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‘The Last of Us’ episode 5 is releasing early. Here’s why and how to watch it.

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The wait between The Last of Us episodes is starting to become almost as interminable as the wait between House of Dragon episodes we had to endure last year — but, this week at least, there’s a bit of a reprieve.

In a nutshell, it looks like we’re going to be able to watch episode 5 a little bit earlier than usual. We’ve included the details of the where, when, and why below.

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What time is The Last of Us episode 5 streaming?

HBO confirmed in a press release(Opens in a new tab) that episode 5 of The Last of Us will be premiering on HBO(Opens in a new tab) and HBO Max(Opens in a new tab) early this week on Friday, Feb. 10 at 9 p.m. ET.

New episodes usually go out every Sunday at 9 p.m. ET, so we’re getting the episode a full two days ahead of schedule.

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After the cliffhanger episode 4 left us on, with Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) being held at gunpoint in a city under the control of a brutal militia group, this early launch is welcome news.

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Why is The Last of Us episode 5 launching early?

Although HBO hasn’t given a specific reason, it’s pretty obvious: Sunday, Feb. 12, the day the episode would have launched, is Super Bowl Sunday. The Last of Us has been steadily picking up steam since it started, with the third episode garnering 6.4 million viewers(Opens in a new tab) and generating a massive reaction on social media to the heartbreaking story of Bill (Nick Offerman) and Frank (Murray Bartlett). Episode 4 did even better, scoring 7.5 million viewers(Opens in a new tab) across HBO Max and linear telecasts. Like the Cordyceps, the audience keeps growing!

With the show gaining more and more traction it makes sense that HBO wouldn’t want anything to come along and derail that, so avoiding a competition with one of the world’s largest sporting events makes a lot sense.

As if to underline this, the change in scheduling is only for one week — after episode 5 has aired, The Last of Us will be back to showing on Sunday once again.

The Last of Us episode 5 premieres Friday at 9 p.m. on HBO Max. Episodes usually premiere on Sunday.(opens in a new tab)

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