Following a stellar four-episode run for HBO's The Last of Us, the network revealed what to expect in the remaining five installments, which includes a surprising runtime for its finale.
The Last of Us' first four episodes have had a variety of lengths. The show's pilot sported an unexpectedly lengthy runtime, clocking in at 1 hour and 17 minutes.
Meanwhile, Episode 2 was 50 minutes, Episode 3 clocked in at 1 hour and 12 minutes, and Episode 4 had a runtime of 43 minutes. So far, the first four episodes have already covered a good chunk of the game, where the runaway pair met Henry and Sam.
How Long Is The Last of Us Finale’s Runtime?
HBO, via @Cryptic4KQual, revealed the runtimes for the final five episodes of The Last of Us. This information likely came from the screeners released by the network.
Episode 5, "Endure and Survive," has a runtime of 60 minutes, exploring the aftermath of the previous installment's cliffhanger.
Based on HBO's preview, the fifth episode is poised to show the first live-action appearance of the Bloater, the emotional storyline of Henry and Sam, and Joel and Ellie's clash against the hunters of Kansas City.
Episode 6, "Kin," has a similar runtime as Episode 5, clocking in at 60 minutes.
Based on the game's story, this installment will potentially cover the Wyoming and University of Eastern Colorado portions, likely including the much-awaited comeback of Gabriel Luna's Tommy Miller (Joel's brother).
Episode 7, "Left Behind," will clock in at 56 minutes.
Given that the episode has the same title as The Last of Us DLC, this will likely cover Ellie's backstory of being bitten. Storm Reid's Riley, Ellie's best friend, is expected to appear.
Episode 8, "When We Are In Need," has a length of 51 minutes.
The penultimate episode should explore the "Winter" section of the game, where Ellie will have an eventful clash with a dangerous group of enemies.
Episode 9, "Look for the Light," will cap off Season 1 with an unexpected 43-minute runtime, which would make it the shortest of the series.
The finale is expected to cover the "Salt Lake City" portion of the game, with the title also teasing the return of Marlene and the Fireflies.
Why a Shorter Runtime for the Finale Makes Sense
The remaining runtimes of The Last of Us followed the trend of the first four episodes with varying lengths.
So far, the HBO series has made sure that every minute counts by showcasing episodes filled with game-accurate scenes and expansion that stays true to its core story.
Given that the finale will only be 43 minutes ( with the opening and final credits included in that number), it's likely that the final installment will be action-packed and emotionally heavy, pulling punches right from the opening minute.
While some expect a longer finish for The Last of Us, a shorter runtime makes sense, considering that Joel and Ellie's goal is not complex: making it to the Fireflies camp out west.
That said, The Last of Us' final episode of Season 1 will make the most out of every scene, potentially leaning into a 'quality over quantity' approach for fans.
A new episode of The Last of Us premieres on HBO this Saturday, February 11, at 9 PM ET.