The Last Of Us Keeps Me Guessing – Which Makes It So Captivating

As a fan of the video game series, The Last Of Us surprised me with its deviation from the source material – for the better, in my opinion. Episode two seemed like a near cut-and-paste from the events in the game, with a few minor twists. I want to break down what makes these twists so interesting, and what this means for the series going forward. 

Sarah Gets A Better Introduction in The Last of Us TV Show

Sarah's intro is much better on the show

The first episode featured an excellent introduction to Sarah, Joel’s daughter who we spend most of the day with. We see her interact with her neighbors and go to school. Viewers even see her go and fix her father’s watch. The game only alludes to Sarah fixing her father’s broken watch, as she gifts it to him before the pair watch a movie.

The game starts immediately after this moment. As Sarah, you wander through an empty house. She repeatedly calls out “dad,” but no one is home. An explosion is heard in the distance and Joel comes home after a few minutes. Their neighbor breaks through a glass door Joel shoots him. Things kick off into chaos much like in the show. Nico Parker did such a great job playing Sarah that I became upset as time went on, remembering what fate had in store for her. 

Joel And Tess Feel More Like A Duo

Joel and Tess in The Last of Us

Anna Torv’s performance as Tess is nothing short of great, even though her time on the show is short lived. Ellie’s questions about the infected prompt Joel and Tess to share looks. This moment creates an immediate understanding that these two have seen some horrors. Tess eventually explains to Ellie that the infected have an interconnected hivemind. The infected communicate through fungal tendrils that can run for miles deep underground. Step on one, and a swarm will run your way. 

While I wouldn’t call this a “major deviation,” as other outlets have, I’d say the exposition makes the infected seem like a much bigger threat. That kiss at the end of episode two was interesting, to say the least. 

That being said, the game’s direction was very different. Instead of a swarm of infected racing towards our protagonists, FEDRA soldiers rush up to the building. Tess sacrifices herself to give Joel and Ellie a way forward. Since this wasn’t much of a different path than the game, I was hoping to be surprised by another deviation, and that’s exactly what happened.

Bill And Frank Get An Actual Character Arc in HBO’s The Last of Us

Bill in The Last of Us

This week’s episode was one of the best episodes I’ve ever seen. I love how it added depth to Bill and Frank’s characters. 

They got proper backstory through flashbacks and flashforwards through their relationship. Bill, especially, feels more realized, and Frank actually exists. To be fair, Frank does exist in the game. However, Joel and Bill find his corpse in an abandoned house. Bill says something to the effect of, “he was an idiot to go out alone.”

Although we didn’t get the infamous highschool gymnasium scene from the game while in Bill’s town, I’m looking forward to how the show spins that moment. 

In the game, Joel didn’t even know who Frank was, but in the show, this is completely changed. Joel and Tess are shown meeting with the pair. The reason Joel is taking Ellie to Bill’s is to hand her off to them – something Tess told Joel to do. Yet, another difference from the game, but that’s what makes the show so interesting to me. 

HBO already picked up The Last Of Us for a second season, and through the use of flashbacks, it could make the characters of Part II better as well. 

What do you think of The Last of Us so far? Join the conversation in the comments section!

Ready to start your journey?

It's dangerous to go alone! Join us!