Why The Last of Us Fans Should Watch 2018’s Prospect

By | January 13, 2023

Pedro Pascal is known for playing a patriarchal protector figure in The Mandalorian and is about to take a similar role in HBO Max’s upcoming adaptation of The Last of Us. That similarity isn’t even lost on Pascal himself since he said it was the “best double-dipping [he] could possibly imagine.” And while those two fictional pieces are set in big, known franchises, Pascal also took on a similar role in 2018’s Prospect, which is worth watching on Hulu for those who want another dose of “Protector Pascal.”

Prospect doesn’t immediately play the Protector Pascal card, though. Instead of pairing up with a fellow adult for a good chunk of the first act or finding his younger companion at the end of the debut episode, Ezra, Pascal’s character, doesn’t even show up until about 22 minutes in. Aside from the poster, it’s not totally clear that Ezra will even be a prominent character. This unexpected setup foreshadows how Pascal’s role as a surrogate parent or guardian is slightly different here.

Ezra is a rogue swindler who purposely cranks up his charm in an effort to butter up the person he’s talking to. This is a clear separation from Joel and the beskar-clad Din, both of whom speak plainly and with as few words as possible. Ezra’s demeanor is a great fit for Pascal, too, since he’s such a naturally charismatic actor that has used such charm to be a highlight in films like The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent and carry others like the abysmal Wonder Woman 1984

That magnetism in this context is a refreshing combination since these types of characters are typically gruff, stoic guys. Ezra also isn’t even much of a protector here, often needing Cee — the “Ellie” here — to carry or help his ass in various ways. These elements mean that it has the buddy dynamics of The Last of Us, but with a new lens and that makes enough of a difference.