The final consensus surrounding season 1 of The Final of Us appears to be that it was a powerful success. The HBO collection’ first 9 episodes faithfully adapt the unique Final of Us online game, which was first launched 10 years in the past in 2013. Now, Final of Us showrunners Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann are set to start out working in earnest on the HBO present’s second season, which Druckmann has confirmed will adapt the occasions of 2020’s The Final of Us Half II.

Anybody who has performed that divisive sequel will realize it isn’t almost as simple of a sport to adapt as the unique Final of Us. To their credit score, Druckmann and Mazin appear to concentrate on that. The pair have, in actual fact, already mentioned that they consider The Final of Us Half II‘s story will must be advised throughout a number of seasons of tv as a way to be tailored faithfully.

Whereas that may do quite a bit to assist The Final of Us keep away from the chance of releasing a second season that feels narratively rushed, it isn’t the one inventive determination Mazin and Druckmann must make as a way to handle the issues that dragged The Final of Us Half II down when it was initially launched.

The Final of Us season 2’s largest problem

Naughty Canine

The Final of Us Half II is a really totally different sport than its 2013 predecessor. Not like the unique Final of Us, which tells a reasonably linear story, Half II spends big parts of its runtime bouncing round in time. The sport is filled with extra flashbacks than it is aware of what to do with. Not solely does it often flash again to a few of the moments Joel and Ellie shared within the 4 years between it and the unique Final of Us, nevertheless it additionally options flashbacks devoted solely to fleshing out the life and perspective of its deuteragonist, Abby.

Abby is launched early on in The Final of Us Half II with out a lot fanfare or clarification, which makes her actions on the finish of its first act all of the extra stunning. Sadly, the sport’s determination to introduce Abby that manner additionally forces it to spend big parts of its second half flashing again in time to moments that are supposed to assist clarify her actions all through The Final of Us Half II. In case all of that wasn’t bold (or complicated) sufficient, the sport’s second act can also be divided into two chapters that discover the identical 3-day interval from two characters’ dueling views.

Suffice it to say: The Final of Us Half II makes quite a lot of narrative selections that not solely barely work throughout the confines of a online game, however positively wouldn’t work on a TV present. The excellent news is that Craig Mazin, who acquired widespread acclaim a number of years in the past for his work on HBO’s Chernobyl, appears totally conscious of the structural issues with The Final of Us Half II.

A possible answer

Abby stands in the rain in The Last of Us Part 2.
Naughty Canine

On the ultimate episode of HBO’s official Final of Us podcast, Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin talked briefly about their plans for the collection’ second season. In particular, after they have been requested about their strategy to adapting The Final of Us Half II, Druckmann mentioned, “We are going to take a look at what made that story particular and what’s the soul of that story, and that should stay intact. After which the moment-to-moment beats and characters, they may keep the identical, they may change. We are going to do what must occur in that story because it transfers from one medium to a different.”

Mazin, for his half, added, “We will even benefit from the liberty we’ve got in tv that wasn’t there within the video games — particularly, the benefit of adjusting perspective. So we are going to use what we are able to use in a brand new medium to inform that story and we are going to undergo the identical means of adaptation.”

Mazin’s remark, notably, means that future seasons of his and Druckmann’s hit HBO present received’t essentially have to depend on as many non-linear storytelling methods as The Final of Us Half II does. That’s a particularly good factor, particularly given simply how disjointed The Final of Us Half II’s construction is, in addition to the uneven tempo at which it tells its story.

Joel and Ellie look at each other on a rooftop in The Last of Us Episode 9.
Liane Hentscher/HBO

A few of The Final of Us Half II‘s flaws aren’t the results of its overambitious story, however the truth that video video games require their tales to be advised from the views of the characters their gamers are inhabiting. On the one hand, that requirement imbues video games with a better degree of interactivity than motion pictures or TV reveals. However, it additionally signifies that they’ll’t bounce between a number of views almost as simply. In The Final of Us Half II, that reality turns into so obvious that it very almost strangles all the life out of the sport’s story.

Primarily based solely on Craig Mazin’s latest feedback, it feels like The Final of Us‘ future seasons received’t undergo the identical destiny. As a substitute, the present might very properly find yourself throwing out Half II‘s non-linear construction altogether. Doing so would make the subsequent chapter of the present’s story stream much more easily than it does in online game type and would give The Final of Us the prospect to bounce between Ellie and Abby’s tales as they progress on the similar time and tempo.

Viewers might not, in different phrases, ever have to fret about HBO’s The Final of Us spending 5 episodes constructing as much as a serious turning level in its story solely to spend its subsequent 5 episodes exploring the identical time frame that it actually simply did. Thank goodness.

Season 1 of The Final of Us is offered to stream now on HBO Max.

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