[Review] “The Last of Us”: a story of survival and love


Artist Angelique Taylor’s interpretation of the (Zombie) Clickers; The Last of Us.

Cody Flores and Angelique Taylor

The apocalypse is here as the Cordyceps Fungus has taken over the human race, as a mutation has allowed it to control larger hosts. The world falls into chaos, as everyone struggles to survive and avoid the fungus to not get infected. The government has collapsed and every man is for himself, ladies and gentlemen, this is The Last of Us. Just released on Sunday the 15th, the most anticipated TV show adaptation for the most popular game, The Last of Us, premiered its first episode on HBO Max. 

For those who do not know of the game, The Last of Us is a post-apocalyptic “zombie game” that deals with the outbreak of the Cordyceps fungus. In the game you mostly play as a character named Joel, who is from Texas where the fungus begins to infect people and spreads rapidly making the ordinary life chaotic and destructive as the infected attack others to spread the infection. Joel loses his daughter at the beginning of the game to a soldier firing at them. He then lives out his life as a survivor after some years with his new lover, Tess. The two make a living in a quarantine zone as workers and secret smugglers.

Joel later comes across the leader of a group called the Fireflies, Marlene, and soon meets Ellie, an adolescent girl who is immune to the Cordyceps fungus. They then embark on a journey to get Ellie to the Fireflies so that they can make a vaccine. However, as time passes and they get closer to their destination, Joel grows attached to Ellie and begins to see her as a daughter, which poses a problem and a threat to the goal of the Fireflies. This is just the first part of the series of the game, as there is another part that came out last year on June 19th. 

The first episode of the series was a smashing success as viewers were immersed into the universe. Being about an hour and twenty minutes long, the episode held a lot of potential and high expectations from the audience.  

(Episode Spoilers follow in italics)

The show starts off with us seeing a young curly-haired girl, who we discover is Sarah, Joel’s daughter, waking up. The difference in her appearance surprised the audience as in the game, Sarah was a young dirty blonde girl. The two spend the morning preparing for the day and it is also Joel’s birthday. They go about their day pretty normally, and nothing really eventful happens; however, Sarah notices that authorities are almost present all day. As the day passes on, more chaos and destruction begin to follow, along with her discovering infected people spreading the fungi.

Explosions, screaming, and bloodshed everywhere the visuals of the chaos capture the very details of how realistic an apocalypse can be. A few years later Joel is found with his lover, Tess, both surviving off of cremating corpses and smuggling. Later meeting Ellie, our young protagonist and later finding out that she is immune. The episode then ends with the radio playing a song and shoots back to our protagonists going into the ruins of the city, with a clicker screeching in the distance. 

(Spoilers end)

The premiere was a success as it stuck true to the story line and events of the game itself. Some of the fans are upset because some of the actors look nothing like their characters in the video game; however, it is easy for audiences to quickly warm up to them as their famous quotes and behavior were displayed just like in the game.

The switch between first and third person captivates the audience as well, making them feel as if they are in the story themselves and experiencing the chaos with the other characters. With the attention to detail and personality of the actors, The Last of Us promises to be possibly one of the most successful shows next to Netflix’s Wednesday