HBO’s original series The Last of Us based on video game franchise under the same name season one episode eight entitled “When We Are in Need” kicks off with Bella Ramsey’s Ellie as she tries to hunt for food while Pedro Pascal’s Joel Miller recovers from his injury. From what the viewer can see Ellie is having a hard time with hunting as she is used to Joel doing everything. This is where the series establishes a real connection between her character and the viewer as she is in a harsh environment on her own. This is something everyone goes through in their lives when one has to learn how to survive on their own in the world. As a result of Bella Ramsey’s acting the viewer can truly feel how frustrating it is to have to hunt alone with no help whatsoever. This further adds to the sense of protection the viewer feels towards Ellie.
Additionally, the viewer ends up seeing Ellie conversate with Scott Shepherd’s David as he sits with Ellie. In his mind, he sees Ellie as a lost soul that needs to be shown the way to salvation. And given as he is a man of the lord, he deems himself the one to help her see the light. Deep down he knows that he is not a good man as he has taken to cannibalism and slowly pushed that idea on to his people. The interesting part about this is how he thinks that he is righteous when in reality he is worse than the infected. Some viewers could argue that he resorted to cannibalism due to his people starving and in need of nourishment. However, other viewers could argue that he simply could have moved to a location where there are more animals to hunt. As a result of this change of location he would not have to resort to that. At a second viewing there is a similarity between Davids’s people and the Donner Party. This is made more apparent due to the fact that everything is covered by snow just like the Donner Party as well as they have low food supplies.
Later into the episode, as Ellie is captured by David’s men Joel wakes up in time to tracker her down. During this the viewer gets a glimpse of the monster he used to be during the time he was with his brother. The only thing that is different this time around is he is reverting back to his old self out of love. In his mind, he sees that Ellie is gone and David’s men are his only lead to find her. It can be said that he is going through an immense amount of fear and panic. This is a result of him not wanting to lose another daughter. Deep down he now sees Ellie as his last chance to be a father. Which is why he will stop at nothing to save her no matter what happens. This is demonstrated by Pedro Pascal’s incredible acting, and how he shows the desperate emotion of a concerned parent.
At the end of the episode, the viewer sees Ellie come to her breaking point as she kills David in an intense scene. By the look on her face the viewer can tell that she is in shock by how she killed David. In her mind, she did not think that she was capable of such brutally towards anyone. However, at the same time she is glad that she killed David in a brutal way as he was a monster. Obviously, there are mixed emotions given as how someone so young has gone through something horrific. The viewer can tell that her actions will stay with her for years to come and could serve as a reminder on how to survive at all costs.