The Last of Us Episode 4 Truly Begins This Sick, Twisted Road Trip
Press X to drive, baby.
Last week, I refrained from all of my “Press X to kiss!” jokes. Oh, and quick-time event gags like, “Feed your partner a strawberry!” I needed to respect how surprisingly beautiful Episode Three of this mushroom zombie show was. I know little about The Last of Us video game—I’m on this nightmarish ride week by week, alongside you all—but I did not expect to tear up as an old gay couple fell in love during the apocalypse.
Don’t fear: I’ve turned on my ribbing-on-TV cheat codes for Episode Four. I’m fully prepared to enter The Last of Us: Fury Road. Thanks to our dearly departed Bill (Nick Offerman), Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) have finally completed the “acquire a car battery” quest needed to find Tommy (Gabriel Luna)—Joel’s brother and a member of the Fireflies. As Joel explained at the end of the last episode, Tommy’s membership with the rebel outfit may also give them a clue as to the location of the medical outpost that is working on a cure. They need Ellie, who for some unexplainable reason is immune to the infection. Ellie also has a pistol now! It’s great when your support characters have a little ammo themselves.
She’ll need it, because we’re road warriors now—no longer held back by the distance our legs can take us. We’re learning new skills, like how to read maps and siphon gas. The porno mags from the video game that helped inspire the entire last episode also get the Easter egg treatment here. After a long day’s drive, the pair sleep in the woods, where Joel says that none of the infected with bother them. Ellie tries to lighten the mood by reading some silly puns from a little bathroom reader she found. Joel is not entirely unamused.
He tells Ellie that he’s not too fond of these Firefly fighters, calling them “delusional.” Ellie worries that Joel has lost faith in the world and its inhabitants—at least, those who still haven’t turned into dangerous, fungus-infected monsters. But maybe Joel’s right. I don’t know a lot about these Fireflies, but I’m skeptical to trust them as well. Wouldn’t be as fun anyway. This isn’t Star Wars, so a third-party army of rebels usually means that they’re just a nuisance.
Entering a city by mistake—since this is only the second time Ellie has ever been in a car or read a highway map in her entire life—the duo comes under fire from city folk looking to kill them. Why? Not sure yet. Maybe they want his supplies? They start by bashing in his windshield with a cement block, so destroying the car is a weird first move if they planned to take it. Anyway, Joel picks off a bunch of the guys before we’re off to meet some new characters. A former FEDRA doctor—from the new government that imprisons everyone in quarantine zones—is being questioned by a Firefly agent named Kathleen (Melanie Lynskey). She’s holding up a gun to his head and asking where someone named Henry is located. He only replies, “I’m your doctor.” It isn’t the strongest case to save yourself from point-blank execution, and she cries one single tear before killing him. Apparently, she’s looking for Henry because he was the one who killed her brother. She says his name a lot, so Henry must be pretty important.
One henchman tells Kathleen that he believes the attack this morning was from an outside assailant (he’s right!), but Kathleen is hellbent on this Henry guy. “This is Henry’s work,” she tells them. “He won’t stop until we stop him. Find who did this. Find every collaborator, and kill them all.” Yeesh. Joel’s suspicions immediately confirmed: these Fireflies are delusional. How will our duo make it out alive? Well, first Kathleen and one of her soldiers find a room with a children’s drawing of two superheroes inside. Kathleen guesses that this is Henry and Sam’s hideout. So, Sam must be his kid—or at least just a kid he’s hanging out with. Sort of like Joel and Ellie. They also come upon a big, sunken rock pile that moves like it’s breathing. This seems to be some sort of new mini-boss location deep in an abandoned building’s basement. “Seal off the building,” she orders, because we certainly haven’t seen the last of this thing.
Meanwhile, Joel and Ellie climb thirty-something floors up an office building just to get some shut-eye in a more secure location. “It isn’t fair, at your age, having to deal with all this,” Joel tells her. She sarcastically asks if it gets easier when you get older. “No,” Joel says. “Not really. But still.” Ellie eventually gets him to laugh with another silly pun, and that’s it for this week, folks.
Just kidding. They’re greeted in the night by a man and a kid who has painted a red superhero mask over his eyes. Doesn’t take too much detective work to deduce that this is undoubtedly that Henry guy we can’t stop hearing about and his maybe-son, Sam. But I guess we’ll have to wait until next week to find out for sure. They’ll leave our two companions held at gunpoint for a week until we return.
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