The Super Bowl always tends to be good news for movie fans – mostly because it often heralds the arrival of tons of massive film (and TV) trailers, interspersing all the sports-balling (clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose!) with glimpses of the biggest upcoming blockbusters. But this year, there’s an extra reason to be thankful for the Super Bowl, that has nothing to do with who wins, who loses, or whether Rihanna will perform her Black Panther: Wakanda Forever songs during the half-time show. No, the biggest excitement point is the fact that the next episode of The Last Of Us is arriving two whole days early as a direct consequence of American football’s biggest night.
With the Super Bowl taking place on Sunday night, it’s clear HBO doesn’t want its cordyceps-coated hordes to face down the football – and so rather than compete in the ratings, it’s bringing The Last Of Us Episode 5 forward by two days. It’s been confirmed, too, that Sky and NOW will be following suit in the UK, so audiences over here will be able to get caught up in the fun(gus) with Joel and Ellie’s next adventure from 2am on the morning of Saturday 11 February, rather than waiting ’til the early hours of Monday. For those watching on linear TV, you can still see the episode on Sky Atlantic at 9pm on Monday evening. This one is titled ‘Endure And Survive’, and as with this week’s episode it’s written by Craig Mazin, directed by Jeremy Webb, and sure to be an absolute barrel of laughs. Oh, sorry, wrong notes – we meant, barrel of emotionally-affecting, incredibly tense, humanity-flecked terror-slash-misery.
So, all we can do is say a huge thank you to the Super Bowl – any chance you can put one of these on every Sunday from now until The Last Of Us season finale? Much obliged.