Alouette opens with Isabelle, played by Clémence Poésy, as she experiences the infection as it hits Paris. Apparently she wasn’t always involved with the nunnery. She hears random screams as she is leaving a coke fueled party, and sees the beginning of the end as she walks to the subway. The gravity of the situation doesn’t hit her until the subway car rolls bye and she sees the violence up close.
Isabelle almost buys it in those first crazy minutes but is lucky enough to get saved before the chaos on the streets can take her life.
After she is rescued, Isabelle goes to her apartment to get a few things. While leaving her apartment we see her tell a little girl to go back to her apartment and lock the door. Isabelle tells the little girl that her mother will be back soon. Isabelle knows how badly Paris is right? It felt like she was blowing the kid off because it was easier to leave the kid behind, than take her.
Alouette scores 75/100. Once again the Zombies aren’t the main focus of the episode. The other major issue was how Laurent is born. It feels like a not so subtle or elegant rip off of The Last of Us. The production values are top notch – I just hope the story is going to end up being the same quality level.
The episode tells the back story of how Laurent was born. Isabelle’s sister was pregnant when the outbreak started. The two of them found shelter at the nunnery, where Isabelle was sworn to protect her sisters child.
The rest of the episode of Daryl playing commando to go raid a local hoarder’s palace. Team Daryl needs a horse for their cart. The feral kid colony needs supplies.
I love how the mule can sense the walkers ahead and refuses to go down the road.
Father Daryl. Do I need to say more?
How Isabelle leaves her male friend behind when it comes down to her sister or the dude.
The feral kid camp. Its been done in so many other series. It feels worn out.
Deux Amours is the premier episode of the new TWD spin off. Normal Reedus takes his beloved character, Daryl Dixon, on a European adventure. How does he get to France? Apparently Daryl was on a French cargo ship. What was the cargo? This is The Walking Dead – so of course the cargo was Zombie test subjects. After the cargo ship meets a catastrophic end, Daryl ends up on a lifeboat, drifting across the Gulf of Cadiz before washing up on shore.
After scavenging for a bit Daryl comes across his first French Walkers. They aren’t quite the same as the walkers in the states.
Apparently the French Zombies exude some kind of caustic or acid. You can see the way Daryl screams and his flesh smokes when walker grabs him.
As usual, the walkers aren’t the most dangerous things around. People are the thing you really need to watch out for in The Walking Dead universe. After saving Maribelle from being raped she lets her companion bash Daryl over the head. Thankfully for Daryl he is rescued and taken to a nunnery. Double lucky for Daryl, they know how to treat his acid walker wounds! We also learn that these “Burners” are just one of the walker variants out there.
Deux Amours Scoring
Deux Amours has the production values you would expect from a spin off like this. The acting, dialogue and special effects are all top tier. Scoring this premiere episode was really hard. I wanted to like it. I wanted to love it – so I need to be careful that my enthusiasm didn’t impact my objectivity.
What cost it points? The Laurent storyline seems dangerously close to being a rip off of The Last of Us. His mother died in birth, he’s special. I really hope they put a different twist on that in the coming episodes. The other reason it lost points was how fast we transitioned from Zombies being the main enemy to the militant human faction.
The season finale opens with a pregnant woman running through the woods. In the distance we can hear infected screams. She makes it back to a farmhouse only to find its empty. When her water breaks she reaches down and finds a thick yellow mucus instead of clear fluid.
Is she infected? Is this Ellie’s Mom? Yes, yes it is. Her name is Anna.
The pregnant woman flee up the stairs but its too late. One of the infected has found her. As the infected attacks the woman gives birth. Ellie is Born.
When Anna’s friend return to the farmhouse they find her, bitten and infected – but afraid to nurse her daughter. Anna lies to her group. Anna emphatically says that she cut the cord before she was bit. A lie, but likely the only reason that Ellie is alive.
Anna begs Marlene to kill her as the virus takes over. Marlene struggles, but does what’s needed. Baby Ellie cries as the sound of the gunshot startles her.
Ellie (Current Day)
When we snap back to the current timeline Ellie is sitting in the back of a truck. Joel scavenges supplies and a boardgame as Ellie zoned out, lost in her own thoughts.
The two move through a city and are forced to climb a sky scraper to get a better view.
Ellie seems off. Something is eating at her. At least until Joel lifts her up to the next level in the building and she comes face to face with a Giraffe. It looks like the local zoo animals escaped and have survived.
As Joel and Ellie look out over the surviving animals Joel pitches Ellie on returning to Tommy. Ellie tells him there is no half way. They need to finish what they started.
The two find an old army post and Joel breaks down and tells Ellie how she has helped him. How she healed him. The bond for a moment before continuing there trek. At least until some a-hole throws a flash bang grenade at them. Ellie is dragged away as Joel is clocked in the head with the butt of a rifle.
When Joel wakes up he is with Marlene. The Fireflies have them. Marlene wants to know how Joel did it. She lost a lot of people crossing the country. Joel wants to see Ellie but Marlene tells him he can’t. Ellie is about to go into surgery. They want to remove the Cordyceps from Ellie – from her brain.
Joel demands they take him to Ellie but Marlene doesn’t care. She has excuses, and she claims to understand, but she would betray Anna’s trust if it means saving the world.
Marlene tells her mom to take Joel to the highway. If he tries anything, kill him. Before they leave Marlene hands Ellie’s switch blade to one of the soldiers. When they let him go he can have the blade to defend himself.
