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‘The Last of Us’ Review

The Last of Us is the series format adaptation of one of the best video games in history. As a true fan, here are my most honest first impressions and review of its fourth episode, which premieres this Monday, February 6th.

The Last of Us hit the table again and, of course, I’m back with my weekly review. The third episode of the series has been quite a success. From specialist critics and viewers to well-known directors such as Mike Flanagan, who gave us ‘The Curse of Hill House’, all of them have established it as one of the best episodes of television in history. But the good news isn’t over yet, as it also it has served because The Last of Us break another audience record again, beating again ‘La casa del dragon’, which lost tracking in its third week. The series continues to grow, since the ratings of the third episode have been even better than those of the second, which already broke a historical record for the platform. Specifically, in the United States alone it got 6.4 million viewers during the night of its premiere, which represents a growth of 12% compared to the second. HBO has also given worldwide data and not only from the American country, which reveal to us that the first two episodes of The Last of Us have reached 21.3 million viewers. It doesn’t look too bad because can break another record if it continues to rise as it has so far, since ‘La casa del dragon’ managed to close the first season with an average audience of 29 million viewers, followed by the second season of ‘Euphoria’, which averaged of the 19.5 million. Because you do really an idea of ​​the impact what is he having The Last of Us, ‘Game of Thrones’ didn’t top those 21.3 million average viewers until season six.

But obviously, and as I predicted in my previous review, it wasn’t all good news for his fantastic third episode. As with the second video game, a group of people started a review bombingthat is, vote with a 1 on the different scoring platforms like IMDb or Metacritic to lower his grade drastically. Some of this group they try to shield themselves that they don’t accept episode changes regarding the video gamewhile others directly assert that they do because the series has introduced a gay couple, i.e. for pure homophobia. Naughty Dog, the company that developed the video games, released a statement – just as it did when the second video game was released – directly reprimanding this group alleging the following – I remove the spoilers -: Many mask their homophobia with “why can’t the video game facts stay?”, others simply don’t want LGBTQIA representation in the mainstream media. Who the hell would want a shot-for-shot remake? If someone wanted that, it would be worth simply playing the video game again. We want an “adaptation”. We want TV and film to play to their strengths and give us an alternative perspective, delve deeper into the human condition and spend more time with the characters. If not, what good would adaptation really do? This is and always has been a progressive franchise. Bill is gay here and in the video game. This IS a faithful adaptation. If The Last of Us is a bit too diverse/progressive for you, we think you should stop watching it. It’s been their story since 2014. There are countless stories that avoid representing the collective altogether, so I don’t know what to tell you, you can watch them instead.

Unfortunately, such people do exist, however we can’t let them screw up the experience. It’s best to pass and continue with our thing, which is the fourth episode. there we go

Reviews of all episodes of THE LAST OF US

References throughout and character development

The Last of Us
HBO Max Spain

The fourth episode of The Last of Us it gives Joel and Ellie valuable bonding time. An episode relatively slower in comparison with the chapters loaded with emotions that we carry – and that remain – but what shows how Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal clearly dominate their roles. Especially in these quieter scenes, the performances of both are nuancedand the material allows his eyes, his body language and his behavior tell the story almost without the use of dialogue. From here the spoilers will begin for both this episode and the previous ones, you are warned before continuing.

This fourth installment allows clear advances in the development of the protagonists. In the previous chapter we saw how Ellie mutilated an infected and how she stole a gun from Bill’s house. The opening of the episode starts right off with her and the new gun. Ellie points at herself in a mirror. His pose in the style of ‘Taxi Driver’ reminds us again that he is losing his childhoodbut his enthusiasm for having a weapon – as if it were a toy – makes it clear to us that deep down she is still a girl. This dichotomy between maturity and childhood is conveyed throughout the episodeand just like in the video game, Ellie has her book of bad jokes with which, aided by his follies, will try to break through Joel’s armor with it. A cuirass that we see again when Joel tells Ellie that she is not family, but merchandise. Joel’s initial refusal to let in emotion and attachment is understandable given his tragic pastbut we’ll start to see that over the course of the episode this armor will begin to crumble.

