The first is the first: as i mentioned in my review of the first seasonI’m not a gamer, I’ve never played The last of us, and I haven’t even watched a video tutorial. So I’m going to talk about this episode, and all the episodes to come, solely on the basis of how it works as a TV show.

Judged on that basis, the oversized “When You’re Lost in the Darkness” comes off pretty well. All of the season’s episodes cover familiar ground in one way or another, but the premiere is perhaps crossing the most familiar of that ground. As I think Leo Tolstoy once said, all zombie apocalypses are the same, but each post-apocalypse is unhappy in its own way. The episode finally gets to the specifics of this one and more importantly establishes Joel (Pedro Pascual), Ellie (Bella Ramsey) and Tess (Anna Torv) as interesting characters before the three embark on their dangerous mission. But before that, we have to see how civilization falls the way it tends to in so many dystopian shows and movies.

Which is not to say that the material is bad; just more generic of what’s to come, especially in later episodes. And even those sequences are well-executed, even if some of them—like Joel, Sarah, and Tommy’s harrowing attempt to get out of town before the mushroom people get to them—feel too much like a game level in the which is not allowed. to play


I was told that the journey is actually a scene in the game, and perhaps it feels different between various levels; here, I felt like I was supposed to have a controller in my hand at all times. But the most compelling parts of the episode come before and after the nightmare that engulfs the world for a weekend in late September 2003. Although Joel will become our central character, he is a minor character in much of the scenes in 2003, which focus much more on his daughter Sarah, played by Nico Parker. In these scenes, Sarah comes across as a typical teenager, sometimes lost in her own head, other times outgoing, friendly, and generous to others, including her father and her neighbors. Parker (daughter of


This, of course, should not be. Instead, creators Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann are using those scenes to establish emotional stakes for Joel, and to make us feel deeply at least some of the pain he experiences when a terrified soldier shoots Sarah on the night the world falls apart. The man Joel has become as the story progresses to 2023 is almost entirely defined by that tragic moment. He’s emotionally closed off and efficiently brutal, and when his new charge, Ellie, is threatened by a soldier at the end of the episode, he has a PTSD flashback to Sarah’s death and goes absolutely savage in the way he beats this man up.

However, Joel has no interest in that, or apparently anything else. He has a secret route in and out of the city so he can smuggle drugs and other supplies in from abroad to make life a little more tolerable for him. And he has a girlfriend in Tess who is tough in his way. (We’re introduced to her surrounded by armed men after a beating, but it’s clear that she’s in command of the room the entire time, and likely would have found a way out of her predicament even if a well-timed Firefly bomb hadn’t.) ). she hasn’t given him an escape route.) He’s existing instead of living, haunted by the loss of his daughter even more than the loss of everything else he knew, with few goals beyond getting through the day. next day.

RelatedThen purpose arrives in the form of Ellie, a girl close in age to Sarah who needs a ticket out of town. Like Tess, we meet her while she’s being held prisoner by someone else, in this case, Firefly leader Marlene (Merle Dandridge). Ellie isn’t as in command of the situation as Tess, but we also quickly see that she isn’t afraid of being chained to a wall by armed people who don’t explain why they want her. And when Marlene leaves her in the custody of Joel and Tess, Ellie immediately begins pestering her taciturn new male guardian with her curiosity about her apartment and her life. It’s an instantly endearing entry for Bella Ramsey, and a stark contrast between Ellie’s outgoing personality and Pedro Pascal’s deeply silent Joel.Ellie (Bella Ramsey) and Tess (Anna Torv) in ‘

The last of us

series premiere. hboThe Boston scenes are notable for their lack of zombie , though we do get the sickening image of a corpse sucked into a wall of fungus as Joel and the others make their way through an underground tunnel at the last minute. And we find out that Marlene needs Ellie to get to her other fireflies from her in the west because Ellie is somehow immune to infection. The focus on people and the possibility of a cure is a sign of how completely PHAEDRA has eliminated the immediate threat, but also a marker of how completely The last of us -What

The Walking Dead and other examples of the genre, may treat the undead as an unfortunate and dangerous fact of life, and other humans as true monsters. All in all, a promising beginning, although I confess that I reached the end wondering why.


it was what many of my gaming friends were excited about. But “When You’re Lost in the Darkness” effectively establishes the world and our main characters, making possible all the good things to come. Some other thoughts:*TV needs intervention to prevent future title sequences like this or the one used by The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power who seem to have learned all the wrong lessons from the

game of Thrones

Opening credits. People don’t like that sequence because it’s two minutes of CGI forming different shapes; they love it because it’s two minutes of CGI that tell a kind of story by establishing the geography of the series as a whole and of individual episodes, changing periodically to introduce new points on the map or prepare us to return to little-visited places like The Lucio. While the idea of ​​the spores rising up in something resembling a city—that is, a metaphor for how the world as we know it has been consumed by fungus—is clever, ultimately it’s still just a bunch of shapes, and not interesting enough. to continue as long as it does. I was already wishing the testers had a Skip Intro button for the second episode.

* John Hannah does a good job in the opening scene in 1968, playing a scientist who warns of this exact type of climate change catastrophe. His monologue could easily work as an expositional dump, a way to contextualize what’s happening as we witness events from Joel and Sarah’s point of view, but Hannah absolutely sells the innate fear of the thing. Trends * Pedro Pascal has many gifts as an actor, many of which are on display in this episode. Regional Accents: Gold, at Least

this regional accent, it may not be one of them. The good news, depending on his point of view, is that Joe’s Texan accent appears intermittently in this episode and throughout the season, and largely disappears after a while. * Finally, it’s always good to see The lights of Friday nightStudent Brad Leland in a story set in Texas, even if things end up much worse for his character here than for Buddy Garrity in


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