HBO Max The Last Of Us review (SPOILERS!)

CriticalGaming

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My guess is she realized there really was no point in running? Plus she needs to drop the lighter for the big boom
Well honestly if all the zombie's wanna do is make out, they become significantly less scary. Eating you is a far more terrifying threat.
 
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Johnny Novgorod

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She couldn't just shoot the barrels for the big boom?
Anyway, I have to assume the zombie went for the kiss because it sensed she was already infected. I'm not sure to what end. Speed up the infection? If it were up to me either they wouldn't notice her or they'd gang up on her WWZ style.
I like her sacrifice in the game better. If I recall correctly she dies just offscreen standing up to FEDRA, stalling for time. It's a more badass ending. This felt a bit ignominious, and not scary at all.
 

Casual Shinji

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I like her sacrifice in the game better. If I recall correctly she dies just offscreen standing up to FEDRA, stalling for time. It's a more badass ending. This felt a bit ignominious, and not scary at all.
Did that even work though? Because you end up fighting FEDRA not more than 5 seconds later. Maybe that was the point, that her sacrifice was pointless and she stalled nothing? I don't know. I think both the game and the show's version work as intended; Joel gets his call to adventure thrust upon him, and it shows how he can't deal with loss, as in both the game and the show he just walks away without even saying a simple 'I'm sorry' 'I love you', or 'goodbye'. The game has that moment where you can hear Tess getting shot from the otherside of the wall, and the show has that very nice ending shot, showing how Joel just walks away from his grief (despite having known Tess probably for years) and Ellie lingers on it.
 
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mirbrownbread

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I think both the game and the show's version work as intended; Joel gets his call to adventure thrust upon him, and it shows how he can't deal with loss, as in both the game and the show he just walks away without even saying a simple 'I'm sorry' 'I love you', or 'goodbye'. The game has that moment where you can hear Tess getting shot from the otherside of the wall, and the show has that very nice ending shot, showing how Joel just walks away from his grief (despite having known Tess probably for years) and Ellie lingers on it.
It can also mean that Joel has "outgrown" the need to grief for someone after loosing his daughter and is already at peace with the fact that he will loose the next person he starts to care for as well. Jess's line of "save who you can save" is also quite resonating in that scene, since Joel ends up following those words to the letter in the game's climax
 

Casual Shinji

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It can also mean that Joel has "outgrown" the need to grief for someone after loosing his daughter and is already at peace with the fact that he will loose the next person he starts to care for as well. Jess's line of "save who you can save" is also quite resonating in that scene, since Joel ends up following those words to the letter in the game's climax
He obviously hasn't since he still has the broken watch, which itself symbolizes that he's never been able to move on. And the game's ending epitomizes this; he trades in Sarah for Ellie at the expense of the world and even Ellie's peace of mind. If he saved who he could save he wouldn't have killed that doctor and executed Marlene.
 

hanselthecaretaker

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He obviously hasn't since he still has the broken watch, which itself symbolizes that he's never been able to move on. And the game's ending epitomizes this; he trades in Sarah for Ellie at the expense of the world and even Ellie's peace of mind. If he saved who he could save he wouldn't have killed that doctor and executed Marlene.
Well, it’s not like the doc or Marlene meant anything to him; especially not the way Ellie did. So not really following how he didn’t save Ellie here, at least in his mind. The fact he kills them when they really didn’t even need to die is another story. It’s also part of my ongoing issue with narrative focused gameplay and the illusion of choice, and the sequel does this too with Ellie’s red-tinged-rage-kill that must be completed to progress, regardless of how the player feels about it. It’s scary to think some people playing the game might’ve actually felt like her.
 

