The Last of Us Episode 8 Release Date, Start Time, Trailer, and Plot for HBO's Apocalypse Show

David: friend or foe?


The countdown to the buzzy season finale is officially here. But first, Episode 8 of The Last of Us promises yet another test of survival for the series’ heroes — and this time Ellie is in charge.

With Joel not doing so hot following a bad wound, Ellie has been forced into the role of provider and protector. In her struggles to take care of both Joel and herself, she encounters a religious community of survivors led by a man named David. Ellie must quickly decide who she can trust because if she has learned anything from her journey so far, it’s that people can be just as monstrous as the Infected.

Ahead, everything you need to know going into The Last of Us Episode 8, including its release date, start time, plot, trailer, and more.

When is the release date for The Last of Us Episode 8?

Episode 8 of The Last of Us lands on HBO and HBO Max on Sunday, March 5, 2023.

What is the release time for The Last of Us Episode 8?

Ellie encounters other survivors.


The Last of Us airs at 9 p.m. Eastern on HBO and HBO Max each week on Sunday.

How many episodes are left in The Last of Us?

The Last of Us Season 1 features a total of nine episodes, which means we’re closing in on the end. After this week’s installment, only the season finale remains.

What is the plot of The Last of Us Episode 8?

David is the religious leader of a survivor community.


Episode 8 of The Last of Us, titled “When We Are In Need,” will see Ellie encounter a group of survivors led by a preacher named David. With Joel still incapacitated and suffering from an infected wound, Ellie is left to fend for herself among a group of strangers whose intentions she doesn’t know.

The runtime for this episode is slated to be 51 minutes.

Who is in the cast for The Last of Us?

The Last of Us stars Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal as Ellie and Joel. Alongside the show’s main pair, the stellar cast features Scott Shepard as David, Troy Baker as James, Storm Reid as Riley, Merle Dandridge as Marlene, Gabriel Luna as Tommy, Graham Greene as Marlon, Elain Miles as Florence, Rutina Wesley as Maria, Melanie Lynskey as Kathleen, Lamar Johnson as Henry, Keivonn Woodard as Sam, Jeffery Pierce as Perry, Nick Offerman as Bill, Murray Bartlett as Frank, Anna Torv as Tess, and Nico Parker as Sarah.

Is there a trailer for The Last of Us Episode 8?

Yes, HBO released a preview for The Last of Us Episode 8, and it provides a sneak peek into the struggles that Ellie will face upon trying to nurse Joel back to health and running into a religious community of survivors. The community’s leader, David, offers Ellie a place in their group if she wants. However, other members aren’t too happy, thinking that she is just another mouth to feed, and although she might not otherwise survive on her own, perhaps God doesn’t want her to survive. The tense preview then sees David telling Ellie others want her dead, but he can protect her. Meanwhile, gunshots are fired, buildings are burning, and Ellie is defending her life.

The trailer also teases the entrance of Troy Baker, who fans of the video games will recognize as the original actor for Joel.

What happened in The Last of Us Episode 7?

Ellie and Riley sneak off to explore an abandoned mall.


Episode 7 of The Last of Us, titled “Left Behind,” opens with shots of bloodied snow tracks leading toward an abandoned house, where Ellie has dragged Joel after he collapsed off of their horse from a deep stab wound. Ellie tries her best to put pressure on his wound to stop the bleeding, but Joel weakly instructs her to ride north and find Tommy. After Ellie puts his jacket on top of him and turns to walk away, Joel sheds a tear. Up the stairs, Ellie is about to leave, but she hesitates.

The episode then flashes back to Ellie running laps in a FEDRA training gym back in the Boston QZ, as she listens to a Pearl Jam song on a Walkman. A taller girl, named Bethany, rips Ellie’s headphones off and throws her Walkman to the ground. She taunts Ellie that her friend is no longer there to fight for her, and Ellie promptly punches Bethany in the face.

