The Last of Us episode 4 continued exploring the character of Ellie, fleshing out one of HBO’s main yet subtle changes from the game in the process.
The Last of Us episode 4 continued a subtle change HBO has made regarding Ellie’s character, something that has been made for the better. In The Last of Us episode 4, Joel and Ellie encounter the Hunters of Kansas City, which brings them into conflict with the human dangers of The Last of Us’ world. In doing so, HBO’s adaptation fleshes out both Joel and Ellie, and their relationship together.
On top of this, The Last of Us episode 4 also continues an intriguing Ellie change from the original game. These changes link to co-creator Craig Mazin’s comments – which can be viewed below – after The Last of Us episode 1’s ending about how HBO’s version of Ellie may be slightly more ruthless after she was enamored by Joel’s violent-yet-protective nature. This only continues with The Last of Us episode 4, after showing Ellie getting embroiled into the conflict forced by the Hunters.
Ellie’s Gun Scene Continues Making Her More Ruthless Than The Game
The scenes in which Ellie’s potentially more ruthless nature in HBO’s adaptation comes into play involve the resolution of her taking Frank’s gun at the end of The Last of Us episode 3. In the episode’s opening scene, Ellie is shown playing with her gun in the mirror of an abandoned gas station, which hints at her slightly more cold-blooded nature due to her treating the gun as a toy of sorts. This scene is then paid off when Ellie has to shoot a Hunter attacking Joel, after which she reveals it was not her first time.
While The Last of Us episode 4 still takes steps to show Ellie is affected by these actions at multiple points – and even has Joel kill the Hunter she shoots as opposed to Ellie being the killer like in the original game – the episode still takes steps to differentiate her from Sarah in episode 1. Ellie is much more hardened and less sensitive to acts of violence due to the world she was born into. Despite this, her character still shows the lovable tendencies necessary to make her character both sympathetic and less black and white, in a change that is for the better in HBO’s video game adaptation.
Why The Last Of Us Show’s Ellie Being More Ruthless Is A Good Thing
One of the better things about Ellie being more violent in The Last of Us also links to Mazin’s comments, by furthering Joel and Ellie’s relationship. While the game has these elements, it largely presents Joel and Ellie’s Last of Us Part I relationship as a wholesome found-family dynamic until the events of The Last of Us Part II. In HBO’s The Last of Us, however, Mazin and Druckmann are opting to present the dangerous side of their relationship, in a way that could much better foreshadow the events of season 2.
Despite foreshadowing the darker elements of Joel and Ellie’s relationship, it is a testament to the show’s writing that seeing the two characters bond like in The Last of Us episode 4’s ending is still heartwarming. It is arguably because of these darker elements of Ellie’s (and Joel’s) character that the more wholesome, bonding moments between the two feel more rewarding. This just goes to show how well HBO is not only adapting, but expanding upon the story of the original game, as evidenced by The Last of Us episode 4 and its ending in heartwarming-yet-uneasy fashion.
The Last of Us episode 5 releases on Friday, February 10th on HBO Max.
More: Last Of Us Episode 4 Includes An Iconic Game Actor (Not How You Think)