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TV HBO's The Last of Us |ST| You know Ellie, we really are an ST subtitle [MARK SPOILERS]

I'm obviously in a severe minority here but I didn't love it.

I thought it was a brilliantly made and acted hour or so of TV and a good, gripping watch - I just don't think it fit at all into the story, and certainly not as the third episode. This the kind of thing you might get away with in a season 2 or so, but as the third episode? We've barely got to know the main characters yet. They've only just set out on their journey.

It also seemed so divorced from the world of TLoU. Like, for 20 years these two were just able to live in this compound because Bill was an expert survivalist. That... doesn't really tell us much about Joel and Ellie's journey, does it? What they'll be up against, what they'll find out there, 30 seconds of faceless, pathetically dispatched raiders aside. It just seemed like an excuse to tell a queer love story - a good one - that would have been better suited to some anthology series somewhere. Having Bill die before they reach them only increased that feeling, and a clever piece of writing with the letter, tying Frank to the departed Jess (and thus Ellie) really didn't change how I felt about that, if anything it only drew attention to how artificial the connection seemed.

After it was over, I couldn't avoid the feeling of, "I can't wait for the real episode 3 next week, to see what happens to Joel and Ellie".

This will be controversial, but I wonder if people would be so positive if they had cut away to one hour telling a straight love story. Without that sense of "Finally! Some good damn representation!" I think people would possibly focus more on how out of place and frankly irrelevant this all was. Of course, if my aunt had wheels she'd be a motorbike etc etc...
part of the issue with where this is placed is where it lands in the game. Joel needs the battery, and they satisfy that well enough in this episode. There is backstory to tell with Bill and Frank, but it’s mostly angry and all we find out Frank killed himself after being infected. This was much better and we know from the game that Bill managed to survive this long with his traps in the game. I do agree that Joel and Ellie haven’t been developed that much yet, but I assume the showrunners expect most people to know the general story.
 
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Ep 3 was a massive improvement for me because it had likeable characters and some humour that worked
 
Well it sure is awful to see homophobes out in full force regarding episode 3.
 
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Lol, my wife asked me if the “video game show” was on so we could watch the next episode. Unfortunately had to tell her not yet, but looks like episode 3 has her interested in the rest of the story.
 
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I can't see Melanie Lynskey as anyone else than Rose from Two and Half Men.
 
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Last night's episode had ups and downs for me.

Good:
  • We are starting to see the deepening of Joel and Ellie's relationship. Ellie still has that inner childhood despite the bleak world. She continues to look for ways to get Joel to laugh and loosen him up. We also see Joel start to feel more protective about her, almost guilty. They way he says stuff like "You shouldn't have to go through this at your age." tells that he is starting to feel more like a father. At some point he is going to open up about Sarah.
  • Speaking of Joel's past, I'm glad that they dove into that briefly towards the end of the episode.
    One of the narratives from the second game that I never understood was people saying that Joel was a good guy and that he didn't deserve to die. There was plenty of dialogue in the first game where Joel talks about some of the bad stuff that he has done and that he wasn't proud of it. Things like "being on both sides of an ambush" and "we had to do what was needed to survive." stuck with me throughout. I never saw him as a white knight. He was just another human who became a product of the world that came about from the pandemic.
  • The crater scene makes me feel like we are going to get a tsunami of clickers that will overrun the city at the end of the level.
  • The cliffhanger at the end of the episode got me excited for next week. Even though I'm expecting heartbreak
  • Next week's episode is on Friday night to avoid the Super Bowl. Sweet!
Bad:
  • So, the whole merc/army group kind of fell flat for me. The Kathleen character felt one dimensional and not very interesting. In the post credits talk, Neil mentioned how he wanted to flesh out the group more than it was in the video game to be more than just "another bad guy group with guns". I'll give them the next episode to see how this all plays out, but I'm not feeling it so far.

Since we are nearly half way there, I took a look at the timeline. There has already been a big deviation from the game this week with Kansas City replacing Pittsburgh for the Henry/Sam arc,, but I think something is going to get cut or major rework. In the game, after Henry and Sam we still have:

  • Meeting up with Tommy and Maria at Jackson.
  • Going to Easter Colorado University where Joel gets severely injured and they hide out in a mall.
  • While Joel recovers in the woods, Ellie runs into men who want to rape, kill and eat her. (That episode will be messed up as hell)
  • Reach Salt Lake City where the climax hits.
  • Brief epilogue where Joel and Ellie have a chat.
So we have five episodes left, and keep in mind that Henry and Sam's arc is probably going to take up most of the episode if not all of it. So that leaves probably four episodes for all of this. Tommy and Maria will probably have their scenes cut short with fixing the dam. The university or mall will probably really get cut short, if not altogether. Joel still has to get injured somehow. My best guess is the second half of the show is.

