‘The Last of Us’ Ending Explained

Reduce to the December of 2016, to the Sony occasion when the teaser of The Final of Us II was revealed, bringing again a barrage of feelings. I’ve to confess, after I first noticed the firefly emblem; Ellie, strumming the guitar, and singing; and Joel, strolling up on her, calling her ‘kiddo’ as he does, with Gustavo Santaolalla’s pitch good rating within the background, I welled up a bit of. I don’t count on quite a lot of you to grasp that emotion, however for individuals who have performed the sport and endured it in all its brutality and mindnumbing, heartbreaking, but completely lovely storytelling, I do know we stand in solidarity. It isn’t troublesome to guess what I did subsequent: performed the primary half once more, for days at finish.

I’ve by no means thought of ‘The Final of Us’ as merely a recreation. For me, it’s an prolonged movie, top-of-the-line I’ve watched, that requires me to raise my controller every so often to disclose what occurs subsequent. Evidently if my rant hasn’t already introduced that out to the entrance, ‘The Final of Us’ is singularly the perfect recreation I’ve performed until date, and whereas I actually hope the second half adjustments that, the unique will all the time have a particular, particular place in my coronary heart for what it made me really feel the primary time I performed it. Once more, it’s an emotion not lots of you’d resonate with, however for individuals who do, there’s heaps to learn on and reminisce.


The ‘The Final of Us’ is a survivor cum horror cum motion recreation set within the distant future, whereby the outbreak of a mutated fungus ‘cordyceps’ that causes people to develop into aggressive, braindead creatures (referred to easily as ‘the contaminated within the movie, akin to zombies) has brought about near half the inhabitants being decimated, and the remaining inhabitants stays quarantined in protected zones ruled by militia. Complete cities are deserted and cordoned off, and ration card, weapon, meals, and useful resource smuggling is rampant. The protagonist Joel is one such smuggler, however his story began twenty years in the past on the evening of the particular outbreak, when his complete world was turned the other way up.


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The sport truly begins off in 2013. Joel is proven residing a solitary life together with his daughter Sara, and a passive, quite tranquil existence, one that’s shaken by the outbreak of the fungi. All hell breaks free as folks break into the streets and flee for his or her security, not truly figuring out what brought about the turmoil or how, and this state of confusion and haste is splendidly depicted within the recreation, the gamers really feel the sense of urgency within the scenario. Not exhibiting the origin of the outbreak, in my view, was a wise transfer on the makers’ half. The gamers stay as oblivious because the characters, though their lives are utterly remodeled following the incident, and that makes the proceedings within the recreation all of the extra thrilling.

Within the ensuing chaos, Sara is shot lifeless by a soldier, and she or he passes away in Joel’s arms at the same time as he pleads her to not go, demolishing your coronary heart within the course of. This one scene establishes brilliantly what many a villain have tried establishing in regards to the society’s good man act: they’re shed on the first signal of actual bother. The soldier was ordered to shoot down Joel and Sara, even with out utterly figuring out whether or not they have been contaminated or not. The soldier exhibits some conscience, however proceeds on receiving the order all the identical, which broke my coronary heart a bit of.

Summer season

Within the current day, Joel wakes up and goes on a mission to retrieve a weapons cache from a seller, who’s killed by Joel’s companion, Tess, after figuring out he traded the cache with the Fireflies, a militia group who’s rebelling and has taken up arms towards the system. Marlene, the pinnacle of the fireflies affords them the cache again, doubled in return for having a lady, Ellie smuggled out of the town. The 2 agree, and uncover that the rationale she is being smuggled is that she didn’t flip into one of many contaminated regardless of having been bitten three weeks in the past. The hope for a remedy rekindles and Tess, having been bitten as they made their method by teams of the contaminated, sacrifices herself believing within the larger good when the three lastly make their strategy to the firefly assembly level that seems to be an ambush.

With the assistance of an previous aide, Invoice, Joel is ready to get his palms on a working car, from the place he decides to drive to pursue his brother Tommy, a former firefly to investigate identified whereabouts of the Fireflies. Their automotive is attacked on the best way by a bunch of bandits, and the duo band with brothers Sam and Henry, fellow survivors. Throughout their escape, Sam is revealed to have been bitten by an contaminated, who begins to show following a quite jovial evening of intimate conversations with Ellie, one of many extra tender, human bits of the sport. As Sam tries to assault Ellie, he’s shot lifeless by his brother Henry who then commits suicide out of horror in a particularly highly effective, heartbreaking scene, because the display cuts to black.


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The climate and terrain adjustments and provides strategy to a extra sombre, impartial hue as the autumn units in and Joel and Ellie proceed to Tommy’s fortified settlement close to a dam in Wyoming, who operates there together with his spouse Maria and a bunch of different males. After preventing off one other group of bandits, Joel decides to go away Ellie with Tommy and finish his journey. Ellie resents, and divulges that she would really feel a lot safer with Joel, having come this far due to him, which is a key second of their growing relationship. Joel then agrees to take her to the College of Jap Colorado, the place the Fireflies have seemingly relocated to. Upon reaching there, the duo realise that the Fireflies have fled to a hospital in Utah, however not earlier than being attacked by a bunch of bandits. Within the ensuing brawl and escape, Joel is mortally wounded, and is rescued by Ellie on horse.


