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Monday, January 23, 2023

The Last of Us 1.1-1.2: The Fungus Among Us



So why would I watch yet another post-apocalyptic series -- apocalypse caused by some biological agent?  I mean, aren't Station Eleven, Y, not to mention our real COVID-19 pandemic enough?  And for that matter, the endless Walking Deads, which I stopped watching a while before COVID hit?  Well, yes.  But something moved me to watch the first two episodes of The Last of Us on HBO Max, and here I am reviewing them, and telling you I'm going to watch the rest of the episodes of this inaugural season.

[Spoilers ahead ... ]

I mean, this new series, based on a game I've never played, doesn't fool around.  Joel, one of the lead characters, sees his daughter shot to death in the first attempts of our military to stop the spread of the fungus that turns anyone who's bitten in a violent monster.  That was at the beginning of the first episode.  And tonight, at the end of the second episode, we see Anna Torv's character apparently killing herself because she was bitten and needs to stop of hoard of fungus heads.  She's an icon of science fiction, having burst on the scene and distinguished herself in Fringe.  Well, maybe she's not dead, given my principle that if you don't see someone blown to bits they could still be alive.  Or, maybe we'll see more of Torv in flashbacks.

Meanwhile, Joel, portrayed by Pedro Pascal who was so good in Narcos, is alive and kicking, as he and the spunky, wisecracking young Ellie (Bella Ramsey) are maybe heading West.  Ellie at this point looks to be carrying the cure to this fungus, which so far has resisted all medications and vaccines.  She has been bitten and so far has not gotten sick or fungus-head homicidal.  Joel is beginning to appreciate this.

I do have a question about Ella, though. She said she was what, 14?  But the fungus hit some 10 years ago.  So, how did she get what seems to be such good knowledge of history and culture -- which presumably began crumbling pretty quickly after the fungus took hold.  Could a four-year old have been that precocious?

We'll just have to see.  And I'll be back here with more reviews after I see more of this series.


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