Home Features The Last of Us Episode 1 Review: The start of something legendary?

The Last of Us Episode 1 Review: The start of something legendary?


By Kevin Lopez

Video games make for great entertainment, I love playing them and so do millions of people around the world. However, they have usually been horrible when adapted for television. From “Mortal Kombat: The Conquest” (1998) to “Halo” (2022) there really hasn’t been a video game TV adaptation that has satisfied fans and critics alike. Until now, not only has HBO created a stellar post-apocalyptic show, but they have also done the unthinkable and have possibly created the greatest TV adaptation of a video game of all time.

“The Last of Us” is now available on HBO Max, the first episode debuted on Jan. 15. The show stars Pedro Pascal, who stars in the Mandalorian, as Joel and Bella Ramsey, who is known for her breakout role in Game of Thrones, as Ellie. There are only nine episodes in total for the show and a new episode will be released every Sunday until March 12.

First, some context, in 2013 Sony released The Last of Us on PlayStation, an action-adventure game developed by Naughty Dog. You (mostly) play as Joel, a hardened smuggler dealing with trauma from the death of his daughter. He is tasked with transporting a teenage girl named Ellie across a now post-apocalyptic country that is infected with the Cordyceps disease that has turned many into cannibalistic creatures. Ellie, who you do play as for a short period of time, is immune to the infection and is thought to be the key to creating a vaccine that could possibly save mankind.

The first hour of the show was the best I’ve seen in a long time, the pure innocence that was shown in the beginning with Joel and his family, kids going to school, and people going about their business.

Everything seemed too perfect, and little hints throughout this period shows that something dangerous was coming.

I thought Pedro Pascal as Joel was amazing and captivating. I truly felt the issues Joel was having with his job and trying to be a good father were extremely well done.

Then you see how hardened he has changed throughout over time and that he has lost himself and has become emotionless and bitter.

The lead up to the outbreak was also done exceptionally well as the change in tone was night and day, which was just amazing to watch.

Also, the change in humanity was also done well and was truly scary to see how humans evolved to the new world, we truly see how far people have gone.

Eventually we are introduced to Ellie, who is being held captive by a rebellion group called the Fireflies, this is where the show began to suffer. The last 20 minutes of the show was very poorly paced and tried quickly kicking the plot up for episode 2.

The way they introduced Ellie was very sudden and disappointing, Bella Ramsey does a great job portraying Ellie’s personality. She showcases her timing with humor and her aggressiveness was well done with many middle fingers being used by Ellie.

We quickly find out that she is important and that the leader of the Fireflies, Marlene, knows Ellie personally and that they are going to smuggle her.

It was a very quick and lazy way of getting Ellie and Joel in contact with one another. I noticed it right away and felt bothered by the execution of their introduction.

That is my only issue with the show so far, those last 20 minutes were just so rushed and lazy that it does worry me that there will be a lot of those moments throughout the series.

I give this episode nine stars out of 10. I think that the last 20 minutes really took the wind out of my sails, but so far “The Last of Us” is breaking the curse of every video adaptation before it and is already on its way of being the greatest of all time.


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