As the soldiers guide Joel downstairs he attacks. They didn’t stand a chance. He picks up one of their rifles and begins to talk through the facility, killing Fireflies as he goes.
Joel is death.
When he finally make it to the OR he demands they unhook Ellie. The first doctor finds out quickly that Joel is not kidding.
Joel picks up Ellie and carries her to the elevator. As a father I felt the moment that he stairs down at her in his arms. I would sacrifice the world for my chidden. The good of the many makes perfect sense until the good of the few impacts your family.
Marlene confronts Joel in the parking garage. She tells him, begs him, to think of the many. To think how Ellie could help them fix the world. He doesn’t care. Joel kills Marlene before taking Ellie off in a truck.
Joel & Ellie Escape
Ellie wakes up in the truck, still have drugged. Joel tells her lies. He doesn’t want her to know the decision he made for both of them. For all of them.
As Ellie and Joel hike through the mountains he tells her about Sarah. He tells Ellie he thinks they would have liked each other.
As they walk Ellie admits that the first person she killed was Riley. This leads Ellie to demand that Joel swear that the lies he told her about the fireflies was true.
Joel swears, not showing any signs that he is being deceptive.
The credits roll.
Season 1 of The Last of Us is over.
Look for the Light Scoring
I couldn’t look away for a second of Look for the Light. I can only give it a 100/100 and say it is Worth Your Time.
Things I loved about this episode:
Ellie’s mom looks just like Ellie. Did they use her real mom or was that all CGI?
Pedro Pascal. He is just amazing.
Bella Ramsey. She is just amazing.
The chemistry between Pedro and Bella is a beautiful thing. It makes the whole world and the story so much more believable.
When Joel goes full Rambo to save Ellie. He is a dangerous man.
Joel putting Marlene down. I love how there was no indecision. Joel knowns Marlene would just come after Ellie. It is a quick and easy decision for Joel.
Things I hated about this episode:
Are the infected not attracted to animals? The giraffes were cool but would they really be alive in a world infected with a mind controlling fungus?
Marlene just lets Joel go? No way she wouldn’t have realized that he would kill for Ellie at this point.
Episode 8 opens with a preacher reading the bible to his congregation. One of the flock has fallen, but it is too cold to bury them. That will have to wait until the ground thaws. After the sermon the Preacher David asks one of the other survivors (James) how the food stores are doing. They are running out of food. The scene ends with the pastor slapping David’s arm and telling him they are going hunting.
Ellie is trying to give Joel food and water. He is either asleep or passed out. Ellie tell him she will be right back before going outside with the rifle. She scans her surroundings, not looking comfortable with the weapon, before heading into the snow covered wood.
Ellie sees a rabbit first but stumbles, letting it escape. She then shoots and wounds a deer. Preacher David and James find the deer before her. Preacher David tells her he is from a large group that is hungry. He is willing to trade. Ellie wants antibiotics for Joel. Preacher David sends James back for the meds to trade for half the deer.
With James having an eight mile round trip to bring the meds Preacher David convinces Ellie to take shelter and start a fire. The two of them have a heart to heart while they wait. The Preacher tells Ellie a story about how had sent out a few scavengers to find supplies. Only one of his scavengers didn’t return. It is the man that Joel killed at the college!
Preacher David completes the trade, even though James wants to take vengeance. Elle runs back to Joel with the meds and gives him a shot of antibiotics.
With the trade complete Preacher David and James head back to their camp with their share of the deer. His congregation is quiet as he enters. He promises them that when the sun comes up he will go back out and find the people who killed one of their flock.
While out gathering snow for water Ellie sees a flock of birds react to something in the distance. She immediately realizes the Preacher and his group have come for them.
More alarming, the preacher wants to kills whomever Ellie is with – but keep her alive. It is never a good sign when a religious cult leader demands the young girl be brought to him alive.
As Ellie tries to draw them off on the horse, the poor beast is shot out from under her by James. He is about to put her down when Preacher David saves her from his own men. He tells them to go door to door and kill anyone else who was with Ellie, while he carries her back to their main camp.
Joel Fights Back
As the Preacher’s men go door to door one of them finds the house Joel is in. Joel wakes up just enough to realize he’s in danger and sneak up on his would be murderer. Joel puts the man down quietly with a knife.
Creepy Preacher David
Ellie waked up in a cage. Preacher David tries to screw with her mind. He tells her he is the only thing keeping her alive
Joel Being Joel
Once Joel is back on his feet he quickly tears through the men that Preacher David left to hunt him down. In the process he gets one of them to tell him where Ellie is. Joel is pissed and he has a target.
We then cut back to Ellie in her cage. As Preacher David brings her food she sees an ear on the floor. The Preacher has been eating the dead in order to survive. Preacher David tries to gaslight Ellie into believing she is an equal, a friend, but all he really wants to do is to manipulate a teenage girl. He promises Ellie that he will call off his men if Joel will just leave. Of course it is all bullsh*t. The Preacher is just trying to get a lever on Ellie.
It is super creepy as he reaches through the grate wraps his hand around hers. She’s fourteen in the show right?
Joel stumbles into town before finding a blood trail leading into a building. He finds bags and other items taken from survivors before finding their dead horse and multiple human bodies hung up for butchering.
As Joel is realizing what the scavengers have been doing Preacher David and James return to Ellie to turn her into dinner. She freaks out Preacher by telling him he’s no infected. It gives her just enough time to grab the cleaver and kill James.
