After a brief breather, Season 1 of The Last of Us concludes with one more episode that stands on its own. The seventh episode of this season, Left Behind, focuses on Bella Ramsey's Ellie and provides a darker meditation on coming-of-age romance within the show's post-apocalyptic setting while also delving deeper into Ellie's traumatic past. Left Behind is the best opportunity for Ramsey to show off their acting chops before The Last of Us concludes, and it's a much more heartbreaking standalone story than the season's widely acclaimed third episode.
The Last of Us on HBO is faithful to the games they were based on because its creators, Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann, played them extensively. The Last of Us on HBO has shown its faithfulness to the original game, despite some modifications made to add depth and improve certain aspects of the game. This has been made clear throughout The Last of Us, especially in episode 7, by the game's abundance of Easter eggs, references, and hidden details.
Tragedy For Riley
Riley's tragic final line in Episode 7 of The Last of Us is the game's final reference. After Riley and Ellie contract the virus, Riley tells the other girls they have a choice between two treatment methods. They can "be all poetic and just lose our minds together," as Riley puts it in the original game, which is echoed verbatim in HBO's adaptation. The tragic truth, however, is that Riley will turn in The Last of Us instead of Ellie, setting in motion the events of the pilot episode.
Just Mall Stuff
Episode 7 of The Last of Us makes several allusions to Mortal Kombat II, which connects back to Episode 2 and Ellie's obsession with the arcade machine. One of the posters of Mortal Kombat II that Ellie has on her wall. In the episode's latter half, Riley charges up the arcade so that Ellie can play Mortal Kombat II, and the two spend a long time together doing so. Ellie's description of Melina's killing blow in episode 2 of The Last of Us is mirrored on the machine in episode 7.
Photos taken in the photo booth by Ellie and Riley are another nod to the first The Last of Us. The "scary" poses the girls strike are instantly recognizable, but otherwise, most of the images are repetitive. Ellie and Riley's photo booth photo is featured on the DLC's promotional poster, so this is a nod to that moment in the game as well.
There Are Even Details In The Gameplay
The player must repeatedly bang the controller against their hand to reignite their flashlight, a mechanic present in both The Last of Us games. Ellie's flashlight malfunctions while she is walking through the mall in the seventh episode of The Last of Us. Then, in a neat and subtle reference that only fans of The Last of Us and Part II will pick up on, Ellie bangs the flashlight against her hand to make it work again.
Teasing Part II
Lastly, Episode 7 of The Last of Us contains two Easter eggs that hint at season 2 and feature the 1980s band A-ha. The band's Take On Me is featured prominently in The Last of Us Part II, and it serves as a link between Ellie, Joel, and her potential suitors. Ellie's room contains an A-ha cassette tape, which is a reference to this in the seventh episode of The Last of Us. When Ellie and Riley are having a good time at the mall, Take On Me plays in the background, subtly connecting the song to Ellie's potential romantic interest before season 2 does the same through Dina.
Did we miss any Easter Eggs? Let's Hear them down in the comments and be sure to tune in for next week's season finale!