HBO's The Last Of Us confirms horrific David theory hinted at by game
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Warning: This article contains references to themes that some readers may find distressing.
If you’re on this site, chances are you played The Last of Us long before the HBO series came along. If you’re a new fan, hey, welcome to the club. For those in the know though, we knew David was bad but oh my, he just got a whole lot worse in the show.
It goes without saying that I’ll be discussing episode eight in depth so spoilers lie ahead. What an action-packed hour, huh? After the epic heights of ‘Endure and Survive,’ we’ve had a relatively calm couple of weeks, bar perhaps that Ellie and Riley infected scene. ‘When We Are In Need’ has thrown us back in at the deep end though. Interrogative torture? Check. Cannibalism? Check. Ellie driving a machete into David’s head umpteen times? Check. It certainly wasn’t a cheery hour, but it’s antagonist David who’s truly horrified The Last of Us’ viewers.
Excited for the season finale? Take a look at the promo for ‘Look for the Light’ below.
In the game, David’s characterising villainous trait is the fact that he’s a cannibal. This is a man who provides for his cult-like group by killing innocent people, serving them up as dinner. Through his fascination with Ellie, it’s certainly implied that David has predatory intentions but in the HBO show, that isn’t just implied. It’s shown.
The episode doesn’t shy away from the fact that David has an utterly disturbing fascination with the 14-year-old Ellie. As reported by Kotaku, this version of David (portrayed by actor Scott Shepherd) abuses his authority. When a young girl in his group suggests they kill Ellie for killing her father, David backhands her before claiming that she has a father figure in him. It’s then implied that the food David provides her is the cooked remains of her father. That’s not just heartless. It shows a horrifically warped way of thinking.
Later, despite what Ellie and Joel have cost his group, David caresses Ellie’s hands, telling her she’s special. During the duo’s restaurant fight towards the end of the episode, Ellie bites David to which he replies, “I thought you already knew, the biting is the part I like the most.” That right there is disturbing.
We spoke to actor Troy Baker who played David’s right-hand man James. He explained, “David is looking for an equal. He finds it in Ellie across the board. In Ellie, he sees someone who has charisma, who has the ability to lead, who is resourceful, who's smart, but also has a violent heart. That is something that David certainly has as well.” This fondness is backed up by perversely evil intentions. There is no doubting that here.