Johnny Novgorod

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Did that even work though? Because you end up fighting FEDRA not more than 5 seconds later. Maybe that was the point, that her sacrifice was pointless and she stalled nothing? I don't know. I think both the game and the show's version work as intended; Joel gets his call to adventure thrust upon him, and it shows how he can't deal with loss, as in both the game and the show he just walks away without even saying a simple 'I'm sorry' 'I love you', or 'goodbye'. The game has that moment where you can hear Tess getting shot from the otherside of the wall, and the show has that very nice ending shot, showing how Joel just walks away from his grief (despite having known Tess probably for years) and Ellie lingers on it.
I think I just preferred how she met her imminent death better in the game. Even if it didn't accomplish that much it was at least more dignified. The fact that you're running away and only hear some gunshots just went towards that feeling that everything was going downhill and flying out of your control fast. By delving that much on her final moments that closely (focusing on the one person who's already a goner) and also focusing on the lighter (which you know is only gonna work at the last second, so it's more annoying that tense) the sense of urgency and being overwhelmed dissipated a little.
 

Casual Shinji

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Well, it’s not like the doc or Marlene meant anything to him; especially not the way Ellie did. So not really following how he didn’t save Ellie here, at least in his mind. The fact he kills them when they really didn’t even need to die is another story.
No, but he could've easily not killed them. So the show's line of "save who can save" would not resonate with Joel's actions in the end at all. But then I don't think it's supposed to, and for all we know it may function as a very dark reflection when the end of the show arrives.

It’s also part of my ongoing issue with narrative focused gameplay and the illusion of choice, and the sequel does this too with Ellie’s red-tinged-rage-kill that must be completed to progress, regardless of how the player feels about it. It’s scary to think some people playing the game might’ve actually felt like her.
I don't think either game ever meant to give you this choice though. The whole idea is that you're stuck driving these characters to the choices they would make. And with Joel in the first game, everything he does in that hospital is exactly in line with how he would act considering who's life is at stake. Even when it comes to the doctor, a person Joel could've easily brushed aside without needing to kill him, the game still doesn't offer that choice because in his current state would totally kill this guy who was moments away from cutting open Ellie's skull.

With Ellie in the second game the issue isn't that you don't get to decide what she does, but that her actions in that moment feel inconsistent. Ellie's actions throughout the game feel out of character, but by the end for her to initiate the final confrontation yet abstain from killing when she has the other at her mercy, after all the horror she's already inflicted, comes across as extremely lame and pedantic.
 

hanselthecaretaker

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No, but he could've easily not killed them. So the show's line of "save who can save" would not resonate with Joel's actions in the end at all. But then I don't think it's supposed to, and for all we know it may function as a very dark reflection when the end of the show arrives.

I don't think either game ever meant to give you this choice though. The whole idea is that you're stuck driving these characters to the choices they would make. And with Joel in the first game, everything he does in that hospital is exactly in line with how he would act considering who's life is at stake. Even when it comes to the doctor, a person Joel could've easily brushed aside without needing to kill him, the game still doesn't offer that choice because in his current state would totally kill this guy who was moments away from cutting open Ellie's skull.

With Ellie in the second game the issue isn't that you don't get to decide what she does, but that her actions in that moment feel inconsistent. Ellie's actions throughout the game feel out of character, but by the end for her to initiate the final confrontation yet abstain from killing when she has the other at her mercy, after all the horror she's already inflicted, comes across as extremely lame and pedantic.
Wasn’t her rage basically brushed away with the thought of Joel on his porch smiling at her? Apparently right time, right place because *plot device* as I’m pretty sure it’s not the first time she had that flashback.
 

Casual Shinji

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Wasn’t her rage basically brushed away with the thought of Joel on his porch smiling at her? Apparently right time, right place because *plot device* as I’m pretty sure it’s not the first time she had that flashback.
Like I said, lame. I heard one explaination that this was actually her memory of him getting corrupted by what she was doing, and that when Ellie remembers it later on back in the abandoned house it was her redeeming this memory. But that feels like grasping at straws.

Ellie should've just not started the fight, being just too tired of everything - mentally as well as physically - to actually continue, and let Abby boat off. If she did start it she should've gone for the kill, making her transformation (as out of character and obxious as it was) complete. And if they wanted Ellie to start the fight but still let Abby live, they should've let Abby win again, exposing Ellie for the pathetic, weak cretin that she has been so far. All three of these endings would've been more interesting than what we got.
 
