HBO’s ‘The Last of Us’ Solidifies David as One of the Most Horrifying Figures
The eighth episode of ‘The Last of Us,’ titled ‘When We Are in Need,’ recounts the events of the game’s winter section, leaving an impactful emotional impact on viewers. The episode draws text from the game’s much darker subtext, which is horrifying to the bone-chilling effect. David, portrayed in the series by Scott Shepherd, is what makes the series’ portrayal of the character stand out the most. ‘The Last of Us’ game makes no attempt to disguise David as a good person who lost his way in the apocalypse, even though this is what David might believe about himself.
David has formed a cult, and he has established a system for killing and cannibalizing innocent people. In both the game and the TV series, the character has a predatory nature. In HBO’s version of the character, David is portrayed as even more villainous – as a cult leader and a predator – in a way that will make your skin crawl. Episode eight opens with David giving a sermon, reading from the ‘Book of Revelation.’ He enters a populated diner, and when the daughter of the man he killed says they should return the favor, David backhands her in front of the entire group.
In The Official The Last Of Us Podcast, the actor who plays Joel in the game and the supporting role of James in this episode, tried to equate David’s actions with Joel’s in a way that was baffling in 2020, and is more baffling in 2023 now that the show has gone to such great lengths to make it clear that David is reprehensible, even by post-apocalyptic standards. Sometimes it’s okay to unambiguously say someone is a monster, even in a world where most people are shambled versions of who they once were.