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The Last Of Us Season 2's Most Important Episode Has A Perfect Director

Contains spoilers for "The Last of Us Part II"

Fans of HBO's award-winning adaptation of the video game "The Last of Us" may know that there's an enormously heart-wrenching scene coming early in Season 2. Apparently, some of the early episodes — which will, more likely than not, feature this tough scene — will be directed by Mark Mylod, a perfect choice to oversee this momentous moment.

According to an article in The Hollywood Reporter, Mylod, known for his work on "Succession" and "Game of Thrones," is set to direct the first two episodes of Season 2 (strangely enough, this news officially broke in a feature on Hollywood power lawyers in a section about Mylod's lawyer Julian Zajfen). Why is this so important? Because one of the show's two protagonists will likely die in those two episodes.

Those who have played "The Last of Us Part II" know that the game opens with a gutting sequence where Joel — played by Pedro Pascal in the adaptation, who recently won a Screen Actors Guild for his role — is killed by a young woman named Abby, who will be played in Season 2 by Kaitlyn Dever. As Abby brutally kills Joel in an act of revenge (we'll circle back to the nature of that revenge in just a bit), his young companion and surrogate daughter Ellie, played by Bella Ramsey, watches. It's a truly horrific scene, but if Mylod does indeed direct it, it'll be handled perfectly.

Mark Mylod is a master of directing game-changing TV episodes — especially ones that feature huge deaths

So why exactly is Mark Mylod an ideal choice to direct an episode of "The Last of Us" that forces audiences to watch as the heroic, relatable Joel dies a truly horrible, brutal death? Because Mylod sort of specializes in that kind of thing. For starters, Mark Mylod directed all four season finales — including for Season 4, which served as the series finale — of another HBO smash hit "Succession," and in Season 4, he also helmed the stunning third episode, "Connor's Wedding." "Succession" viewers know full well that, in that episode, the powerful and spoiled Roy siblings Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Shiv (Sarah Snook), and Roman (Kieran Culkin) are blindsided when their terrifying, imposing father Logan Roy, played by Brian Cox, dies suddenly and without much fanfare while aboard a flight on his private jet. The episode is largely devoted to the reactions of the three siblings, and Mylod went to extraordinary lengths as a director to capture the most authentic moments possible.

Knowing, as we do, that Joel's death will be gory as well as tragic, it's also important to note that Mylod put in a lot of time as a director on yet another HBO juggernaut, "Game of Thrones." Mylod directed six episodes of the fantasy series, including, interestingly enough, the Season 6 episode "The Broken Man" (which introduces Lyanna Mormont, played by Bella Ramsey). The director is certainly no stranger to emotional yet brutal death sequences, so he's perfect for this string of early episodes in the second season of "The Last of Us."

What happened at the end of The Last of Us Season 1?

So what happens at the end of "The Last of Us" Season 1, and why is it so important for Season 2? At the start of the season, Joel meets Ellie, a young girl apparently immune to the raging cordyceps infection that's ravaged the world and turned its victims into deformed zombies who will happily infect and destroy anyone in their path. He does as he's told and transports her a lab in Salt Lake City manned by the rebel group known as the Fireflies, but it's then that Joel realizes Ellie will have to die in surgery in order for doctors to find a cure using her immunity. Though Firefly leader Marlene (Merle Dandridge, reprising her role from the video game) tells Joel that they must sacrifice Ellie for the greater good, he can't bear the thought of losing her, and kills multiple doctors to save her (ultimately lying to her when she wakes up about what really happened).

One of those doctors, as it happens, was Abby's father ... which is precisely why she seeks revenge against Joel in "The Last of Us Part II" and likely at the beginning of Season 2. The show resumed filming in early 2024, so hopefully the season will premiere soon, and fans will get to see if Mark Mylod ends up directing Joel's (inevitably traumatizing) death.

The first season of "The Last of Us" is streaming on Max now.