Showmax Watch of the Week: The Last of Us Episode 6: Kin

The Last Of Us is determined to outdo itself with every episode, and this week’s instalment is a prime example of the show firing on all cylinders. “Kin” takes place three months after the events of “Endure and Survive,” with Joel (Pedro Pascal) on a new mission: finding his younger brother Tommy (Gabriel Luna). He and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) eventually find Tommy and an entire settlement of people. As they both explore the settlement, Joel asks Tommy for a favour that ends up fracturing his relationship with Ellie.

The Last of Us Episode 6 is where Joel and Ellie’s bond is really given a chance to shine. Up to this point, they’ve been running not just from the infected but also from their fellow humans. That continues throughout this episode, especially in a scene where a group of guards at the settlement confronts the duo. Director Jasmila Žbanić slowly but surely builds up the tension, with Joel rapidly trying to defuse the situation to no avail. He mentions they haven’t encountered any infected, but the guards let loose a dog to “sniff out” the infection, and it starts to growl and bark as it approaches Joel, to the point where you think it’ll actually attack him.

Cinematographer Eben Bolter has a gift for capturing some immensely beautiful images on the screen. One such scene has Joel and Ellie crossing a snowy bridge, with flakes of ice falling all around them. Another features them on horseback galloping through a field of grass, eventually encountering the ruins of a college. These images aren’t just beautiful, but they provide a contrast to the wreckage of cities that have populated the last five episodes. That’s especially true of the settlement where Joel and Ellie reside. People have built houses with running water and electricity and actually live in relative harmony – a stark contrast to the last two episodes.

But what stops The Last of Us Episode 6 from just being a tableau of pretty images is the performances of its lead actors. Pascal, in particular, gets the lion’s share of the dramatic moments as Joel reconnects with Tommy while also coming to terms with his mortality. Said mortality is referenced in a few scenes where Joel stops and leans against a wall, with the sound fading out and his hand shaking as he curls it into a fist. Once again, Pascal says so much with so little – but he also gets a moment to deliver a speech where he confesses that he feels like he can’t protect Ellie. One of the things I love about The Last of Us is that it doesn’t paint Joel as an invincible action hero; he’s skilled, but he’s also human, and Pascal understands that.

Ramsey also gets to have some great moments, especially in the scene where Ellie confronts Joel about his decision. She shouts, “You’re the only person I feel safe with!” Her voice comes dangerously close to breaking. The fact that the two are torn up over this decision shows just how far they’ve come; there was a time when Ellie would have happily left Joel the first chance she got. Now, she can’t imagine life without him. Ramsey has done a fantastic job of showcasing that Ellie is just a kid, and this scene is a great reminder of that. If I was her age and the only father figure in my life was planning to leave me, I’d freak out too.

But I cannot end this review without highlighting Luna’s performance as Tommy. Tommy is the exact opposite of Joel; he’s relatively young, found a new life, and is willing to put the past behind him while Joel still clings to it. Every scene that Pascal and Luna share is crackling with energy, from how they stare at each other to the moments where they embrace each other fiercely. It’s enough to make you think that they were brothers, and it made me hope that Luna turns up again because he’s such a phenomenal actor.

The Last of Us Episode 6 puts its protagonists’ bonds to the test, resulting in one of the most emotionally taxing instalments of the series to date. Trust me when I say that the final scene will break your heart and have you counting down the hours until next Sunday. The show’s in its home stretch, and there will probably be more heartbreak and violence in the last three episodes.

The Last of Us airs new episodes on Showmax every Monday.

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Boluwatife Adesina is a media writer and the helmer of the Downtown Review page. He’s probably in a cinema near you.

About Author / Boluwatife Adesina

Boluwatife Adesina is a media writer and the helmer of the Downtown Review page. He’s probably in a cinema near you.

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