With few weapons on hand Ellie ends up throwing a burning branch at the Preacher, setting the building they are in on fire in the process.
The Preacher tells Ellie how lucky she could have been as he stalks her around the locked up building. As they play cat and mouse in the building Ellie grabs a steak knife and uses it to stick Preacher David in the side. Things get super creepy as Preacher David tells Ellie the fighting is the part he enjoys. Thankfully Ellie gets her hand on the meat cleaver and finishes him off before things get truly horrible.
When Ellie makes it outside Joel grabs her and hugs her, telling her he has her. He gives her his coat before the two of them walk off into the snowy distance.
When We Are In Need Scoring
When We Are In Need was full of twists and turns and scored a well deserved 100/100. I couldn’t look away and wished the 50 minute episode was two hour long.
Things I loved about this episode:
Ellie’s intensity when she finds Preacher David and James with her deer.
The revelation that Preacher David’s lost survivor is the man that Joel Killed in Left Behind.
The subtle show of Preacher David’s true disposition towards his own people. Slapping a girl who lost her father does not make for a good impression.
The way Ellie realizes she is being hunted when she sees the birds react to the other groups passage.
How Joel took apart the men searching for him once he was back on his feet. All he cares about is Ellie and he’ll do whatever he needs to do to find her.
Things I hated about this episode:
Ellie injecting antibiotics into the area around Joel’s wound. If they gave her intravenous antibiotics would injecting them into tissue do anything at all?
Cannibals? I feel like this is both a logical plot device but also one that has become a bit of a trope.
Joel is wounded and bleeding. Not to mention in a ton of pain. He urges Ellie to go to Tom. Ellie covers up Joe’s shivering body before walking upstairs and going through the door. Is she leaving? We won’t know for a little bit because when Ellie leaves she steps into an epic Flashback.
Fedra Camp (Flashback)
Ellie is running lap before a bully decides to pick on her. Ellie says she doesn’t want to fight but her bully just says “her” friend is gone and her friend was the fighter. After the brawl Ellie’s camp commander tells her she is smart and she could be leader – but not if she keeps acting like a grunt.
Later, after Ellie goes to bed we see someone sneak into her room. It turns out it is her best friend, Riley Abel, who has been on the run for three weeks. Ellie demands to know where her friend went. Her friend went to join the Fireflies. The two of them head out into the night as they chat about when to fight, and when not to.
The two young ladies climb the stairs of an abandoned building only to find a corpse. It looks like the dead guy overdosed and drank himself to death. The Last of Us is a tough world.
The Mall (Flashback)
Riley has taken Ellie to the old mall. Which takes us back to Episode 1, When You’re Lost in the Darkness. The mall was referenced when Ellie was talking about how she got bit.
After Riley leads Ellie into the mall, Riley turns on the lights. Riley is going to shoe Ellie “The Four Wonders of the Mall”. Ellie is amazed at how the escalator works, and ends up almost taking Riley down. I thought it was going to lead to them coming face to face. Maybe for a kiss or something. But it didn’t happen. Yet. There have been hints that Ellie might be gay. You be you Ellie. Love who you want to love.
Riley makes Ellie close her eyes before taking her hand. Riley walks her to the Ferris Wheel. The two share a touching moment as Ellie looks at her friend, clearly in love.
This is when the Ferris Wheel stops.
Photo Booth (Flashback)
Ellie and Riley go into the photobooth after the Ferris Wheel freezes. The girls pull the drape closed and proceed to make funny faces as the booth takes pictures. The two exit the photo booth to head to the Fourth Wonder of the Mall, the Arcade.
They head into the Arcade as the beeps and sound effects of the games fill the air. The two find a Mortal Kombat II game and can’t contain their excitement.
The camera slowly pans away from the girls and into the darkness. They aren’t alone. One of the infected is in the mall and all the noise is wakening it up.
Macho Nacho (Flashback)
Riley’s next stop takes the girls to where Riley has been sleeping. It is also where she’s been making explosives for the Fireflies. After Ellie confront her, Riley admits she came back to see Ellie because it is her last night in Boston. The two share a touching moment as Riley tells Ellie she wanted to say goodbye.
Ellie stomps off as Riley watches. Ellie gets as far as the main entrance before guilt or anger makes her go back. The lights are off and we can hear screaming – but it was just Riley in the Halloween store.
This leads Riley & Ellie to having a very cute dance scene that culminates in a kiss. Of course everything is ruined by the infected.
The way they both smiled afterwards says it all. Love is love.
Enter the Infected (Flashback)
Riley tells Ellie to run just before the lone infected attacks. Riley is knocked out almost immediately, leaving Ellie to go toe to toe with the Zombie with her blade. Just when it looks like Ellie might be in trouble Riley get up and distracts the infected with her baseball bad. Giving Ellie the moment she needs to stab the creature in the head with her knife.
Ellie momentarily celebrates her victory in combat before lifting her arm to show her bite mark. Riley lifts her hand as Ellie cries out in denial and frustration. Riley has been bit too.
Ellie rages before she asks Riley what they are going to do. Riley lays out two options. She has the gun in her hand or they can just keep going.
We aren’t shown how Riley dies before jumping back to the current timeline.
Joel & Ellie (Current Timeline)
Ellie searches frantically for something. We don’t know what it is until she finds it. She was looking for a needle and thread.
Ellie uses a needle and string to sew up Joel. He’s in pain but the job has to be done. The episode ends with her sewing up Joe’s injury.
Am I the only one panicking because there are only two episodes of Season 1 left?
