The Last of Us Episode 8 Review: Traumatizing Masterpiece, True To The Game

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The Last of Us
Poster for the show, The Last of Us

The Last of Us is a post-apocalyptic show that has left its audience shaken to the core. This HBO series is adapted from a 2013 released game, based in 2023, where the world is twenty years into a zombie pandemic that has caused all forms of society to crumble. The basic plot of the show revolves around a survivor of the pandemic who ends up adopting a fourteen-year-old girl, who may be the last and the only way to save the human race.

The show stars famous actor Pedro Pascal from Game of Thrones, Narcos, and The Mandalorian, as Joel, a tortured survivor of the pandemic and the one responsible for bringing Ellie, played by Bella Ramsey, also popular for her role in the hit show Game of Thrones, across the borders of the United States. 

The show has a long list of guests and a supporting cast, but these two maintain their position as the main leads of the show throughout the season. Joel’s character in the show is different from the one in the games. He is more emotionally tormented and has a bag full of trauma. He is slowly getting weaker and has his own vulnerabilities.

Ellie, on the other hand, is a rebellious kid that has clear anger issues but still has that childlike quality. She jokes around a lot and has a thing for wanting to be friends with other kids. Like in the games, she might be the one to bring the pandemic to an end because of her immunity to the infection.

Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey
Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey for the show, The Last of Us (Credits: HBO)

The show was launched on January 15th, 2023, and has released only one season so far. It is expected to have only nine episodes, which is sad news for the fans who have come to absolutely love this post-apocalyptic universe. It released its eighth episode on March 5th, 2023, and would soon be drawing to a close with the release of the last episode of this season on March 12th, 2023.

The Last of Us Episode 8 Storyline

The show released its eighth episode titled ” When We Are In Need,” where Ellie finds herself in trouble with a hostile group of survivors, and an injured Joel has to eventually come to her rescue. The previous episode had ended with Joel getting seriously injured and Ellie trying her best to treat his wounds. 

We start this episode with a suspicious David addressing the small band of survivors with his talks about how in times of need, He will always lend a helping hand. It has been twenty years since their pandemic, and it is still nowhere close to ending but sure, but He will definitely help.

Joel is still sick and hurting in the basement with his wound stitched up but still suffering terribly from an infection. With Joel looking like he could drop dead at any moment and the duo barely having any food for themselves, Ellie decides to go hunt for them. She manages to get her hands on a deer, but it gets away and is found by David and James, also out hunting for their group. 

Both parties are desperate for the meat, and Ellie agrees to strike a deal with the other two. She exchanges the deer for medicine for Joel’s infection. With this exchange between the two, we also discover that Joel had killed Alec, a member of David’s group and that the latter planned on taking revenge for what he had done.

The next morning the group is out in search of Joel and Ellie to give Joel what he deserves for killing members of their group. Joel is in no condition to even lift his hand, let alone fight, so Ellie tries her best to draw the group’s attention away from where he is staying. She gets captured in the process and is taken away, and the others continue their search for Joel.

Shepherd Scott
Shepherd Scott as David in the show, The Last of Us (Credits: HBO)

Joel is out looking for Ellie, killing whoever comes his way. He finds out where she has been caged and reaches the place, managing to locate Ellie’s pack. Ellie also escapes by deceiving David and James, she ends up stabbing James in his throat, and David continues to go after her with a psychopathic glint in his eyes. David and Ellie get into a physical fight where Ellie stabs David with a butcher knife too.

The building burns to the ground, and Ellie manages to escape just in time. The episode ends with Joel finally catching up with Ellie and hugging her, making sure she is safe. She is relieved and feels safe. The two share an emotional moment reminding us of how Joel was with his actual daughter, Sarah, and walked away from the terrible place.

The Last of Us Episode 8 Review

The HBO series, The Last of Us, created by Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann, has garnered immense positive responses for staying true to the story and most characters adapted from the video game. The show is a post-apocalyptic drama thriller inspired by a very violent and gory video game. Even so, the makers of the show have emphasized keeping the characters as emotionally volatile and raw as possible. 

The show focuses less on the action aspect and more on the story and its characters. The actors, especially the two main leads, have been applauded for portraying their characters so organically. The on-screen chemistry between Joel and Ellie is also something worth looking out for.

The Last of Us is gross, nasty, and disgusting on one end but still manages to find human-ness and life-like qualities on the other end. It may have focused more on enhancing the characters ad bringing the story to life, but it does not in any way lack in its video game effects. 

Episode eight of the show focused on the meeting between Ellie and David (Scott Shepherd), and whatever goes down with them. The episode, from its start, had given hints about something being very wrong with David. His vibes were off, which led the audience to vary from him from the start. Because of this, the last fight between him and Ellie did not feel all that impactful either.

Ellie and David share the screen for the most part of the episode, the story kind of deviating from what we see from the video game, and the makers trying to convince the viewers of David’s nice-ness. All of this feels like an emotional rollercoaster and is confusing a lot. 

The show does not back off from displaying outright disgusting things on the screen, this is a fact, but this episode took a new turn and introduced the only thing that was left, cannibalism. Cool cool cool. David was so casual about indulging in cannibalism and making others eat humans, unknowingly, that it leaves the audience speechless too. 

The Last of Us
A still from the show, The Last of Us (Credits: HBO)

The entire show has been doing so well with its characters that it feels like the makers let loose a bit in this episode. There is so much focus on making David the bad guy, and it feels like the man has done every bad deed in the world.

The not-so-subtle hints, right from the start of the episode, about something is not right with David and just the eerie aura he maintained throughout the episode till the climax all of it just seems to take away the element of surprise. 

It was easy to guess that they were eating human flesh, it was creepy when he slapped Alec’s daughter, including the time he spent with Ellie waiting for James to return with the medicine. All of these were hints at something that was about to go down between Ellie and him.

Our Verdict

Bella Ramsey did wonderfully in this episode as she portrayed the role of a child forced to mature early on. It is heart-wrenching but also a treat to watch her fight for her life against David and his men and try to protect Joel, but also feeling clearly terrified of what could happen to her if David and his men capture her. 

Pedro Pascal is barely holding onto dear life, but he manages to grab the spotlight during the climax scene of the episode. He is cruel and aggressive when dealing with David’s men but is just as soft and gentle when he finds a scared Ellie. The last scene of the two together is emotional and tear-jerking.

The entire episode kept its audience either hiding behind their pillows or reaching for tissues, but either way, all’s well that ends well, at least till the release of the last episode of the season is released.

Our Rating: ⭐ (4.4/5).

Also Read: The Last Of Us Episode 9: Release Date, Preview & Streaming Guide

By Tarunjyot Kaur

Tarunjyot Kaur is a content writer at OtakuKart and writes mainly entertainment-related content. she is currently put up in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. She has done her Bachelor's in Psychology. In her free time, she likes to read books, watch movies and play badminton. You can get in touch with me at

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