5- Kansas City and they GTFO out at the end.
6- Meet up with Tommy and go to the University. Joel getting injured ends the episode. University scene is very short.
7- First half is the Left Behind arc, second half is Ellie trying to find medicine at the mall.
8- Woods/Whitefish Lake gets all of the episode. If they play it close to the game, that ending scene will be gut wrenching enough to end it.
9- Salt Lake City and epilogue

To be honest, reading all of that now, I struggle to see them fitting all of SLC in one episode. I think a perfect world has them ending episode 8 in the sewers. Episode 9 starts up with Joel and Ellie separated. I guess we will have to see how it all shakes out.
 
I like the pacing of the episode. Also those jokes lol.
Important, next episode airs on friday because super bowl

 
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TLoU 1 implied spoilers:

I´m the only one who felt super sad at seeing Sam's drawings knowing how his story ends in the game? Something about his child innocence in those drawings hit me hard last night "
 
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Last night's episode had ups and downs for me.

Good:
  • We are starting to see the deepening of Joel and Ellie's relationship. Ellie still has that inner childhood despite the bleak world. She continues to look for ways to get Joel to laugh and loosen him up. We also see Joel start to feel more protective about her, almost guilty. They way he says stuff like "You shouldn't have to go through this at your age." tells that he is starting to feel more like a father. At some point he is going to open up about Sarah.
  • Speaking of Joel's past, I'm glad that they dove into that briefly towards the end of the episode.
    One of the narratives from the second game that I never understood was people saying that Joel was a good guy and that he didn't deserve to die. There was plenty of dialogue in the first game where Joel talks about some of the bad stuff that he has done and that he wasn't proud of it. Things like "being on both sides of an ambush" and "we had to do what was needed to survive." stuck with me throughout. I never saw him as a white knight. He was just another human who became a product of the world that came about from the pandemic.
  • The crater scene makes me feel like we are going to get a tsunami of clickers that will overrun the city at the end of the level.
  • The cliffhanger at the end of the episode got me excited for next week. Even though I'm expecting heartbreak
  • Next week's episode is on Friday night to avoid the Super Bowl. Sweet!
Bad:
  • So, the whole merc/army group kind of fell flat for me. The Kathleen character felt one dimensional and not very interesting. In the post credits talk, Neil mentioned how he wanted to flesh out the group more than it was in the video game to be more than just "another bad guy group with guns". I'll give them the next episode to see how this all plays out, but I'm not feeling it so far.

Since we are nearly half way there, I took a look at the timeline. There has already been a big deviation from the game this week with Kansas City replacing Pittsburgh for the Henry/Sam arc,, but I think something is going to get cut or major rework. In the game, after Henry and Sam we still have:

  • Meeting up with Tommy and Maria at Jackson.
  • Going to Easter Colorado University where Joel gets severely injured and they hide out in a mall.
  • While Joel recovers in the woods, Ellie runs into men who want to rape, kill and eat her. (That episode will be messed up as hell)
  • Reach Salt Lake City where the climax hits.
  • Brief epilogue where Joel and Ellie have a chat.
So we have five episodes left, and keep in mind that Henry and Sam's arc is probably going to take up most of the episode if not all of it. So that leaves probably four episodes for all of this. Tommy and Maria will probably have their scenes cut short with fixing the dam. The university or mall will probably really get cut short, if not altogether. Joel still has to get injured somehow. My best guess is the second half of the show is.

5- Kansas City and they GTFO out at the end.
6- Meet up with Tommy and go to the University. Joel getting injured ends the episode. University scene is very short.
7- First half is the Left Behind arc, second half is Ellie trying to find medicine at the mall.
8- Woods/Whitefish Lake gets all of the episode. If they play it close to the game, that ending scene will be gut wrenching enough to end it.
9- Salt Lake City and epilogue

To be honest, reading all of that now, I struggle to see them fitting all of SLC in one episode. I think a perfect world has them ending episode 8 in the sewers. Episode 9 starts up with Joel and Ellie separated. I guess we will have to see how it all shakes out.
Yeah I agree with this.

I feel like expanding on the merc group is a classic case of "answering questions no one's asking". It's obvious that there would be opportunistic raiders in a city where the QZ had fallen. What are we gaining from seeing who they are and how they operate?

That desire to focus in on what could be faceless bad buys, for better or worse, is one of multiple things in this episode that reminded me of TLOU 2. The other being that Ellie isn't nearly as shaken by shooting someone as you'd expect her to be - or as Joel expects her to be. They're making her less innocent here, more prone to violence. Not sure if that works for TLOU 1 but it surely will make the transition to TLOU 2 seem more natural. Ellie being less likable in general here is going to make that more natural. I still think they're making Joel far too likable. When he implies he was a raider, it's hard to really believe it of this Joel. The game Joel, I expected it.

