The Last of Us: Episodes Eight - 'When We Are in Need' Spoiler Review

We are coming to the final two episodes of the season, and I'm not sure what I was expecting from episode eight, but now what we got. When I saw the episode preview I was expecting David to be the nice guy in a group of bad guys, but as the episode wore on we saw that David was the bad guy in his group. I did not like sidelining Joel for almost two episodes, but it was necessary for Ellie to show her devotion to Joel while also looking after herself. Ellie can only rely on herself in this episode, and even though Joel makes it to her he does not save her, she saves herself. I became invested in David's group even though they were the villains because they seemed so ordinary. David's group were just people struggling to survive, and their reasons for wanting to kill Joel and Ellie made sense. These people did not have enough food for themselves let alone two more mouths to feed, and there is the fact that Joel killed one of them in episode seven. When we saw Joel kill the guy the assumption was they were raiders, but in reality they were just desperate men looking for food for their community. The Last of Us does a great job of shading the world in different hues that makes you think. The appearance by Troy Baker (the voice of Joel in the game) as James was a surprise, and while he did get killed by Ellie he also seemed like a decent guy (for a cannibal). 

Bella Ramsey did a lot of fantastic work in the last two episodes, but her interactions with David were some of her best moments. While Joel was sidelined he did kill three more of David's men, and since we knew their intention was to kill him I am good with what Joel did. Joel was brutal, and we saw that when it comes to Ellie there is no line he is not willing to cross to save her or keep her safe. Ellie also did her best to keep Joel safe, she went hunting for food for them, she got medicine for him, and she lured David's people away from Joel to keep him safe. The devotion the two of them have for each other is sweet, and it was great when they reunited at the end of the episode. Throughout the season people have assumed they are father and daughter, but they would always react immediately to reject the notion. The end of episode eight confirms that both Joel and Ellie have adopted each other as family. Where Joel has always sought to keep Ellie safe, David was looking to make Ellie his lover (?), and it was a very icky scene where it became obvious I was very wrong about David. Ellie's rage when she killed David might prove that he was right about her, but she also has Joel as a role model for how to use her inner rage for the right reasons. 


The episode opens on a group of survivors listening to a sermon being read to them by a man named David (played by Scott Shepherd). David appears to be the leader/minister of this small community, and a crying girl asks him to bury her father, but David says they have to wait until spring since the ground is too frozen. David and his second in command James (played by Troy Baker) are going over how much food they have left. David tells James that he senses doubt in him to which James replies that it has been a tough six months, but he confirms he is still with them. Ellie is still looking after Joel, but Joel still looks rough and they are running out of food. Ellie takes the rifle and goes out hunting, she sees a deer grazing so she shoots it injuring the deer. Ellie is tracking the blood from the deer, but David and James find the deer first, but Ellie catches up to the deer and she points her gun at them. David tries to talk to Ellie pleading for the deer for his community, but they settle on an exchange drugs for the deer. James will go back to the community to get penicillin, and Ellie will wait with David holding a gun to him the entire time. 

David continues to try and sway Ellie to join his community, but Ellie seems disinterested. David says he found religion after the world fell apart, and his community started after the Pittsburgh QZ fell to the Fireflies. David and his group have been wandering since the QZ fell picking up new people along the way. David says that the winter has been harsher than they expected so he sent four people to explore looking to scavenge, and only three of them returned. David says one of his men was murdered by a crazy man who had a girl with him, James arrives with the medicine and David tells him to give it to her. Ellie takes the medicine and runs away leaving the deer with David and James. Ellie returns to Joel and she injects him with the drugs, while at the community they make dinner while a guy brings cut up meat which he says is venison. David and James return during dinner, and David addresses the group about encountering Ellie (James must have told them when he came back for the medicine). David plans to take a hunting team in the morning to search for Ellie and Joel whom he plans to bring to justice for what Joel did. A girl speaks up saying Joel should be killed for killing her father, and David responds by slapping her. 

Ellie gives Joel another injection of the medicine, and she goes outside where she sees a lot of birds fly up. Ellie goes to inspect, and she sees David and his men in the town looking for her and Joel. Ellie returns to Joel attempting to wake him up, she hands Joel a knife and tells him that men are searching for them. Ellie gets on the horse and attempts to lead David and his men away from Joel. They chase after Ellie, and they catch her by shooting her horse causing her to fly off. David's men get to Ellie first and they want James to kill her, but David intervenes and orders them to bring her back to the community. David leaves three men behind to look for Joel who they know must be close by and injured. One of the men enters the house, and Joel hears his footsteps on the floor above. The locates the basement door that Ellie blocked with a cabinet. The man searches the basement, but he does not find who kills him from behind with the knife. 

