TL;DR – This week, we wallow in the murky grey of a fallen world.
Disclosure – I paid for the Binge service that viewed this show.
Warning – Contains scenes that may cause distress.
The Last of Us Review –
One of the strengths of any great post-apocalypse literature is the way it uses the setting to tell human stories. It changes it from exploitative media to one examining the human condition. But that involves a story that steps out of the accessible black-and-white realm of narrative storytelling and into the murky world of grey.
So to set the scene, it is about ten days before Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) make their way into Kansas City and the city is awash in celebrations and an orgy of violence. The old FEDRA government has been taken down, and across the city, members of FEDRA and their collaborators are being hunted down and exterminated by the new leader Kathleen (Melanie Lynskey). Outside of the QZ, Henry (Lamar Johnson) and his brother Sam (Keivonn Montreal Woodard) are on the run from Kathleen and are almost out of food when a pickup crashes into a laundromat across the road, and a new opportunity arises. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead for the show.
The core of this episode is all the compromises we need to make to survive. Henry is both a literal Judas and a brother desperately trying to find medicine for his brother to survive. It is a duality that fractures and unites the character and their actions. Should you be hoping he lives? Or championing for the new leader to hunt him down for his crimes? The fact that there is a question here tells you the strength of a character who has caused much harm but for reasons, you can completely understand. The bond between Henry and Sam only reinforces this, which I bought as real right from the start.
Regarding the potentially evil commander in charge of the Kansas City QZ, we need to talk about Melanie Lynskey’s performance. Many times I have seen characters in a similar role. They tend to be all one-note ponies. There is such range and nuance in her performance that I felt the realness of her being scared of thunderstorms when she was young while also believing that she started a rebellion that exterminated waves of people. I accepted every step that ended in tragedy. It is almost like she was the eye of the storm, a calm that can unleash violence at any moment.
Since we mentioned the ending, we need to talk about it, even though it ripped my heart out. From last week’s Please Hold to My Hand, we knew that Joel, Ellie, Henry, and Sam would probably team up to escape the city. But they get held up at the outskirts by a wave of infected and rebels, including our first meeting with a Bloater. Even knowing what was coming, I still felt tense, on the edge of my seat as waves of infected threatened everyone and a child clicker (Skye Belle Cowton) gave us a warning as to where we were heading. Also, props to the actress that performed that Clicker.
In many shows, the quiet after the storm gives us a moment of respite after an intense moment or sequence. However, in The Last of Us, the quiet parts can be just as devastating as the loud moments. Ellie and Sam spent the episode bonding, even though I knew I shouldn’t invest in their bond given that both pair is a mirror image and we know what happens to mirrors. I still could not help but be carried away and shocked that it happened, even when I knew it would happen. It is shocking and regrettable because Ellie now knows what it is like to have someone depend on her, and nothing she could do would stop the outcome.
In the end, do we recommend The Last of Us: Endure and Survive? Look, I might sound like a broken record, but each week is going from strength to strength. This episode lived in the grey, and I don’t think this will be the last time we find ourselves here.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
Have you seen The Last of Us yet ?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day.
Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of The Last of Us
Directed by – Jeremy Webb
Written by – Craig Mazin
Created by – Craig Mazin & Neil Druckmann
Based On– The Last of Us by Neil Druckmann and Naughty Dog
Production/Distribution Companies – Naughty Dog, PlayStation Productions, Sony Pictures Television, The Mighty Mint, Word Games, HBO & Binge
Starring – Pedro Pascal & Bella Ramsey with Lamar Johnson & Melanie Lynskey and Keivonn Montreal Woodard, Jeffery Pierce, John Getz, Craig Hass, Ron J. Anderson, Adam Basil & Skye Belle Cowton
I absolutely LOVE this series. I have played this game many times and have said that this story is amazing. There are times so gentle and beautiful, and then, you are heartbroken. I really hope there’s enough people who feel the same and I believe there are. Two people in my family have not played the games, but they are enjoying the story and feel the ups and downs. Excellent job in writing, directing and acting…I’m very worried about watching season 2 as I know what is going to happen…I was heartbroken playing the game.
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