More importantly, I'm with you in that I can't see how they wrap this up in 5 episodes without skipping really important scenes. The next episode will obviously be Henry, Sam, and escaping Kansas. So the way you've laid it out makes sense, but seems really rushed. Even the development of Joel and Ellie's relationship has felt a little too quick for my liking.

It really reinforces my belief that they just didn't have time to spend 60 minutes with Bill and Frank. If the rest of the season does end up feeling rushed, I think that's really going to recontextualise how people see that episode.

I was expecting left behind to get its own episode, but now I think it may be about 10-15 minutes of flashbacks scattered into another episode.
 
Overall thought it was a transitional episode that did a good job of developing Joel/Ellie relationship but the weakest one probably.
Didn’t care too much about the merc group characters being fleshed out as I don’t have any investment in their past since we didn’t see it. They aren’t sympathetic, so the part is out the brother being killed and needing to find Henry fell flat.

It also seems idiotic to not worry about potential infected coming up from the underground so you can find one guy. I guess that’s being blinded by rage for the loss of her brother, but seems to me you would want to take care of that somehow first and then worry about one Henry and Sam after that. This was one of the problems with the first game too in my book, where the infected essentially became secondary to the bad humans. I would have like that to be more a focus knowing how the first game ends.m and driving the message that they need the cure more than anything else.

Also, geography nerd in me hates the change to KC. We even had a whole discussion about fuel not lasting as long, etc and they drive a couple hundred miles or more out of the way by the time they get to Cody/Jackson (they mention Cody is where they heard about Tommy last, so I would assume they go there first. Maybe they get more intel on this as we go along). Driving between Cody and Jackson isn’t exactly close or fuel efficient since there is a giant ridge between them. This is ultimately meaningless, but seems like an oversight. Should have gone to Chicago and then taken 80 over. Sounds like they filmed in Alberta so they couldn’t find a Pittsburgh like place to film.
 
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Still a good episode all around, but as the others were better, this was different.

- Main criticism for this episode, as others remarked, was the merc group. Lynski not stalking Charlie Harper felt oddly weird and honestly, I understand fleshing them out, but the screen time they were given, dunno, they didn’t do much with it.

- Best scene from that group is the crater/moving ground. I’m pretty sure about what’s coming lol.

- I did like the Joel and Ellie bonding stuff. Especially the fact they kept in Ellie’s joke book. The diarrhea joke had me chuckling too. Its fun to see them both lighten up.

- Joel and Ellie about the gun use was great. I mean, we all know Joel did some bad shit in twenty years, however the fact that he still shows empathy for Ellie after shooting the guy tells us he can muster empathy.

- Joel not denying killing innocent people. Face Elly pulled told us a lot
 
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I really liked this one (well, I've really liked them all lol). A lot of really beautiful shots, and I especially enjoy the slow build of the rapport between Joel and Ellie. Thought all the pun scenes were great, and the magazine scene was just as funny here as it was in the game

I've been seeing a few people here and there say they find Ellie less likeable in the show than in the game, and I honestly find it quite surprising. In fact, I think I prefer show Ellie - she's funnier, and she acts a little more like what I imagine a teenage girl would act like in this world. Gonna spoiler tag my thoughts on a specific criticism, not because it's an actual spoiler, but just because it's a little rambly
The criticism I keep reading is that's she's "meaner", or words to that effect. In my opinion, she's acting perfectly naturally, and that includes snark (especially as a reaction to Joel's gruffness). If anything, this feels like what they would have put in the game if she weren't an escort character.

Escort characters are typically pretty unpopular, and I feel like this was doubly the case in 2013. TLOU did a better job than most games at keeping the NPC companions out of your way, but let's face it, Ellie (and Tess, when she was around) did get in your way a fair bit, and didn't help out as much as realistically it may have felt like they could.

In my opinion, the decision to have Ellie warm to Joel earlier (and certainly before he warms to her) was done because they were worried if they didn't, a decent chunk of the audience would really dislike the character. They had to compensate for the inevitable annoyance players faced in the "escort quest" gameplay sections, and so they took a bit of a shortcut.

I also feel like some of the meanness is also being misinterpreted by some in the audience. Actually, this point is a specific response to a specific person, so I guess I may as well be explicit: I saw Alanah Pearce say she thought Ellie's line at the start of episode 3 - "you made a choice to do this, so don't blame me for something that isn't my fault" - was way too harsh and made her seem cold, whereas to me she was fairly obvious lashing out and being defensive out of guilt (and based on Joel's reaction in the show, I feel like that's what he thought too).

Idk I also kinda feel like some of the criticisms, intentionally or not, really boil down to "this is not the same as the game"
Since we are nearly half way there, I took a look at the timeline. There has already been a big deviation from the game this week with Kansas City replacing Pittsburgh for the Henry/Sam arc,, but I think something is going to get cut or major rework. In the game, after Henry and Sam we still have:

So we have five episodes left, and keep in mind that Henry and Sam's arc is probably going to take up most of the episode if not all of it. So that leaves probably four episodes for all of this. Tommy and Maria will probably have their scenes cut short with fixing the dam. The university or mall will probably really get cut short, if not altogether. Joel still has to get injured somehow. My best guess is the second half of the show is.

