‘The Last Of Us’ Episode 1: Preview Teaser Breakdown: What Can We Expect From The Pilot Episode?

The long-anticipated live-action adaptation of the much-celebrated game “The Last of Us” will release within a day, and eager fans worldwide are counting the hours. The upcoming HBO series has already created a positive buzz with the release of its trailer and stills, which indicate a very faithful adaptation of the source material. Recently released footage from the first episode titled “When You’re Lost in the Darkness,” which showcases snippets of pivotal character moments, solidifies that assumption. We will briefly discuss the footage and what kind of direction it implies for the pilot episode of “The Last of Us.”

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Spoilers Ahead


‘The Last Of Us’ Episode 1: What Did We See In The Preview Teaser?

The footage itself runs for a minute and a half and contains three distinctive portions taken as excerpts. The first part of the footage begins with Tommy, Joel, and his daughter Sarah fleeing the catastrophic Cordyceps outbreak amidst an absolutely chaotic situation. A visibly perplexed Tommy drives their car and talks about the probable cause of the outbreak, which might have been influenced by some kind of virus or parasite. Sarah nervously asks them whether it’s related to terrorists, to which Joel answers that they don’t know. Sarah asks whether they are sick, to which Joel replies that they aren’t. From Sarah’s statement, we get to know the situation is gradually worsening as things are blowing up. Tommy wonders how come the signals from cell phones or radios are shut off, and emergency broadcasting is in effect non-stop. Once again, Sarah asks Joel how he knows whether they are sick or not. Joel looks back at her anxiously, and he seems to be at a loss for words. The first portion of the footage ends here.

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The second part begins with a conversation between Ellie and Marlene. Ellie asks her why a terrorist would dump her with the feds. Marlene answers that by saying it was because she was safest with them, and as an indirect dig at the “terrorist” remark, she asks whether Ellie thinks Riley is a terrorist too. After a brief pause, Ellie once again asks Marlene why she won’t let her go home. Marlene answers her, saying Ellie has a greater purpose to serve. Therefore, they are planning to leave that night, and they will take Ellie with them.

The third portion of the footage shows Ellie in what seems to be a Firefly camp, where she is chained in isolation. A Firefly inspector observes her from a distance, and Ellie kicks an empty plate toward her. The inspector asks Ellie to count from 1 to 10 as part of their security drill and once again asks her to count slowly and clearly. Ellie seemingly obeys her command as she proceeds to count accordingly up to 8 and then flips her off both verbally and using hand gestures.

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Footage Breakdown And Episode 1 Speculation

The showrunners have been sincere in their approach to replicating the gritty, despondent atmosphere of the world of TLOU, and the released footage bears testament to that. The fleeing scene seems like a frame-by-frame remake of the beginning of the game, and even the dialogue is taken straight from the source. In the game, we are introduced to the suddenness of the outbreak through Joel’s daughter Sarah’s perspective, and in the footage, most of the interactions are associated with her. The three of them are as shocked, confused, and terrified as the next, but naturally, the youngest’s mind has been affected the most. Joel’s protective side as a father is shown in the way he tries to comfort his daughter amidst a horrid scenario, even though he doesn’t have the foggiest idea about its magnitude. Especially during a dialogue where he tells his daughter that they don’t know about the graveness of the situation but stresses the “know” part in such a way that it keeps his brother Tommy from alarming Sarah any further by discussing the worrisome incidents. This scene is likely to take place at the very beginning of the first episode, and after the initial introduction, it allows the viewers to know a bit more about the characters. Tommy Miller, an ex-serviceman, has his priorities set on navigating a safe escape from an unknown yet seemingly deadly outbreak while our protagonist Joel’s paternal instincts kick in. The scene will also set up the viewers for the major tragic moment of Sarah’s death, a moment that will define Joel’s destiny. Actor Pedro Pascal seems to be the best fit for Joel, but Gabriel Luna’s uncanny likeness to Tommy is surely going to amuse the viewers who have already played the game.

“The Last of Us” will diverge from the first game in the aspect that it’ll use a point-of-view-driven narrative for both Joel and Ellie, and the second and third parts of the clip show that. The conversation between rebel group Firefly’s leader Marlene and the second protagonist Ellie is important because Marlene, her mother’s friend, is the first paternal figure in Ellie’s life after she grew up as an orphan in a quarantine zone and military school. This seems to be the first time Ellie is meeting with Marlene, and her mentioning Ellie’s only friend, Riley’s name, makes it seem that the first episode will cover Ellie’s initial years too. This match also takes place almost two decades after the deadly Cordyceps outbreak in the game, and a significant time jump will happen in the series too. Marlene mentioning Ellie’s great purpose also indicates that she already knows about Ellie’s immunity against the fungus infection. Although this is speculation, her mentioning Riley in past tense and if the series takes another tragic cue from the game lore makes it seem Riley has succumbed to the infection already. After playing Marlene in “The Last of Us Part II,” Merle Dandridge is set to reprise her role in the series. Actress Bella Ramsay has definitely impressed viewers with her acting chops, even in this brief span of the clip. Her best Ellie impersonation, however, comes in the third portion of the clip, where she flips off the Firefly inspector. Ellie is seen to be chained and held captive, presumably after getting bitten, and has been put under observation. The entire footage shows a period before Ellie and Joel met, and the first episode is most likely to end as, after much trial and tribulation, the two leads eventually cross paths.

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See more: ‘The Last Of Us’ Trailer Breakdown: A Befitting Live-Action Adaptation Of Hope In A Hopeless World


Siddhartha Das
Siddhartha Das
An avid fan and voracious reader of comic book literature, Siddhartha thinks the ideals accentuated in the superhero genre should be taken as lessons in real life also. A sucker for everything horror and different art styles, Siddhartha likes to spend his time reading subjects. He's always eager to learn more about world fauna, history, geography, crime fiction, sports, and cultures. He also wishes to abolish human egocentrism, which can make the world a better place.

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