Ending Explanation Episode 1 of The Last of Us showcases key points in the game, when Ellie cracks the code and the Message of the Ending Song


In episode 1 titled When You’re Lost in the Darkness, Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann cover the highlights of the game, the original work of The Last os Us.

Starting with a warning about the fungal virus several decades ago, the sad story that befell Sarah (Nico Parker) until the meeting of Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey).

When Ellie separated from Marlene (Merle Dandridge), she joined Joel and Tess (Anna Trov). There, Ellie found a book listing the most successful songs of the Billboard era.

The book is not only for entertainment or reading, but also as a radio communication tool between Joel, the smuggler, and people outside the Boston quarantine zone (Boston QZ).

Ellie managed to decipher the code, namely the 1960s song meant that she had not received anything new, the 1970s meant that there were new stocks, and the 1980s meant “X”, which was later found to mean trouble.

At the end of episode 1, Joel, Ellie, and Tess leave their place and leave Boston QZ to embark on an adventure.

When they left, Joel’s radio was playing Never Let Me Down Again. The song continues to play until the closing credits.

The song was popularized by Depeche Mode in the 1980s, 1987 to be precise. The song actually describes Joel and Ellie’s situation, especially for the troubled upcoming episodes.

Showrunner Craig Mazin confirmed this and said it was done to keep the tradition of the Last of Us video game.

He admitted to doing research on songs from the 80s which were coded as ‘problem markers’ for the series. According to him, many of the songs from that era were cheerful and fun, so they finally got Never Let Me Down Again.

The song is considered to have a fast tempo with dark lyrics, according to the story of Joel and Ellie. He also dissected the lyrics in HBO’s The Last of Us podcast.

“The lyrics ‘I’m taking a ride with my best friend’ he sings about drugs, songs about addiction. Now (in The Last of Us), Ellie will go on a trip with her best friend. Meanwhile, Joel is a dangerous man,” said Craig Mazin.

“Joel is also going on a trip with his best friend, he doesn’t yet realize that Ellie is his best friend. She is also a dangerous little girl.”

This refers to Joel’s journey to bring Ellie, who was trapped in the Boston QZ since birth, out for the first time with the final destination of the State House.
The initial plan was that they would hand Ellie over to the State House, Joel and Tess would then look for Tommy by stopping at Bill (Nick Offerman) and Frank (Murray Bartlett) who had been communicating by radio to pick up equipment.

However, all did not go smoothly according to plan. It will be seen in the next few episodes that prove there is a problem, as has been informed over the radio.

“Now the bottom line is in the ‘never let me down.’ part. They’d let each other down, then not, and then not.

The Last of Us is a video game adaptation of the same name developed by Naughty Dog. The series follows Joel who is tasked with escorting Ellie across the post-apocalyptic United States.

It all started about 20 years ago. In 2003, a fungal virus made its infected victims bloodthirsty and easily infect others. This condition causes chaos and triggers a global pandemic.

The world has changed drastically in 20 years. The community is now closely guarded by the Federal Disaster Management Agency (FEDRA). Those who are healthy live in the Boston quarantine zone (Boston QZ).

This condition made a group of people who oppose FEDRA unite and are known as Fireflies. An incident brings Joel together with Ellie, the child who is so guarded by the leadership of the Fireflies.

The Fireflies chief, without saying much about Ellie, asks Joel to drive the child to the Massachusetts State House. This was the beginning of their struggle for life.

A job that is initially thought to be easy, will instead become a sad adventure. Joel and Ellie must traverse the US and depend on each other for survival.