5- Kansas City and they GTFO out at the end.
6- Meet up with Tommy and go to the University. Joel getting injured ends the episode. University scene is very short.
7- First half is the Left Behind arc, second half is Ellie trying to find medicine at the mall.
8- Woods/Whitefish Lake gets all of the episode. If they play it close to the game, that ending scene will be gut wrenching enough to end it.
9- Salt Lake City and epilogue

To be honest, reading all of that now, I struggle to see them fitting all of SLC in one episode. I think a perfect world has them ending episode 8 in the sewers. Episode 9 starts up with Joel and Ellie separated. I guess we will have to see how it all shakes out.
I feel like after maybe an episode or two I had a pretty good idea of what section of the game each episode would correspond to. The thing to keep in mind is that a lot of the parts that felt long in the game don't really need to once they excise (or change) scene after scene of you mowing down a bunch of enemies lol

Anyway my expectation for the remainder of the season is this: (actual spoilers for the game this time)
5 - Kansas City and they GTFO out at the end (although I anticipate an at least minor change in the fates of Henry and Sam, even if it's just how they die

6 - I think Tommy and the settlement in Jackson takes up the entirety of episode 6. There's going to be a lot to see in Jackson, and Tommy and Joel will have a lot to talk about. Besides, the "You're not my daughter, and I sure as hell ain't your dad" scene needs some breathing room. In fact, I would argue the game resolves this a little too quickly, so I'm curious to see how they handle it

I suspect the attack at the dam will be cut - no need to cram in an action scene when there's no player getting bored of cutscenes

7 - This is probably my boldest prediction, but I think the university injury doesn't end an episode. I think this episode opens with the university, Joel gets injured, and then hard cut to black. Then we open with it snowing and with a significant amount of time having passed. That would be fairly shocking to people who hadn't played the game. (Hell, they could even open with the same shot of Ellie killing the rabbit to make Negaoryx cry again lmao)

Then I think they intercut the Left Behind flashback sequence with Ellie looking after Joel. Hell, maybe they even introduce David, and have the ending be a cliffhanger with Ellie getting captured.

8 - The David stuff, of course

9 - Salt Lake City and fin. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the final scene is the same shot-for-shot
 
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I realized I had more thoughts on the episode and uhhh couldn't find an organic place to put them in the last post so looks like it's double post time, baby!

I thought Melanie Lynsky was great. I liked the decision to humanize the group who took over the city, even if we're still inclined to see them as the enemy. I think part of the reason it works is because of Lynsky, in particular the way she is playing both to and against type. I appreciated her interactions with her lieutenant, and I especially liked how his support for her wasn't mindless and unwavering - you can see he is uneasy about hiding what they discover under the building, and I'm curious to see where that goes

By the way, the guy who plays her lieutenant is Jeffrey Piece, who did the voice/motion capture for Tommy in the game!
 
By the way, the guy who plays her lieutenant is Jeffrey Piece, who did the voice/motion capture for Tommy in the game!
that’s cool! It’s also cool that Marlene is the voice/mo cap actress.

I just finished the second game and have a million thoughts on season 2 now…
 
that’s cool! It’s also cool that Marlene is the voice/mo cap actress.

I just finished the second game and have a million thoughts on season 2 now…
fraiser-doctor-crane.gif
 
I'm very curious to hear them (in spoiler tags obvs)

My head is just spinning still from the story and all the gut wrenching events. I’m wondering if we have a big divergence for Season 2 for a couple of reasons. Mainly, will they want to kill off Joel in the show and lose their headline actor? I could see them doing multiple flashbacks and flesh out some of the story around the Jackson scenes, but that would be pretty boring for a show that has a heavy action focus so far. Might need lots of new stuff to make it compelling.

I don’t think the second game lends itself as well to TV in some ways because it has a lot of additional characters and side stories that I think will get rushed or cut out. Maybe I’m wrong on this, but the game was much longer than the first. Obviously, the story structure would have to change because doing all Ellie then all Abby wouldn’t really work. Could they overlap those parts without it being too convoluted? Not sure. I’m sure they would cut big portions for the show but then you lose some of the humanizing aspects and afraid Abby stuff would be cut even though her story’s as more set piece heavy which would work better for tv. I just feel Ellie will still be the main focus.

I think the ending could be changed too since I assume the show will go beyond season 2 (though this stuff could be spread out for multiple seasons honestly). The Rattlers or whatever were sort of faceless baddies in my opinion and the ending might not play well for how they want to do more story if the show is ahead of the games (if they even make a third game). I quite liked the ending and how Ellie basically lost the last good thing in her life due to not being able to let go of revenge (and not drowning Abby), but I do think ending it after the theatre confrontation could work better for TV.