Left Behind Scoring
Left Behind scores 90/100 and is and is Worth Your Time. It is an amazing episode. Bella Ramsey and Storm Reid have electricity jumping between them! My only wish is that there were more Zombies!
Things I loved about this episode:
The way that the episode portrays Ellie’s affection for Riley. So much was said with so few words.
The Halloween Store dance and emotional movement when Ellie kisses Riley. There is just a moment where we aren’t sure how Riley will react to being kissed, but clearly she was just as much in love with Ellie as Ellie was with her.
Things I hated about this episode:
Have the young survivors not seen an infected? Is the mall in the Quarantine Zone? It seems like the survivors in the Quarantine Zone would maybe be more careful?
Sewing up the external wound on Joel isn’t going to do much if he’s bleeding internally.
Joel and Ellie have taken Marlon, played by Graham Greene and his wife captive. They are lost in the woods and were hoping to get some help. Marlon and his wife tell Joel that anyone who goes west of the river doesn’t come back. As Joel leads Ellie outside he has some type of attack. He was about to pass out before he regains his composure.
Joel and Ellie find a secluded place along the river and rest for the night. Ellie sees Joel sipping from his Hip Flask and begs a sip. She still doesn’t like the taste of whiskey. I was so excited to see Joel’s Hip Flask because I have the same one. Its made by Valtcan and is totally awesome.
The River Of Death
For the second time Joel falls asleep and leaves Ellie at Risk. Thankfully this time she stood guard for him and they weren’t ambushed.
Joel and Ellie then watch the river from the high ground. Joel fires off a single shot but they don’t see anything moving. The two of them cross an old bridge as the background music grows ominous. As they walk they come upon an old power generation station. As the two are walking they are quickly surrounded by a group on horseback.
The newcomers have a dog that can smell the infected. Ellie backs away in fear as the dog approaches, at least until it tackles her gently to the ground and licks her face.
River of Death Base Camp
Joel and Ellie are taken to a large settlement. The survivors have a town. They are only a few hundred feet into the town when Joel sees Tommy and screams hi name. The brothers hug in relief as they are re-united.
As Joel and Ellie eat breakfast Tommy breaks some news. Maria MIller is now family. If she looks familiar, she is played by Rutina Wesley of True Blood fame.
Joel asks Tommy to help him get Ellie to the Firefly base but Tommy isn’t having it. Tommy doesn’t want to leave his new community or put it at risk. Maria is pregnant and Tommy doesn’t want to take any risks. Joel angrily tells Tommy that they will collect some supplies and be gone in the morning. As Joel walks outside two things happen. He leans against a post as if he’s lost his strength and then he sees a girl who looks like his dad daughter Sarah in front of him.
We then see Ellie reading about how a Menstrual Cup works. This is the second time we’ve seen Ellie with feminine hygiene products. Is the show just very female friendly or is there something coming up that deals with how her body works?
Afterwards Maria cuts Ellie’s hair as the two chat. Maria tells Ellie about Sarah before warning Ellie that Joel has done some very bad things in the past. Ellie tells her she knows that Joel is a killer – but Maria still warns her to be careful.
While Ellie spends time with Maria, Joel tries to fix his boot. At least until Tommy comes in and gives him a new pair of boots. Tommy asks Joel why he’s with Ellie and Joel tells his brother the truth. Ellie is immune. The fear on Tommy’s face is real. He looks outside in the direction where Ellie is with Maria before demanding that Joel gives him the whole story.
Joel pours out his heart. He feels weak and afraid. He relives losing Sarah over and over in his sleep. Joel is afraid that he is going to let Ellie down as well. Joel begs Tommy to take Ellie. Tommy is the only one that Joel trusts.
Tommy promises to take Ellie out at dawn before parting ways with his brother.
As soon as Joel enters Ellie’s room she confronts him. She heard Joel tell Tommy that he has to take her. Ellie tries to tell Joel she’s sorry about Sarah but Joel can barely stand to hear his daughters name. Ellie tells Joel that she’s lost people too. Everyone she’s ever known or trusted has died or let her down. Joel’s face is hard and cold as he tells Ellie that at dawn they are going their separate ways.
In the morning Tommy comes to collect Ellie. They had to the stables only to find Joel already saddling a horse. He tries to give Ellie a choice and tells her she would be better off with Tommy. Ellie disagrees and immediately picks Joel.
Joel and Ellie ride away into the frozen landscape as Tommy locks the town gate behind them.
We then get a bonding moment between Joel and Ellie as he tries to teach her how to shoot. She kept flinching but Joel puts a round exactly where he wanted to.
As they ride Joel and Ellie discuss what life was like before the outbreak. They are talking about football on day five when we can see the city of Colorado in the distance.
Joel and Ellie are riding their horse into the university when they see monkeys playing in the open. It is not long before they see a Firefly logo and follow it into what appears to be an empty building. Inside they find assorted medical gear and a packing list. When they hear noises coming from upstairs they go to investigate. Because that is what people do when there are infected about right?
It’s not long before Joel and Ellie find themselves interrupted by raiders. They run to the horse but a raider sticks Joel with the end of a baseball bat before they can flee.
The two escape the college but Joel is bleeding out. He falls off the horse before Ellie can grab him. Ellie cries and tells Joel she can’t do it without him as the camera zooms out.
Kin ends on a cliffhanger. Joel is on the snowy ground, bleeding.
Kin has Joel and Tommy re-uniting. What should have been nothing but a happy event get’s clouded by the fact that Tommy really didn’t want Joel to find him.
