Since time immemorial, men around the globe have been considered natural protectors. They have been burdened with the mammoth task of being the leaders. The role of a father in the holy Bible and in real life is very similar. The Father in the Bible is the “holier-than-thou” spirit, and fathers in our society are treated as such. If we go back to the very first episode of “The Last of Us,” we will encounter a father (Joel) and an uncle (Tommy), both trying to save their young girl (Sarah). There have been certain hints that Joel and Tommy were not just trying to protect Sarah but were also taking care of other women and children in the area.
Undeniably, the series very craftily mocks this social norm. No sooner does it take us to the apocalyptic world than the responsibility of protection does not fall upon the shoulders of a particular gender? We saw powerful women like Tess, Marlene, and Kathleen. Simultaneously, we have witnessed young kids like Ellie, Riley, and Sam. As the series progresses, the immediate threat of the fungus-infected zombies seems to subside, and the power play of gender reappears. So far in the series, we have faced several fears. The eighth episode, “When We Are in Need,” unlocks a different fear, which is probably the most potent fear we all live by. Without further delay, here is everything you need to know about a broken society led by a toxic man.
Father: A Teacher To A Preacher And A Leader
The foundation of every religion begins with a man. The all-powerful man is capable enough to create, destroy, and protect. This man believes that he is the one who carries the people forward in sickness and in health through cold, harsh winters into warm summers. Interestingly, this particular man should never be questioned or crossed. David is “the man” of the group. He was a teacher who turned into a preacher during desperate times. He understood that his fellow people needed hope, and only the Almighty could lead the way. Thus, we see him reading verses from the Bible as he tries to soothe the daughter of a recently deceased man. David looks pretty harmless and is severely concerned about the well-being of his group.
David is the leader of the group and had previously attacked Joel and Ellie. Soon we learn that David is aware of Joel’s fatal wound and is hell-bent on avenging the deaths of his men. Thus, when he finds Ellie, he very tactfully deals with her. In exchange for the deer that Ellie had shot, he promised her penicillin. He slowly tried to break Ellie’s wall by engaging her in a rather interesting conversation. However, when David’s mate James pointed the gun at Ellie, David asked him to lower his gun and set Ellie free. James disapproved of David’s plan and informed the group that David had shown mercy to the killer. The young girl, whom David was trying to soothe, angrily voices her opinion that they should kill both the young girl and the man; David slaps her hard. David clearly states that he is the father and the leader, so his actions should never be questioned or opposed. The apparently good man’s darker side slowly begins to surface.
The Wrath Of The Father
As David plans to execute the murder of Joel, he sends out several men in search of Joel and Ellie. His well-knit and achievable plan fails massively as Ellie fights with everything she has. Unfortunately, Ellie was abducted by David and James and put inside the cage. David tried every means he knew to break Ellie down and make her give up her loyalty to Joel. Unfortunately, David fails to understand that Ellie is someone who never steps down from a fight. She was a tough-to-break kid and wrapped herself in an invisible iron-clad armor of strong will.
Ellie learns the truth about David’s nature. David is the self-proclaimed leader of a group that has lost all hope. However, David has wrapped people around his finger with his calm demeanor in one hand (while he acts religiously) and, on the other hand, unleashes his wrath the moment he is challenged. He, like any deranged leader, is power-hungry and has lost the sense of right and wrong. His insanity has reached such an extent that, just to showcase himself as a capable leader, he was feeding the group human flesh. The human flesh belongs to the deceased members of his group.
Undoubtedly, Ellie tried to escape from this madness; however, the little girl was tortured and beaten. Finally, Ellie bites David and says that she is infected. Soon, the infection starts to spread throughout David’s body, and his insanity erupts like a volcano. He tried to grab and grope Ellie, even when everything was being torched. Ellie escaped by attacking him with a knife. However, the intensity of her trauma (both physical and mental) left her exhausted.
The True Father
Before this horrific rendezvous, we watch Ellie take care of Joel. Joel was finding it very hard to stay alive. Ellie was still very afraid to lose her one true confidant in her insane journey. Thus, at the very chance of a bargain, she asks for medicine. She pushes the medicine (penicillin) into Joel’s wound. Before sabotaging David’s plan to murder Joel, she figured out Joel was gaining back his senses, and Ellie briefed him about his duty (to stay awake and kill whoever breaks in). Ellie also pushes some furniture on her way out to guard the entrance to Joel’s room. She also handed him a knife for his protection.
It was painful to watch Joel fight two armed men in his condition. However, he was determined to find out and save Ellie. Joel tortures and finally kills the two men for information about Ellie. However, in the meantime, Ellie had probably faced her worst nightmare with David. As soon as she walks out of the parlor, broken and distressed, crying profusely, Joel holds her in his arms. For the first time, we see Joel’s ice-cold heart melt as he warmly embraces Ellie, reassuring her that he is there with her.
This episode of “The Last of Us” will both visually and psychologically haunt you. We are aware of “fathers” like David, and we all look for “fathers” like Joel. Ellie’s experience with the devil in a man’s disguise was the fear that most of us live with every day. This particular episode has bridged the gulf between the film’s apocalyptic war and reality by exploring a common fear, “The Fear of the “Father.”