‘The Last of Us’ season one review

A lot has been happening in the entertainment industry this week. From the uproar over the Oscars to the new season of “The Mandalorian” and the upcoming “Shadow and Bone,” television and movie lovers are being fed with content. 

We cannot move forward and praise these projects without focusing on “The Last of Us.”

In case you’re unfamiliar, “The Last of Us” is a post-apocalyptic show following Joel, a hardened survivor, and Ellie, a 14-year-old girl who may be humanity’s last hope. Adapted from the beloved game franchise, this dystopian world explores a global fungal infection that sparks a worldwide pandemic. Anyone with the infection, or who is bitten by the infected, become feral and attack humans to spread the infection.

Lila Baltaxe | Senior Graphic Artist

The show is filled with action-packed scenes, touching relationships and powerful healing journeys — which is what drew me in and made me stay. 

I’ll do my best not to get into any unnecessary spoilers. If you’d like to go in completely blind, however, here is your warning to stop reading!

I still feel like a complete emotional wreck whenever I think about the finale. Joel and Ellie’s goal was to get to the Fireflies — a military faction — to reverse engineer a cure to end the pandemic. They believe the source to the cure is Ellie, who was bitten, but immune to the infection. 

In the last episode, the audience believes that the Fireflies will do what they must to Ellie to make a vaccine, and then Ellie will return with Joel and keep “look[ing] for the light.” 

But things don’t always go as planned, do they?

Some viewers and gamers may have seen the twist coming. I suspected as much but it doesn’t make the implications and lasting effects any less devastating. The entire world’s fate is put into Joel’s hands. 

The show ends just as the game does and does a fantastic job setting up the important parallels to build from. “The Last of Us” is renewed for season two, but the creators plan on doing more than just one season to cover the events of the second video game.

I don’t want to be that annoying person who won’t shut up about knowing everything that happens or will happen because of the game, but writing is my favorite way to gush and fangirl about the things I love.

Joel and Ellie’s relationship was my favorite thing about this story. I am a complete sucker for father-daughter relationships and a reluctant, stubborn father who slowly learns to be vulnerable from the daughter figure. It is quite possibly the cutest thing, and Joel and Ellie are no different. To me, they were the heart and soul.

I understand that the show changed a few things, and for a good reason — they need to stay within the time limit while covering everything important. Some moments felt rushed to me. 

In the game, Joel and Ellie had the luxury of space and time. The show differs naturally, but the relationship between the pair in the season finale felt a little unrealistic. They were adorable, but their bond clicked a little too fast. The pacing was slightly off. I would’ve liked more development.

A lot had to be covered in the finale, but I was shocked it was only 46 minutes long. There was so much happening, and every major event didn’t have enough time to marinate in our heads before something else came into play. The episode could have been longer to flesh out the pacing problems.

My tiny bits of criticism doesn’t mean this show wasn’t phenomenal. Every work of art has flaws, but they can be overlooked when a show is done with as much care and effort as this one. 

I looked forward to every Sunday, and each episode had a specific moment — a parallel from the game or a unique spin — that made me go crazy. 

I love this fictional universe so much that it physically hurts. To see Joel and Ellie love one another all over again is heartbreaking and healing, knowing how their story ends. Their journey is one to remember, and I can’t wait to see all the mayhem that season two brings.


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