In episode six of “The Last of Us,” the show delves into the relationship between the two main characters, Joel and Ellie. As they travel to Wyoming to find Tommy, Joel confronts his fears and insecurities, admitting his anxiety and fear of losing Ellie. However, it’s Ellie who takes center stage in this episode, with Joel finally recognizing that she is not a fragile creature but a survivor in her own right. It’s one of the most famous scenes from the video game, and the show did a great job of capturing it.
Ellie has lost everyone she cares about and is more than just the key to finding a cure for the Cordyceps infection. She is a person with her own thoughts and feelings, and by taking away her choice, Joel erases her humanity. When Joel makes the decision to have Tommy take Ellie to a university in Colorado without consulting her, Ellie tells him she is not Sarah, and what she needs from him is trust and support, not just protection.
The fight they have the night before going to the university forces Joel to see Ellie as someone different from Sarah. Born and raised in the apocalyptic world, Ellie is more capable of defending herself, and Joel needs to teach her how to survive on her own. When Joel finally accepts this, he agrees to give Ellie shooting lessons. Although Joel is wounded by looters after they are attacked at the university, he survives the injury, but his wound offers him the chance to let Ellie take care of him and for both characters to grow. Ellie learns that she is perfectly capable of surviving on her own, while Joel finally recognizes that she is not fragile and needs his trust and support more than his protection.
You can stream episode 6 now on HBO Max.