With a black eye, Ellie is then sitting slumped in a chair in the office of Captain Kwong. He tells Ellie that she landed Bethany in the infirmary with 15 stitches and that in the past few weeks, she has been particularly misbehaved. Kwong tells Ellie he knows how smart she is, but he also explains that there are two paths ahead of her, wherein she either keeps acting unruly and ends up doing menial assignments at the command of others, or she pulls it together, obeys the rules, and becomes an officer in charge of telling others what to do. When Ellie asks Kwong why he even cares about her future, he says that FEDRA is the only thing holding the QZ society together and he sees leadership qualities in Ellie. Out of the two options, Ellie says she’ll choose the second path. Before leaving, Kwong hands her back her Walkman.

Later that night, Ellie is in her room reading a comic book before someone in the hall states that it’s time for lights out. Before going to sleep, Ellie looks at the other corner of the room, where an empty bed sits. Around 2 a.m., a shadowy figure sneaks in through Ellie’s window and puts their hand over Ellie’s mouth. Ellie kicks the person off, whips out her switchblade, and looks down to see the intruder is her best friend and former roommate, Riley, who has been gone for weeks. Ellie tells Riley she thought she was dead and asks her where she’s been. Riley says everything is fine and that she joined the Fireflies. Ellie doesn’t believe her until Riley shows her the pistol she’s carrying. Riley promises she’ll explain everything, but first she needs Ellie to sneak out with her so that they can have the best night of their lives. Ellie says no at first, but eventually caves, and the two climb out of Ellie’s window.

Outside in the dark, Ellie and Riley dodge patrol lights and climb into an abandoned building, where they walk up seven flights of stairs. They shine their light and see a dead man slumped against the wall, which Riley says wasn’t there yesterday. After closer inspection, they see that the man likely overdosed from mixing booze with pills. Ellie grabs the almost full bottle of liquor. Suddenly, the body falls through the rotting floor, scaring Riley and Ellie. They quickly laugh it off and head to the roof, where they open the bottle of booze and share some unpleasant swigs. Ellie asks if she can hold Riley’s weapon, which she refuses at first, given that she swore to the Fireflies she wouldn’t let anyone touch it. Eventually, she hands it over and Ellie says it’s heavy before Riley takes it back.

Riley explains to Ellie that when she snuck out of their dorm a few weeks back, an older woman approached her after seeing how well she snuck around the streets. The woman asked Riley what she thought of FEDRA, and Riley told her negative opinion of the authoritative agency. The woman then asked if she wanted to join the Fireflies and Riley said yes. Ellie tells Riley she isn’t sure that FEDRA is all that bad since they are the ones holding everything together in the QZ. Riley tells Ellie to drop it and follow her instead, as she begins to jump across rooftops.

Out of breath, Ellie eventually asks Riley to take a break. Ellie notices more lights in the distance and Riley tells her it's new apartments. Ellie sees it as an example of the good FEDRA is doing, and Riley replies that they are fascist dictators. Before they can argue anymore, though, Riley tells Ellie they have arrived at their destination: the abandoned mall. Ellie says she thought the mall was off-limits and sealed off since it’s swarming with Infected. Riley coyly responds by saying that if it’s supposed to be sealed off, then why isn’t it actually sealed off?

It turns out, in setting up electricity for the new apartments, FEDRA also connected the mall to the power grid. Riley tells Ellie to wait inside the dark mall for a surprise, and slowly the colorful lights of storefronts begin to flicker on. Riley rejoins Ellie, who is in awe, and tells her tonight she is going to show her the “four wonders of the mall.” Ellie steps foot on a working escalator for the first time, excited by the “electric stairs.” As they pass by empty stores, Riley and Ellie talk about what it must have been like before the outbreak, to want things you didn’t just need for survival. Take lingerie from a Victoria’s Secret shop, for example. Riley laughs saying she is trying to picture Ellie wearing something like that. Before she turns to follow Riley, Ellie looks at her reflection in the glass and fixes her hair.

Riley then leads Ellie to another part of the mall and tells her to close her eyes before they get there. When Ellie opens her eyes, she’s stunned to see a working carousel glistening with lights. the two spend some time on the carousel, giggling and smiling like normal kids before it suddenly stops working. Ellie tells Riley that she should come back to the FEDRA school and they could make things better together. Riley says that while Ellie could be running things someday. She, on the other hand, is approaching the age of 17 and already received her assignment from Kwong: sewage detail. When she found out, she panicked and ran away, without telling Ellie. Riley tells Ellie that she is the only thing she misses about the FEDRA school, which clearly makes Ellie feel a bit better.