Ellie awakens inside a cage where David has placed her, he is there watching her sleep and he tries again to convince her to join his group. Joel has taken down the other two men sent to find him, he is torturing them for information on where Ellie is. Joel makes one the men talk, and he get the man to point onto a map where the community is. Joel then kills both of the men, now that he has the location. David brings Ellie food, but Ellie sees an ear on the floor and she realizes that David has been feeding his people human meat. David does not deny it, and he explains it was either that or they starve to death, so he and a few others decided on what to do. David says he recognizes a violent heart in Ellie, and he says that he has one too. David says that his group needs a leader who give them the comfort of religion which is a role he plays. David believes that Ellie is like him, and that she sees the world in a similar way to him. David wants someone by his side who thinks and believes like he does, but Ellie breaks one of his fingers as her response to his plea to be by his side. 

Joel makes it to the community, and he follows a blood trail to a building where he find Ellie's bag, her dead horse and hanging skinned bodies. David comes back with James to chop Ellie up and feed her to the others, but she bites David on the hand and then tells them that she is infected. David rolls up her sleeve, and he sees that her arm has the bite. The confusion allows Ellie to grab the cleaver and she puts it in James' neck and runs away. Ellie is trapped inside a diner when David comes for her, but she tosses a lit fire log at him which misses but sets the building ablaze. As the fire consumes the building around them Ellie has to fight off David who has shown his true colors now. David pins Ellie to the ground, but she sinks a knife into him, and then she jumps on him and keeps hitting him with a cleaver until he is dead. Ellie goes outside and runs into Joel who embraces her as they walk away from the town as the episode ends.


The penultimate episode of season one was fantastic, and I was not expecting it to be so dark. The ending of the episode was very dark as David turned into a monster who not only was eating people, but he was interested in taking a child bride. It appeared that before Ellie got the upper hand on David and James, she was next up on the menu. The cannibalism was not as shocking since when the guy brought the meat to the kitchen and said it was venison it felt a little weird that we needed to see that. It is not shocking to discover that in a world where there is no food production that eating people might be something more common than not. David mentioned that the winter was harsher than they had expected, and if they were prepared they would cured meats made a store of foods to last them through the winter. While David turned out to be a monster, he seemed to be a decent leader, and a good man. David presented a good face to the world, but inside he was not a good man in the slightest. Joel presents as mean grump to the world, but inside we know he is good person, and he has shown that he is one. Ellie comes across as a foul-mouthed hot head, but really she is scared the people she loves will abandoned her too. Ellie knew enough about David that she was going to refuse his offer, and not just because he was being weird.  

With one episode remaining before the season ends I wonder where the story is going into the final episode of the season. I wonder if the story will be able to wrap up in a way that lines up with the ending of the game. The character of David and James were in the game as cannibalistic survivors, and the episode hewed close to the chapter from the game, but the biggest difference seemed to be that David in the show was more sinister in his intentions with Ellie. I needed to read up on the chapter from the game since I had no recollection of it when I watched the episode. It has been a weird season for me because my memory of the cutscenes from the game are spotty so each episode feels either new while others feel vaguely familiar. The action in this episode was all human against human which was different from the game where Ellie and David had to fight off infected while waiting for James to return with the medicine. I wish they had included infected in this episode as it has been a few episodes without an infected attack (in the current time). Episode eight was not boring at all, but I just wished we got the scene of Ellie and David fighting off infected.

I am going to give episode eight a 9/10 as I thoroughly enjoyed the episode and the end reveal of David being a monster caught me off guard in a good way. The creepiness of the way David touched Ellie's hand, the talk of them building a life together was all normal if Ellie was an adult. David's interest in Ellie seemed to suggest that he might be interested in younger females. David also dropped his guard down around Ellie and showed that his pious act was not who he really was inside. The performance by Scott Shepherd as David was incredible as I believed he was a good guy, until he was talking to Ellie trapped in a cage. The one thing I wondered as the episode ended was where were David's people when a building was on fire, there were a bunch of survivors who had to be somewhere nearby. In the game the encounter with David left Ellie broken, and by the end of this episode she seemed to be in shock. The finale looks primed to close out the first game, but how we get there will be very interesting as there is still some ground to cover before we get to the end of the first game. If they can manage to get to the end of first game by the end of season one without rushing, than I think we can give The Last of Us the due it deserves as a great show and an amazing adaptation. 

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