The story in “When We Are in Need” felt a little different than what I experienced in that game. I think that all comes down to the changes that come from the inclusion of the Left Behind story. It also could be that it has been so long since I played the game. The major things I remember but the smaller things I don’t. This felt like a good lead up to the season finale.
The story of the episode is centered on Ellie and her struggles to keep Joel alive. She runs into members of the same group that attacked them in Colorado. Their leader, David, reveals that he knows who she is. Ellie gets captured leading them away from a recovering Joel. Joel kills several members that we left to hunt for him. Ellie angers David, who was trying to get her to join his group even after revealing that the group are cannibals. Though some of the group know while others don’t. Ellie kills David after a bloody struggle that burns down a building in the compound. The episode ends with Joel and Ellie reunited.
This episode is yet another amazing performance from Bella Ramsey. The last few episodes have just been a showcase for Ramsey. We also get a glimpse of the violence that Joel will inflict to protect those that he cares about, which ties into the ending of the game. Pedro Pascal does a fantastic job of portraying that level of violence. Scott Shepherd and Troy Baker are great as the two main antagonists of the episode. Shepherd is fantastic as David. He is just as unnerving if not more than in the video game. It was interesting to see Baker in the show since he was the original person playing Joel, in the video game. They both make for perfect foils for Ramsey.
I’m wondering how long the final episode of the season will be. It feels like it might be the same length as the series opener. “When We Are in Need” is yet another fantastic episode. The Last of Us is a show that really shines whenever the story is able to move forward. I full expect to be left at least somewhat emotionally devastated by the season finale next month. I give “When We Are in Need” 9.5 cleavers out of 10.