An Upcoming Last Of Us Joel Flashback Will Hit Hard, Showrunner Warns
The Last of Us executive producer Craig Mazin teases there is an especially emotional Joel (Pedro Pascal) flashback coming up. The Last of Us premiered on HBO Max on January 15 and is an adaption of the PlayStation video game of the same name. The series explores a post-apocalyptic world in which Cordyceps fungus has adapted to infect humans, sparking a global pandemic. Joel, a man reeling from loss in this world where humans are rendered violent monsters by fungus, finds himself given the responsibility of protecting Ellie (Bella Ramsey), a young girl with immunity to the virus, who may be the world’s only hope of survival. In just three episodes, the series has proved deeply emotional but may not have even touched on the most tragic scenes yet.
In an interview with TVLine, executive producer Mazin hints there will be some particularly emotional scenes coming up in The Last of Us. He indicates they would be very rough flashbacks about Joel – viewers may be surprised by this revelation, considering The Last of Us episode 3 left many in tears with its poignant tale of Bill (Nick Offerman) and Frank (Murray Bartlett). However, even after that heartbreaking episode, Mazin believes there are still some very impactful scenes left ahead. Check out his statement below:
Even without considering the high emotion of The Last of Us episode 3, the show has already revealed several tragic details about Joel’s past. Episode 1, “When You’re Lost in the Darkness,” revealed what Joel has lost. The episode follows the onset of the outbreak and its impact on unsuspecting citizens, but before the chaos unfolds, Joel is seen living as a single dad with his daughter, Sarah (Nico Parker). While he does look a bit overworked, the pair seem happy together as Sarah celebrates his birthday by fixing his watch and demanding he buys a cake on his way home from work. Unfortunately, while Joel and Sarah survive the initial outbreak, Sarah is ultimately killed by a paranoid soldier.
The next time viewers meet Joel is in the show’s present, 2023. He is seen relying on drugs and alcohol to cope while trying to survive with his smuggler partner, Tess (Anna Torv). When a mission takes an unexpected turn, Joel and Tess are confronted by the resistance group known as the Fireflies, who manage to convince them to take and protect Ellie. However, during the discourse, Tess references her and Joel’s past, revealing they are not very good people. This fact also becomes evident when other citizens in Boston’s quarantine zone are revealed to fear Joel.
The only other hint of Joel’s past viewers receive is when he and Tess are spotted visiting Bill and Frank years before. The flashback seems to confirm a relationship between Joel and Tess, despite their attempts at keeping the nature of their connection subtle. Bill’s and Frank’s knowledge of the relationship and wishes for Joel to protect Tess only add to the heartbreak of Tess’s death in episode 2, “Infected.” Needless to say, The Last of Us has revealed a tragic past of loss and wrongdoing on Joel’s part. The fact that, after all this heartbreak, Mazin anticipates more hard-hitting flashbacks may leave fans weary of what’s next.
More: Joel’s Decision To Stash The Gun Should Make Game Fans Happy