There is a lot of emotional growth and storytelling going on in Kin but sadly the episode does not have much action. That is going to cost Kin some points.
Overall it was a good episode that propelled the story along. It had lots of emotional drama but only a little bit of action and scores a 90/100, making it Worth Your Time.
Endure and Survive opens with a mob chanting “Freedom, Freedom” before the scene devolves into a violent mob. The Boss Lady is looking for her child. She is pissed at the Fedra loyalists. She wants them to tell her where Henry is. After telling her Soldier to kill the captives one of them chimes up. He knows where Hendry is. Or at least his general whereabouts.
As Bossy Lady leaves she tells her men to kills the captives and burn the bodies. It’s faster than a trial.
We then jump to Henry, the doctor, and his guardian. They are in the attic we saw in Episode 4. We see Henry’s Guardian give him crayons to draw with.
Days pass. Henry and his Guardian are running out of supplies. When the food runs out Henry’s Guardian is forced to leave the attic. They need to find supplies.
They morning they decide to leave merges with the Joel and Ellie timeline. Henry and his Guardian are about to walk out onto the street when Joel’s truck crashes into the building and a gunfight erupts. The Guardian sees something in Joel. Henry’s Guardian can recognize a survivor when he sees one.
Meeting (Current TimeLine)
Ellie is calling for Joel. Henry and his Guardian have them at gunpoint. Henry and his Guardian are nervous. They don’t want trouble with Joel, but it is hard when you have someone at gunpoint.
Then the bomb drops.
I thought Henry was the kid and older guy was the Guardian. The older guy is HENRY!!!! The younger kid is Sam, Henry’s little brother. I thought Henry was the Bosses kid, but I was totally wrong.
The foursome reaches a truce and shares a meal by lantern light. After they break bed Joel is Joel. He wants everyone to go their way but Henry has something Joel wants. He knows the city and a potential way out. They make a deal. Henry will show the way as long as Joel will clear the way.
We also find out who the Boss lady is. Her name is Kathleen.
The four move to the bank to get to the initial entrance into the tunnels. The tension rises as the four make it into the underground. Deep underground they come across what looks like a daycare. The walls acre covered in drawings. The room is full of small furniture and toys. After the infection spread people moved underground in an attempt to survive.
Ellie asked where the people went. Joel says maybe they weren’t careful and got infected. Joel prowls as Sam and Ellie share a moment before they decide to wait out the day. It is safer to move in the shadows.
As Ellie and Sam play soccer Henry tells Joel his story. He gave up the leader of resistance to get Sam cancer medication. The leader of the resistance was also Kathleen’s brother.
The Other Side
The band of four makes it out of the tunnels. They walk through a residential area in the dark, chatting as they walk. At least until someone takes a shot at them. Joel is going to circle around and take out the sniper. Whoever is shotting has bad aim. Joel can see the river and the bridge as he is about to attack the house. He finds an old man at the window and begs him to put is rifle down. The man tries to spin around to shoot Joel but he’s too slow.
As Joel is picking up the man’s rifle we here Kathleen on a radio. She is coming. Joel screams out the window, telling Ellie and the others to run.
Joel struggles with the rifle as the lead vehicle smashes through vehicles with its plow. Ellie desperately fires over her shoulder as the vehicle continues to barrel down on them.
Just as Ellie falls Joel makes the shot and the plow veers off. Ellie, Henry and Sam are stranded with Kathleen approaching as Joel is about to have his own position attacked. He is now in the old man’s position. Stuck with a rifle at the window as someone assaults his position.
Henry urges Ellie to take Sam and run. He is going to sacrifice himself so the kids can escape.
Kathleen is about to put a bullet into Henry when the plow vehicle sinks into the ground. The sounds of infected drift upwards on the wind. The undead are about to swarm.
As the horde tears into Kathleen’s soldiers Ellie, Henry, and Sam run for it, covered by Joel in the window. Ellie just barely makes it into an old SUV as the horde overruns the other survivors. Then, out of the pit comes a massive beast. Bullets don’t hurt it.
Joel desperately fires at a child infected as it climbs into the SUV with Ellie but he can’t make the shot. Ellie sees Henry and Sam being attacked under a truck and attacks. They are almost back to Joel when Kathleen corners them. The child infected that followed Ellie into the SUV chirps before it dives onto Kathleen, giving the group a chance to escape.
Abandoned Hotel Motel
The band of four made it out. They found an abandoned hotel. Ellie and Sam are reading comic books as Joel tells Henry he can come with them to Wyoming if they want. Henry agrees and says he will tell Sam in the morning.
Ellie and Sam bond as Sam asks her if she is ever scared. They pass his Magic Slate back and forth as Ellie admits that she is scared too. At least of scorpions. She then gets serious, telling Sam she doesn’t want to end up alone. She asks Sam what he’s afraid of. He tells her he wants to know if its still you inside if you turn. Right before showing Ellie his bite wound. Sam is infected.
Ellie tells Sam her blood is medicine. She slices open her hand and presses it to Sam’s wound. Sam begs her to stay awake with him. She promises.
Ellie wakes up to find Sam staring out the window. He is very still and doesn’t respond when she says hey. But he’s deaf right? Or did he turn.
Henry panics as Sam attacks. He shoots at the ground to keep Joel from attacking before shooting his own son. Henry is in shock, staring at his son. His life’s purpose is over. Henry puts the revolver to his head and pulls the trigger.
