Everything Happens for a Reason

Episode 8 introduces a segment that left players surprised in the video game adaptation; an moment in Ellie’s journey that would change her forever. Nearly every beat was faithful to the source material even going as far as bringing Troy Baker – the voice of Joel – into the mix. Episode 8 was excellently done, despite a minor change and a surprising lack of infected.

Left Alone

Ellie decides to stick around and help Joel recover – but with resources running dry, she is forced to hunt for food. This coincides with the introduction of David, a leader of a small group if religious folks trying to survive. We see more insight of David and his group, something that was entirely absent in the video game. James, who is played by Troy Baker, is David’s right hand – he seems to be in doubt of David’s leadership due to a recent incident. Their cultists view of the world really grounds their motives – and we soon find out that everything happens for a reason.

Ellie takes Joel’s rifle, which is one of the few changes of this episode. The pacing remains the same with Ellie landing a shot on a Deer and following its trail of blood to the carcass. At the same time, David and James went out hunting for food as well, since they’re running dry. As fate has it, Ellie and David meet. After the classic “get the medicine” negotiation concludes, Ellie orders David to carry the Deer to a nearby cabin. The environment is nearly spot on, as it is throughout the episode. The first disappointing change occurs with the absence of infected swarming the barn – it would have forced David and Ellie to survive together. But as the show would have it, time was of the essence, even if this was one of the shortest episodes in the season. The segment would have still worked under 10mins with minimal infected for the sake of showcasing that David is not entirely the trusted man he portrays to be, much like the video game. Instead, we get the expected dialogue, nearly word for word, revealing that the hunters back in the university was sent by David to scavenge for food, yet a man who was accompanied by a little girl kills one of their men. Tension rise between Ellie and David, but he still honors the trade and extends an invitation to the group. Ellie flees the scene to return back to Joel, but leaves tracks behind.

While Ellie tends to Joel with newfound medicine, David’s group is prepping for supper – at the start of the episode, we see a little girl crying because her father was killed during a run. David is then preaching a scripture to keep up hope, and during that time the little girl ask to bury the father, which David affirms that will be done once the the snow stops, since the ground is too frozen to dig. This is the first hint we see on the darker side of his group because during the supper scene, meat was given to the cook and was told it was venison – soon after, David and James just arrives with the Deer. The emphasis of the little girls father, the off-timing “venison” meat alongside David’s arrival afterwards was a clear indication that they’re cannibal’s. As gamers, we learned this from a scene with Ellie’s imprisonment, but the hints and story telling was expertly paced here.

Baby Girl

The day breaks with David and group tracking Ellie – his motive is to capture Ellie and kill Joel, which demoralizes the group. After Ellie’s capture, Joel recovers just enough to stealthily kill one of the hunters searching the town Ellie was hiding in – which leads to one of the most classic moments of The Last of Us, the interrogation. Down to the stab in the knee, it is a faithful reimagining of Joel’s dark side. I loved every second of it.

Ellie’s conversation with David while imprisoned also remained faithful – breaking his fingers and reaching for the keys was like reliving my first playthrough. The moment where Ellie was dragged out of the cage and put on the table was thoroughly impressive as Bella Ramsey goes beyond with her acting chops; the way she portrayed her fear through that visceral scream left me feeling absolutely drawn in – it felt genuine.

Then came the important moment of Ellie’s growth, the encounter between David and Ellie in the restaurant, damn near felt like I was playing the game. Ellie stealthily shift between seats, scurrying to the kitchen and then grabbing a knife to then stab David from behind was absolutely enthralling. What comes next I’ll leave to the viewers but there is a change that I found didn’t need to be done. So, to talk about it, I’ll leave a spoiler warning after the review.


This score doesn’t indicate that the episode was underwhelming compared to the rest, in fact it’s one of the best – it’s just that some key elements could have been added from the game and still tell an amazing story anyway.


After Ellie was knocked down by David, and he proceeds to impose himself onto her, she manages to grab the knife he drops and kills David with it by continuously chopping his face in a fit of desperate rage; absolutely faithful to the game and I loved that it remained thay way. But then Joel doesn’t intervene to calm her down, instead she walks out the restaurant and Joel then calms her outside. Both versions served the same exact purpose, but I think it would have been better if it remained like the game, because while she’s in a fit of rage, Joel’s effort to comfort her then would have been much more impactful. In the TV show, her being in shock and then Joel coming to comfort her is a delayed reaction. Either way, the episode was phenomenally done and I can’t wait for the final episode this coming Sunday.

For more on HBO’s The Last of Us and gaming, follow me on Twitter and other social media here

You May Also Like