What Does the Song Playing at the End of Episode 1 of The Last of Us Mean?

We're flying high, we're watching the world pass us by...

by Matthew Kevin Mitchell
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Image: Naughty Dog, PlayStation Productions, Sony Pictures Television, and Home Box Office

Do you wonder what the song playing at the end of episode 1 of The Last of Us means? During episode 1, we get a glimpse into the smuggler code used by Joel when Ellie is snooping. She cracks the code on what an 80s song means when it plays on the radio, which means trouble. Sure enough, while Joel and crew are transporting Ellie later in the episode, the radio plays and leads us out of the first episode toward an ominous ending. So what was the song’s name, and what does it mean when it plays on the radio? Here is everything you need to know about what the song playing at the end of episode 1 of The Last of Us means.

What Does Never Let Me Down Again Playing at the End of Episode 1 of The Last of Us Mean?

The song playing at the End of Episode 1 of The Last of Us was “Never Let Me Down Again” by Depeche Mode. The song was written by martin Gore and featured lead vocals by Dave Gahan. The song is ambiguous, but it is most likely about drugs and the pleasure the narrator gains from taking them. This is fitting for many reasons, especially watching Joel taking drugs to escape his harsh reality.

If you haven’t guessed already, that song was released in 1987, which means Joel’s smuggler friends are in trouble wherever they may be (we will learn soon enough). We get a glimpse of this in the preview for episode 2 when we meet Bill and Frank for the first time. Murray Bartlett plays Bill, and Nick Offerman plays Frank. Outside of its apparent meaning, “Never Let Me Down Again” continues playing as we see Joel, Ellie, and Tess heading deeper into Boston, which tells us they are in for some deep trouble for the remainder of the season. We love some foreshadowing!

The Last of Us will have new episodes released weekly exclusively on HBO starting January 15, 2023.

- This article was updated on January 15th, 2023

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