Maybe the show is only meant to run for a coupon of season though. Haven’t seen much discourse around how long they want it to go. I’m honestly satisfied with the franchise being over (or at least Ellie’s portion). Wouldn’t mind another search for a cure being the focus of any future works.

Also random point in my head just now, but in no way would there only be one doctor that could do the surgery on Abby let alone develop a vaccine from it. This would need lots of people over a long time. She honestly could give herself up to science as I doubt only the fireflies would be working on those things. This doesn’t negate the revenge arc for Abby, but the research aspect always rubbed me the wrong way.
 
Finally got caught up

Episode 3 was beautiful and I cheered when the Bloater bloated all over that guy.

I'd commit atrocities for the games I love to get adaptations this fucking good
 
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I saw it Saturday, but I haven't put my thoughts on here.

The extra backstory with Henry and Sam were excellent. The added layer of Sam being deaf was phenomenal. Watching Ellie and Sam build a relationship, despite the language barrier, was beautiful. The Sam actor played his part incredibly well. The motel scene from Ellie trying to cure Sam to the murder-suicide was gut-wrenching.

As for the militia group/Kathleen, I came around a little more towards then but I still think that it could have been handled better. They were a good mechanism that helped to build towards the finale for the episode. Kathleen felt too one dimensional with obsessing over Henry, but it bit her bad in the end. She had the militia group so focused on finding one man just for the sake of revenge that it led to their demise almost as quickly as it rose to power in the city.

While leads us to the climax of the episode. After not seeing much in terms of clickers for a few weeks, they came back with a vengeance. I don't know if we will see a bloater again this season, but that was exciting to see appear here. Whatever sins FEDRA committed, and they do sound horrific, at least they provided a service in keeping the infected underground. As soon as they are gone, the infected rise up and seemingly overtake the city. The entire sequence was well done. The heartbreak of Joel killing the snipper was felt. Fun fact I learned while listening to the podcast is that they actually had to build that site from scratch. They brought in house builders and everything. The attention and care that has gone into this show is unmatched.

Now that Kansas City is in the rearview mirror, we look west towards Wyoming. Episode 6 should give us a good indicator for how the rest of the season will set up as we only have four episodes left and plenty of places to see.
 
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My head is just spinning still from the story and all the gut wrenching events. I’m wondering if we have a big divergence for Season 2 for a couple of reasons. Mainly, will they want to kill off Joel in the show and lose their headline actor? I could see them doing multiple flashbacks and flesh out some of the story around the Jackson scenes, but that would be pretty boring for a show that has a heavy action focus so far. Might need lots of new stuff to make it compelling.

I don’t think the second game lends itself as well to TV in some ways because it has a lot of additional characters and side stories that I think will get rushed or cut out. Maybe I’m wrong on this, but the game was much longer than the first. Obviously, the story structure would have to change because doing all Ellie then all Abby wouldn’t really work. Could they overlap those parts without it being too convoluted? Not sure. I’m sure they would cut big portions for the show but then you lose some of the humanizing aspects and afraid Abby stuff would be cut even though her story’s as more set piece heavy which would work better for tv. I just feel Ellie will still be the main focus.

I think the ending could be changed too since I assume the show will go beyond season 2 (though this stuff could be spread out for multiple seasons honestly). The Rattlers or whatever were sort of faceless baddies in my opinion and the ending might not play well for how they want to do more story if the show is ahead of the games (if they even make a third game). I quite liked the ending and how Ellie basically lost the last good thing in her life due to not being able to let go of revenge (and not drowning Abby), but I do think ending it after the theatre confrontation could work better for TV.

Maybe the show is only meant to run for a coupon of season though. Haven’t seen much discourse around how long they want it to go. I’m honestly satisfied with the franchise being over (or at least Ellie’s portion). Wouldn’t mind another search for a cure being the focus of any future works.

Also random point in my head just now, but in no way would there only be one doctor that could do the surgery on Abby let alone develop a vaccine from it. This would need lots of people over a long time. She honestly could give herself up to science as I doubt only the fireflies would be working on those things. This doesn’t negate the revenge arc for Abby, but the research aspect always rubbed me the wrong way.

Ok so it has been 2 1/2 years since I played the game, but my memory should still be strong here lol.

For starters, I think the structure of the show will be very different from how the game presented it. Obviously there is no way they can do Ellie and Abby's timeline all in one season. I also don't see doing all of the flashbacks in the show the same way. IMO the best way to do it is to split the second game into two seasons. I want to replay the game before really putting a hypothetical plan on paper for how they should do it, but squeezing the story into just nine episodes would suck. Also, stretching the game into two seasons would give Naughty Dog more breathing room to get the third game out before HBO needs the material. The way I see it is that season two is, at best, late 2024. I'm expecting 2025 so they could theoretically film back to back and get seasons 2 and 3 out in 2025 and 2026 respectively. The game hits in 2027/2028 and the show hits roughly around the same time. Pie in the sky thoughts.