Joel and Ellie bury their two friends. Ellie’s last act is to put the Magic Slate on top of Sam’s grave. Her last words for Sam are an apology. She feels like she let him down.
Endure and Survive Scoring
Endure and Survive was powerful and amazing. The story is touching, heartfelt, and just all around mind blowing. This is the first time the fifth episode of a series has ever scored a 100/100. The infected horde was just so well done. It’s what I want from every horde!
Episode four is titled, Please Hold on to My Hand. So far the series has been amazing. Screw the a-holes who review bombed Episode 3 because they are so insecure about themselves. Let’s see how the fourth episode holds up.
I give detailed, blow by blow details as I review. If you want to skip the spoilers jump down to the Scoring!
Ellie is fascinated by her new toy. Cough, I mean firearm. Bella Ramsay really shines here. You can feel Ellie’s excitement at holding the small pistol.
Outside, Joel is scavenging gas. Ellie tries to cheer him up but Joel resists.
I love the road scenes. The run down highway and the remnants of a society that is dead. Just so well done.
When they pull off to rest for the night Ellie begs for a fire. It’s cold. Joel doesn’t care, there are people about who aren’t friendly. The two eat canned food and settle down in sleeping bags for the night.
There is a cute scene as Ellie tries to make Joel laugh. It is a very sweet father daughter moment.
Just before Ellie falls asleep she asks Joel nervously if they are safe. He promises her they are – but you can see he’s nervous. A short time later we see him standing watch as Ellie sleeps.
The Car Ride – Next Day
Joel makes some coffee before the two of them head back out. Ellie is not a fan of the way coffee smells. As they drive Ellie gets Joel talking. Joel gives Ellie his and Tommy’s story. Ellie asks Joel why he continues, and he says for family. This leads to a brutal reality check for Ellie.
The road becomes clogged with vehicles. Joel weaves his way through before they come to a block in the road. Joel gets out to investigate. The road on the other side of the overpass is clear. They just need to find a way around.
It’s not long before Joel and Ellie are lost in the city. As they search for the highway they are ambushed by survivors. The truck looses its tires to nail strips before it swerves into a laundromat. The scavengers open fire on the truck before Joel picks them apart. At least until the last one gets the drop on Joel and Ellie gets to use her new gun – saving Joel.
The kid is still alive. Ellie shot him in his spine. The kid begs for his life as Ellie hides. There is a brutal thump and the begging stops. Joel and Ellie are on the run.
An old man is being held captive. He is being interrogated by a young woman who is not happy with the old man. The old man betrayed her family. She wants information on where Henry is. Who is Henry? We don’t know yet. After she see’s the bodies of the men Joel killed she gives a simple speech. Find and kill who did it.
Joel and Ellie watch from inside an abandoned building, watching as the scavenger search parties search building to building. They share a moment as Joel feels bad for forcing Ellie to have to shoot someone to save him. Ellie admits it wasn’t her first time. Joel clears the small pistol and gives Ellie a brief handgun training session. Afterwards he hands her the weapon and tells her to put it in her pack. Of course Ellie ignores this order and puts the gun in her jacket pocket.
Ellie is now packing heat.
The female lead of the bandits looks over an attic hideaway. Henry was there. More importantly we learn a bit about who Henry is and why the Scavenger Queen is interested in Henry. Henry has Sam with him. Sam is clearly this woman’s son.
They are in the basement when the Queen and her soldier find a broken floor. Whatever it is – its bad. They both exit the room in a panic. Her soldier wants to tell the rest of the scavengers but she forbids it.
Breaking And Entering
Joel lifts Ellie up to squeeze through an air vent. They have entered what looks like an apartment building. Joel wants to get up high so he can see the city around them and figure out how to escape. As they work their way up endless stairs Joel admits that he’s been one of the Ambushers in the past. Ellie asks him if he’s killed innocent people and he ignores her.
They climb as high as they can before Joel calls it. He spreads broken glass out on the floor as an impromptu alarm system. Joel asks her who else she’d shot but Ellie doesn’t want to talk about it. He tries to tell her he feels bad for her growing up in their world but it creates some friction. It’s all okay though. Ellie tells a joke about diarrhea and they are both shortly laughing and giggling.
The episode ends on a cliffhanger. Ellie has a gun pointed at her head as she calls for Joel who starts awake just before the episode ends.
Please Hold on to My Hand Scoring
Please Hold on to My Hand had a lot to live up to. The first three episodes were off the charts amazing. Episode 4 is a great episode. There was some action, but it was all people versus people. It needed a few more Zombies in my opinion. Still, it carried the story forward and the bond between Joel and Ellie is very nicely matured. They share jokes as they learn to care about each other. It was very touching.
It just didn’t have quite the weight of the first three episodes. Or at least on Sunday night this was how I felt. After rewatching it I have to give Pedro and Bella more credit. The interaction is just so on point. I can feel Joel’s walls slowly falling as Ellie continues to be a light his life. I’ve updated my original score from a 80 to a 94/100.
This episode is Worth Your Time no matter how you rank it.
Long Long Time is the 3rd episode of the The Last of Us. The first two episodes both scored a 100/100. That is the first time that’s ever happened since The Walking Dead Season 1. If you aren’t watching, you really need to fix that. The only part that sucks is that if you are on the East Coast you have to wait until 9pm to get your fix!
I give detailed, blow by blow details as I review. If you want to skip the spoilers jump down to the Scoring!
If you have watched Long Long Time let me know what scene you thought was the most powerful.