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The eerie calm of winter begins to set in, as Joel continues to be recovering and being tended to by Ellie. The phase begins with Ellie going off for searching and meals scavenging, when she runs into a person, David and his comrades. They look like nicely which means at first, providing to commerce meals for medicines. After a run in with a horde of the contaminated, David turns hostile in the direction of Ellie and divulges that it was his group that the duo slaughtered on the College. He lets Ellie go momentarily, however follows her again to their hideout, and following preliminary evasive makes an attempt, Ellie is captured whereas the gang is steered away from Joel owing to Ellie’s efforts. David needs to supply Ellie one other probability by becoming a member of his group, citing she has coronary heart. Ellie refutes, killing off one among his comrades within the course of and hiding in a restaurant, with a livid David on her tail.

In the meantime, Joel, now partially recovered units out to search out Ellie, and after some brutal questioning and fight, manages to find her on the restaurant she is trapped at. He reaches there in time to see her viciously slashing David’s face with a machete and stops and comforts her, earlier than she breaks into tears and Joel embraces her, calms her down and calls her ‘child lady’. This key occasion marks Joel’s submission into the mutual relationship these two discover themselves in.


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The oncoming of spring is marked with extra colors, and a lighter tone because the duo share a young second atop a terrace the place they spot a bunch of giraffes passing. That adjustments quickly after as they proceed to the hospital and after a face-off with a bunch of the contaminated, Ellie nearly drowns. The 2 are rescued by patrolling Fireflies, and are reunited with Marlene. Upon regaining consciousness, Joel is knowledgeable that Ellie is being prepped for surgical procedure, that the medical doctors have discovered a strategy to isolate the affected a part of her mind and reverse engineer a vaccine. Nonetheless, that might additionally imply Ellie would die within the course of and Joel is severely unaccepting of that. He fights his method by dozens of Fireflies to achieve Ellie, who’s already into the operation process and is closely sedated. Joel carries an unconscious Ellie out, and proceeds to the parking, making an attempt to save lots of her. There, he encounters Marlene, who tries to be his voice of motive and makes an attempt to persuade him to let go for the larger good of humanity. Joel doesn’t again down and shoots Marlene, who bleeds profusely on the ground, then shoots her within the face, killing her, fearing that she’d come after Ellie if spared.

Upon regaining consciousness, Ellie enquires and is advised by Joel as they’re driving out of the town that the fireflies discovered many others like her, and after a number of makes an attempt had stopped on the lookout for a remedy. Upon reaching Tommy’s settlement, the duo argue as Ellie is overcome with guilt at being the one one who survived out of her group. Joel comforts her, and swears what he advised her in regards to the Fireflies was true.


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Now there are the reason why on the market it’s hailed as top-of-the-line video games ever created. I’m a first-hand believer. By presenting a dystopian world and characters therein for whom the one motive is survival and everyone seems to be confronted with troublesome selections, you get to expertise, in individual, what these outcomes are. Generally devastating, generally satisfying, all the time thrilling. An uncommon despair hangs over the sport and its proceedings, and I’ll agree that I used to be postpone by the more and more grim tone greater than as soon as. However, it’s all a part of the hair rousing experiences this recreation guarantees. The animation and manufacturing staff do a superb job in sustaining the right places, with good environment, an ideal rating, and simply the right lighting to breathe gentle right into a forsaken dystopian panorama, scary and delightful on the identical time. I doubt if I’ve used good so many occasions consecutively in the identical line, however this recreation can have all of it, and extra. ‘The Final of Us’ terrifies you, scares you, breaks you, exams you, thrills you, and fills you up with feelings you not often have felt whereas enjoying a recreation. 5 years on, I don’t suppose a evaluate was wished. It was wanted.

Ellie and Joel’s relationship

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The delicate but tender relationship shared by the 2 is what lies on the core of the sport. It’s the driver for many of what these characters do, and it couldn’t have been achieved higher. Joel and Ellie are each survivors: survivors of the outbreak and survivors of nice private losses every one among them has endured, and unsurprisingly, that has made them hardened and cynical. Nonetheless, as journeys go, we get to see each of them develop to love one another and get hooked up to one another in their very own methods. Their conversational tone is poles other than after they began and concluded their journey. Fortunately for us, it’s straightforward to chart the shift by three essential, landmark moments within the recreation’s narrative.