As for plot deviations, I would be shocked if they let Joel live, or delay the death scene. That would be a huge change and it makes it hard to see what else would motivate Ellie and Tommy to go to Seattle. I would like to see more plot expansion that we have seen in season 1 already. Like you said, the Rattlers would be interesting to see how they are portrayed.

Regarding the doctor being the only one that can pull a cure, I don't think it is far fetched to suggest that he is the only one who could pull it off. The pandemic took out what? 99% of the population? I would imagine that most of human knowledge has been wiped or severely hampered. Could there be another doctor in the world that is capable of performing the surgery? Absolutely. The problem is that international travel is probably non-existent, and communication with other continents does not seem likely given what we know about the world through the games.

FWIW- I think that the vaccine will be the center of the third game. I think it is just a question of how is it handled.
 
Regarding the doctor being the only one that can pull a cure, I don't think it is far fetched to suggest that he is the only one who could pull it off. The pandemic took out what? 99% of the population? I would imagine that most of human knowledge has been wiped or severely hampered. Could there be another doctor in the world that is capable of performing the surgery? Absolutely. The problem is that international travel is probably non-existent, and communication with other continents does not seem likely given what we know about the world through the games.
This never bothered me, and I agree it's not super unlikely, but one concession I will make is that it was a retcon. In Joel's last conversation with Marlene, she's telling him it's not too late to do the right thing. I suppose you could make the argument that she simply didn't know he'd killed the doctor, but that seems unlikely to me. I'm comfortable calling it a retcon, but like I said, not one that especially bothered me.

I think a more natural way to do it have been "after Joel kills both Dr Anderson and Marlene, the Fireflies basically collapse and with them goes any hope of actually developing a cure" rather than "this doctor specifically was humanity's last hope". I kinda expect the show to go down that route tbh. Hell, they could even have a flashback showing the subsequent power vacuum and how it led to the Firelies' downfall, which is a not-at-all surprising outcome when two of their leaders (and a bunch more soldiers) die at the same time
 
Episode 6, whew....

Another deviation where instead of meeting at the damn, we got a taste of Jackson, which was really cool. They went all out with that set that took up barely half of one episode. Joel went through a whirlwind of emotions that episode. It felt like they rushed from the "you aren't my daughter" to them bonding over hunting and other comradery. I get it that it is a nine-episode season so they only have so much time to work with, but Joel changed really quick back to "your choice Ellie."

The university set was short lived compared to the game, but I figured that would be the case. IMO the attack on Joel felt just a little anti-climatic, but it worked. Overall, the epsiode felt slow and rushed. I thought that the first half-2/3's was slower but really good
and helps to build season 2 with the Jackson setting.
but second half with Joel flip flopping, them traveling to the university, and the attack all felt a little two quick for someone who has played the game. Someone who hasn't played the game might feel differently.

Right now, the show is going just as I predicted a couple of weeks ago. Three episodes to go. I guess we will see what happens next week.
 
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I do agree that the episode felt a little bit rushed somehow and this is the episode where we see a bigger deviation on Joel's character from a game vs show perspective.

Still liked it and we are now entering the final phase of the show so expect a bang since the last 3 episode plots are clearly mapped out:

7. Cannibals
8. Left Behind flashback
9. Salt Lake City
 
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The university sequence felt rushed, but I don't really know how else they would have approached it. They could have put it at the start of the next episode but they clearly wanted to end on a cliffhanger, which I totally get. We didn't need it to be a long, drawn out scene, but that did mean it ended up being "quick pit stop, and four hooligans for some reason"

I thought the rest of the episode was pretty much pitch-perfect. All the nods to part 2, the reunion, the breakdown, and of course the confrontation. They fucking nailed the confrontation. I teared up at the "everybody fucking except for you!" line, I legit think Bella did it better than Ashley Johnson. I saw someone online say they thought Joel's change of heart was a bit quick, but he at least slept (or tried to sleep) on it - in the game he just kinda changes his mind on the ride home lmao
 
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Starting tonight, the remaining episodes are probably going to be quite the emotional ride.
 
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I thought they did a fantastic job with episode 7. Storm Reid was perfect as Riley. Bella continues to make the doubters look like absolute fools

As an aside, I'm usually not that big a fan of flashbacks. Usually, they're bad and/or boring - a way to clumsily add narrative reveals or explicitly show backstory that may have been better left implied. But the way they're using them in this show as largely a thematic tool rather than a narrative one is excellent. Of course, for episode 7 in particular they largely have the game to thank for that, but I still think the way they explicitly tied the flashback to Ellie's (brief) indecision followed by her sheer determination was just really well done
 
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Saw it Sunday, but I'm finally getting around to dropping my thoughts.