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FakeSympathy

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I had a feeling this was gonna happen, but not this soon.

I wonder what they’ll do with the writing here? I know they chose the cast for Abby, but that doesn’t necessarily means it’ll be shot-for-shot live action remake of prt 2…. Will it?

I think there will be lots of salts, regardless.
 

Casual Shinji

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I had a feeling this was gonna happen, but not this soon.

I wonder what they’ll do with the writing here? I know they chose the cast for Abby, but that doesn’t necessarily means it’ll be shot-for-shot live action remake of prt 2…. Will it?

I think there will be lots of salts, regardless.
They don't even have the means to do a shot for shot live-action remake of the first game, and the sequel is twice as long, so I doubt that.

Anyway, Bella Ramsey is already 19 so I guess that evens out nicely for Season 2. But does that mean she has to hit the gym and get all Sarah Conner? I mean, Ellie's pretty trimmed in Part 2.
 
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FakeSympathy

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Episode 3: Long, Long time

(That's right, I'm adding episode titles now)

So the episode starts off with Joel and Ellie still trying to recover from Tess's death, and still in that awkward phase of getting to know each other while trying not to blame what happened. The forest shots are actually quite beautiful. It's just Joel and Ellie having a casual banter, with just ambient sounds. And they work really well.

And we are treated to Joel explaining one theory on how everything suddenly came crashing down; cordyceps spores in the widely distributed food supply. It does make sense how the infection seems to have started all over the world, around the same time. We also get to see just how far the government went to contain the spread; A pit of remains of those who were mass executed because of not enough room in the QZ. They were just regular people living in a small town, and they were all executed.

We get to meet the show's version of Bill. And the fact that it's played by Nick Offerman is hilarious. Having recently binged watched Parks and Rec, I see a lot of Ron in Bill. They both don't trust the government, are good at tinkering and fixing shit up, are a bit paranoid of others, and are cynical. It's one of the best casting choices I've ever seen. Nick seems to be having a good time, essentially being Ron during the post-apocalyptic setting.

It's actually interesting to see Bill's life right after the infection happened, where he wasn't as paranoid. We see his more civil side, cooking a steak and enjoying wine. I do wish I got to see more of his past; Why doesn't he trust the government? Where did he learn his skills? Did he have any family?

We also meet Frank played by Murray Bartlett, someone new to the show. I first didn't know what purpose this character serve. But he humanizes Bill. He gives Bill a sense of companionship and someone to care for. Them having a meal together was actually pretty nice, as it reminded me of why I make meals for my family; the food always tastes better when you have someone to share with. And then they play piano, and this was a great reminder on how good Nick Offerman is with musical instruments.

And then they kiss. It's actually one of the more emotional scenes, as they tear up and it shows they missed intimate companionship. See, this is sort of the relationship I like to see, real or fiction, straight or homosexual. It's actually built on emotional connection and bonding.

Frank seems like one of the nicer characters in this show, something that we haven't seen in the show, or in the game for that matter. He wants to retain civility while Bill wants to accept the new way of the world, we get to see them argue. Yet, they stick together in their love for each other.

By the end, Bill is more humane that his game counterpart. We get to see Bill and Frank age, especially Frank's health deteriorating due to some incurable condition. They never specify what his condition is, but it is mentioned it existed before everything went down. So.... cancer? Stuff like this It's just something I haven't seen before; people actually aging in post-apocalypse, and dying from something that isn't a bullet to the brain or getting mauled by infected. They spend their last day together on a romantic day, and Frank and Bill choose to take poison together for what sounds like a peaceful death

This is where the story of the show and the game seem to become different by a wide margin. Ellie never meets Bill, they don't run around the neighborhood looking for car parts, and Bill just leaves them a key to a working car, as they drive to their next destination. It does make me wonder if in-game Bill ever had someone he cared for, and he only acts that way in the game because he doesn't want the emotional trauma of opening up to and losing someone he loves.

