The Last of Us Episode 7, titled “Left Behind,” adapted the video game’s DLC of the same name, telling the story of how Ellie got bit alongside her friend, Riley. Speaking to Variety, star Bella Ramsey talked through the emotional episode, and how she prepared for it.
By the end of the episode, Ellie and Riley find themselves both bitten, both with completely different, yet still serious, reactions to it. When asked how Ramsey prepared for the scene, the actress noted she didn’t watch or play the game’s DLC to prepare, and is happy she didn’t, as she ended up reacting differently to how the in-game Ellie did.
“I hadn’t seen that bit of gameplay, and I’m really glad that I didn’t,” said Ramsey. “I became aware after that I reacted differently to how Ellie reacts in the game. I think it was maybe more explosive, and there was more anger, rather than fear. I think that Ellie’s response is such intense emotion that she doesn’t know what to do with. It becomes very outward and expressive and explosive. That was really cool. I was very much trusting Craig and Liza [Johnson], the director, to guide me in that way. I loved that scene. I love scenes where you get to feel things really intensely, because you don’t often get the chance to do that in a super safe space. To get that chance was awesome.”
Although the reactions differ, the episode does follow the DLC pretty closely, including not showing what happens after the two are bitten. While Ellie survives due to her immunity, Riley doesn’t. However, fans never see Riley turning into an infected in either story, something Ramsey thinks is better left to the imagination.
“I’m sure they talked about that possibility, but the first scripts that we got, you didn’t see it,” Ramsey said. “I think sometimes the things that you don’t see are more impactful, because then it’s left to your imagination, which can sometimes be even darker than what maybe you’d see on screen. I like that it ends so poetically. I think it’s more heartbreaking, Riley saying, ‘Let’s be all poetic and lose our minds together,’ it’s horrendous to then know what happens after that. The fear and the confusion that Ellie felt, and the survivor’s guilt. There’s so much that comes with that. I think it’s actually more impactful that it wasn’t shown. You see the effects of that on Ellie throughout the rest of the season.”
The Last of Us is now available to watch on HBO and HBO Max.