The Last of Us—Season 1

last of us season 1 poster review episode guide list
8.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 9/10

Good looking series that doesn't rely heavily on the monsters when it easily could

I question where season 2 will go

last of us season 1 title card review episode guide

Finally…a good video game adaptation?

A fungus has taken over the world and turned the infected and dead into mindless monsters.  When Joel (Pedro Pascal) is brought in by a group called the Fireflies to transport a strange girl named Ellie (Bella Ramsey) to a camp outside of the compound, he finds himself on an adventure.  Ellie has secrets and surviving in the wild will not be easy…there are sometimes worse things than the

The Last of Us—Season 1 is a horror zombie survival series.  The HBO show is an adaptation of the hit award winning video game The Last of Us from 2013.  It aired from January 15, 2023 to March 12, 2023 and received positive reviews.

last of us season 1 episode 2 infected clicker monster

I’m recommending braces for this clicker

I tried playing The Last of Us twice…it is a very good game, but I wasn’t very good at it and didn’t get very far before moving onto a different game.  I’m kind of glad that I quit in that it is interesting to watch this show as someone who doesn’t know how it is “supposed to be”.

The show is pretty compelling.  It could be argued that there isn’t a lot of substance to the game and that a series based on a game where scavenge around a lot could lack interest.  The series manages to have a nice balance throughout with stand-alone episodes and story progressing episodes…all of which add to plot and character development.  It has a decent arc for the season though I could argue that the ending is a little less dramatic than some of the other episodes.

last of us season 1 episode 5 endure and survive kathleen coghlan melanie lynskey

I love you Melanie, but I’m not buying it…

Video games are notoriously hard to adapt and fans are notoriously poor tempered when they are adapted poorly.  The makers of the show wanted to be pretty faithful to the story.  The show criticized by some for the “Long, Long Time” episode which showed the relationship between Bill and Frank.  While it didn’t follow the game exactly, it took things implied and alluded to in the game and made it seem less gratuitous by creating better characters.  It fits in well with the story and fits thematically with the character arcs of  Ellie and Joel.

The cast is good.  Pedro Pascal plays the gruff and broken Joel well and the “old man” look is believable.  Bella Ramsey has a way with her delivery that fits with the character as well.  The character could be totally obnoxious, but she gives some range to the character.  The series is backed up with supporting actors and characters.  For the most part they are good like Anna Torv Nick Offerman, and Stormy Reid (I particularly liked the appearance by Graham Greene and Northern Exposure star Elaine Miles), but I think Melanie Lynskey was miscast as the leader of the group in Kansas City (which was a new character).

last of us season 1 episode 6 kin bella ramsey pedro pascal shooting practice

Seems like I should have taught you this a long time before…

As much as there is a zombie story to The Last of Us, the series, the zombies seem second fiddle once they are out of the city.  I like the look and design of the zombies, but they largely are missing from the last half of the series.  Fortunately, the series makes up for the lack of monsters by having a lot of great locations that are scenic and vast.  It is a good combo.

The Last of Us didn’t take the path I thought it would.  It has a little Lone Wolf and Cub…if the “Cub” was swearing and gun toting.  I question where the show will go from here with less of a set goal…and I know from people who played The Last of Us Part II that it was divisive, so it will also be interesting to see if they follow the story.  The series has inspired me…maybe it is time for a third attempt at The Last of Us.

The Last of Us—Season 1 Complete Episode Guide:

last of us season 1 episode 1 when youre lost in the darkness daughter killed pedro pascal nico parker

“When You’re Lost in the Darkness”

1.1       When You’re Lost in the Darkness Airdate:  01/15/23

In 2003, an outbreak of a fungus called the Cordyceps turns the infected into savage mindless killers.  Joel (Pedro Pascal), his daughter Sarah (Nico Parker), and his brother Tommy (Gabriel Luna) find the world is collapsing…leading to tragedy.  Now, the world has been overcome and the remaining survivors are trying avoid the infected and eke out a living.  Joel is living in Boston with Tess (Anna Torv) and his loss of contact with Tommy out west has raised concerned.  When the Fireflies contact Tess and Joel with an offer, they find themselves charged with moving a girl named Ellie (Bella Ramsey)…and Ellie has a secret.

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1.2       Infected Airdate:  01/22/23

In 2003 in Jakarta, an outbreak occurs…and the bombing begins.  Ellie is infected but surviving, and Joel and Tess question their next move.  Surrounded by Infected in Boston, escape might not be possible.

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“Long, Long Time”

1.3       Long, Long Time Airdate: 01/29/23

Joel and Ellie come upon one of the mass graves, and Ellie learns the cold truth about survival in the early days of the outbreak.  In 2003, survivalist Bill (Nick Offerman) sees the outbreak as a godsend.  When he closes off his town, he meets a fellow survivor named Frank (Murray Bartlett), and Frank could change Bill’s perspective on the world.

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“Please Hold to My Hand”

1.4       Please Hold to My Hand Airdate:  02/05/23

Taking Bill and Frank’s supplies before hitting the road, Joel continues to warn Ellie about the dangers of arming herself and the threat of men.  Joel and Ellie reach Kansas City and are caught in a trap.  Kathleen Coghlan (Melanie Lynskey) searches Kansas City for Henry (Lamar Johnson) and Sam (Keivonn Montreal Woodard)…but Joel and Ellie could get caught in the crossfire.

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“Endure and Survive”

1.5       Endure and Survive Airdate:  02/12/23

Trapped in Kansas City, Joel and Ellie find themselves teamed with Sam and Henry as they are hunted by Kathleen and her men.  Henry plots to go underground to escape the militants, but something worse is hidden there.

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1.6       Kin Airdate:  02/19/23

Joel and Ellie move north and seek out Tommy in the wilderness. Found by the commune in Jackson, Wyoming, Joel is reunited with Tommy, but learns Tommy has a new life at the commune that he might not want to leave behind. The Fireflies are in southeastern Colorado…and getting Ellie there might prove deadly.

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“Left Behind”

1.7       Left Behind Airdate:  02/26/23

Joel is dying from his encounter with the raiders at the abandoned Firefly base, and Ellie remembers her life before Joel.  Ellie recalls her friend Riley (Storm Reid) and how she joined the Fireflies.

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“When We Are in Need”

1.8       When We Are in Need Airdate:  03/05/23

Seeking food for the dying Joel, Ellie encounters David (Scott Shepherd) and James (Troy Baker) and learn that they are part of an isolated camp that is starving in the hard winter.  The opportunity of medicine lures Ellie in, but the danger of David’s group is more than it even seems.

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“Look for the Light”

1.9       Look for the Light Airdate:  03/12/23

The secret of Ellie’s birth is revealed as why she managed to survive.  Ellie and Joel are reaching their goal, but when the Fireflies find Joel and Ellie first, Joel could learn that the Fireflies’ plans for Ellie might not be what he hoped.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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