The Last of Us Season 1 Finale: Look for the Light

Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) in The Last of Us Episode 9. Photograph by Liane Hentscher/HBO
Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) in The Last of Us Episode 9. Photograph by Liane Hentscher/HBO /

Season 1 episode 8 of The Last of Us, not only brought in a historic amount of viewers, but also sheer fear. We met a small religious cult and its leader David; a cannibal and pedophile.

Ellie came so close to demise yet again, but we saw her have a breaking point, when she was able to get the upper hand on David and stabbed him to death. It reminded me of the same moment where Carol finished off Ed in The Walking Dead.

Yes, these monstrous men had to die but during the scene, we got to see so much pour out of her. Years of pain.

Everything she had been through, the turmoil, heartache, loneliness, death all releasing out of her through each stab. She is still in the moment when Joel finally comes up to her, telling her “I’ve got you, baby girl.”

It’s a momentous parallel to his own daughter Sarah. Now they’ve reached the point of no return.

They see a father and daughter within in each other. At the start of episode 9, we see a pregnant Anna, Ellie’s mother, running and trying to seek some solace from the infected.

She sits on a floor with a chair propped up against the door, in the hopes of keeping them out long enough to give birth. Anna’s plan goes awry when an infected breaks through.

She does her best to battle them off but with the severe amount of pain she is in, she ends up infected even though she did take it down. By that moment baby, Ellie is now on the floor crying, still connected to her through the umbilical cord.

Anna swiftly ties off the cord and cuts her free before any of the infection spreads to her. Ellie is crying and hungry, but she knows she can’t nurse her.

Marlene, Anna’s best friend through childhood, comes into the room. We know her from the very start as the one who saved Ellie from FEDRA.

Anna’s wound in her thigh is revealed and Marlene looks distraught. She begs her best friend to take the baby back to Boston and help her find a family.

On a fun note, Anna was played by Ashley Johnson, who played Ellie in the videogame. I love these little things Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann have done to create and combine both worlds of The Last of Us together.

Though these actors are not playing themselves as they did in the game, (except of Merle Dandridge) they get to stay a part of the series and game forever.

Anna also begs her best friend to kill her before she turns into one of them. She does not want to turn into an infected and be the cause of killing her own family one day.

Marlene tells she can’t but ends up handing the baby off and executing Anna as she asked.

The Last of Us Season 1 Episode 9 – A family is found

In the present, Ellie and Joel are making their way to the hospital. The vehicle they were using after the David debacle has taken them as far as they can go.

Now they are on foot. You can tell Joel has now found some happiness within Ellie.

He’s smiling and actually hopeful for a future now. He talks to her about a guitar he found in the RV, hoping to teach her how to play one day.

Ellie is trying to keep up a brave face, but you can tell she is still shaken up from the previous events. The two of them are just golden together.

They now know each other so well, that Ellie knows what Joel is going to say or ask before it even comes out of his mouth. Joel gives her a boost by the rubble and what she finds is about as breathtaking as this world is ever going to get.

Joel has to climb up and catch up to her, but Ellie is on the run by what she sees and tells him to hurry up. This is definitely my favorite game to television adaptation scene of the series.

It’s the famous giraffe scene. There is a whole family of them, and Joel helps pick branches of leaves off a tree so she can feed the giraffe.

We got to see Joel smile like he’s never smiled before.

The Last of Us Season 1 Episode 9 – “You can’t deny that view.”

We’ve reached the stage of the game where Joel no longer cares about the mission. They’ve already found Tommy and now there is a new mission; to protect Ellie not because of the cure but out of the love he has for her.

Joel just wants to go back to Tommy’s with her. The motive may be selfish on his part, but I think he knows deep down the Fireflies don’t have her best interest at heart.

However, Ellie wants to finish what they started. There’s no halfway to this.

Otherwise, all they have been through would have been for nothing. They can’t just throw in the towel now.

What happened next is both shocking and heartbreaking. You have to remember Joel started off as a man who would barely talk to Ellie.

She would ask 20 questions and be lucky to get one answer. Now Joel has revealed that after Sarah died, he tried to kill himself.

He admits this after they walk through a military camp and medical tent.

”Time heals all wounds,” Ellie tells him, but Joel very much disagrees. “It wasn’t time that did it,” he tells her, with a knowing look.