So they ended up giving the Left Behind DLC a full episode. The Riely actress was cast well. She felt like an equal to Ellie. The episode itself felt like dragged in places, especially pre-mall. The Mortal Kombat scene was of course amazing. I was kind of hoping they would have walked into Gamestop and found a copy of Jak and Dexter. The action sequence was pretty good as well, although I question how the fireflies could have missed an obviously not hiding clicker at the American Girl Store.

Still, the episode does a great job of showing Ellie's love, compassion, determination, and anger. I thought that the back and forth between present and past was well done. This isn't my favorite episode of the season to this point, but it is a very strong episode.

Two more episodes to go, and a lot is on deck!
 
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My wife was in Costa Rica for work, so we just caught up in both of these episodes. I am going to say this from her perspective mostly but mix in with my thoughts having played the games:

Episode 6 was pretty good in my opinion in that it actually incorporated those early parts of season 2. I can see it working out better in this part of the overarching story with Joel and Ellie coming from their trip across the country. The bot your father part fell a little flat, but do agree with previous assessments on how the overall character of Joel and his rationale with breaking down and thinking himself a failure as a “savior” so to speak. I think that will help add even more motivation to the ending.

The injury scene was sort of a dud, but also makes sense in some ways. My wife was just like “oh, did Joel get injured?” Then she was worried he was just gonna be dead. Acting in the end was good but seemed like not much in terms of until impact. I will say that falling into the rebar or whatever in the game wouldn’t be possible to create and make Joel survive. One of my else’s favorite aspects of the game. No way you’re surviving that. I think the broken baseball bat works well here
should have been a golf club somehow

As for episode 7, I do think it sort of dragged, but was well acted. Was hoping for the back and forth with finding meds for Joel since that dual mall aspect was so good in the DLC, but understand they wanted to invest all the time into this particular story. I am so excited to see Ellie’s development into the next season (and even next episode). This is the first time I’ve seen it where she could do the things for part 2. Just amazing acting and character development.

One random question i have, and maybe an issue, if if there are no spores for infection in this and both being bitten by the same infected, then wouldn’t Reily also be infected with a dormant strain? Just seems like being bitten by the same infected would cause the same outcome since that would be the mutant strain. Microbiology brain is hard to rationalize certain things.

The show is also so good at adding little details from the game as Easter eggs. Saw at least half dozen things that gave me that “I remember that!” Things like having both of the people needing to have where they point in the map match up.
 
One random question i have, and maybe an issue, if if there are no spores for infection in this and both being bitten by the same infected, then wouldn’t Reily also be infected with a dormant strain? Just seems like being bitten by the same infected would cause the same outcome since that would be the mutant strain. Microbiology brain is hard to rationalize certain things.
Let's be real, the science has always been a bit fuzzy, but I believe the intended implication has always been that Ellie herself has some mutation that makes her immune
 
Let's be real, the science has always been a bit fuzzy, but I believe the intended implication has always been that Ellie herself has some mutation that makes her immune
I’m pretty sure the infection itself is just mutated since she still will have to have the fungal mass on the brain stem removed. If she were immune I have an hard time seeing how she would get the brain infection at all (they would need the sample to developed something from an attenuated strain of fungus was always my though) and assume they would take some blood and then try to engineer something from her antibodies. That was always my perception at least front he end of the first game. Could be wrong though and having s hard time getting my science brain to let go and just enjoy it lol. Either way, I think they are going with the immunity route based on some of the stuff I’ve read. I’m sure they will resolve it somehow to be satisfactory to the over arching narrative
 
I’m pretty sure the infection itself is just mutated since she still will have to have the fungal mass on the brain stem removed. If she were immune I have an hard time seeing how she would get the brain infection at all (they would need the sample to developed something from an attenuated strain of fungus was always my though) and assume they would take some blood and then try to engineer something from her antibodies. That was always my perception at least front he end of the first game. Could be wrong though and having s hard time getting my science brain to let go and just enjoy it lol. Either way, I think they are going with the immunity route based on some of the stuff I’ve read. I’m sure they will resolve it somehow to be satisfactory to the over arching narrative
The brain thing to me always seemed like an excuse for the whole "to make the vaccine we need to kill her" conundrum. If it was a mutated strain, I don't know whether that would necessarily make her immune to other bites (or spores in the game).
Ellie also tells Dina "I can't make you sick, I can't make you immune either". Now I don't actually know how she knows that lol (has she been biting people regularly?) but taken at face value, I think that adds more support to the idea that it's something randomly special about Ellie.
 
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FYI, the full soundtrack is now available on Spotify. Ironically, I think it might be more spoiler-y for those who have played the game than those who haven't.
The final track, "The Path", is precisely the building guitars that play during the final conversation, followed by the ending credits song, in the game. Pointedly, this is not the case in the game's soundtrack - the equivalent track is "The Path (A New Beginning)", but the beginning has additional instrumentation over the top which does not appear in the game.

