The Last of Us: ‘Please Hold To My Hand’ Spoiler Review – ScreenHub Entertainment

By Sean Gallagher

Last week’s episode of The Last of Us shifted the attention away from Joel and Ellie to give us the life canvas of Frank and Bill. It was a memorable episode, despite the drastic changes to the source material. This week brings the narrative back to Joel and Ellie and the show pulls heavily from the video game.

That’s not to say it’s a carbon copy of the original video. Just like The Last of Us’ premiere episode, the show has moments where its dialogue is lifted straight from the game, but also expands the world with new scenes and new characters. The show opens with Joel siphoning gasoline from an abandoned car to his truck and Ellie asking where people used to go back in the day with a tank full of gas. Joel’s dejected reply of “nowhere” not only highlights a flaw in our own society but is perhaps loaded with guilt that he never took Sarah anywhere either.

[Credit: HBO Max]

They hit the road, destination Kanas City this time, not Pittsburgh like the game. But apart from that, a lot of moments are straight from the game, from Ellie’s discovery of Bill’s erotic magazine to reading out puns from her joke book (outstanding in his field, you crack me up). Joel starts the episode reiterating that Ellie is nothing more than cargo but is willing to stay up all night to guard her on the first night. Towards the end of the episode, he’s smiling and laughing with her as she tells more puns. Joel is beginning to not see her as cargo but as a person, one who has spent her whole life in the Quarantine Zone, oblivious to the wonders of pre-outbreak life.

[Credit: HBO Max]

When they get to Kanas City, which is plagued by abandoned cars (set design continues to be a highlight on the show), a familiar setup to those playing the game will ensue, with a raider faking an injury and calling for help. Joel, who states he’s been on both sides of this con, does not stop for him as it is very much an ambush. The truck is damaged and they end up in a laundry mat where Joel fights them off. He almost dies but is saved thanks to Ellie and Frank’s gun. The encounter rocks both of them; Joel is shaken knowing that Ellie had to fire upon a man, something no one her age should do, while Ellie is somewhat troubled at Joel murdering an unarmed and surrendered raider. Ellie later asks if Joel ever killed innocents, a question he outright dodges, making us wonder just how shady Joel is.

[Credit: HBO Max]

But there’s a good chunk of original content in the show, chiefly around the character Kathleen. She’s the leader of the people in Kansas and is on the hunt for someone named Henry. When her people find the bodies in the laundry mat, she assumed that Henry is responsible and tells her troops to flip the city upside down in search of him. Thanks to the searches, the audience becomes privy that there’s a kid traveling with Henry, setting up a parallel with Joel and Ellie, and Henry and Sam, who are revealed in the final frames of the episode, holding our leads at gunpoint. Who these two will remain a mystery for now, but we’ll get the answers sooner than you think, as episode five will air this Friday instead of Sunday to avoid losing viewers to the Superbowl, so mark your calendars!

[Credit: HBO Max]

Episode four of The Last of Us didn’t have the same emotional gut punch as last week’s episode, but it gave Joel and Ellie the time needed for them to start trusting and bonding with each other. Considering the show hinges on their relationship, it was much needed to see Joel warming up to her and making the effort to protect her because she’s a person, not because she’s cargo. The score, pulling from the game, evoked the right emotional cues and the foundations are now being established for the rest of the show. Bring it on.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s