Let’s discuss the season one finale of The Last of Us episode 9. Surprisingly, this episode is the shortest one of the season, lasting only 43 minutes. The episode starts with Ashley Johnson, who played Ellie in the game, portraying Ellie’s mother during her childbirth.
Love, loss, and survival
Unfortunately, Ellie’s mother is attacked by one of the infected while giving birth, which makes for a heart-wrenching scene. The baby’s safety was a concern to the viewer, especially when Marlene was about to fire her gun and didn’t cover the baby’s ears as requested.
As we catch up with Joel and Ellie on their journey, Joel has now fully accepted Ellie as a friend, and they have a beautiful moment overlooking the city where Ellie expresses her loyalty to Joel. In another scene, we learn why Joel has a scar on the side of his head, revealing a dark moment in his past.
Witness the harrowing journey of two survivors
In this episode, Joel expresses that it’s Ellie who has made his life worth living, which is heartwarming. The scene with the giraffes is a standout moment, as we see Joel’s joy while watching Ellie feed them, reminding him of what happiness feels like.
However, the tension builds as we know what’s coming – once they reach the fireflies, Joel learns that the cure for the infection would result in Ellie’s death. He chooses to save her and brutally murders almost everyone in the building, reaffirming that he’s not a typical hero, but rather someone who makes viciously wrong choices to survive.
This episode stays faithful to the game, even down to the verbatim dialogue in the ending, but with the addition of Ellie admitting to Joel that she killed her first love interest, which was not in the original game.
Journey through a world lost to the virus
The attempt to find a cure for the virus didn’t work out and Joel tells Ellie they’re going back to Tommy to live their lives. Ellie is faced with a decision whether to believe him or not, but Joel assures her it’s the truth. This is how season one of The Last of Us ends, similar to the game’s ending. Despite the show’s bleakness, the experience is enjoyable because of its excellent production quality, cast, and crew.
The creators did an amazing job adapting the game into a show, and Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey were perfect casting choices. The sequel, however, is more divisive among fans, and the decision to make season two follow the sequel will be interesting.
Since Neil Druckman, the creator of the characters, may still be involved in the show’s writing, any additional seasons will not be fan fiction, but an extension of the story from the creator’s perspective. It is unknown whether the show will follow the game or make up its own storylines.
In the game, Joel dies early on. Unlike movies and TV shows, video games can still survive when characters come and go due to differences in funding and greenlighting. However, with a popular character like Joel, killing him off early could damage the potential re-watchability of the show for fans who are invested in that character.
Although it is a real discussion for the showrunners, believes that Joel should die at some point in the series, but maybe not at the beginning of season two. The speaker loved season one and wished there was an extra episode featuring more of Joel and Ellie’s journey.
Overall, The Last of Us is a phenomenal show and a great example of how video game adaptations can be successful. Hopefully, more high-quality adaptations will be made in the future.