‘The Last of Us’ Season 1 Was Never About Saving the World

When Joel (Pedro Pascal) beats to death a FEDRA soldier with his bare hands in the opening episode of The Last Of Us, it serves as an introduction to the rage and grief Joel has kept within himself since the day he saw his daughter, Sarah, gunned down by a terrified soldier at the beginning of the fungal outbreak. Ever since, Joel has been a man without purpose — something he acknowledges when he reveals the reality of his failed suicide attempt to Ellie (Bella Ramsey) in the show’s emotional Season 1 finale. By the time Joel agrees to accompany Ellie in Episode 9, “Look for the Light,” it becomes evident that Joel has developed an attachment to his teen-aged partner-in-crime. Around this time, The Last of Us also feels like it’s moving away from the personal trials and tribulations of Joel and Ellie as characters to become a saving-the-world sci-fi saga. In the end, however, The Last of Us sets the record straight by showing that Season 1 of this epic video-game adaptation was never about saving the world.

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