission to bring Ellie to the Fireflies, a group of rebels hoping to save humanity by replicating her immunity to the fungal infection that’s turned most of the world into deadly monsters, has been put on hold.

Now, Ellie’s priority is to save Joel’s life. But in the process, she’s reminded of a dark moment from her past that ties closely to a pivotal part of the game. Warning: spoilers ahead!

Strained friendship

The Last Of Us Episode 7 takes us back in time to before Ellie and Joel met, when Ellie was living with a bunch of other kids in the custody of FEDRA, the Federal Disaster Response Agency that’s running quarantine zones with the help of the remnants of the US military.

Ellie’s not exactly getting along with her peers, and after a fight breaks out, a FEDRA officer presents her with two options: keep causing trouble and risk dying in some random accident, or buckle down, become an officer, and live a somewhat comfortable life. Ellie chooses the latter, but it’s clear she’s not thrilled about it.

Ellie’s night takes an unexpected turn when her best friend Riley (played by Storm Reid) shows up unannounced. Riley had fled from FEDRA and joined the opposing Fireflies, but she’s not there to recruit Ellie.

Instead, she insists that they ditch their worries for a few hours and have the time of their lives. And who can say no to that? Especially when Riley has some pretty exciting plans in store.

The Last Of Us Episode 7 Breakdown And Easter Eggs

’80s nostalgia overload

Ellie and Riley’s adventure takes a turn towards the retro as they visit the mall in The Last Of Us Episode 7, where FEDRA accidentally restored power. After a brief stop to loot some booze and admire Riley’s sidearm, the girls jump on an escalator and break into a lively rendition of A-ha’s “Take On Me.”

Ellie’s love for the ’80s classic is no secret, as she keeps a copy of A-ha’s greatest hits in her quarters. The song’s music video shows a woman getting pulled into a comic book world, foreshadowing Ellie’s own magical experience with Riley.

Bella Ramsey does an excellent job portraying Ellie’s awkwardness around the Victoria’s Secret lingerie and her growing feelings for Riley as the night wears on.

The mall is full of surprises

Ellie and Riley’s adventure continues as they jump on a carousel that plays a lullaby version of The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven.” According to songwriter Robert Smith, the song was inspired by a romantic trip he took with his girlfriend, foreshadowing the romance brewing between the two girls. Next up, they hit the photo booth, where they strike some cute poses and get closer than ever.

The Last Of Us Episode 7 Breakdown And Easter Eggs

A flawless victory

The arcade is their final stop, and it’s the most beautiful thing Ellie has ever seen. The neon-drenched arcade is a gamer’s paradise, and they hop on the iconic fighter game Mortal Kombat 2. Ellie’s fascination with the game is evident, as she has a poster of it hanging over her bed.

In their first round, Riley picks Mileena, while Ellie chooses Raiden. Mileena’s excellent bone-spitting fatality secures the win for Riley, but Ellie gets her revenge in the next round with Baraka’s impalement finisher.

The girls bask in the glory of the game’s ultraviolent fatalities, and their feelings for each other deepen. Who knew decapitating virtual characters could be so romantic? Just don’t try it in real life, folks.

More classic puns

Ellie and Riley’s love for cheesy puns is evident when Riley gives her friend a copy of No Pun Intended: Volume Too. The jokes come fast and furious: What do you call an alligator in a vest? An investigator!

And what did the cannibal do when he got frustrated? He threw up his hands! Ellie can’t resist groaning at these corny jokes, but they’re a reminder of the pair’s deep bond.

As they explore the mall, Ellie and Riley stumble across some explosives that Riley had prepared. It’s a somber moment as Riley reveals that she’s being sent to the Atlanta quarantine zone by the Fireflies, and this is their last night together. Ellie is understandably upset, but they decide to soldier on and enjoy their remaining time.

The Last Of Us Episode 7 Breakdown And Easter Eggs

Halloween time

One of the highlights of their adventure is a visit to a costume shop still decked out for Halloween. The girls don masks and dance to Etta James’ cover of ’60s classic I Got You Babe, a song about young love defying convention.

It’s the perfect soundtrack to their burgeoning romance, which finally reaches a peak when Ellie leans in for a passionate kiss.

Unfortunately, their bliss is short-lived when an infected attacks. In the ensuing struggle, both girls are bitten. Despite their fear, they cling to each other and vow to stick together as long as possible.

It’s a heartbreaking scene, and we can only imagine the pain Ellie must have felt when she was eventually forced to say goodbye to Riley.

Fast forward to 2023, and Ellie is still fighting to keep hope alive. When she finds Joel injured and unconscious, she doesn’t give up. Instead, she searches for supplies and uses her skills to stitch him up. It’s a testament to her strength and resilience, even in the face of overwhelming odds.

Left Behind

Hey there, did you know that the Left Behind DLC wasn’t in the original 2013 game release? Yep, it was added a year later and is now included in the remasters on PS4 and PS5. In this section, we see Ellie on a mission to find medicine for Joel who’s seriously injured, all while avoiding infected and hostile humans.

She ends up discovering the much-needed meds in a crashed military helicopter that’s made its way into a shopping mall. Talk about a tough scavenger hunt! During the flashback scenes with Riley, they play a fictional arcade game called The Turning.

But, here’s the catch – the arcade cabinet doesn’t work! So, Riley has Ellie close her eyes and place her hands on the controls while describing the action. Talk about imagination and creativity! They also have a water gun fight (which is referenced in the show) and share a brief kiss in the game.

The flashback ends with them escaping from the mall while being chased by infected, both eventually getting bitten. However, Ellie’s special immunity saves her from the fungus, but sadly, Riley doesn’t make it.

The Last Of Us Episode 7 Breakdown And Easter Eggs

Mother’s love

Oh, did you catch the note from Ellie’s mom in this chapter? It was given to Ellie by Marlene, the Firefly leader. In the note, Ellie’s mom, Anna, shares a little secret – she’s not a fan of kids or babies.

Yikes! But, she goes on to say how holding baby Ellie just after she was born was one of the most incredible things she’s ever done. Anna knew her life was coming to an end, so she entrusted Marlene with taking care of Ellie and sharing her story when the time came.

She even warns Ellie not to be as stubborn as she was, and to find her purpose and fight for it. Anna sees strength in Ellie and knows she’ll grow up to be an amazing woman. What a sweet message from a loving mother, may Ellie make her proud!

The Last of Us Episode 8 hits HBO Max next Sunday, March 5.

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