The Last of Us: Kin – TV Review

TL;DR – This week, we wallow in the murky grey of a fallen world.  

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Binge service that viewed this show.

Warning – Contains scenes that may cause distress.

Sunset in the grass.

The Last of Us Review

One of the best tests of a show is how it can capture your attention in both the loud and quiet moments. Yes, you can do a good action scene, but do I believe two characters are family with troubled pasts? Can you pull off tenderness as well as bombast? Well, this week, we get an episode of television that can nail both extremes.

So to set the scene, it has been three months since Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) left Kansas City in Endure and Survive, but the legacy of what happened there still weighs heavily on Joel. They are making their way to Wyoming but being on foot and in a post-apocalyptic world means you can get lost quite easily. This is when they run into the cabin of Marlon (Graham Greene), and Florence (Elaine Miles), who tell them where they are going is past the River of Death, where no one comes back from. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead for the show.

Joel grapples with anxiety.
The weight of the world is in Joel’s shoulders. Image Credit: HBO.

Throughout this season, we have been meeting people who are reflections of Joel and Ellie, and this week we get two different mirrors with Marlon and Florence & Maria (Rutina Wesley) and Tommy (Gabriel Luna). We see strength and determination but also the tendency to isolation. It shows all their best and worst impulses and gives portents to the future while also reaching to the past. It creates emotional touchstones to anchor the show that you need to parse a fallen world.

This episode feels like the emotional fulcrum of the season because it is almost the point of no return for some characters. It is the moment that Joel can escape the weight of his past and the potential returning trauma in the future. For better or worse, he sees Ellie as Sarah (Nico Parker). You feel it in Pedro’s performance, the pain of the past seen in the eyes of the present. The need to protect himself from more emotional harm fighting with the part of himself that is still a father. You feel that emotional turmoil in his performance.

Joel and Ellie walk over a snowy bridge.
Danger can come at any moment. Image Credit: HBO.

We get an episode of extremes. The highs of finding your brother are followed by the crushing realisation that they have moved past you and your shared trauma. Amusing moments about being given a new menstrual aid, followed by the crushing realisation that you are being left alone again. The moment of tension when you think a dog is about to rip Ellie apart only for it to lick her face. It is this walk through the many emotions that feel real, that bring you into this world built on the Video Game but refined with the knowledge of what is coming.  

At this point, I want to take a moment to talk about the production design of this show. In this one episode, we have three distinct areas, the cabin, Jackson, and the University. Each of these felt like they were grounded in this world in a way that every detail felt right for the context. A planet destroyed, a world rebuilt on the bones of the past, a universe full of danger. The amount of work they did for Jackson, which might only be seen in part of one episode, was well spent. It gives you so much room for visual storytelling, even before seeing how breathtaking it is.   

A dog sniffs Joel for infection.
The show is impeccably shot. Image Credit: HBO.

In the end, do we recommend The Last of Us: Kin? Yes, yes, we do. This is a world full of beauty and sadness in equal measure. It also felt like this week was a tipping point that we can’t walk back from. One that will propel us to places we might not want to be.  

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
– Jasmila Žbanić
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, Rutina Wesley, Nico Parker& Gabriel Luna and Graham Greene & Elaine Miles


4 thoughts on “The Last of Us: Kin – TV Review

  1. Pingback: The Mandalorian: Chapter 17 (The Apostate) – TV Review | TL;DR Movie Reviews and Analysis

  2. Pingback: The Last of Us: When We Are in Need – TV Review | TL;DR Movie Reviews and Analysis

  3. Pingback: The Last of Us: Look for the Light & Season 1– TV Review | TL;DR Movie Reviews and Analysis

  4. Pingback: Ellie and Joel’s Journey in The Last of Us Season 1 – Map-It | TL;DR Movie Reviews and Analysis

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.