Joel and Ellie have made it out of Boston. They are out in the wilderness, alive, but clearly affected by the loss of Tess. Joel is pissed. Ellie is more more and emotionally intelligent than any fourteen year old should be. She knows that Joel is pissed and that he might be angry at her for Tess’s death.
Joel and Ellie come across a gas station as they move through the woods. Joel stashed supplies in the past but seems to have forgotten exactly where. While Joel searches, Ellie finds a hatch in the floor. Because she apparently has no survival instinct she decides to go into the dark basement under the convenience store. As Ellie explores she finds an infected man crushed beneath a fallen section of wall.
Ellie’s eyes are hard and cold as she slowly drags her blade across the Zombie’s face. What is she thinking? Is she wondering what is inside her? She isn’t infected like others, but that doesn’t mean the Cordyceps isn’t changing her somehow right?
When Joel calls for her she simply tells him the store wasn’t as picked over as he thought. Ellie found a box of tampons. She doesn’t tell Joel she just made her first kill.
Joel and Ellie are hiking. They are also bonding. We get a bit of back story as they chat. The tainted food carried the fungus. The world ended quickly as everyone who ate the infected food turned into Zombies. Ellie has a Right Angle Flashlight on her backpack which I absolutely just ordered.
Joel warns Ellie that they may want to cut across open ground. There are things ahead she may not want to see. The ground is littered with the skeletal remains of survivors who were gunned down to make sure they didn’t turn.
September 30th 2003 (Flashback)
Survivors are being loaded onto trucks as police and military forces try to keep them organized.
A man is sitting in his basement, watching what is going above him on his video cameras. Bill, played by Nick Offerman, has entered the scene. Bill has a plan. He gets gas and supplies. He’s been planning for the end of the world and is ready to deal with it.
Fences go up. Defenses are set. Firewood is cut. The garden is planted.
Bill is enjoying his dinner when his security system warns him of movement. A Zombie walks directly into a trap and gets blown away. Bill – “It doesn’t get old.”
This statement is important. It clearly shows that Bill has seen multiple Zombies fall to his defenses. He knows what dangers this new world has in store for him.
Bill – Four Years Later, 2007 (Flashback)
Bill’s preparations have clearly served him well. He’s survived years while others have died in droves.
The security system beeps. Bill has captured a man in a trap. Bill has a tester. The man is not infected. Bill wants the man to keep moving on but the man is hungry. Frank is hungry. Bill is worried that if he feeds Frank others will show up.
Something passes between Bill and Frank. Bill might be safe but just like anyone he needs companionship. There is a human need to be near others.
Are Bill and Frank gay? I am not sure at this point but feel like they might be. (Good for them.)
Maybe what saved Frank was Bill’s gaydar?
Frank prepares dinner. Rabbit and Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages. Bill is more refined than he might appear. Frank is enjoying his dinner as Bill struggles to come to grips with the newcomer. Frank knows that he is supposed to dine and dash but he sees the piano and can’t help but sit down and tickle the ivories.
The first song Frank picks hits a nerve with Bill. Bill sits down to take his turn at the keyboard. Neither Bill or Frank have a good singing voice but somehow it is still a very touching scene.
Frank bends over to kiss Bill. It is a touching scene. It is also the first scene that maybe could have been done better. There wasn’t enough passion in the kiss. For two men, starved of life, I would have thought there first kiss would have been more ravenous.
Two seconds later the reason why becomes clear. Bill has never been true to himself. Frank is is first gay love, and gay lover.
Bill & Frank – Three Years Later (Flashback)
Frank is pissed. Bill does not want to give Frank supplies to fix up the house.
Why? Because Bill and Frank are going to have friends.
In the next cut scene we see Bill, Frank, Tess, and Joel having lunch. Bill is up tight and worried about security. Frank is just happy to have people over.
Bill doesn’t want Joel and Tess to ruin their lives. Joel helps bring Frank to their side by promising to bring him new fencing. Joel also warns Frank that scavengers will be coming. Bill’s defenses may not be as solid as he thinks.
Bill & Rank 2013 (Flashback)
Bill has updated his fence. What was wire is now stacks of crushed cars. Frank surprises Bill with a small strawberry patch. It is a sweet and emotional moment. Now I’m scared for the “crash”.
Bill tells Frank he was never afraid before he showed up. The meaning is clear. Before Frank Bill wasn’t afraid to die because he had nothing to die for.
Frank is sleeping. The scavengers have arrived.
Bill’s traps go off. Some of the scavengers are killed but there are too many of them. Frank drags Bill inside after he is wounded. Bill, like a moron, was standing out in the open.
Bill is bleeding out. His last words to Frank before he passes out are, “Call Joel, he’ll take care of ya.”
Bill & Frank – Older
Time has passed. Frank is frail and no longer able to walk. Bill pushes him around in his wheelchair and tends to their homestead. It appears that Frank has had a stroke? He appears weak and can only move with Bill’s help.
Bill wakes up to find Frank in his chair. Frank declares it is his last day. He doesn’t want to live as a burden on Bill. Frank asks for one more good day. Frank has a plan. One more good day. Marriage. And finally a glass of wine full of enough drugs to end his life.
Bill cries but follows Frank’s instructions.
Frank prepares the same rabbit and Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages meal they had on the day they first met. Bill dutifully mixes Frank’s drink with the medications as requested. Frank downs the glass after confirming the dosage is enough.
