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The Last of Us Season 2: Expected Release Date & What We Know

The Last of Us Season 2: Expected Release Date & What We Know

There certainly hasn’t been a shortage of zombie apocalypse movies and TV shows over the last decade or so, with numerous titles, prequels and sequels spanning the drama, horror, action and even comedy genres (Looking at you, Shaun of the Dead). But there’s one that has stood out among critics and fans alike for its emotional depth, tension-building prowess and top-notch casting: HBO’s hit show, The Last of Us.

The show has already pulled in five Emmy’s and received nods for multiple other awards and accolades in just its first season, and fans could not be more excited for the highly anticipated The Last of Us season two.

So, how are things going and when can we expect to see more information about The Last of Us season two? Here’s everything we know so far, plus some of the top moments to watch for if you’re experiencing the show for the first time on DIRECTV.

WHAT HAPPENED ON ‘THE LAST OF US’ SEASON 1?

*Please note: This section contains spoilers for The Last of Us Season 1*

The Last of Us was adapted from the wildly successful 2013 video game of the same name by Naughty Dog Studios, who also gave us the Uncharted and Crash Bandicoot games. The script was written by Neil Druckmann, the game’s writer and creative director, and Craig Mazin, who wrote HBO’s Chernobyl.

The original game received widespread praise and pulled in best game and best story awards following its release. The sequel, The Last of Us, Part II, was released in 2020 and will serve as the source material for the upcoming second season.

The show follows Joel (Pedro Pascal), a hard-edged and jaded smuggler, as he is tasked with escorting a young girl named Ellie (Bella Ramsey) across a dilapidated, unruly United States 20 years after a mutated, parasitic Cordyceps fungus causes a pandemic that leads to society’s total collapse.

Joel is hired by the Fireflies, a group resisting the Federal Disaster Response Agency (FEDRA) that controls quarantine zones in major cities, to escort Ellie to their medical team once it’s discovered that she may possess the key to creating a vaccine for the infection.

As Joel and Ellie make their way from Boston, Massachusetts to Jackson, Wyoming in search of Joel’s brother (Gabriel Luna), they encounter various groups of survivors. While some assist the duo in their journey, most are willing to do whatever it takes to survive in the post-apocalyptic wasteland, including harming others. That leads to Joel and Ellie having to navigate some pretty dicey – and potentially deadly – situations.

In the series finale, Joel and Ellie’s bond proves to have become too strong for him to allow her to pay the terrible cost that comes along with potentially ending the Cordyceps pandemic. His actions in the season’s climatic final scenes set the tone for season two.

Most of the overarching story’s character development focuses heavily on the father-daughter style bond forged between Joel and Ellie, who start off on rocky terms but grow inseparably close. A diverse cast of other supporting characters, portrayed by talent including Nick Offerman, Anna Torv, Storm Reid, Melanie Lynskey and Scott Shepherd lend a different flavor and subplot to each episode.

TOP EPISODES & MOMENTS FROM ‘THE LAST OF US’ SEASON 1

The Last of Us’s first season was an emotionally charged masterpiece in the post-apocalyptic zombie adventure genre. Each episode was so well-written and produced that it’s next to impossible to pick a favorite, but here are some top moments from the show and why we loved them:

SCARIEST EPISODE

This one is a tie. Two episodes, in particular, built incredible amounts of tension akin to shows like Breaking Bad, Squid Game and The Haunting of Hill House.

First, let’s talk about episode 7, entitled “Left Behind.” This episode features a flashback to Ellie’s past when she and her friend from FEDRA military school, Riley (Storm Reid) sneak into an off-limits Boston mall that’s rumored to be crawling with Cordyceps-infected zombies. Ellie’s misfortune that night is established early in the season, and the episode offers numerous nail-biting moments where the pair’s eventual fate could come to pass.

Talk about hairs on the back of your neck for an hour straight.

The second is the very next episode, “When We Are in Need.” In this episode, we meet David, a preacher who leads a group of starving survivors. Scott Shepherd’s portrayal of David is a stand-out acting job: You just know this character is bad news from the moment he steps on screen, and by the end of the episode, we understand David’s true depravity.

And some bonus tension? Joel is badly wounded the entire episode, unable to aid Ellie while being hunted down by an unfriendly gang.

