The Last of Us Episode 6 Director Explains Changes to Jackson Settlement

Mar 1, 2023

Home TV News The Last of Us Episode 6 Director Explains Changes to Jackson Settlement

The director of last night’s episode clarifies why the Jackson settlement was far more like the second game than the first.


The following article contains spoilers for The Last of Us Episode 6 – “Kin”

Since the first episode of HBO’s live-action adaptation of The Last of Us first premiered back in January, the overall reception to the show has been remarkably positive, if just the astronomical viewership ratings are anything to go by. Co-directors Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin have done their utmost so far to remain faithful to their source material, some scenes being literally verbatim from the original game while others have been thoughtfully adjusted to better suit and enhance a viewing experience rather than a gameplay one. The most recent episode, very relevantly titled “Kin”, again showed a few more notable alterations.

Related: The Last of Us Episode 7 Trailer Teases Ellie’s Past and Major Character Introduction

“Kin” brought Joel and Ellie back out into the light three months after the dark, tragic events of Episode 5. Continuing their trek through the frozen tundra of the Midwest, the two struggle to find out where Joel’s brother Tommy is, until an older couple living in the middle of nowhere point them in the most likely direction by a river. Eventually bumping into what seems like a group of raiders all on horseback, Joel and Ellie nearly panic until they drop the name ‘Tommy’ and the woman among them seemingly recognizes Joel. They ride back to the Jackson settlement, which as we can see is very much built out, nearly to the scale of an actual town, and full of people. The sight paints a stark contrast to the QZ’s – Quarantine Zones – that Joel and Ellie were forced to live in under FEDRA enforcement. It even contrasts Kansas City where they had previously escaped from, which was ironically advertised as a “free city” by the brutal militia faction that took over.

Related: The Last of Us Episode 7 Trailer Teases Ellie’s Past and Major Character Introduction

The Last of Us Made Some Changes


Jackson presents itself as a lively yet peaceful sanctuary that truly is the closest to normal life the country has seen since the outbreak. Joel tearfully reunites with his brother Tommy and becomes acquainted with his new sister-in-law Maria who helps keep Jackson running smoothly. Ellie finally gets a glimpse of what it’s like to live in a normal place among far more normal people than she’s used to. Aside from all of that, however, it’s nonetheless apparent that the show opted to include the fully built version of Jackson, which initially isn’t seen until the second game. The first game shows Jackson as far smaller of a settlement built around a hydroelectric dam, with just a few families residing within its walls. Jasmila Žbanić, the director of the episode, had this to say about the creative choice during an interview with Variety.

“I didn’t really talk about it, because for me it was very natural. What we talked a lot about was that I survived the war in Sarajevo in the ’90s. I think for Craig and Neil, it was interesting that I was kind of living in a place which was like Jackson in a way, because we were surrounded by the Serbian army, we were constantly bombarded. We had to be on alert, we had to survive, we had to learn how to live without anything, without civilization. There was no electricity, no food, nothing. But we managed to survive because of solidarity, and the way the city was restructured.”

Episode 7 of The Last of Us, which will wind back time to Ellie’s past with her best friend, is set to air on Sunday, February 26.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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