There’s not a lot of deep discussions that need to go on between them. It’s not time that helped Joel, it was people.

Tess was a big part of that in his more recent past and now Ellie is his reason to keep going on and to keep fighting.

The Last of Us Season 1 Episode 9 – This is the only way

Before Joel and Ellie know it, they are victims of a smoke bomb. Ellie is quickly taken by Marlene’s men which Joel is knocked out cold with a gun to the head.

Joel wakes up to Marlene’s voice apologizing that her men didn’t know who he was. She’s direct and stern but appreciative to Joel for what he has done.

She has never wanted to be in his debt but she’s glad she is. It was a task that is going to save them all.

Joel doesn’t care about any of it, he just wants to see Ellie to make sure she is okay. But Marlene explains she is being prepped for surgery.

He still wants to go to her, but what Marlene revealed next is something all gamers were ready for but still found just as heartbreaking. She explains to Joel that they think the cordyceps has been growing inside of her since birth.

She is immune to it because the cordyceps is tricked into thinking she is one of them. In order for them to test and come up with a cure, they have to remove it.

But it’s in the brain, and Joel knows this. Coming up with a cure for humanity, ultimately means the death of Ellie.

Of course Joel is resistant to this, but Marlene knows this is the only way. Marlene has two of her men escort Joel out.

He moves slow, you can tell he’s trying to think of his next step. He can’t just let the girl he has grown to care so much about die.

To him, the cause is not worth it. It may be selfish on his part but he’d rather them live out their days in happiness, then try to save a world that doesn’t deserve to be saved.

And surely not if it means the death of someone who has already been handed such a bad hand. Ellie deserves happiness too.

It doesn’t take Joel too much effort to take the men down on the stairs, but we all knew that would only be the start. This was a building full of armed men with military grade weapons.

What we see next, is both exhilarating and downright sexy out of Joel. Joel, in an almost effortless fashion, goes full Rambo taking out men after men on his way to the OR.

He finally reaches the pediatric wing and gives one warning to step away from Ellie. The doctor, however, was not going to do that.

He’s defiant and that was the last move he ever made. Joel picks up Ellie and gets her down to the garage where he is met by Marlene.

She tries to plead with him that this is the only way, explaining that this is what Ellie would want. Yes, it would mean her death, but saving the world is something she would take pride in.

Even though Joel has killed many of her people, she would forgive him if he gave Ellie back. This too, is the last thing Marlene ever did.

Though she begs for her life, Joel knows she would just come after them. That’s not a risk he was going to take.

The Last of Us Season 1 Episode 9 – I’m taking us home

Back on the road, Ellie wakes up. Joel tells her that they are going home.

When she asks what happened, he tells her there are dozens just like her. They are immune, but the doctors can’t make it work.

So, they ended the project for the cure. Ellie tells him to swear that everything he’s telling her about the Fireflies is true.

He swears, but even Ellie knows he is lying. But she can’t admit that to herself right now.

She forces herself to believe it because she can’t handle the alternative. The Last of Us has been epic from the start to the finish.

Each episode has attained higher ratings than the previous ones before it. It’s a beautiful story of two strangers with one task, becoming like father and daughter.

Joel ended this first season as somewhat of a selfish hero. Ellie may have offered herself to save the world, but for now, time goes on.

In just 9 episodes of The Last of Us, we have gotten to see some of the greatest television on HBO and HBO Max. Craig Mazin admits that season 2 will be different from the game The Last of Us: Part II.

There will be times where it’s radically different and other times where it’s barely different at all. I do hope that they sway more away from the game next season.

You love to have a blueprint and know a little of what is expected, but I find it more intriguing when all the audience can be surprised together. The acting of this cast is so talented, and the storytelling is so superb that so many fantastical things can be done to please the audience.

One thing we do know for sure is that Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal will once again own the world of television. The two of them separately already rule so much but together it’s just a spark that ignites the flame.

It’s rare to see such great chemistry between actors. It’s been this way for the cast as a whole.

Everything Neil and Craig have done, has been a level above everyone else. I know the next season will have twice the impact as season 1 and they’ve already knocked it out of the park.

With Pedro Pascal and the sensational Bella Ramsey, success comes easy.

dark. Next. Why should you watch this upcoming Disney Plus series?

What did you think of The Last of Us season 1? What do you think will happen in season 2?

Let us know in the comments below!