What a week it has been since we were left a whimpering mess after episode 3 and the story of Frank and Bill. Episode 4 “Please Hold My Hand” brings the focus back to the main story of Joel and Ellie continuing their journey towards the Fireflies.
Having been through the painful death of Tess and then finding Bill and Frank it is now more evident than ever that Joel and Ellie are alone on their journey to find the Fireflies and that small glimmer of hope that there may be a cure for the Cordyceps fungal infection. By now if you have played The Last of Us you realise that the story on screen is keeping a very close pace with the game. Episode 4 takes a few liberties and expands upon the next hurdle that Joel and Ellie must face.
After some truly heartfelt moments on the car ride between Joel and Ellie we really start to begin to see the relationship unfold between the two. We watch as this bond is beginning to form where Ellie is no longer just cargo but is fast becoming something more to Joel.
Corny jokes aside Joel and Ellie are forced to make a bit of a detour that sends them into Kansas City. The city once housed a FEDRA controlled quarantine zone but is now overrun with a group of largely hostile survivors led by Melanie Lynskey’s Kathleen, a character created for the show. Kathleen is both ruthless in her tyrannical leadership of the survivors and is using her power to hunt down members who she believes are at odds with the ways of the new regime. Joel and Ellie have unwittingly strolled into the middle of a war they are not a part of and there could be some trouble ahead from more than just the infected.
Episode 4 brings us back to the feel of the first two episodes, a gritty dark and foreboding landscape with danger at every turn and Joel and Ellie doing their best to just survive it.
Lynskey is harrowing in her portrayal of Kathleen and being someone who we are used to seeing in a bright and bubbly light she can be a little unsettling at times.
While moving away slightly from the source material Episode 4 still carries with it the same tone of this next section of the game. A shift from Pittsburgh to Kansas City doesn’t hurt the story but further expands it with what is happening in these pockets of survivors throughout the US. New and expected characters turn up and we get a bit of an insight into their lives and the fight just to make it through each day. For fans of the game, keep your ears out for Tommy, I was looking away and didn’t expect him to turn up when he did, the voice alone was enough to snap focus back to the screen. Jeffrey Piece is used well in his supporting role acting as a bit of second in charge to Kathleen but also being her sounding board and a bit of a leveler. The expansion on the story was good in that it didn’t take away what was happening nor did you know exactly how it was going to play out. It is just another reason why The Last of Us is shaping up to be one of my top shows of all time.
The Last of Us is available to stream now on BINGE, new episodes drop every Monday.
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