This episode is -again- full of references and even some dialogues and scenes copied from the PlayStation classic. From the first conversations in the car – Bill’s magazine and the plan of how he throws it out the window – to the key scene of the violent ambush, everything is treated with an inherent affection. An ambush that is another example of the all-around class show the series does in terms of productionwhich again respects the guidelines of the video game and is not treated as a spectacular Hollywood scene, but rather rough, dirty, flashy, which directly reflects the more realistic side of a post-apocalyptic world.

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New changes and additions that continue to contribute

The Last of Us
HBO Max Spain

The episode not only references iconic moments from the video game, but also introduces new layers, new characters, and even changes some facts.. During the ambush, a bandit takes Joel by surprise and is about to suffocate him if he doesn’t get to be because Ellie shoots him in the back, saving his life. This one, instead of scolding her for hiding a weapon, simply ignores it. It is this moment of intense violence that cements Joel and Ellie’s now indestructible bond, since he is now in debt to her. It’s an episode where the walls between the pair of protagonists break down, but also where we see Joel’s brutality and learn about his immoral past after the death of his daughter. The wounded bandit after the shot begs for mercy for his life, but Joel kills him in cold blood anyway, not without first making sure Ellie isn’t in front to see him. We later find out that Joel has also ambushed innocent people in the past, making it clear that everything he had to live through was pretty hard. Again the idea is presented that there are no good and bad, only survivors. When civilization collapses, moral compasses lose their true north.

This is it one of the first changes as for the video game, since the situation with the gun and Ellie saving Joel it did not happen in the ambush, but later with other bandits, though I fully understand their inclusion here to avoid blowing up the bandit encounters and give them a stronger focus for the plot. And it is that the another big concern that hangs over our protagonists is the introduction of another key piece on the board which is equally or more dangerous than the infected: the people. In the second episode, the conditions of Tess’ death were changed from the video game, involving the infected instead of the soldiers. In retrospect, this change seems to have been made in part to help the introduction of non-infected antagonists in this new episode and, as I said, to make it feel more impactful to the plot.

Another addition that I found very successful is the change of focus to face the bandits. We meet with Kathleen, played by Melanie Lynskeythe leader of a militant rebel faction that, unlike the Luciérnagas of Boston, has taken control of the city from the hands of PHEDRA. Lynskey does a fantastic job of showing us an unscrupulous character blinded by revenge, while still letting his character’s humanity seep through just enough. Nice to see that Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann have the enough confidence to expand the original story with a new character like Kathleen. Seeing that her past is so entangled with Henry from the beginning – apparently it had something to do with her brother’s death – it will be interesting to see if the respective destinies of the brothers -Henry and Sam- they are altered from their video game counterparts.

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An episode of transition

The Last of Us
HBO Max Spain

The way that The Last of Us is building brick by brick Joel and Ellie’s relationship is incredibly well thought out and follow the correct steps of the video game. However, a lot of this episode feels like a bridge to a more impactful story which we will see in the next episode, which is going to be a transition episode. It serves as a great piece of character development, but doesn’t provide a completely satisfying narrative chapter in the way that every previous episode has. Whether it’s Sarah’s death, Tess’s sacrifice, or the culmination of Bill and Frank’s love story, we’ve had great rewards in every episode so far. However, our entry into Kansas City feels like the first part of an unfinished story. Equally, Henry and Sam make their stellar appearance gunning our protagonists and we have a clear view of the threat that Kathleen and her people pose, plus the imminent danger that seems to bloom from the depths. According to the timeline of the video game, what comes out of it should have happened in episode 3, but I won’t reveal what it is to surprise you. The tantalizing final cliffhanger points directly to a fifth episode explosive and action-packed, which its premiere is moving forward to Saturday, February 11 because of the Super Bowl. A curious fact to finish: Kathleen’s right-hand man, Perry, is played by Jeffrey Pierceactor who provides the original voice and movements of Tommy from the video game.

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