I’m watching the show The Last of Us on HBO MAX.

I have never played the game so I cannot comment on how the game fits with the show, I’m treating the show as a stand-alone piece of media.

I know the game is old, the internet says it debuted in 2013, but fuck me if parts of the show feel incredibly relevant post-COVID.

The big bad guy, besides the athletes foot zombies, is FEDRA.

FEDRA is a government agency that is a militarized amalgamation of FEMA and the CDC.

They operate totalitarian labor camps, ostensibly called Quarantine Zones or QZ.

They routinely execute people for petty crimes and are portrayed as corrupt rapists who maintain power by controlling resources.

They remind me of UN Peacekeepers who run refugee camps the same way, but with COVID paranoia curelty.

During the collapse, the military obeyed orders to shoot healthy people in mass executions to slow the spread.

“Dead people can’t be infected.”

A tyrannical government that abuses the people and engages in torture and mass murder to ineffectually slow down an epidemic is pretty fucking on brand for post-COVID America.

In Episode 4, the people revolt in the Kansas City, MO, FEDRA camp.  The revolutionaries round up and execute the informants and collaborators.a1

Again, I have no idea if that was in the game, but post-COVID, I’m happy to see COVID Karens collaborators get shot.

The media and social media made a big deal about Episode 3.


Actually, it was excellent.

By this point, a gay relationship on TV is pedestrian.  It was well done but I could hardly care less about the gay relationship.

This is why I loved it.

Bill is played by Nick Offerman (Ron Swanson).

The character is an amalgamation of Ron Swanson, Burt Gummer, and Dale Gribble, but played seriously.

He is a successful pepper with an underground bunker full of guns.

He wears a 1911 on a drop leg all the time, except when he’s pointing it at people.

He fully constructs a functional self-sufficient homestead.  He hunts for food and grows his own vegetables.

He has few lines, the two most notable are calling FEDRA “jack boot fascists” and calling the government “actuall NAZIS.”

But he’s presented as a person. He loves his partner, Frank.  He takes care of people close to him.  He can cook, serve wine, play the piano.

He’s a real person and his final act brings you to tears.

I can’t think of another show where the pepper who hates the government and owns a fuckload of guns is presented as anything other than an evil, paranoid, racist, ammosexual, idiot.

If representation matters than Bill was some of the best representation of “our kind” as I’ve ever seen.

As it turns out, the gun nut who distrusted the government and prepared for disaster was right and was also a decent and fully developed human, worthy of compassion.

I don’t know of that was their intent but that’s what they did.

So far I’m enjoying the show, I recommend it.



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By J. Kb

One thought on “The Last of Us”
  1. Well you got me interested enough I’ll give it a shot it sounds promising. Apocalypse and post acpocalyse stories are my binge outlet.

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