I'd say this was more of a 9/10 episode. Not as action-packed, or moves the plot forward, but we got to see more of who Bill was. His relationship with Frank was geniune, wholesome, and heartbreaking at the end. I do wish I got to see more of him before the infection days, though.

Oh, and a huge plus on this episode for introducing me to Linda Ronstadt and her song. It's one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard
 
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laggyteabag

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I really liked this one.

It is a massive departure from the game, but to be fair, the game version is pretty much just a lot of combat, with some banter between Ellie, Joel and Bill, all for the purpose of getting a car. And sure, some of it is missed: Ellie never meets Bill, and we don't fight the bloater (though that is still coming) - but I would argue that what was gained, was greater than what was lost.

Im sure some will argue that this episode will be mostly pointless in the grand scheme of things, and the time would have been better served following our main characters through the game's version of the storyline - and they are probably right - but this was some damn fine TV nonetheless, and is probably my favourite episode so far.

Good stuff!
 

Casual Shinji

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Never thought they could stray this far away from the character of Bill yet still make it this good. Bill in the show almost feels like an anti-Bill compared to how he was in the game. Even having Nick Offerman - who has a completely different energy from W. Earl Brown - playing him. Bill went from having one of the most miserable character arcs to having the most wholesome. I was fully expecting to see an interaction between Bill and Ellie, considering how semi-integral it was in the game, and because of that I was gearing up for Bill and Frank's life together to come to a sour end. Not as sour as it was in the game, but still one that left Bill old and alone for when Joel and Ellie show up. But no, Bill actually gets a happy ending.

I really appreciated how after the 'Nature of Daylight' montage the episode really lingered on the moment of truth. You see the slightest hesitation on Frank's face now that it's come to it, while the scene focusses on every detail of Bill prepairing the wine glass. There's no music or drama underscoring that moment, it's just the mundane action playing itself out. Very nice.

I was wondering how or even if Tess' death would be given some weight, and thankfully it did. In the game, right after her death, Tess is mentioned through a note and through Bill constantly bringing her up in an antagonizing way. And it worked to sorta not let it rest for Joel when he very much wants it to. In this episode she's brought up in a similar manner, but as a contrast to Bill and Frank's relationship and it was kinda heartwrenching. Joel and Tess were obviously together, but never in the way Bill and Frank were because Joel was emotionally closed off, never actually committing to her. And it makes how they parted in the previous episode sting even more compared to how Bill and Frank did. Obviously the circumstances were very different, but Joel had no parting words for tess, no nothing, he just walked away without looking back.

Also, I like how Ellie stashed a gun without Joel knowing. Nice departure. It was almost a bit too much how the both of them just dressed completely the part after they cleaned themselves up, but they made it work.

Yeah, this episode was very, very good.
 
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Piscian

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Never thought they could stray this far away from the character of Bill
So Bill was actually in the game? Don't spoiler it for me, but I literally do not remember this guy at all. All night I was like "well this is really good, but I hope it actually ties into the story somehow". I'm being very patient, but I really want the PC version to hurry up and come out so I can replay it along with the show. Admittedly I remember almost nothing from the game.
 

FakeSympathy

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So Bill was actually in the game? Don't spoiler it for me, but I literally do not remember this guy at all. All night I was like "well this is really good, but I hope it actually ties into the story somehow". I'm being very patient, but I really want the PC version to hurry up and come out so I can replay it along with the show. Admittedly I remember almost nothing from the game.
Without going into spoilers, the section with Bill is a tad bit short in the game. But he was a fun character to hang out with, especially having a snarky retort with Ellie
 

Casual Shinji

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So Bill was actually in the game? Don't spoiler it for me, but I literally do not remember this guy at all. All night I was like "well this is really good, but I hope it actually ties into the story somehow". I'm being very patient, but I really want the PC version to hurry up and come out so I can replay it along with the show. Admittedly I remember almost nothing from the game.
Yeah, he's in the game, but it's a very different vibe than the show. I'll actually predict that a lot of people who play the game after having watched the show, or just this episode, might be rather disappointed in the Bill section as a result. He still serves his purpose very well in the game, but he just got a serious glow-up for the show.
 
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