What Song Plays At The End Of Last Of Us Episode 1 (& What It Means)

The Last of Us episode 1 ends with an ominous shot of Joel’s radio, which has big implications for the coming episodes of HBO’s adaptation.

Warning! This article contains spoilers for The Last of Us episode 1 and game.The Last of Us episode 1 ends with some foreshadowing connected to Joel’s radio. After Joel and Tess are left with Ellie by Marlene and the Fireflies, Tess leaves in order to scout the trio’s way out of the Boston quarantine zone. This leaves Joel and Ellie to pass time in a regular spot used by the former and Tess during their smuggling runs.

There, Ellie finds a radio with a catalog of Billboard radio hits next to it. Inside the catalog, Ellie finds a code from a duo named Bill and Frank. The book explains that if a song from the 60s plays, Frank and Bill have nothing new. If a song from the 70s plays, they have new products. However, next to the 80s is a red X which Ellie asks Joel about before he angrily takes the book from her. The end of the episode then cuts back to the radio, only this time with a specific song playing that means big things for The Last of Us going forward.


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What Song Plays At The End Of Last Of Us Episode 1?

Joel and Ellie looking back in a torn city in The Last of Us

At the end of The Last of Us episode 1, after Joel, Tess, and Ellie escape the Boston quarantine zone, the camera cuts back to Joel’s radio. Playing on the radio is a song named “Never Let Me Down Again” by Depeche Mode. The song was released in August 1987 as the second single from Depeche Mode’s sixth studio album, “Music for the Masses.” Earlier in the episode, there is a scene that foreshadows why this song could mean trouble for Joel, Ellie, and Tess going into future episodes of HBO’s The Last of Us.

Why “Never Let Me Down Again” Is Bad For Joel

Pedro Pascal as Joel and Bella Ramsey as Ellie in HBO's The Last Of Us

The reason why the song is bad news for Joel is set up in the scene just after Joel wakes up, and Ellie tricks him into revealing what an 80s song means. Ellie tells Joel that the radio played while he was asleep. When he asks which song played, Ellie replies with “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” a song released by Wham! in 1984. Joel reacts negatively to this, leading Ellie to deduce that an 80s song on the radio means Bill and Frank, on the other end, have encountered trouble of sorts.

This explains why “Never Let Me Down Again” playing is bad. The song was released in 1987, meaning Frank and Bill, the latter played by Nick Offerman and the former by Murray Bartlett, are in danger. Shortly before Ellie finds out about the radio or its code, she overhears Joel and Tess stating they should visit Bill and Frank to stock up on gear for their journey to find Tommy. With Joel and Tess planning to head to Bill and Frank’s after delivering Ellie to the Fireflies, he will likely encounter the same danger the latter duo was trying to warn the former of.

Who Are Bill & Frank On The Other End Of The Radio?

The Last of Us Season 1 Nico Parker and Pedro Pascal as Joel

This begs the question of who Bill and Frank are. The Last of Us episode 1 makes it clear that they are business partners of Tess and Joel. Joel wanting to head to the duo’s place for supplies, as well as the code alerting Joel whether Frank and Bill – who can fix an LGBTQ representation mistake of the game – have new suppliesf is enough to indicate that they are also smugglers of some kind. Per the game, Bill and Frank live in a town just outside of Boston regularly provide Joel and Tess with weapons, ammo, or cars in exchange for whatever they have to offer.

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In the game, Joel and Ellie visit the town, and only Bill is there. Joel, Ellie, and Bill find Frank’s body, who hung himself after being bitten by the infected. Frank does not appear in the game besides this, though HBO’s The Last of Us looks to change this. Frank is seen in the trailer for The Last of Us, and episode 1 makes it clear that Joel thinks Bill and Frank are still together at this point. The two will undoubtedly play a big part in future episodes of The Last of Us, as foreshadowed by their warning of danger for Joel, Tess, and Ellie’s journey into the wilderness.

New episodes of The Last of Us release every Sunday on HBO.

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