The Last of Us has always strived to celebrate its original source material, the critically acclaimed videogame created by Naughty Dog, and the fifth installment features a notable tribute.
In the episode, Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey‘s Joel Miller and Ellie Williams encounter brothers Henry (Lamar Johnson) and Sam (Keivonn Woodard). The pair are characters from the game that fans will recognize.
The siblings request Joel and Ellie’s help with getting out of Kansas City. It was recently taken over by Kathleen and her fellow resistance fighters who overthrew the government, FEDRA (Federal Disaster Response Agency).
While Henry and Sam are known from the game, there is another, more subtle, reference to the source material that fans may not have noticed. Here is everything that you need to know.
‘The Last of Us’ Game Easter Egg You May Have Missed in Episode 5
It’s no secret that HBO‘s The Last of Us is going to feature the game’s original duo, Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson, who voiced Joel and Ellie in Part I and Part II, in new roles. Merle Dandridge plays her game character Marlene once more.
But the fourth and fifth episodes of the drama see the welcome return of another voice actor, Jeffrey Pierce, who was the voice of Joel’s brother Tommy. In the show, Tommy is portrayed by Gabriel Luna.
Pierce returns to the franchise to take on a much-darker role, as Kathleen’s right-hand man, and enforcer, Perry.
The character appeared briefly in episode four, titled “Please Hold My Hand,” and he takes on a larger role in the fifth episode, “Endure and Survive”. He not only helps out Kathleen in various, dramatic situations, but also tries to steer her in a more morally sound direction when it comes to her plot for revenge against Henry.
Perry is an original character that was created for the show, just like Kathleen, and therefore his backstory is one that viewers will not learn about until episode five.
In an interview with Vulture, Pierce reflected on his new character in the show and said: “I think that he meshes a lot with the themes that exist in the show, as seen in the relationship between Joel and Ellie, the relationship between Bill and Frank, and the idea of having found your purpose within this new world.
“One of the things that was described in [writer and showrunner Craig Mazin’s] script was that maybe he was in the military, so I just kind of ran with that: This guy was a professional before the outbreak, and then was able to use those skills as he sort of wandered, and then found his purpose with Kathleen and the fight against FEDRA.”
Pierce was also full of praise when it came to his onscreen counterpart Luna’s take on Tommy. He told the publication that the actor had done “an amazing job” of honoring the character, and he found that “incredibly gratifying.”
The actor added: “Gabriel came in and honored that performance, which is humbling. My daughter looked up at me and said, ‘Dad, he sounds just like you!’ [Laughs.] It’s like, yeah, he does, but then he brings all of himself and all of his life and history to it.”
The Last of Us airs Sundays on HBO at 9 p.m. ET, Episode 5 is available on HBO Max now ahead of its linear debut on HBO on February 12.