The Last of Us Recap With Spoilers: “Left Behind”

Following Joel’s unfortunate and near-fatal injury in the last episode of The Last of Us, Ellie has managed to haul him into an abandoned house. He’s alive, but barely. Ellie makes an effort to stop the bleeding, but it seems hopeless. Joel begs her to just head back to Tommy and let him die, but Ellie makes it clear she isn’t giving up. She goes to look for supplies in the house before the show transitions to a flashback.

Ellie is running laps around a gym with other children in a FEDRA school, listening to Pearl Jam on a Walkman, but another, much bigger kid runs up behind Ellie and rips her headphones off. The girl aggressively tells Ellie to pick up the pace and have a better attitude so they’re not forced to do more exercise. She then makes a rude remark about Ellie and her friend, noting that her friend does all of the fighting on Ellie’s behalf. Wanting to prove her wrong, Ellie hits her and ends up in the office of some sort of FEDRA officer/ school principal. He tries to steer Ellie on a better path, sensing that she’s making bad decisions and if she turns thing around, she could be a high ranking FEDRA official in the future.

Later that night, Ellie is awoken from her sleep by her friend, Riley. She’s been missing for some time and explains that she joined up with the Fireflies, much to the dismay of Ellie. They both argue that they’ve been influenced by the propaganda that both sides push and Riley defends her decision. Despite Ellie’s frustration, Riley convinces her to sneak out with her so she can show her a surprise. The two sneak out and avoid patrols before entering a building where they find a man who drank himself to death, but that doesn’t stop them from stealing his bottle and drinking it themselves.

The Mall

(Photo: HBO)

The duo makes their way to an abandoned mall that was believed to be filled with infected, but Riley dismisses this and says it’s safe. Once they enter, Riley turns on the power and reveals a beautiful, yet messy mall. Ellie is wowed by it all, particularly by things like escalators and Victoria’s Secret window displays. It serves as a time capsule for the time before and makes them wonder a bit what life was like back then. As they make their way through the mall, Riley shows Ellie all of the things that she planned for her to give her one perfect night. There’s a lot of lowkey flirting and some loving looks exchanged, meaning they clearly like each other, but no one’s willing to voice it.

Eventually, they wander into an arcade and Riley surprises Ellie with a working cabinet of Mortal Kombat 2. The two battle each other, but Riley is far more skilled as she has been practicing for this day for a while. As they continue to play round after round, it’s revealed that there is a lone infected elsewhere in the mall, but the duo is oblivious to it. After they finish their game, Riley takes Ellie to the food court where she shows her where she’s been hiding out.

Riley gives Ellie a new joke book, the one we’ve seen in previous episodes, and she’s absolutely ecstatic. However, the moment is spoiled when Ellie finds a bunch of bombs on a shelf, clearly intended to be used against FEDRA. Ellie immediately becomes angry, pondering the idea that she could be one of the victims of these explosives. Riley says she’d never let that happen, but she is starting to lose Ellie’s trust. To make matters worse, Riley also isn’t planning to stick around as she’s leaving with the Fireflies.

Tragedy Strikes Yet Again

(Photo: HBO)

Ellie immediately leaves in a fit of rage, but decides to turn back after realizing she may never see her again. She finds Riley in a Halloween store and they attempt to smooth things over. To lighten the mood, Riley puts on a Halloween mask and starts dancing on the store counters. Ellie joins her, but they’re quickly interrupted when the infected runs in and attacks them. They fight throughout the store before Ellie stabs it in the head, killing it immediately. Everything seems fine, but they realize they’ve both been infected.


Realizing there’s nothing they can do, they embrace each other and ponder their two options: commit suicide or let the infection take over and cherish the time they have left. Ultimately, they opt for the second option, but we don’t see exactly what happens to Riley. Of course, Ellie is immune, but Riley likely would’ve died one way or another. Back in the present day, Ellie is searching for supplies to help Joel and finds a sewing needle. She’s able to sew him up and hopefully, keep him alive.

The Last of Us will continue to air every Sunday on HBO at 9PM ET. What did you think of the seventh episode? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @Cade_Onder. For more Last of Us content, check out ComicBook and Entertainment Tonight’s new podcast: The Last of Pods. The podcast will include breakdowns of each episode, interviews with special guests from the show, and more. The podcast will release after every episode of the show on Sunday nights.