Note: This article contains spoilers for The Last of Us Part II.
Last of Us Part II director Neil Druckmann has taken to Twitter to put to bed criticism that there is a massive plot hole concerning Joel and a certain musical number.
Keeping his promise to young Ellie he made in Last of Us, Joel teaches his surrogate daughter how to play the guitar. The first song he sings to her, after downright refusing to sing for her in the original game, is an obscure Pearl Jam song called “Future Days.”
The song carries with it many themes at the heart of Last of Us Part II’s story, mainly that if you were to lose a special person in your life, you would also be lost. After its debut, the song makes a few reprisals full of emotional significance.
Yet a few fans have cried foul at Joel’s song choice. That’s because Outbreak Day occurred in the Last of Us universe on September 26, 2013, but “Future Days” wasn’t officially released until October 11, 2013, as part of the band’s “Lightning Bolt” album.
So how could Joel possibly know a song that was technically never released in his world? Perhaps he has some secret powers that allow him to rip tears in the fabric of the universe, ala Elizabeth from Bioshock Infinite.
Or you know, it might be because, as Druckmann points out on his Twitter, Pearl Jam performed the song before the release of “Lightning Bolt” and uploaded it to YouTube in July 2013.
But don’t dismiss the universe-tearing theory too quickly — there is, after all, that Troy Baker connection.
All attempts at humor aside, this is the type of “plot hole” only the most eagle-eyed gamer would catch anyway. That, or die-hard Pearl Jam fans who also happen to be obsessed with the Last of Us and know all the important dates in the histories of both projects.
Personally, when the non-plot hole was brought to my attention, I thought that as a man of music, Joel stumbled across a boatload of unsold “Lightning Bolt” albums in some long-abandoned music store.
But we need no longer speculate as Dr. Uckman has tied a neat bow on this particular plot point.
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