“The Last of Us Part II” starts with Joel being murdered by a group of former Fireflies seeking revenge on him for killing their own at the end of the first game. This prompts Ellie to go on a violent, hellbent path of revenge and death, traveling to Seattle and killing everyone she comes across. Throughout the game, Ellie becomes a cold and scary killer, one that tortures for information, and even kills a pregnant woman. We see her victims’ eyes bulge as she cuts their throats, and we hear their screams as she blows them to bits.
Very quickly, as the situation escalates out of control, Ellie’s friends and companions start pleading with her to give up her senseless quest for revenge and go home. Even Joel’s brother, Tommy, decides enough is enough, but Ellie keeps going. She goes to hell and back for revenge, losing every person she loves, and even a couple of fingers in the process.
For some players, this turn came out of nowhere: an abrupt change in the characterization of a beloved character. What the latest episode of “The Last of Us” does is show that Ellie’s inability to know when to stop fighting started years before her rampant in Seattle.
In “The Last of Us” episode 7, we meet Ellie before she was a survivor traveling through the post-apocalyptic landscape of America. Here, she is a regular girl who has friends and goes to school, but also a girl who constantly gets into fights.