“The Last of Us” strikes an emotional cord with viewers

Adaptation of the 2013 video game “The Last of Us” begins streaming on HBO Max.


Courtesy of HBO Max

Ellie and Joel standing in front of the fungal infection.

By Emma Christenson

The brilliant video game, which came out in 2013, now has just been released. “The Last of Us” streaming on HBO Max, bringing us to a post-apocalyptic world where a pandemic is spreading worldwide and there is no cure in sight. “The Last of Us” brings out fear, sadness, astonishment, and wonder in the viewer’s heart. 

The video game was developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment. The main protagonists are Joel, once a loving father but now a smuggler, and Ellie, a 14-year-old teenage girl. The game and show follow Joel and Ellie, and Joel has been tasked with smuggling Ellie out of a dangerous quarantine zone. But this task becomes more difficult than expected and they are forced to rely on each other for survival. 

One of the first jaw-dropping scenes in the show is when Sarah, Joel’s daughter, wakes up at 2 a.m. with flashing lights and helicopters flying over her house. Joel is not home at the time because an incident with his brother took place. Sarah hears scratching on the front door, and it happens to be the neighbor’s dog. She attempts to bring the dog back home but realizes the door is wide open. She takes a step inside and pictures the death of three neighbors getting eaten by a woman, who was once in a wheelchair. This is where we get a first look at what one of the infected creatures looks like. Niko Parker plays Sarah beautifully in this action-packed scene because it shows the character’s flight or flight response. In the end, Sarah chose to run. 

Another scene sadly is the end of Joel and Sarah’s close father-and-daughter relationship. Joel and his brother finally get Sarah right before one of the infected are about to kill her. They drive into town trying to find a way out, but they get into a car accident. They all made it out alive, but Sarah’s ankle is badly hurt, and Joel makes the decision to carry her. Joel and his brother get separated and when they try to find their way back to one another, Sarah and Joel start to get attacked by one of the infected. 

Right as they are about to get attacked the officer shoots the infected creature, but the officer then gets orders to shoot them. In the end, Sarah gets shot in the stomach and does not make it out alive. Tragedy, in the beginning, strikes character development for Joel because this is when he loses his happiness. Losing his daughter takes a toll on him, and he becomes a man just trying to survive. This is the man we see later on in the show when he meets Ellie. 

Overall, “The Last of Us” is a video game adaptation worthy of watching. There are so many positives to watching this show, talented actors, amazing graphics, and an overall good plot. I love that the show follows the same plot as the video game, which gives it a hint of normalcy for most viewers. Even though this is only the first episode, great things are going to happen with “The Last of Us.”