The Last of Us Season 1 Episode 7 Recap

The Last of Us Season 1 Episode 7 Recap: Directed by Liza Johnson, While Joel (Pedro Pascal) recovers from his wounds from the most recent assault, the story shifts its attention to Ellie’s (Bella Ramsey) life before she was bitten by the werewolf and handed to her traveling companion. In a flashback that lasts for almost the entirety of an episode, Ellie and her best friend Riley (Storm Reid), who ran away from FEDRA military training to become a Firefly, spend the night playing hooky in a deserted shopping mall that is full of wonders—and terrors. If you want a comprehensive breakdown of what happened in The Last of Us Episode 7 Recap and why it matters, then you should keep reading over at

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The Last of Us Season 1 Episode 7 Recap ‘Left Behind’

Joel and Ellie are discovered camped out in the garage of an empty suburban home. Ellie does what she can staunch Joel’s blood, but he instructs her to ignore him, grabs her, and urges her to find Tommy up north. Ellie drapes Joel’s blazer on him, and exits the house, while a tear slips from Joel’s eye.

The scenario then abruptly transitions to a flashback to Ellie’s time at the FEDRA school. She listened to Pearl Jam’s “All or None” on her Walkman cassette player while running laps in a gym within the Boston quarantine zone. Ellie’s classmate Bethany rips off her headphones and tells her to speed up, but Ellie doesn’t want to get into a confrontation with her. However, the young lady insists that Ellie isn’t a fighter and that instead, it’s her buddy that engages in such behavior; nonetheless, the latter is no longer present. Ellie, however, shows the girl otherwise by striking her square in the face. Ellie, now sporting a black eye, is taken to Captain Kwong’s office, where he notes that while Ellie has never been the model of behavior, she has gotten much worse over the course of the last few weeks. Ellie hears Kwong remark that Bethany has had fifteen stitches and responds, “excellent,” before pleading with Kwong to simply toss her in the hole. But, Kwong claims the hole is useless, so he plans to try something different: he would be honest with her.

Kwong believes Ellie is bright, but she might go in two different directions. If she stays on the first road and acts like a grunt, she’ll end up as a grunt. For the remainder of her life, she will be forced to do menial tasks, eat mediocre food, and obey menial orders (likely from Bethany). On the other hand, Ellie may put aside her ego, do what she’s told, and join the police force. You get delicious food, and your own room, and you get to tell the Bethanys to take a hike if you choose this path. Ellie presses him for an explanation, and Kwong explains that if they fail, the entire QZ fails regardless of what anyone believes. Ellie says the latter when Kwong believes she has leadership potential and asks her which way she would go. Upon Ellie’s request, Kwong returned her Walkman to her. Ellie’s best friend Riley (Storm Reid of Euphoria) comes in through the window at around 2:00 a.m. the following morning and puts her hand over her lips. Riley disappeared without a word three weeks ago. She proudly proclaims to Ellie, “I joined the Fireflies,” and produces her rifle as evidence. She tells El they are going to spend a few hours together “having the best night of your life.” Ellie objects… instead of waiting for Riley to exit the window, he gets dressed and exits with him.
Without worrying about being caught by patrols, the two make their way out to the slums, where Riley advises Ellie to be more selective in her future bouts after the Bethany match. After breaking into the building through a window and ascending seven stories, they come across a body. According to Riley, the corpse wasn’t there the day before, and it appears that the man drank alcohol and took medicines together before the pandemic hit. They are startled, but then they chuckle at how quickly Ellie snatches the bottle before the man falls through the rotting floor. Ellie asks Riley if he had ever seen a dead body before, and the two of them drink from the bottle. Riley’s parents are not allowed to take her anywhere, she says. As Ellie makes fun of Riley and her recitation of the Firefly rules, Riley agrees to let Ellie touch her rifle, and Ellie comments on how fairly heavy it is. Ellie inquires as to the cause of this change, wondering if she began dating a member of the Firefly and afterward become a terrorist. After the girls get over their shock, they take the bottle of alcohol off the corpse and go up to the roof to consume it. Throughout the course of their drinking and chitchat, we discover: Ellie was in “the hole” during the time Riley was recruited by the Fireflies; her parents are dead, and Riley stole out of the dorm one night to join the gang (aka solitary). Ellie defends FEDRA in light of Kwong’s criticisms, claiming that the organization “sort of holds things together.” Riley, however, is not in the mood for debate and hastily runs to the adjacent structure to declare that they are on a mission. Riley is in tow.

When they reach a retail mall, Ellie objects, saying that it has been quarantined since it is overrun with ill people. Nevertheless, Riley clarifies that it is not and that the mall has restored electricity after a neighboring block was wired by FEDRA. Tonight, I’ll take you to see the four most impressive things in the shopping center. As Ellie wanders around the brightly illuminated mall, bewildered by the moving escalators and window displays, Riley proclaims happily. Some stores have been looted, while others have not been touched. For example, despite recent demand, Victoria’s Secret still has plenty of supply. Riley jokes that she can just picture Ellie groaning in those bras and other undergarments, and the two of them had a good chuckle. But once Riley goes on, Ellie stares at her mirror in the clothing store display and adjusts her hair slightly. You’ve had such a tough go of it, and it’s only going to get worse from here on out; it must be hard to remember that at heart, you’re still a little girl. This tiny diversion serves as a useful reminder.

