This story contains spoilers for The Last of Us Episode Six.
We’re well over halfway into The Last of Us Season One, people—which means that we’re nearing the events of the second game. We’re not fully ready to talk about it, and surely you’re not, either. But Episode Six, which debuted this Sunday night, does give us a taste of two brilliant parts of The Last of Us‘s future: Joel’s brother, Tommy Miller (played by Gabriel Luna), and the settlement in Jackson, Wyoming.
This week’s episode sees Joel and Ellie finally find Tommy, who has been on a side quest for this season, to use a bit of video game-speak. Turns out, while Joel has been burning the bodies of infected children, Tommy has been living in a wonderfully inhabitable settlement. Hell, Tommy even found a partner, Maria, who is pregnant—the man’s going to be a father. Joel and Tommy’s reunion is all warm and fuzzy… at first. Then, Joel asks for help delivering Ellie the rest of the way to the vaccine promised land, which is when things go wrong. Tommy says he’s about to be a father—he can’t put himself at risk and potentially hurt Maria. Joel does not like that! He drinks a little too much whiskey and bickers with Tommy. They eventually make up in the end—with Tommy saying he’d take Ellie and Joel declining—and that’s where we leave the younger Miller brother.
Things play out a little differently in the game. First of all, we don’t see as much of Jackson as we do in the HBO series. The glimpse of Jackson’s way of life is something we see at the beginning of The Last of Us Part Two—as is the reveal that Maria is expecting a child. “Yes, [we learn that] in the second game,” said Gabriel Luna, in a new interview with Esquire. “So there’s been a bit of a compression of time with what we see with Tommy and Maria in Jackson. We’re already getting to see what we see in the early parts of Part Two of the game. We get to see Jackson during Christmas and winter—and that’s essentially the environment where Episode Six takes place.”
As for that tense-as-heck conversation between Tommy and Joel? It more or less mimics what happens in the game—it’s just that the brothers throw down inside a power plant. In The Last of Us Part One, Tommy’s reintroductionrevolves around a mission to restore power to Jackson. But the gist of the family quarrel is the same: Tommy has different priorities now. “We’re just happy to see each other,” says Luna of Joel and Tommy’s emotions in Episode Six. “Is this truly my brother sitting in front of me? Can I believe my own eyes that he’s here? Joel’s in awe of the wonderland around him, that we’ve been able to cultivate and create ourselves, right down to real whiskey. That’s what leads us down the darker path of this conversation. It’s just the incorporation of the alcohol. As we’ve seen in the early episodes, he relies heavily on alcohol to try to kill the pain.”
In the game, bandits interrupt the power plant mission and there’s a big ol’ fight. but the story ends in the same place—with Joel realizing that he needs to be the one to finish the journey with Ellie. Of course, that’s not the last we see of Tommy. But we’d tip our hat if we told you anything more.
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