Frank notices there were already pills in the bottle. Bill plans on going with Frank into the next world. They laugh about how romantic the gesture is.
Welcome to Lincoln (Current Timeline)
Joel and Ellie have arrived at Bill’s homestead. Things look deserted. Joel calls out to his friends. The medicated meal on the table doesn’t look too old. Joel and Ellie have arrived not too long after the fateful dinner. Bill and Frank are dead.
Bill’s letter to whomever, but probably Joel, is heart wrenching.
Joel and Ellie now have a truck, weapons, and supplies. Joel is grumpy as hell, but the two of them are in much better straits than they were.
The two of them ransack Bill’s supplies. Not only do they have hot water for showers but also toilet paper, guns, ammo, and food. Joel tells Ellie no when she asks about a gun but she finds one in Bill’s desk and takes in anyway.
Joel and Ellie get into Bill’s Chevy S10 and head out. Ellie is amazed. She has never been in a car. Joel is more realistic. It’s an old budget truck. Hopefully it will get him to his brother.
Long Long Time Scoring
First thing. Both Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal are amazing. They are incredible actors. Bill, played by Nick Offerman, and Frank, played by Murray Bartlett are also great – their story just doesn’t have the same weight as Joel and Ellie’s. Still, the episode was amazing. How could it hold up to the first two episodes? That is an unfair expectation isn’t it?
Still, Long Long Time was a gripping and emotional episode and scores a 95/100, making it Worth Your Time.
Infected is the Episode 2 of Season 1 of HBO’s new Zombie Apocalypse series.
There are spoilers in the review below.
Jakarta, Indonesia 2003
Infected opens on a diner. Ibu Ratna is eating her lunch. Two uniformed men enter. Ibu Ratner has no choice but to go with them. The soldiers driver her to a base and show her a pathology slide taken from a human subject.
Ibu Ratna calmly explains that what she is seeing does not make any sense. Cordyceps cannot survive in humans. After questioning the three star general Ibu gives the soldiers some chilling advice. If they want to control the infect that is about to be unleashed they should start bombing.
Boston, Current Day
Ellie wakes up in a square of sunlight. Joel and Tess are sitting nearby watching her. Ellie’s positive test has Joel spooked.
Tess interrogates Ellie, forcing the girl to tell them her secret. The Fireflies are convinced that Ellie has the cure to the infection. Joel doesn’t believe it but Tess doesn’t care. She is more pragmatic. If the Fireflies are willing to pay for transporting Ellie, Tess is willing to do whatever needs to get done in order to get paid.
Tess forces Joel to think of the payday. It is time to head west. The first challenge is getting through Boston. The original route has been damaged by collapsing buildings, forcing the small group to cut through a hotel.
This gives us one of the first really cool visuals of the episode. Once they make it onto a terrace they see that the infected have swarmed out into the open. Ellie notices how the infected move in unison and Tess uses it as a chance to educate the young lady on how the Cordyceps can communicate across large distances.
With their original plan blocked by infected, they fall back to take a route through The Museum.
The Museum, Current Day
Joel examines the Cordyceps veins outside The Museum, hopeful that the dried up tendrils mean the building is clear of the infected. At first all seems well. At least until Ellie finds a fresh body. Joel and Tess are anxious. Clearly they know that they are in danger. With little options, they continue through The Museum.
They make it up a few flights of stairs before the way behind them caves in, drawing the attention of the infected. In the distance we hear clicks and cries. The infected are coming. The three travels hide as the infected stumble into the room. The infected can’t see them, but it can hear them if they make any noise. Joel cautions her to be quiet but she can’t help but gasp in fear.
The survivors are separated briefly as the infected attack.
This leads to some awesome combat scenes. The Cordyceps are hard to kill, although head shots seem to be the most effective.
Ellie ends up bitten again while Tess has rolled her ankle. The trio makes it to the roof and then down through the collapsed buildings to the street.
The Street, Current Day
Once through The Museum the trio reaches a large transport vehicle. Whoever Joel was expecting to be there isn’t. There is however a body on the ground and a blood trail leading inside a nearby building.
Tess rushes in. The band of survivors they were hoping to find has been destroyed. Joel looks at the bodies. One of the band must have been bitten, which resulted in a battle that destroyed the group. Joel wants to keep moving but Tess tells them they are going to need to leave her behind.
Tess has been bitten. As the new reality sits in, one of the bodies on the floor moves and Joel quickly dispatches it with a head shot.
Tess shows Joel Ellie’s wound. Tess is going to turn, but Ellie isn’t. Joel has to get Ellie to Bill and Frank’s. They can take Ellie west if he can get her to them. As Tess is begging Joel to agree we see the hand near the infected Joel just killed. There is a tendril of Cordyceps nearby.
The infected are coming.
Tess grabs a rifle and uses it to spill barrels of fuel. She is going to keep the Cordyceps from following Joel and Ellie at all costs. As the door breaks down Tess is flicking her lighter, struggling to get a spark as hordes of infected run up the stairs.
One of the infected pauses in front of Tess, giving her a Cordyceps kiss as she desperately tries to flick her lighter. Just as she is being fully taken the lighter ignites and first floor of the building goes up.
Joel and Ellie hear the explosion and turn to see fire envelop the building.
There were so many things I love about Infected. Ellie is sassy, funny, and adds a bit of humor to what could otherwise become too heavy. On the other side, Joel and Tess exude anxiety and fear when they are moving through the infected territory, making me sit on the edge of my seat with tension.
Infected earned every point of its perfect 100/100 score.