Let’s talk about The Last of United States episode 9

After 9 weeks, we have actually reached The Last of United States’ last episode (for this season, a minimum of).

This episode – Look for the Light – is a psychological one, and as ever leaves plenty to go over with you all.

So, for one last time, let’s dive on in.


Episode 9 sneak peek.

Before I saw this episode, I understood there were a number of things from the video game I wished to see consisted of – these were (in no specific order) the giraffes, Ellie’s water hazard and Joel’s desperate efforts to conserve her, Joel’s last backward and forward with Marlene (especially the line “you ‘d simply follow her”), Ellie offering Joel the photo of him with Sarah, and Ellie’s “ok” at the end.

And, did I get those things? Well, mainly.

I understand that face … Image HBO.

The last episode of The Last of United States’ very first season starts with a cold open- something the program has actually just recently shunned. We see a greatly pregnant female going through some woods, plainly being chased after by a contaminated (although they are not seen).

Fans of the video game will right away acknowledge this star as Ashley Johnson, who played Ellie in The Last of United States Part 1 and 2. As formerly revealed, here she is playing Ellie’s mom, Anna. Ah-ha, so that is who remains in the bump!

Anna makes it to a deserted farmhouse( maybe a little bit of foreshadowing, or an Easter egg from Part 2), where she barriers the doors as her pursuer continues to follow. Oh, there is likewise the little reality Anna remains in labour. Her waters have actually broken and, young boy, is she feeling those contractions.

As a mom, I can just envision how extremely demanding this scenario should have been for Anna. Alone, in mortal hazard and without any discomfort relief. No thank you!

The contaminated that ferreted out Anna. Image HBO.

The contaminated that has actually been going after Anna eventually breaks through the door to where Anna is concealing, and Anna (once again, while in labour) defend not just her life, however the life of her coming infant. She lastly conquers the contaminated by stabbing it with her switchblade. In spite of her finest efforts, Anna is bitten in the battle.

With the contaminated pushing the flooring next to her, Anna is reminded the minute by the noise of weeping – her infant has actually been born. Anna rapidly utilizes her switchblade to cut the umbilical cable, and gets her kid.

As her infant weeps, Anna takes a look at her newborn with pride and love.

“You inform ’em. You fucking inform ’em Ellie.”

Anna with a newborn Ellie. Image HBO.

Following this intro, and probably later on that exact same day, we see a group of individuals approaching the structure Anna remains in. It is Marlene and the Fireflies( getting here with torches in the dark, looking much like thier firefly names).

They discover Anna, who is holding both Ellie and her switchblade to her neck. Marlene sees Anna is contaminated, and apologies. Anna specifies Ellie is starving, however she hasn’t wished to nurse her (which is easy to understand, offered her contaminated status).

Anna offers Ellie to Marlene and asks her to take care of her child, declaring she was bitten after she had actually cut the umbilical cable. She likewise hands Marlene her switchblade for her to offer to Ellie, and asks Marlene to do one last favour. Look after Ellie in Boston, and eliminate her (Anna, not Ellie).

At very first Marlene can’t bring herself to do it, however after hearing Anna weep out to her, she relents. She hands the newborn Ellie over to another member of the Fireflies, inquiring to cover her ears. She then goes back to the space Anna remains in, and shoots her as Ellie starts to sob. Marlene then takes Ellie in her arms.

Marlene discovers Anna. Image HBO.
Crying, she takes Ellie from Anna. Image HBO.

As with many times over this series, The Last of United States ‘showrunners have actually taken story aspects from the video game and elaborated on them. Those who played Part 1 will understand Ellie’s mom and Marlene understood each other, and Anna turned over Ellie into Marlene’s care. In the video game, you can likewise check out a letter Anna composed to Ellie prior to she passed away. In the American Dreams comic series, we discover out Ellie’s reliable switchblade utilized to be her mom’s.

However, we never ever hear precisely how Anna passed away. It isn’t even mentioned she was contaminated prior to her death, although provided the world of The Last of United States, it is simple to presume. Anna’s is a story Neil Druckmann has actually wished to inform for a while, however previously the stars never ever lined up and enabled him to do so.

Anna’s letter to Ellie. Images Naughty Dog.

After this heartbreaking intro to the ending, we are then reminded today day. As in the video game, Joel and Ellie are now in Salt Lake City, and Ellie remains in a state of anxiety following the occasions with David and his fans. She is sidetracked, and does not easily engage with Joel (and bless him, he does attempt – he informs her he will teach her the guitar when this is all over, and attempts to talk with her about Boggle).

Ellie is controlled at the start of the episode. Image HBO.

