After the heart stopping emotional rollercoaster of an episode we had before us I think it is about time that we sit back, take a break and maybe try and get our breath back. Luckily Episode 6 feels like a good middle point to hop off and take a moment to reflect. It feels like that yet the more I reflect on my own time with The Last of Us I know this is the moment where there is a massive change in the tone and themes of the story in front of us.
Episode 6 steps us forward about 3 months from our time in Kansas City and we are now in the grip of a Wyoming winter with its own set of challenges. Joel and Ellie are looking for Jackson in the hope that Joel’s brother Tommy is there. After meeting with a couple living solemnly off the land, a foreboding warning about what lies ahead and an interesting encounter with the locals Joel and Ellie finally feel some level of safety.
This episode is a little lacking on the action side when compared to others but dives deeply into the relationship that has been forming between Joel and Ellie. Joel no longer sees Ellie as a package that is being shipped across the country. Ellie is starting to really open up now and Bella has made a real stamp on the character as her own. The emotional range of the episode is a rollercoaster from the heights of a family reunion to the opening of old wounds when we see a memorial for Sarah (I’m still not over it) to moments with Joel that shed a light into who he is as a man.
Pascal’s performance is a real turning point, with this episode taking away from the action of previous and giving you more time to realise all the little things he is doing so well. Small gestures, a certain look towards Ellie and a wry smile or two I picked up on them all and each of them brought a different sense to the moment that will invest you into these characters even more.
Episode 6 may be slower pace than what we have been used to so far but its strong themes around family, loss and the rawness that we see from Joel especially are not to be missed. I admit I have mixed feelings about the episode and feel it is probably the weakest in the series, though I have nothing negative to say to back up that claim other than a lingering thought, probably due to what is to come.
Some stellar performances all round helps episode 6 set up for some big moments to come. Easter Eggs a plenty and some new locals for the new and old fans to enjoy episode 6 “Kin” is now available on Binge here locally and continues the theme of must watch episodes The Last of Us is fast becoming known for.