'The Last of Us' Will Release Episode 5 Early to Avoid the Super Bowl

Los Angeles Premiere Of HBO's "The Last Of Us" - Arrivals
Los Angeles Premiere Of HBO's "The Last Of Us" - Arrivals / Rodin Eckenroth/GettyImages

The fifth episode of HBO's The Last of Us will hit HBO Max a few days early to avoid premiering against the Super Bowl. The show will be available to stream on Friday night rather than go head-to-head with the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl and the season premiere of Next Level Chef. Pedro Pascal may have been willing to take on The Mountain, but he's not ready to face Gordon Ramsey.

While you're here, I might as well mention how good The Last of Us is. Without having played the game, I had no expectations coming in, but have been blown away. The fungal outbreak is an interesting twist, but as with any zombie genre show, it can only be as good as the human stories in between the brain destroyings. What they did last week with Nick Offerman and Murray Barlett was an incredible swing for a show just as people were getting into it. You mess that up and it could end up with a Nikki and Paulo situation. Instead Offerman is getting early Oscar buzz.

Speaking of LOST, in The Last of Us universe, LOST never airs. In The Last of Us, the world falls apart on September 26, 2003, which also means Tom Brady only has one Super Bowl ring in this universe. The Patriots' second Super Bowl season was derailed by the outbreak. (In the original video game Brady has three Super Bowls, but the second half of his career, Tampa Bay era and neither retirement ever happens.) He also never even meets Bridget Moynihan or Gisele, but Cordyceps does prevent him from getting into crypto so it wasn't all bad.

We also never see the Marlins beat the Yankees for their second World Series. Partly because the world ends, partly because Steve Bartman never goes for that foul ball.

In this universe that also means that LeBron James and the 2003 NBA Draft class never plays a single game. Kobe and Shaq never break up, the Pistons don't upset the Lakers the next Spring or get involved in the Malice at the Palace in November 2004. Worst of all, Stephen Curry never revolutionizes the entire sport by making three-pointers cool again. So not only do people live under the thumb of the military in the quarantine zones, but they have to listen to people talk about how important post play is.

Finally, Nick Saban never wins a title at LSU or returns to Alabama. The last memory any Crimson Tide football fan has of his or her team is a loss to Northern Illinois. Mike Shula was the coach!

Anyway, that's been fun with calendars. New Last of Us Friday night. Good stuff.