In The Last of Us episode 7, while hanging out at the mall, Riley introduces Ellie to the second wonder of the place, the carousel, where a soothing song plays in the back while they have a moment.
Riley had a whole night planned for Ellie. She had plans to introduce Ellie to the four wonders of the mall, which later became five when Ellie went crazy for the escalators.
The first wonder, the carousel, then becomes the second wonder. Riley starts the mechanism and leaves Ellie in awe. The couple drinks while sitting on the horses and gets lost in another world.
Ellie, on her side, kept staring at Riley while a soothing song played in the back before the carousel stopped suddenly.
The carousel song and its importance
The carousel is playing a lullaby version of ‘Just Like Heaven’ by British alternative rock band the Cure. It is the third single released from their 1987 album ‘Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me’.
The lullaby version playing here in the show is an instrumental that has no lyrics, but if you look at the original song, the lyrics represent the romance and the situation Riley and Ellie share.
Frontman of the Cure, Robert Smith, wrote the lyrics of the song, which opens up with a girl asking the singer to show her tricks that make her scream and laugh.
In the episode, Riley is presenting the five wonders of the mall to Ellie. Each one of them is entertaining and magical for Ellie, who is filled with joy and laughter upon witnessing them.
In the song, the girl is ready to run away with the singer if he agrees to show her the tricks—something Ellie has done for Riley.
The girl in the song also questions why the singer would never know that she is in love with him, and Ellie is also somewhat in the same situation. She continues to stare at Riley throughout the episode, and Riley fails to notice all the signs of love.
Toward the end of the song, the singer talks about being lonely and losing the girl he loved. In the show, Ellie loses Riley to the bite of the infected.
They both get bit, and though they thought they would die together, Ellie survives, as she is immune to cordyceps. Keeping that in mind, the band’s name also seems to refer to Ellie being a cure.
The Last of Us never shows Riley’s fate, but one can easily make out that she must’ve turned into an infected since Ellie is the only one who doesn’t get infected by cordyceps, as revealed by the show.