As they make their suppressed method through the city, Joel offers Ellie an increase approximately a greater platform( it is really gameplay-ey, with even a Naughty Dog yellow spot revealing the method that I valued). The intent is that she passes a ladder to him, so he too can make his method onto the platform. Ellie unexpectedly ends up being sidetracked, and after awkwardly tossing the ladder down to Joel, she dashes off.

If you had actually played the video game, you will understand precisely what is going on, and kid did I have a huge smile on my face when I saw Ellie scarper off far from Joel without any description. Yes, women and gentlemen, the very first product on my episode wishlist can be marked off. When Joel lastly overtakes Ellie, she is with a giraffe. Oh, my heart.

I might have had a tear or more here. Image HBO.
Even the clothing are the exact same. Image Naughty Dog.

This minute in the video game is typically mentioned as being among the very best examples of storytelling in computer game. It not just assists Joel comprehend the effect their journey throughout America has actually handled Ellie, however it likewise strengthens Ellie’s decision to reach the Fireflies. Yes, she has actually been depressed, however she is undaunted in her objective.

Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey both do a dazzling task of catching the value of this scene. Joel searches with such love as Ellie smiles and laughes while feeding the giraffe. It is a lovely, tranquil minute of innocence and adult love.

As in the video game( and as I have mentioned), the 2 take a minute to stop briefly here, and assess their journey. When watching out over the herd of giraffes, Joel asks Ellie if it is whatever she wished for. “It’s got its ups and downs, however you can’t reject that view,” Ellie responds.

Joel then informs Ellie they do not need to go on any more. They can reverse, and go back to Jackson. They can be a household.

” We do not have to do this, “he informs her.

Ellie, taking in Joel’s words, discusses she does not desire their journey to have actually been for absolutely nothing-” After whatever we’ve been through. I’ve done … “she shows.

” There’s no midway with this. We complete what we began,” Ellie informs Joel after guaranteeing when they are done she will follow him any place he wishes to go. There is hope in both of the characters’ words.

As the duo continue their method through Salt Lake City, they discover a deserted medical camp. As in the video game, Joel keeps in mind the time he was a client at one of them.

However, unlike in the video game, in the program Joel exposes he was at the medical camp since he attempted- and stopped working -to eliminate himself. The scar on his head is from where he flinched when shooting the weapon. He speaks with Ellie about this minute, stating he still does not understand why he flinched as he was” prepared”. It wanted the break out, and he had actually lost Sarah. He had no factor to live.

The video game’s medical camp. Image Naughty Dog.

Joel attempts to discuss to Ellie why he is informing her all this, however she states she can think.” Time recovers all injuries,” she specifies. Joel then informs her it wasn’t time that recovered him, prior to providing Ellie a significant appearance.

It was her. Ellie is his surrogate child, and he enjoys her deeply. Ellie, in turn, informs Joel she is pleased “that didn’t exercise”, nodding at his gunshot scar. The 2 then advance, and the state of mind is lightened with a few of Ellie’s traditional (or “shitty”, in Joel’s words) puns.

“People are making armageddon jokes like there’s no tomorrow.”

This good minute is quickly disrupted by some military looking types and a smoke bomb, and Joel is quickly knocked uncocnsious by an unidentified solider.

The scene then cuts to Joel concerning in the Salt Lake City medical facility, and Marlene. Those unidentified soldiers were Fireflies, who did not understand who Joel and Ellie were (so, no, there is no water area in this episode – when again the showrunners have actually moved the focus from “gameplay areas” to character advancement, with Anna and Joel’s backstories both being decorated upon in the ending).

Marlene exposes Ellie is being prepped for surgical treatment. The Firefly physicians think they can discover a remedy for the cordyceps. And, here, we discover simply why Ellie is immune. The cordyceps has actually been with her given that birth, due to the fact that of the bite Anna recieved when she remained in labour.

Joel understands, nevertheless, that cordyceps grows inside the brain. Twigging that Ellie will pass away if she is run on, Joel pleads Marlene to discover somebody else, and asks to be required to Ellie. Marlene declines, and informs Joel she is sorry and comprehends how he is feeling. Marlene speaks about Ellie’s birth and her guarantee to Anna.

” I have no other option,” Marlene describes.

She then informs her males to stroll Joel to the highway, with orders to shoot him if he “attempts anything”. She likewise provides Ellie’s switchblade to ultimately provide to Joel. It is all quite like the video game, although I did feel a bit like the program attempted to paint Marlene as more of a bad guy at this moment with the music and lighting.

And, similar to the video game, Joel quickly decides that will impact the rest of humankind. He has actually currently lost one child, he will not lose another one. Ahead of this episode’s release, cast members had actually mentioned the ending will be dissentious, and we will see why.

With his mind comprised, Joel eliminates the Fireflies accompanying him, and after that, in a rather chilling series of occasions, he continues to assassinate the Fireflies – even those who attempt to give up. He leaves ratings of dead in his wake, simply as he carries out in the video game.