SADDEST EPISODE

This one goes to episode 5, “Endure and Survive.” Joel and Ellie team up with brothers Henry and Sam in Kansas City as they evade a rebel group that has taken over the city and have it out for Henry. This is the only part where the society-ending zombies are actually sort of helpful, but our hopes for the group to stay together are quickly dashed in the episode’s final moments in one of the most heart wrenching and goosebumps-inducing sequences of the entire season.

If you’re anything like us, this one will stay in your mind for days to come.

MOST EMOTIONAL EPISODE

The third episode, “Long, Long Time” is easily one of the most emotionally moving episodes of the season (and that’s seriously saying something). We’re introduced to Bill and Frank, a pair of survivalists living in the suburbs of Boston and experience their story while Joel and Ellie hike through the woods to rendezvous with them. Nick Offerman and Murray Bartlett deliver some of the series’ best and most memorable acting.

MOST ACTION-PACKED EPISODE

The season’s penultimate episode, “Look for the Light.” We won’t get into the details of what happens here, but there are times where it feels more like an action movie than a thriller or drama.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM ‘THE LAST OF US’ SEASON 2

*Please note: This section contains spoilers for The Last of Us Season 2 and The Last of Us Part II (2020 video game)*

So, considering all the ground the show covers in season one, what can we expect the second season of The Last of Us to be about?

While the first season focused on themes of hope, love and family, revenge was a recurring plot point in many of the season’s episodes. Season one held very true to the storyline of the game it was based on, and if that trend continues, revenge is set to be the theme of the second season.

We could be in store for some truly shocking developments in the early moments of a second season that is expected to be even darker and sadder than its predecessor, considering Joel’s actions during its conclusion.

It’s also likely that the start of the season will feature a time jump to a few years after the end of season one, with flashback scenes filling in pertinent parts of the gap. Here’s the trailer:

WHEN IS ‘THE LAST OF US’ SEASON 2 COMING OUT?

The Last of Us’s success was apparent from the outset: The Last of Us, Part II received the green light from HBO after only the first two episodes of the first season aired.

Filming for season two started in February 2024 in British Columbia after casting and writing was put on hold due to the 2023 writer’s strike.

Right now, there’s no firm date for season two but most estimates place the release of The Last of Us, Part II sometime in 2025.

HOW CAN I WATCH ‘THE LAST OF US’ SEASON 2?

As was the case with season one, The Last of Us, Part II will be released on Max (formerly HBO MAX). Fans will also be able to watch the show on HBO with their DIRECTV subscription.

‘THE LAST OF US’ SEASON 2 CONFIRMED NEW & RETURNING CAST MEMBERS

Season one featured an incredible cast, and Pedro Pascal will reprise his role as Joel while Bella Ramsey is back as Ellie for the second season. Luna will also return as Joel’s brother Tommy, and Rutina Wesley is expected to be back as his wife, Maria.

So, who’s new to the world of The Last of Us for season two?

Kaitlyn Dever will play Abby, a skilled Firefly soldier who’s out for revenge following the events in season one. Rumors swirling around this role, in particular, promise depth and a significant character arc.

Isabela Merced will play Dina, Ellie’s romantic partner, who has trouble coming to terms with the world as it is.

Young Manzino will play Jesse, Dina’s ex-boyfriend.

Catherine O’Hara, of Home Alone and Beetlejuice fame, will enter the series in an undisclosed role.

Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson, who voiced Joel and Ellie in the video games, are also expected to make appearances in undisclosed roles.

WILL THERE BE A THIRD SEASON OF ‘THE LAST OF US’?

The show hasn’t officially been renewed for a third season and it’s unclear if there will be one, but Mazin has said it might require more than one season to complete the story of The Last of Us, Part II.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are the games' creator involved in the show?

Yes, the games' writer and creative director, Neil Druckmann, also wrote the show.

When will 'The Last of Us, Part II' debut?

The season is expected to air sometime in 2025.

Have Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey worked together before?

Both played roles in HBO's fantasy epic 'Games of Thrones,' with Pascal playing Oberyn "The Viper" Martell and Ramsey delivering a standout performance as Lyanna Mormont, though the pair did not meet during the filming of that show.

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