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The Last of Us- Episode 1 Review

The Last of Us- Episode 1 Review

By Nolan P Smith 

Editor

The Last of Us is a two-game series from Naughty Dog Studios that has mesmerized fans from across the globe. Thanks to HBO, we see the property brought to the small screen for a limited series, which takes us on the road with Joel and Ellie into the apocalypse.

Spoilers ahead!!!

The debut episode starts before everything goes to hell (2003)- Joel (Pedro Pascal) is a seemingly single dad with his 14-year-old daughter as the light of his life, living with his unreliable brother Tommy (Gabriel Luna) and working a demanding construction job. But on his birthday, things begin to change worldwide as a pandemic sweeps across the globe, creating zombies in its wake. Life changes for everyone that day, especially Joel, who loses his daughter during the mayhem. Fast forward 20 years and the world is in shambles, with pockets of society exciting behind barricades and strict rules. Joel works whatever jobs he can, trying to get enough money to look for his brother, who has been gone for three weeks. 

We meet Ellie (Bella Ramsey), a foul mouth girl taken prisoner by the resistance sect known as The Fireflies. But there is more to Ellie than it seems, which makes her extremely valuable for the freedom fighters. Somehow, as plans go south for Joel and his partner Tess (Anna Torv) and the Fireflys, Joel becomes entrusted with Ellie’s safety, with a promise of a vehicle and weaponry if he succeeds. This sets Joel, Tess, and Ellie on a path to the unknown.

So, this is an excellent start to the series. I wondered what set this apart from other zombie game adaptations like Resident Evil, and my first thought is the high-caliber cast. Pascal is perfect for the role of the hardened Joel, leading the franchise into new territory. I hope Ramsey’s Ellie will grow on me, but there has only been one episode, so I can’t pass judgment on the character yet. I love the grittiness of the world and how the environment is almost a character itself. The scares come in more of a drama-filled way, which is done masterfully. I love how the zombies are portrayed and how the musical score adds to the build-up of the scenes. 

Can I be honest? I own The Last of Us Part 1 for the PS5 but have yet to play it. So this is my first experience with the franchise, and I am hooked. With some slow scenes aside, I loved the debut episode of this series. Bloody but not a bloodbath, The Last of Us walks a fine line between horror and drama and, in the end, shines bright because of it. Be sure to check it out today on HBO Max! 

Rating: 4.5 Pastrami Nations out of FIVE 

Pastrami Nations

Nolan P. Smith is the Editor in Chief and Co-Founder of Pastrami Nation. For the past ten years, he has worked for various media outlets, from newsprint to the ever-evolving internet platform. Residing in Pinon Hills, CA, writing has always been a significant aspect of his life. A reporter, teacher, public relations specialist, and more, Smith takes the most pride in being a husband and a father. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @pastramination. Nolan P. Smith is the Editor in Chief and Co-Founder of Pastrami Nation. For the past ten years, he has worked for various media outlets, from newsprint to the ever-evolving internet platform. Residing in Pinon Hills, CA, writing has always been a significant aspect of his life. A reporter, teacher, public relations specialist, and more, Smith takes the most pride in being a husband and a father. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @pastramination. 

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