This implies to me that the ending is going to be another shot-for-shot, line-for-line redo. This is not terribly surprising as the ending is pretty iconic, but I still thought I'd spoiler tag it.
 
I haven't posted in this thread since the beginning of the show, but wow, that was Bella Ramsey's episode last night. Great stuff. Excited for the finale next week.
 
So, I've been left behind (no pun intended) on this show for a while now, and finally took my time to binge episodes 5-8.

There's just no denying that this is great adaptation material, deviating exactly when it should, (adding stuff like cold openings, additional backstory etc) and sticking to source material exactly when it should. (Some crucial dialogue lines being left intact) Bella Ramsey really makes the most of Ellie and truly gives off a new dimension to her.

Not much else to say at the moment (I feel a bit dizzy after the binge) but properly ready for the finale now!
 
Show has been very well done all around. Agreed that Bella Ramsey is the standout here, and that's saying something: everyone in this thing is a good actor!

Personally, I always thought the original Last of Us was just OK. I like the show version of it better than the game. But Last of Us Part II is that real shit. Can't wait to see Ramsey in the thick of...all that.
 
Last night was probably my most anticipated episode of the season. Ellie stole the show with her performance. David was creepy, which was good. The Troy Baker cameo was excellent. The opening with the community on the brink was good, but after the first ~10 minutes we never saw 90% of them again. I wish that they explored the settlement a bit more. Joel recovered a little too quickly, but that was the same in the game so I can't really knock the show for doing it. As for the finale with the deviation (Ellie killing David instead of Joel doing it), I didn't mind the change. It really took the character Ellie to a whole new level and IMO it removed any innocents remaining within her. Also, Bella really really did a phenomenal job with that scene.

Honestly, I wish that they had expanded more on David and co. This was the second shortest episode so far and it really showed. It felt like a lot of the elements of the episode were rushed and not given enough time to breath. In a perfect world, I would have taken less of Kansas City and more of Colorado. Obviously that wouldn't have helped to line up the other episodes in the middle. I guess I was just hoping for another ~15 minutes at least for this episode.

Well, we have the finale this weekend. I am a little concerned sin the run time is going to be only 43 minutes. My predictions (without looking at the preview) is that
The sewers will be cut very short, the final scene will be the exact same as the game, there will be no Abby cameo, there will be a giraffe
 
As for the finale with the deviation (Ellie killing David instead of Joel doing it), I didn't mind the change. It really took the character Ellie to a whole new level and IMO it removed any innocents remaining within her. Also, Bella really really did a phenomenal job with that scene.
You might wanna replay that part of the game lol

(It's the exact same in the game, the only difference is that in the game Joel finds her as she's hacking David to pieces in the flaming restaurant, rather than out in the snow - they explain why in the podcast, and I do agree with the change)
Well, we have the finale this weekend. I am a little concerned sin the run time is going to be only 43 minutes. My predictions (without looking at the preview) is that
The sewers will be cut very short, the final scene will be the exact same as the game, there will be no Abby cameo, there will be a giraffe
I agree with all of those predictions except I don't think there'll be a sewer scene at all. Also, based on the preview and other released information, (spoilers for that stuff) we know Ashley Johnson makes a cameo as Ellie's mother, so there'll definitely be at least one flashback
 
You might wanna replay that part of the game lol

(It's the exact same in the game, the only difference is that in the game Joel finds her as she's hacking David to pieces in the flaming restaurant, rather than out in the snow - they explain why in the podcast, and I do agree with the change)

I agree with all of those predictions except I don't think there'll be a sewer scene at all. Also, based on the preview and other released information, (spoilers for that stuff) we know Ashley Johnson makes a cameo as Ellie's mother, so there'll definitely be at least one flashback

Geeze I need to replay that game.
 
great episode in my book. Removing the infected scene at the beginning was probably the correct call so they could develop David’s personality a little more. I did think it might happen though because I could have sworn there was a clicker sound when Ellie shot the deer. Linking the raiders at the university to this group was a great touch and helped redeem that seemingly random event with this part of the narrative. Made the interplay of motivations more believable. Thought David was a good actor, but think the voice wasn’t as good as Nolan North. Also didn’t seem as sadistic in this one but more a snake oil salesman. I think they shortened this down because most of this part of the game is just mowing down baddies, but all the stiry elements were there.

Bella Ramsey was exceptional again
can now really see how she could play that violent/vengeful version of Eli
. I do hope they dive into the trauma from this in the next season as it seemed sort of glossed over in the games. Could be a lot of good acting to come.

I think the next episode will be the rumored flashback and then all hospital scenes. I suppose the sewer will happen only to incapacitate Joel and Ellie. I think they will play most of that stuff straight by the books. I wonder if they have Joel just kill the doctor or take out the surgical staff as well. I know I only did the required components, but Joel’s violent nature really came out in this episode. We shall see. There will also be giraffes
and a zebra.
 


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