The primary is when Ellie offers in to her emotions for Joel, when he needs to go away Ellie with Tommy and keep on, figuring she would have higher possibilities of making it with him. No quantity of rational rationalization can persuade her, as she now appears as much as him as a protector and accepts that she’d be extra snug and assured in endeavor the journey with Joel as a substitute of anybody else. The thought that whereas she might have grown to look after him, he would possibly simply wish to do away with her devastates Ellie.

“Everybody I’ve cared about has both died or left me. Everybody — fucking aside from you! So don’t inform me I’d be safer with anyone else, as a result of the reality is I’d simply be extra scared.”

The second is Joel’s giving in, when he finds Ellie within the restaurant, brutally killing David. She is terrified, and in that second of comforting her, Joel holds her tight as an indication of reassurance as she sobs uncontrollably, and calls her ‘child lady’, a time period of endearment he solely used for Sara.

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The third, once more on Joel’s half, signifies full submission for me. One has to ponder upon the magnitude of feelings even a fictional character like Joel goes by, carrying Ellie in his palms away from the operation theatre, just like when he carried Sara helplessly after she was shot. “Come on, child lady. I received you. I received you.”  Whoever the hell is chopping onions in my room at midnight must cease. Proper now.

Ellie and Joel share in one another’s grief and misfortunes. They discover solace in one another as they begin discovering the tales behind one another and decrypting why every was the best way they have been. For Joel, Ellie stuffed the void he had following the lack of Sara. For Ellie, Joel involves be the daddy determine she yearned for in her life. She is a hell of a survivor, greater than mature for her age due to the circumstances she grew up in, however in her most weak moments, she’d look to Joel. She derived power from his protectiveness that in flip might have stemmed from his incapability and helplessness at not having been capable of save Sara. On the plus aspect, they do make an incredible preventing pair too, so there’s that.

The Ending

The ending of ‘The Final of Us’ is sufficiently easy for anybody trying rigorously, but deeply complicated for anybody wishing to delve into the psychological complexity behind Joel’s choice. Joel fights his method, kills, stabs, and shoots by any Firefly soldier who stood in his strategy to attain Ellie and rescue her, even killing Marlene in chilly blood. Saving the world vs. saving the one one who mattered most within the right here and now. Seemingly easy alternative, besides that as a rule, it’s not that easy.

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Any morally straight individual would count on Joel to again down and never interrupt the process, even when that meant shedding Ellie within the course of, since it could imply inching nearer to preventing off the evil that has plagued the planet for twenty years now. Nonetheless, that’s not the Joel we all know. We all know him as somebody jaded and hardened by the blow of time and nice private losses. In quite a lot of methods, Ellie is his reckoning, his second probability at life, somebody that added which means to his days and existence. I’ll let one of many dialogues from Joel’s remaining dialog with Ellie shed some extra gentle on this. Upon being overcome with survivor’s guilt, Ellie questions Joel, to which he has this to say. “I struggled for a very long time with survivin’. And also you— It doesn’t matter what, you retain discovering one thing to battle for.” Ellie is his ‘one thing to battle for’ right here.

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On the floor it is likely to be as a result of he had grown to deeply look after her, however there actually is not any simple rationalization for Joel’s actions, and why he later lied to Ellie in regards to the remedy not being discovered. Everyone knows that people might be deceptively egocentric; maybe Joel was too. The reply doesn’t merely lie in a chosen black and white space. There’s a complete lot of greys in between them, and Joel acted on them. Nonetheless, I don’t, for one second imagine that your coronary heart didn’t exit, atleast as soon as, to Joel’s predicament and also you didn’t, even when half-heartedly so, assist his name to take Ellie away from all of it. That, I imagine, is the ability wielded by the portrayal of their relationship, and that’s we’ve been on the lookout for. Joel took Ellie from the hospital and lied to her for all the explanations that one a part of you wished him to. That’s what it means to be human.

The Treatment

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Was there ever going to be a remedy? If sure, was all of humanity going to be free of the cordyceps fungal an infection? What of the already contaminated?

I suppose, all these questions don’t matter anymore. What mattered was the selection to be made by Joel in that powerful hour that formed the result of maybe one thing bigger than he might have imagined. In that, the remedy or the vaccine turns into what we name a MacGuffin, a plot machine that looms over the narrative of the sport, but is there merely to drive the plot ahead. On this case, it’s fostering the point of interest of the plot: the connection between Ellie and Joel.

What subsequent?

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Whereas I gained’t say that the ending was ambiguous in any respect, a robust case could also be made for Ellie being utterly conscious that she was being lied to by Joel, judging from her take a look at the tip. Considered one of two issues might occur after the credit rolled on the primary half. She understood what Joel lied for and performs alongside, since she doesn’t wish to lose Joel both. The second final result being that she flips out, and begins resenting him for putting private motives over what the mission was all alongside. All our speculations shall be put to relaxation when the extremely anticipated sequel comes out subsequent 12 months in June. Whereas the trailer for the second half does present a grown Ellie in motion, and some extra particulars are revealed, I’m relying on Naughty Canine to blow my thoughts over again.

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