Ellie is instructed by Riley to close her eyes before Riley leads her by the hand to her third excitement, which is the carnival that is still operational in the shopping center. Riley turning it on causes Ellie to go absolutely bonkers. When the carnival finally stops moving, they both hop on adjacent horses and pass the drink around until the ride is over.  Ellie interrupts Riley with a request: Return to the FEDRA school and assist Ellie in improving things from within. Riley refuses to comply. In the following month, she will turn 17, the age at which students receive their first post-school assignment, and she already knows that she will be assigned to the sewage detail. “Keeping watch while others sweep garbage. She explains that she fled away in a panic. Ellie shows compassion.   While asking Ellie if she is prepared to meet the remaining three miracles. Riley then presents Ellie with the photo clip they took in the photo booth.  They take a look at the pictures, and then Riley gives Ellie her own copy.  Riley instructs Ellie to pay attention before they proceed to the next wonder. Ellie begins to dash for  Arcade as soon as she learns what comes next.  Riley amazes Ellie once more with the fully functional casino, and they enjoy Mortal Kombat II, oblivious to the fact that a few storefronts over, a creature awakes after sensing the tremors of their motions through tendril.

Ellie is taken aback, but she and her friend read through the awful jokes and laugh it off. Ellie watches Riley remove hers and notices that Riley has an entire arsenal of grenades stashed away.  When Ellie mentions the time, Riley insists that they have time. Even though Ellie claims she won’t be around tomorrow because she’s trying to avoid trouble, it looks like she’s going to have some anyhow. Riley chimes in to say she presented Ellie with a present. Ellie’s motivation to continue her shopping trip appears to have been sufficiently stated. They head to the food court and order meals without paying at a taco stand.  Ellie notices a bunch of explosive devices in the side and immediately concludes that Riley manufactured them “to attack troops,” but Riley says she’d never allow the Fireflies are using the bombs against Ellie. Our hearts continue to hurt. Riley chases after Ellie and announces loudly that she will be posted at the Atlanta QZ the next day. she says she’ll be leaving Boston tonight. She goes on to say that she had asked Marlene if they might go together and that she had been turned down. Ellie takes everything in, approaches Riley, and inquires as to the purpose of their meeting. Riley claims she made the trip in order to finally meet her. Ellie finally started to cry. With that, she waves farewell and departs, continuing her journey across the mall on her own.

Ellie begins to walk back toward the route they came in but then changes her mind. Ellie runs toward the sound of the screams. On the other hand, she eventually learns that the source of the screaming was a Halloween shop. Riley, who is already inside, greets her with “surprise – the fifth wonder.” Riley claims that she saved this for last since she knew Ellie would appreciate it the most. Ellie, still distraught, returns Riley’s book and takes a seat next to her pal. Riley claims that Ellie is ignorant of the value of family and belonging and that she longs for that feeling once more. Riley’s perception of the Fireflies may be off, but they still choose her, so she must have some value to them. Ellie, however, insists that Riley was the most important person in her life, claiming that she wishes she could hit Riley so badly. Riley assures Ellie she will be leaving, and Ellie agrees. According to Ellie, Riley is her closest buddy.

Riley claims that she has something else to do before the night is finished.  Riley plugs the Walkman into the stereo, and Etta James’s rendition of “I Got You Babe” plays. Riley dons a clown mask while Ellie dances on the counter in front of the store while wearing a wolf mask. But now Ellie is slowing down and taking off her disguise. Ellie begs Riley to stay, and Riley listens to her pleas once she removes her mask. Ellie gives Riley a kiss, and the two of them, are relieved to still be together. Ellie inquires as to their next steps, and Riley assures her that they will be determined. There’s a clicker on his way. Riley quickly draws her revolver in preparation for an attack by clicker. A clicker them through the Halloween store, and they both try to flee away. Riley opens fire on them. That monster is quite quick, and it sneaks up on Riley’s head back. Then it goes for Ellie, stabbing her multiple times, although the wounds have little effect on the creature’s speed. Riley uses a baseball bat to kill the infected that has climbed on top of her. Ellie grabs her knife and stabs it in the head, killing it instantly. Riley just stares at Ellie’s bitten hand. Riley raises her hand to show that she too has been bitten. Both of them are hopeless.

Now in the present, Joel is in the cold basement, recalling the time right after Ellie disappeared. But, she went back upstairs looking for supplies in a last-ditch effort to aid Joel. Ellie’s irritation and rage lead her to smash the Halloween store when she returns to the mall. Ellie relaxes and takes a seat next to Riley, who explains that, in her opinion, they can either go on their merry path or choose to ease out by shooting themselves.   They continue going and never give up. They can hang out for whichever long they have, be it 2 minutes or 2 days. I refuse to let go of that. She reaches out for Ellie’s hand, and the two of them grip tightly as Ellie sobs into Riley’s shoulder. Back to Joel, Ellie scavenges the house and discovers a needle and thread. She quickly returns to Joel, grabbing his hand as she does so. Riley and Sam were beyond her ken, but Joel is in her sphere of influence. When Joel turns away, hurt, she examines the cut and begins to stitch it up. She has located Riley’s family and is prepared to do whatever it takes to protect him.

[HBO] The Last of Us Episode 1: Who Is Riley? Is she Fireflies? Explained!

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Olivia Wilson
Olivia Wilson
Olivia Wilson is the senior news writer for TV Acute. She spends too much money on collectables and is enamored with movies, comics, and television series. She loves binge-watching and can spend hours talking about movies and TV shows. She can immerse herself into a good story no matter the genre or form and only come out from it when she's had her fill. When she's not writing, she's probably cooking or exploring new places. You can follow her daily exploits on Twitter and Facebook.

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