The two then head over to a photo booth and pose together in goofy positions for a few frames, with Riley lingering cheek-to-cheek with Ellie even after the photos were finished. Riley tells Ellie she should keep the photos, and they head off to the next wonder of the mall. Riley leads Ellie to what is basically her heaven, a fully functioning arcade. Riley reveals that yesterday she spent an hour breaking open a coin machine just so they could play some games together — more specifically so that they can plan Mortal Kombat II together. As Riley and Ellie are battling each other, the camera pans to an empty doll store nearby, where a dormant Infected begins to wake up to the sounds of the girls yelling with joy in the arcade.

Ellie gets bit by an Infected in the mall.


Ellie finally wins a game and the two celebrate together, getting close once again before Riley turns away. Ellie, clearly bristled, tells Riley that it’s getting late and she should go, but she’ll be around tomorrow to hang out again. Riley then tells Ellie she got her a gift, which convinces Ellie to stay. Riley leads her to the mall’s food court and jumps behind a taco stall, where she has been sleeping recently. Riley hands Ellie a second volume of puns (the book we see Ellie reading to Joel from in earlier episodes) and Ellie is ecstatic. After reading a few jokes, Ellie notices a stash of handmade bombs. Riley admits to having made the grenades and Ellie asks if she uses them to blow up soldiers. Ellie then realizes that Riley didn’t discover the mall by herself — she was stationed there by the Fireflies.

Ellie is furious and begins to storm off, but Riley catches up to her and tells her that she is being sent off to the Atlanta QZ. She had asked Marlene, the woman who recruited her if Ellie could come with her, but she said no. Tonight is Riley’s last night in Boston before she leaves, so she wanted to say goodbye to Ellie. Ellie abruptly says goodbye and turns to walk through the mall by herself and leave. At the door she came in earlier, Ellie decides to turn around and go back inside when she hears screams. She runs toward them, calling out for Riley.

Ellie gets to a Halloween store, where she finds that an animatronic decoration is making screaming noises. Riley is sitting inside the store, saying this was the final wonder. Ellie sits down next to Riley and explains why she is upset at her best friend for disappearing, showing up, and leaving her again, for a cause she doesn’t understand. Riley tells her that she wants to belong to a group again like she once had with her now-dead family, and she has found belonging in the Fireflies. Ellie is still mad, but she tells Riley she is her best friend and she will miss her.

Riley then gets up, throws a rubber wolf mask at Ellie, and plugs Ellie’s Walkman (which she stole) into a speaker. Riley puts on a clown mask and the two dance on the store’s counter together. Ellie then takes off her mask, as does Riley, begs her not to leave, and kisses Riley. Ellie apologizes, but Riley says, “For what?” and the two smile and giggle. When Ellie asks what they’re going to do now, Riley says they’ll figure it out.

Suddenly, the girls hear movement from behind a curtain and Riley pulls out her weapon. An Infected charges out. Being rabidly chased through the Halloween store, both Ellie and Riley get knocked down, and the Infected jumps on Ellie. She stabs it in the side with her pocketknife, trying to fight it off. Riley runs up and hits it with a baseball bat, but the Infected then jumps on Riley. Ellie finally stabs the Infected in its head with her switchblade.

Ellie is so amped up from taking down the Infected that she doesn’t realize something is wrong until she sees Riley’s sullen face. Ellie looks down to see that she has a bleeding bite mark on her arm and she desperately screams. Riley turns her hand around to show that she has also been bitten, and the pair realize they are doomed. With the option to shoot themselves, they instead agree to spend their last moments together, however long it may be, and lose their minds alongside each other as they become Infected.

The episode then jumps back to Joel. It turns out, Ellie didn’t leave. She is upstairs searching through the house for supplies to help Joel. She finds a needle and thread in a drawer and goes back down to the garage, where she begins to sew Joel’s wound shut. The episode ends with Ellie stitching up Joel and Joel writhing in pain.

Will there be a The Last of Us Season 2?

Yes, The Last of Us has been confirmed for Season 2 by HBO and showrunners Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin. And with plenty of source material left to explore from the video games, there is lots of plot waiting to be adapted for the series.

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