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HBO’s ‘The Last Of Us’ Moments That We Need To Talk About More

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Conn chapter.

HBO’s live-action adaptation of Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us was one of this year’s most anticipated TV shows. While many looked forward to seeing Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramey in the roles of Joel and Ellie, several die-hard video game fans questioned whether the show could match up to the source material. Announcements regarding changes to what some considered to be essential mechanics of the game and different plotlines caused a fair share of skepticism soon after the trailer was released. Fortunately, those skeptics quickly did a 180-turn after witnessing the incredible job that HBO had done. Though the series had several groundbreaking moments, these were by far the very best (beware of spoilers ahead!).

Car Sequence

Fans of the game are very familiar with the atmosphere that the opening moments set up, which is why HBO needed to nail the outbreak sequence. As Sara, Joel, and Tommy get in their car right as things are going down, we go through the motions from Sarah’s perspective, much like it was done in the game. Shots of the burning house, the interstate sign, and the family left behind on the side of the road were almost identical to how they were done in the game. It highlights how much effort HBO put into ensuring that the opening sequence was adapted correctly and that we, as an audience, would understand the gravity of the situation. 

Bill + Frank’s Final Day

Oh, my goodness. When I tell you the first time I watched this episode, I needed a whole night to recover from the emotional rollercoaster this montage was, I mean it. Though some critiqued this episode for straying away from the source material, I beg to differ. After we learn that Frank has a terminal illness and wants one more perfect day, we see Bill go all out to give Frank the best day possible — all to end with their final dinner sequence in which Bill poisons Frank’s wine to grant his wishes while also poisoning his own drink. He’d found he couldn’t return to the life he’d built before Frank came into the picture. It was such a beautiful, but heartbreaking moment that needs to be credited to the fantastic performances of Nick Offerman and Murray Bartlett. 

Suburbs of Kansas city

The Last of Us is unique due to its unique approach to a zombie apocalypse. Instead of an alien invasion or some other conditions, the basis for the “infected” is based on the real-life fungus, Ophiocordyceps unilateralis. Though we’d seen glimpses of what the fungus can do to humans, the sequence on the outskirts of Kansas City showcases that to the greatest extent. After Marlene tracks Henry, Sam, Ellie, and Joel to the outskirts of Kansas City, an explosion leads to the largest group of infected we’ve seen until that point. This scene was packed with clickers, stalkers, and a bloater. It was imposing to see the effort that went into creating the infected, as seen in the careful makeup and prosthetics involved. I remember thinking it would be ok because Marlene’s group was armed, but I was shortly proved wrong when the hoard of infected tore all their defenses apart. It illustrates the world’s brutality, and despite what they may have had to protect themselves, it would never be enough.

Ellie Kills David

David got what was coming to him. Not only did he mistreat those around him, but his morals and actions made him repulsive to watch. Meaning that when we see Ellie kill him using a machete at the end of the eighth episode, it was satisfying. Interestingly, instead of having Joel come to pull her away from the body as we saw in the game, this time, Ellie is the one that gets up and leaves to find Joel outside. The pure look of horror and sheer fear in her eyes as Joel looks at her for the first time, and the two hug after is the moment that solidifies the bond that had been established between the two. It was impactful to see how the events of that time traumatized her even after the episode. 

Some other honorable mentions go to the seven wonders of the mall during Episode 7, Sam and Ellie play soccer in tunnels during Episode 5, and the iconic giraffe scene in Episode 9. Many more scenes and moments were perfectly done, but we will wait and see how they continue the story in Season 2!

Maria Perdomo Barrios is an undergraduate sophomore at the University of Connecticut. She is a political science major on the pre-law track. Maria was born in Bogota, Colombia, but has lived in the U.S. since she was nine years old. She enjoys spending time with her friends and family as well as reading and traveling.