The program plays this butchering out to some rather haunting music, including a melancholy to Joel’s actions. Possibly I am being pedantic here, however I do feel this massacre was a bit out of location for the program’s variation of Joel. Not the action itself (more on that in a minute), however the real execution of it.

While we have actually seen Joel’s violent propensities, such as when he beat the FEDRA soldier to death in episode one, the just other time he has actually revealed any genuine efficiency with a weapon remained in Kansas City or briefly shooting at stable targets with Ellie. Now, nevertheless, he appears to be cutting a course through the Fireflies like he belongs to an unique ops branch.

At this point in the video game, those playing as Joel had actually seen his ability as a marksman many times over. With the program’s decreased focus on violence as a way to move the story forward (a choice I do comprehend), his unexpected professionalism versus a qualified militia appeared, well, unexpected.

Shots fired. Image HBO.
Joel requires to understand where Ellie is. Image Naughty Dog.
Joel on his rampage. Image Naughty Dog.

Regardless, with his course to Ellie now clear, Joel makes his method to the surgical theatre.

As in the video game, Joel eliminates the cosmetic surgeon . He then purchases the nurses to unhook Ellie from the theatre’s devices. There is no doubt – Joel has one focus, and it is her.

As he leaves the space with Ellie in his arms, the cam concentrates on the departed cosmetic surgeon, a mean what is still to come in series 2.

Oh, hi Laura Bailey! Image HBO.

Joel quickly gets to the healthcare facility’s garage, and sees a vehicle he can utilize to get him and Ellie far from Salt Lake City.

As he makes his method towards the vehicle, he is satisfied by Marlene. She holds him at gunpoint, informing him he has the possibility to alter his mind. She asks him what Ellie would desire, and it is clear Joel understands Ellie would wish to discover a remedy.

” No matter how difficult you attempt, no matter the number of individuals you eliminate, she’s going to mature Joel. And after that you’ll pass away, or she’ll leave, and after that what? For how long prior to she’s torn apart by contaminated, or killed by raiders? Since she resides in a damaged world, that you might have conserved.”

Marlene attempts to factor with Joel, informing him that even after whatever that has actually occurred “it’s not far too late”, they can work something out. “We can still discover a method,” she informs Joel.

Marlene attempts to factor with Joel. Image HBO.
” You can’t conserve her.” Image Naughty Dog.

We then see Joel driving through the nation, and in the beginning it appears he is alone. He is not – he has Ellie with him.

As she pertains to, she is puzzled. Joel then does something that, together with his execution of the Fireflies, has actually triggered prevalent argument throughout the web. He lies to Ellie.

Joel informs her there are “lots” out there who are immune, however that the medical professionals might not discover anything to aid with a treatment. They’ve stopped looking.

He then informs Ellie the Fireflies were all eliminated by raiders, and they were fortunate to get away. When Ellie asks if Marlene is okay, Joel can not bring himself to address her concern. Rather, he informs Ellie he is taking them “house”. As Ellie rolls over in the back of the automobile, he apologises.

“What took place?” Image Naughty Dog.

The scene then cuts down to the garage, much like it carries out in the video game, and we see Joel shoot Marlene.

She makes it through the very first shot, and as she is bleeding out on the garage flooring she asks Joel to let her go. Joel then looks Marlene dead in the eye, and states: “You ‘d simply follow her” (episode wishlist, inspect 2).

He then shoots Marlene once again, eliminating her.

I understood Marlene’s death was coming, however it still harm. Image HBO.
Joel shoots Marlene. Images Naughty Dog.

The rest of this episode is basically a straight copy from the video game, with some terrific acting from Pascal and Ramsey.

Once their automobile breaks down, Joel informs Ellie they will need to trek the remainder of the method to Jackson.

During their walking, Joel speak with Ellie about Sarah, commenting that they would have liked each other. Joel states Ellie would have made Sarah laugh, and despite the fact that they are various he makes certain they would have gotten along.

Joel discuss Sarah. Image Naughty Dog.

Joel and Ellie then crest a hill, and see Jackson in the valley ahead of them. As Joel triggers once again, Ellie stops him. She then remembers the time she got bitten by the contaminated. This is the very first time Ellie informs Joel about Riley. Ellie then assesses the others who have actually passed away along the method, such as Tess and Sam.

She then asks Joel to “swear” to her that whatever he stated about the” Fireflies holds true”. He swears it is, and series one ends with Ellie looking uncertainly at Joel. “Okay,” she states, in spite of there still being an aspect of doubt in her voice. And with that, the credits start to roll on series one (check number 3).

I require a long time to recuperate from this line. Image Naughty Dog.

