The first episode of The Last Of Us, HBO's big-budget adaptation of the video game starring Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey, featured a whole bunch of visual cues and background details which enrich the storytelling—and will be very familiar to any viewer who's played the game.
One of the earliest connections to the video game, which serves as an indicator of how faithful the show will be to its source material, is the fictional band Helican Drops. Sarah wears an identical band T-shirt in the show as her character does in the game, and posters for their shows can be spotted in the background. And eagle-eyed fans will clock that the tour dates on the back of Sarah's shirt also correspond with the various locations that Joel and Ellie visit in the game, and will likely visit in the show too.
Elsewhere in Sarah's sequence in the episode, we also get a glimpse of Joel's birthday card on the desk in her bedroom—a blink-and-you'll-miss-it detail that many viewers might not have noticed—and she briefly picks a movie called Curtis and the Viper 2, a fictional movie that has emotional significance for Joel in the games.
Less of an Easter egg and more of a fun detail is that in episode one, the character of Marlene is played by the same actress who voiced her in the game, Merle Dandridge. This is Dandridge's third performance as Marlene, after The Last of Us Part 1 and The Last of Us Part 2.
The music in The Last of Us plays a huge part in building out the wider style, sensibility and tone of the show. In addition to that closing number by Depeche Mode, episode one also prominently features a song by The Beatles: 'The Long and Winding Road.' This can clearly be interpreted to signify the arduous journey that Joel and Ellie face, but it can also be seen as a nod to the fact that it has taken a very long time for an adaptation of the games to finally get off the ground.
The title of the episode, "When You're Lost in the Darkness," is named for the graffiti which can be seen sprayed all over abandoned buildings: "when you're lost in the darkness, look for the light." This is the mantra of the Fireflies, the organization introduced as being in opposition with the militarized regime currently in control of the quarantined zones. Led by Marlene, they will play an important role in future episodes.
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