The Last of Us
Season 1, Episode 2
After a global pandemic destroys civilizations, a hardened survivor takes charge of a 14-year-old girl who may be humanity’s last hope.
Warning: This episode contains nudity and graphic violence.
The prologue begins September 24, 2003, in Jakarta, Indonesia when military forces pick up a professor of Mycology and escort her to a restricted location to research a mysterious test subject. Her horrific recommendation is as apropos as it is heartbreaking.
In the present, Ellie awakes to Tess and Joel. After an intense conversation, the group begins their journey to the Fireflies’ check point. Their treacherous trek through Boston closely mimics the missions in its namesake game. I like the way the show has Tess go off screen separately at certain points in order to focus on the relationship building between Joel and Ellie.
Next, the trio make a deadly discovery and more information regarding the infected is given. Their attempts to progress through the city, force them to go through a museum where they encounter something terrifying. This legitimately creepy scene-work is emotionally engaging and not for the faint of heart.
When they finally reach their destination, they encounter an unexpected loss and Tess reveals a secret. Finally, a means of escape requires a difficult decision.
I’m sure I will be making this comment every review, but the world looks JUST like the videogame. Neil Druckmann, the game creator, directed this episode, and it is pure perfection. I’ll be honest, I can’t really give an informed opinion on the Infected’s graphics, as I kept covering my eyes, but what I did see was excellent. However, the sound directions were on point. The audio will give chills to both games and newcomers alike. My kudos to everyone involved in this process.
Although light on storyline, this chapter hits both emotional and comedic tones in perfect proportion. From bits of spunky banter between Ellie and her protectors, to desperate whispers born of fear, the creative team accurately and completely depicts the mindset of the characters and verbalizes their point of view in a creative manner.
I also really adore the way the show adds certain introductory scenes in the outbreak’s beginning to provide a realistic and contextual explanation of the present day’s happenings. And while they are devastating, it provides for a deeper and more globalized understanding of the stakes the main characters are faced with.
I found this to be another brilliant episode that syncs well with the videogame. It is obvious that the creators of this adaptation are fans of the game and have a desire to pay homage to its content. I am also happy that they are also sensitive to the needs of new viewers of the work. This was a great job done by all.
Stay tuned for an “Inside the Episode” segment for additional contact that breaks down the dynamics of the program’s creation and the major changes from the videogame.