The Last of Us Episode 6 closes on a cliffhanger with some familiar music – but what song plays at the end?
In our review, we said “Pascal and Ramsey finally take the spotlight as Joel and Ellie in an emotionally charged, pivotal chapter of The Last of Us story. The cliffhanger will have you screaming at the TV, but we’ll say this: be careful what you wish for.”
After reuniting with Tommy and meeting Maria at the Jackson commune, Joel and Ellie set off to find the Fireflies at the University of Eastern Colorado, prepared for anything “f*cked up” along the way.
It ends up being a quiet journey, but a brief fight leaves Joel gravely injured, at which point the episode cuts to black with a haunting song – but what is it?
What song plays at the end of The Last of Us Episode 6?
A cover of ‘Never Let Me Down Again’ by Jessica Mazin plays at the end of The Last of Us Episode 6. The song was originally performed by Depeche Mode, whose version was used at the end of Episode 1.
Jessica Mazin is the daughter of Craig Mazin, the co-showrunner on The Last of Us.
As Ellie pleads with Joel to wake up as he bleeds out onto the snow, telling him “I can’t do this without you,” the keys of a piano start playing, as do the lyrics.
“I’m taking a ride with my best friend, I hope he never lets me down again. He knows where he’s taking me. Taking me where I want to be.”
They carry a heavier weight now Ellie will be forced to fend for herself, and Joel’s worst fear has been realized: he’s failed to look after her.
In the first episode of The Last of Us podcast, showrunner Craig Mazin spoke about the “grand tradition” of ’80s music in the games. “One of the things that Neil [Druckmann] has done so beautifully in the work at Naughty Dog is hurt you for the things you love,” he explained.
“A lot of ’80s music is chipper and fun but with this, I was looking for an up-tempo 80s song that had a darkness to it lyrically… what ‘Never Let Me Down Again’ is about is ‘I’m taking a ride with my best friend’— he was singing about drugs, it was a song about addiction.
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“Well, Ellie’s about to take a ride with her best friend, and Joel is a dangerous man. Joel’s about to take a ride with his best friend, he doesn’t know she’s his best friend yet. She’s a dangerous little girl … Now, the point is, you’re ‘never gonna let me down’? They are gonna let each other down, and then they’re not, and then they are, and then they’re not. That, I thought, was a really interesting way in.”
Mazin then teased that we’d hear the song again “in a very different way, and in a very different context.”
The Last of Us creator explains music in Episode 6
In the latest episode of The Last of Us podcast, Mazin said: “I had this idea that, at the end of this episode, when Ellie is looking down at Joel, and this is the person — she was taking a ride with him, and he has let her down, even though it’s ‘Never Let Me Down Again.’ This is how it comes around.
“I wanted to re-present that song, but in this point of view of just sadness and loss. And I also wanted to hear a female voice singing it to echo Ellie.
“You can spend months reaching out to various people of all levels of fame trying to do it, but the problem I had was that there was this kid down the hall from me in my house who I knew could crush it.
“So I sent her the song and I said, ‘Jessie, can you do a cover of this that is haunting and slow and about a daughter mourning the loss of her father? Just have that in your mind as you do it.”
The Last of Us Episode 7 will be available to stream on February 26 in the US and February 27 in the UK. Check out the rest of our coverage here and the trailer for the weeks ahead here.