As I stated, this was basically shot one for one from the video game. And, as we conclude on series among The Last of United States, I am entrusted the very same sensation – and very same concern – I had playing the video game. Was Joel right to do what he did, and after that lie to Ellie about it?

Troy Baker, who plays Joel in the video games( and James in the program, see recently’s episode), has actually formerly specified he thinks Joel’s actions at the end of The Last of United States Part 1 to be “the most self-centered act ever”. He does not feel the ending might have been played out any other method, as, in Joel’s eyes, Ellie was “his world” and as such conserving her was more essential than conserving humankind.

Baker has actually stated he feels the real fault of Joel’s actions lies not in the deaths of the Fireflies and those bound to end up being contaminated in the future, however rather it is the lie he informs Ellie in the video game’s epilogue – something we see checked out in Part 2, and something we will certainly see built on in The Last of United States’ future seasons.

As for me, it has actually been10 years because I initially heard those words, and I am still not exactly sure where I fall on this specific argument. As a moms and dad, I can not even fathom what it should resemble to lose a kid, so I value why Joel battles so desperatly to conserve Ellie. The lies he informs her make me deeply unpleasant.

Joel lies to Ellie to safeguard himself. Image Naughty Dog.

As an entire, I have actually normally enjoyed this adjustment of The Last of United States. The series developers have actually strolled a cautious line of making the program available to newbies, however have actually likewise consisted of plenty to nurture fans of the video game.

I valued the showrunners ‘choice to focus more on the characters in this world throughout the series, and I believe expanding stories such as those of Bill and Frank, Marlene and Kathleen improved the total story. It has actually been revitalizing to step far from Joel and Ellie in the program, however all the while never ever seem like their characters were being ignored or sidelined.

In reality, I would not be amazed if we ultimately wind up with some type of The Last of United States spin-off series, as there are plainly a lot of stories that might be informed (I would really like to see more of Marlon and Florence ).

I would have liked to see more of Graham Greene’s Marlon. Image HBO.

On that note, I likewise enjoyed how the video games’ initial cast were consisted of in this adjustment. Not simply little cameos( Laura Bailey aside), these were expanded functions, and I delighted in finding these stars appearing as the series went on.

Troy Baker as James. In the video game, he plays Joel. Image HBO.
Jeffery Pierce as Perry. Pierce plays Tommy in the video games. Image HBO.
Laura Bailey in the program. Bailey plays Abby in Part 2, and was likewise the newscaster in Part 1. Image HBO.
Merle Dandridge plays Marlene in the program and the video game. Image HBO.

However, as such a big fan of the video game, I do feel there has actually been something missing out on from this series, particularly in later episodes where things felt a bit hurried, and an additional couple of episodes would not have actually gone awry. I keep in mind checking out an evaluation that stated something along the lines that the program was a great jigsaw puzzle however one that had a couple of missing out on pieces. I believe this practically summarize my sensations of series one.

After all, at the start of this piece, I discussed a number of bottom lines from the video game I would have liked to see equated over to the tv series, and as you now understand, they were not all there.

Please do not get me incorrect, I completely comprehend not whatever can be consisted of. I do feel leaving out things such as Joel getting the image of his child and Ellie’s failure to swim (particularly as this was referenced in episode 2 )was a bit of a missed out on chance.

Ellie provides Joel the photo of his child. Image Naughty Dog.
Joel and Ellie almost drown. Image Naughty Dog.

That being stated, HBO’s adjustment of The Last of United States has actually got under my skin, and I do not see it leaving whenever quickly. The program has actually made me smile, it has actually made me laugh, it has actually made me weep and it has actually made me believe. It took lots of things I enjoy about the video game, and decorated on them in a manner I didn’t neccesarily anticipate. Episode 3 with Bill and Frank is potentially among my preferred episodes of tv ever, and even weeks on I still can not take a look at strawberries in the very same method.

All in all, the highs were exceptionally high, with the lows scarce, however unquestionably there.

Series co-creator Craig Mazin with stars Merle Dandridge and Pedro Pascal.

I am going to enjoy the whole series once again with my spouse( who has actually not played the video games) in a month or two.

I am eagerly anticipating seeing his response to everything, particularly as he has no anticipation of the story besides it is embeded in a post-apocalyptic America and includes a guy and a woman. I have actually assured him I will attempt and not fanatically explain all the Easter eggs and callbacks to the video game.

Before I go, I simply wish to thank you all for checking out together with me as the program has actually continued. It has actually been a genuine reward to dive even more into a series I have a great deal of love for, and I have actually delighted in checking out all of your ideas on each episode. It has actually been an enjoyable trip, and I am happy to have actually had the ability to share it with you.

Truth be informed, I am not exactly sure what I am going to finish with myself next Monday … Actually, maybe I will reboot playing The Last of United States Part 2.


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