Let me be honest here. I usually use the word “love” because my headline analyzer tells me that strong positive sentiment words drive more traffic. If true, those Russian bots indeed enjoy my positive headlines. However, at the risk of spoiling this article, in this case I mean it. The show, so far, tells a wonderful story in just the manner I enjoy. The Last of Us Part 1 covers episodes 1 through 3 of the show since I just finished episode 3 last night.
I intend to finish the remaining episodes by the end of the week, so maybe part 2 comes before Friday. Being vacation week, I planned the schedule pretty tightly and now we just saw the new Ant Man movie last night. So, of course, I need to add my two bits about that one. Also, I got the idea for another web page a couple of days ago. So, maybe I save part 2 for a less busy week.
Episode 1 – When You’re Lost in the Darkness
I informed social media that I started watching the show in spite of having never played the game. Several people warned me about a particular scene and the potential emotional damage caused. So, I already went in expecting something good. I got something…decent. When talking with some friends about the show, I felt like this episode went about 20-30 minutes too long.
I liked the episode. All of the characters made an impression on me. The scene in question moved me (more the second time I saw it in the recap for some reason) and I ended the episode wanting to see more. But, television and movies are different. I understand that Hollywood is trying new things because it feels like cinema is stagnating right now. But, making TV shows longer just for the sake of it ultimately blurs that line even more.
Sometimes less really is more. I would have to watch the episode again to see just where to trim, but I know there’s fat in there somewhere. In spite of that one sort of nebulous complaint, The Last of Us hooked me. It even made me want to play through the game. I’m sure I own it from some Humble Bundle sale. Score: 7.5/10 on this one.
Episode 2 – Infected
Talk about spoilers! This episode title gives away the big reveal. I’m sure anyone who played the game understood the reference right away. Those of us in the dark maybe continued to stumble in the dark as the fungi infected humans do while hunting our little party before realizing (like The Walking Dead before it) that titles often contain dual meanings.
This episode shows that not everything needs to be dark and gritty to be absolutely terrifying. The fungus that grows over the eyes of the infected in this episode displays as colorful, mimicking the actual spores found in nature. But, those clickers scared the shit out of me and I’m not one to spook easily anymore.
Hell, this episode made me pick up my phone and do a little research. You all know how much I love a show that makes me do my homework. Plus, I found this cool little Google trick that infects your phone with the fungus. And, at the end, they rip our hearts right out of our chests once again. Score: 8.5 out of 10.
Episode 3 – Long Long Time
This episode blew up my social media. After watching it, I see why. Exhausted, but wanting to experience it for myself, I stayed up way too late to finish it. My God. I can’t remember the last time I saw a television episode written, directed, and performed as well as this one. Breaking Bad? But, even that pales in comparison to the tragic beauty of this hour and fifteen minutes of television.
Bear in mind that once I realized that it was this episode, I went in with high expectations. The blueprint for disappointment, right? Wrong. It tells a love story with such tenderness and grace that I wonder how anyone anywhere sees anything more than that love. The story made me cry. The reaction that some have to homosexuality makes me sad.
In addition, the story helps to fill in some of the gaps from the first episodes and moves the story forward. Honestly, if they ended it here, I’d be a happy man. The fact that I still need to watch 3 more episodes both excites and terrifies me. But, I’m ready. Score: Honestly, on the scale, I give it a 10. But that feels both offensive and reductive. Just a masterful display of what a careful and creative team can do.
I hope the show hasn’t peaked too early. I know better than to compare different style episodes by the same standards. Also, thankfully, this isn’t The Walking Dead, so I don’t expect to be shocked into submission simply for the sake of that shock value. Again I hope to have part 2 done by the end of this week, but I hope you enjoyed The Last of Us Part 1.