The Last of Us, Episode 7 Review: Pure Boredom

I’m surprised more people don’t see it yet. How can people still think that this is the new best thing on TV since Game of Thrones or Stranger Things? Watching this show for a review is like treading through a minefield: there’s a 50-50 chance I could step a lovingly-crafted, carefully-adapted scene from the video game I loved, and an equal chance the show could go on a needless hourlong tangent to explain a backstory I never really cared about it.

And this time, I must’ve stepped on a nuke.

Jeez, this episode was so boring. Virtually the whole episode is a flashback to The Last of Us: Left Behind which details Ellie’s “backstory”. I use the term loosely because it’s not a highly detailed backstory that makes us care all about the character, but just a brute-force way to establish that Ellie’s really gay for a chick named Riley, a sentiment The Last of us Part II hammered home quite heavy-handedly.

As such, the entire episode was about Ellie and Riley’s last outing before the latter had to go off to another QZ somewhere. The writing in episode six was weak, but the writing in this episode is atrocious. I’ve long wanted to give this episode the benefit of the doubt, but it’s already given me enough reasons to hate it. Initiate Toxic Van Ghalta Mode.

To start out, the premise of the conflict is flawed: we’re supposed to be sorry that Riley is going away, but why do the Fireflies desperately want to relocate a sixteen-year-old girl to another QZ anyway? Do they think she’ll be a huge help? Blood of ancestors mine, she can’t even aim a gun right.

And I gotta say, the “if it’s blocked off…why isn’t it actually blocked off?” line is one of the dumbest I’ve heard on TV. So apparently there’s a mall full of infected, hence it’s sealed off by FEDRA, but two girls sneak in because they really, really wanna play Mortal Kombat?

Why did FEDRA seal off this building if it only had one zombie in it? Wouldn’t it be better to just shoot the zombie or waited until it was dead, then retake the mall for their own? Oh, wait, hold on. There’s an answer for this, straight from Riley’s mouth. Let’s hear it, Riley: “Because FEDRA’s dumb.”

Not kidding, that’s a real quote. Funny how FEDRA can create systems of government and basically build societies from the ground up, but are conveniently stupid when it comes to properly sealing off contaminated areas and determining whether said areas are contaminated in the first place. They run the schools, the society, the curfews, the executions, and…well, everything. But nope, they’re stupid. Thanks for telling me, Riley.

But oh no, turns out Riley and Ellie are the real stupid ones when a zombie attacks and bites them both, which based on the pretty awful choreography should never have happened. Then they have a moment while Ellie throws a temper tantrum, and then it cuts back to present day.

But let’s reflect on more poor writing choices, shall we? Ellie and Riley both drink out of an alcohol bottle belonging to a dead guy who’s obviously infected: can’t see that going wrong. (it doesn’t, by the way) They don’t search the mall to verify if there is actually any weight to FEDRA’s lockdown order, and take no precaution to defend against a zombie attack. Plus, if Riley was so chagrined about being sent away, couldn’t she make a request to her superiors to stay in Boston? I can’t imagine why they would so desperately care about making her stay.

By now, the larger cracks in the show are starting to tear it apart, especially with the acting: Bella Ramsey is and always was, I am now convinced, a blatant miscast for the role of Ellie. She just doesn’t do well enough: between the writers trying to express her girlbossiness and Ramsey’s uncompelling performances don’t do anything to help. She’s boring to watch, unattractive to look at, and is only a moderately good Ellie 50% of the time.

Pedro Pascal, on the other hand, could do better if only the writers allowed it. The script allows Ellie to be too rebellious and Joel to be too allowing. Pascal needs to be more assertive, more leading to be the Joel we love. Plus all this nonsense about “oh I’m so weeeeeeeeek here little bro why don’t you take my responsibiliteeeeeeeeeeees” must stop, along with the crying another other various assorted crap.

Even after episode five, I was willing to call this show the “crappiest” masterpiece. It had real merits, but it felt like the writers weren’t as interested in that as they were in dIvErSIty cAStiNg and gAy RoMAnCe. But after six and seven, it’s painfully obvious that they care more about that than the actual writing and adapting.

That’s all.


Be sure to check out my latest novel, Book 1 in the Praetors of Lost Magic Series, and our Publications page. Plus, I mean, it wouldn’t hurt to check out the Resources tab. It’s full of super helpful material and I promise it will help you out. Until then, writers!


Published by Van Ghalta

A cold, dark, mysterious character who purposefully wrote a story so that he could fit into it...A story where he himself WRITES stories, practices martial arts, blogs, plays airsoft, collects MTG trading cards, plays outdated video games, and writes weird, third-person bios for himself...

3 thoughts on “The Last of Us, Episode 7 Review: Pure Boredom

  1. That was pure torture. Never thought I would need to skip forward content that Pedro was a part of. (Wait, I did fast-forward a lot of Bill & Frank’s episode, too). This needed to be a mini-series to be effective.


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