photo via HBO
Warning: The following article contains spoilers last of usEpisode 7: “Left Behind.”
LGBTQ+ community goes into frenzy after HBO airs last of us‘ Latest episode, “Left Behind.” Gamers who indulged in Naughty Dog’s PlayStation franchise already knew exactly what was coming, but for the first time viewers learn that Ellie (Bella Ramsey) is gay and explores “Left Behind” — Whom we believe – Her first crush was best friend Riley (Storm Reed). As Ellie and Riley dance to a rendition of Etta James’ “I Got You Babe,” there is some tension in the air as Ellie’s romantic feelings for Riley come to a head. After working up the courage to do so, Ellie shares an intimate kiss with Riley, who does not reciprocate her affection. Needless to say, things don’t end well for Ellie and Riley, but the importance of Ellie accepting her sexuality will play a pivotal role in the second season, based on The Last of Us: Part II,
Although it’s the pivotal moment of the episode, the kissing sequence isn’t actually the most famous scene in “Left Behind.” That honor goes to those smaller, more relatable moments that encapsulate the incredibly relatable experience of discovering one’s sexuality and the confusion, uncertainty, and excitement that come with it. In reality, the so-called “most accurate gay scene” of all time depends on personal preference, as no two explorations of one’s sexuality/gender are the same. Although it came off as a discount on the LGBTQ+ theme last of usHBO refrained from labeling Ellie and Riley’s relationship as anything more than “best friends,” but we’re taking it less as an attempt to hide the main events of the episode instead of giving it away entirely.
It wasn’t the kiss that caught everyone’s attention, but Ellie and Riley’s slowly developing mutual crush on each other. It has become a stereotype for lesbians (according to lesbians themselves) that when two women are crushing hard on each other, neither one of them makes the first move. A reluctance to break the friend mold results in a sort of ‘purgatory’ in which homosexuals find themselves. It’s both hilarious and infinitely painful at the same time.
If anyone has ever seen the iconic Vine dealing with homosexual tension, they will understand what exactly this quote refers to. And it kinda fits Ellie and Riley’s relationship Very Well.
There’s also a lot of buzz about Ellie’s changing microcosm at the beginning of the episode. She tells Riley not to turn around and look, which apparently resonates with a lot of homosexuals (and other sexualities including attraction to women) who relate to their own experiences sharing. There had always been a certain aura around nudity that prohibited queer women from changing around each other for fear of rejection, ridicule, or worse. Apparently, Ellie thinks her crush on Riley makes things a little more awkward… and we’ve all been there.
HBO’s last of us That’s really all. If a central plot involving the infected and a headstrong father-daughter duo isn’t your thing, well… we have lesbians too.