Movie Content Plus Video THE LAST OF US Episode 1 Breakdown: Every EASTER EGG & Hidden Detail EXPLAINED

THE LAST OF US Episode 1 Breakdown: Every EASTER EGG & Hidden Detail EXPLAINED

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The Last of Us is finally here! HBO’s adaptation of the perfect naughty Dog game enhances the story of the original video game by adding easter eggs to the original and The Last of Us 2. But it also expands on the lore by fleshing out Joel and Ellie for a new medium. In this video we break down all of the hidden easter eggs and references and explain what it all means.

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Written and Hosted by Ryan Arey (
Edited by Harriet Lengel-Enright and Randolf Nombrado
Special thanks to Pavel Terehovsky (

#TheLastOfUs #EasterEggs #Breakdown

I’m going to break down the episode, and the similarities to the game. But don;t worry if you haven’t played the game, I’m not going to spoil anything for you, except for this: Joel and Ellie are the core of this series, and become important to one another.

So here we go. First let’s talk about what this show means, and what it is trying to say. One thing that makes the Last of Us stand out from other zombie stories is that the zombie virus serves as the theme that drives the entire show. The Last of Us is about people losing their humanity and letting their primal, violent urges take over their minds.

We see this in 3 forms. One, with Joel. he loses his daughter Sarah and becomes a hard man, who doesn’t think twice about pointing a gun at a kid. The zombie outbreak cost him his humanity. Second, we see this theme expressed in the environment itself. Twenty years after the outbreak, the civilization that humanity has built has been overrun by nature. In the show and in the game, we constantly see where the growth of nature has destroyed the works of humanity.

And obviously, we see nature conquering humanity with the zombie virus itself. It’s important that the cordyceps virus is naturally occurring. The fungus wasn’t made in a lab, or form an alien–it is a mutated being from earth that threatens both human civilization, and the human soul.

And this process is expressed brilliantly in the opening scene, in this talk show from1968. I love all the little details here, the giant ABC network camera, the ugly brown ashtrays–the fact everyone is smoking. If the people here look familiar, the scientist Dr Newman is played by John Hannah, who played Holden Radcliff on Agents of shield. And the talk show host is John Brenner, AKA big head from silicon valley. [big head drinking].

I love this opening for a few different reasons. One, it calmly explains how this new zombie virus works [clip, alter our minds]. And it tells us that the fungus will be relentless [needs to eat]. While also letting us know that it will behave a bit like the undead zombies we know any love [preventing decomposition].

But also, they slyly blame humanity for the rise of the fungus, by blaming climate change [if the earth gets a bit warmer]. And this is when they stop framing shots like this is a talk show, and film it cinematically. Dr. Newman is framed with a tight close up as he pretends the doom of humanity [clip, no cures]. And that line, no cures, is meant to implant a kind of false despair. Because Ellie is immune, and she could represent a potential cure.

And the ending line [what happens, we love]. Is just perfect. It elegantly expresses the entire theme of the show. Not just that humanity loses–but that Joel loses his humanity.

So this show was created by Neil Druckman and Craig Mazin. Neil Druckman is the genius who created the Last of Us series at Naughty Dog. And many of us know Craig Mazin from his brilliant work writing Scary Movie 3 and 4. [clip].

Doug: Person? He also created HBO’s Chernobyl, a devastating and intricate look into another disaster of mankind’s undoing.

I know buddy, I’m just kidding. We all gotta start somewhere. [high five]

The opening credits of the show are very similar to the opening of the game, except higher budget and in color. They depict the cordyceps fungi spreading outward, growing a city-like structure to symbolize how nature is overpowering humans. This spreading symbolizes how the fungus spreads across the world, and into our brains. And then the last two fungal growths are in the shape of Joel and Ellie.

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