We also discover that Ellie has a huge crush on Riley. This was rather significant in the game, where Ellie became a very rare lesbian protagonist, even if it became controversial that this reveal happened in a DLC not everyone played. Regardless, the episode serves as a rather cute teenage rom-com.
Bella Ramsey delivers her best performance of the season so far, showing the restraint and the insecurities in Ellie, a character that is as extroverted and self-assured as they come. It is also rather funny to see Ellie, who just last week said how bizarre it was for girls to only worry about movies, boys, and clothes in the before times, to now be just as worried about some of those things.
In Riley’s tour of surprises for Ellie, the two have some fun riding a carousel, then stopping by a photo booth, recreating a fantastic scene from the game. Storm Reid, who plays Riley, gives a memorable performance that, just like Bill and Frank from episode 3, sticks with you long after the credits roll. The duo also stops at an arcade, which Ellie calls “the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen,” and they play “Mortal Kombat II.” Everything we see in this episode has actually been referenced already in other episodes. Ellie name-dropped the fighting game in episode three as something she heard about from another kid, not a game she had experienced. She lied, and pushed the memory all the way down after the events of the episode.