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The Last of Us Episode 1 Review: When You're lost in the Darkness

Sarah stares and the shop keeper's daughter in front of some clocks.
Sara visits the clockmaker before she's rushed out the door.

Source: HBO

Overall: 8.3/10

Story 8.1/10

Joel Miller is a single dad just trying to raise his daughter in peace. Then it all hits the proverbial fan because of an unusual outbreak. The event leads to an incident that will have lasting repercussions. Joel’s life will never be the same again.

The exposition for this one is exquisitely done. It highlights Joel's quiet and peaceful life with his daughter, Sarah, setting us up for what is to come. It makes for a nice juxtaposition against the chaos that ensues later in the episode.

Joel stands next to his brother, Terry, who holds a rifle as they look at the neighbor on the ground.
Joel and his brother, Tommy, try to figure out what to do about the infected neighbor.

Source: HBO

Character 8.5/10

The characters are likable and well-developed. It’s amazing how attached an audience can get to a character in just one episode. It’s a testament to the talented actors and writers.

Joel Miller is a dad whose world breaks one day. He loses a piece of his heart. Since the incident, he has let very few people into his life. And when fate comes knocking, he tries to resist. But he has no choice. His fatherly instincts are still alive. And it seems that he’ll do whatever it takes to protect what he must.

Sara is smart and responsible. She takes care of her dad even when he doesn’t necessarily think about taking care of himself. There’s a certain charm about her. She’s a good kid who's a bit naive about the world around her. But it’s refreshing that she still sees the world in this innocent way. And it’s easy to see that she and her dad are extremely close.

Ellie Williams is tough, smart and funny. She spends her formative years in an orphanage. So she’s very jaded about the world. No one’s ever fought for her. No one ever tried to protect her. But when she finds out what someone is willing to do to keep her safe, she loves it. In that moment, a monster is born.

Joel stands next to Ellie who sits on the floor with Tess behind them as two people point guns in their direction.
Joel and Tess have a standoff with revolutionaries as Ellie watches.

Source: HBO

Final Thoughts

Ellie has found something she has been missing in her life: a protector. And it looks like Joel stumbles onto something he doesn't realize is missing. It’ll be interesting to see how they get along in future episodes. And this viewer looks forward to learning more about the world and why Ellie is so important. Supreme first installment for what looks like it will become an epic masterpiece.


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