Yes, this is absurd. I shouldn’t even care about the hideous purple sweater vest! There’s so much more going on in this episode that demands to be commented upon. How about that stray severed ear that Ellie spots on the floor? Or the fact that Joel basically rises from the dead to defend her? Or the irony of Ellie murdering OG-video-game Joel (Troy Baker, playing David’s right-hand James) when she escapes? All worthy topics of discussion! But alas, none of that matters when compared to Joyce’s terrible outfit that I couldn’t stop staring at.
I guess this makes sense. For a show to be this traumatic, all departments must be working in tandem: Craig Mazin penning unsettling dialogue, Ali Abbasi stepping in with seamless direction, and Gustavo Santaolalla manipulating our emotions with his score that is even more impactful than in the game. So naturally, costume designer Cynthia Summers has found a way to communicate just how much we should be wary of these ski resort people — by dressing one of its members in the worst outfit ever.
The second I spotted that purple vest, I knew that no good would come of this community. Did I have game knowledge to back that assumption up? Maybe. Was David radiating weird vibes because he didn’t want to bury a body? For sure. But the main reason to distrust these people is definitely the sweater vest.
It’s especially egregious after seven episodes of everyone proving that the apocalypse is no reason to give up on fashion! Listen, Joyce, I get it. It’s slim pickings in the post-apocalypse times. All the other community members are donning the drab, muted garb of depressed cult members too. But if Joel can work flannel like a runway model and Ellie can claim her own signature color, then I’m pretty sure you can find a top that doesn’t make my eyes bleed.