in the episode, Joel and Ellie finally find Tommy, discovering that he is not lost in the woods, but living in a community with a surprising amount of comforts, from a cinema to a bar. But while the residents of Jackson have it pretty good, Joel breaks down in front of Tommy, asking him to take Ellie and finish the job because he doesn’t think he’s capable of doing it. Joel has failed too many things, he’s not strong enough.
But when he tries to sell Ellie on the idea, she talks back at him, realizing there is something else going on. Joel is getting attached to her, and he is afraid she will die the way Sarah did. So she confronts Joel about it, and he snaps. In the game, when Ellie brings up Sarah and says she is not going to die like she did, Joel tells her she is “treading on some mighty thin ice.” In the show, the scene plays out virtually the same, from the staging to the movements (including Ellie shoving Joel), but that one line plays out slightly differently. Pedro Pascal’s Joel tells Ellie “No. Don’t say another word,” when she brings up Sarah.