Show-only fans of HBO's The Last of Us know very little about Ellie's life before she met up with Joel to be delivered as his "package" along with her immunity to the Cordyceps infection. This is all about to change with the premiere of Episode 7.
Scheduled to air on HBO and HBO Max simultaneously on February 26, Sunday, Episode 7, Left Behind, looks like it will take the original story straight from the video games and tell us one of the most heart-wrenching tales in gaming history.
Naughty Dog originally released Left Behind as a post-launch expansion for the original The Last of Us game in 2014. The DLC was Naughty Dog's way of preparing gamers for the sequel that thrust Ellie into the lead role.
Emotionally, the DLC also tugged at heartstrings as it switched between two important events: Ellie fending for herself as Joel recovered from an injury and the night she spent at the mall with Riley, which is where she got her infection.
HBO's The Last of Us has deviated from the source material to masterful effect. However, Episode 7 might be the first one to stay (mostly) true to the game's narrative.
As per the trailer, Riley, who is played by Storm Reid, introduces herself as one of the Fireflies, the same resistance taking up arms against the institution training Ellie. The show has only mentioned Riley in passing up until Episode 6, including a blink-and-you'll-miss-it conversation between Tess and Ellie in Episode 2.
Also, the Bloater looks like it's making a return appearance for Episode 7, so we can expect things to get even messier this time around.
Unfortunately, this also means that The Last of Us Episode 7 will continue the series' trend of making us fall in love with a character only to kill them off in the same episode.
The only question now is, how well the show handles the introduction of Riley, the true origins of Ellie's infection, and how she felt after learning she was immune.
Speaking of The Last of Us, making way for Super Bowl LVII has had a negative impact on the show's unprecedented run of marked week-by-week viewership increases. Now that The Last of Us is back to its regular programming schedule on HBO, we expect to see the viewership numbers shoot up again. The way that things are going, The Last of Us surpassing House of the Dragon in viewership despite costing HBO less feels like a foregone conclusion.