One of the coolest things about The Last of Us Episode 1 was the way it ended with an unexpected 80s track. However, it looks like the Depeche Mode song was chosen for a special reason. Co-showrunner Craig Mazin revealed how Never Let Me Down Again reflected the main character's present situation.
In The Last of Us Episode 1, Ellie learns that Joel and Tess communicate with their allies Bill and Frank through a radio, using songs from a certain decade as code. After tricking Joel, Ellie deduces that 80s songs mean trouble. But as the trio escape into a contaminated area, the radio turns on and begins to play the Depeche Mode song.
"A lot of 80s music is chipper and fun but with this, I was looking an up-tempo 80s song that had a darkness to it lyrically," Mazin said. "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. 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."
He then stated that the trust between the two characters is going to be tested.
"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 thought was a really interesting way in," Mazin said.
And if you liked the 1987 track, the co-showrunner has great news for you. Mazin confirms that the song will reappear in future episodes. However, he does warn that it will be heard "in a very different way and different context."
The Last of Us Episode 1 is currently streaming on HBO Max.