The Last of Us finale does not disappoint 

Kent Pham, Staff Writer

HBOmax’s latest zombie drama and video game adaptation has finally finished its first season. Throughout the previous eight episodes, Joel and Ellie endured countless adventures and hardships. In the final episode, they finally find the Firefly base they have been searching for the entire season. However, this episode took what was meant to be a happy ending and turned it into a heartbreaking tragedy.

Joel finds out that in order to potentially find the cure to the infected virus, his newfound daughter Ellie will need to die. In many people’s eyes, one person’s life in this situation would be worth the entirety of humanity. Joel decides, and whether or not what he does was “right” is up to each viewer. 

Every encounter Joel and Ellie face throughout The Last of Us has its own moral ambiguity. Whether it was Henry ratting out Kathleen’s brother to save his younger brother, or the religious leader, David, eating his own to keep the rest of his group alive, these dilemmas are what make the show so enticing to viewers – and players.

We learn at the beginning of the season finale that Ellie is immune to cordyceps because her mother gave birth to her after being infected. This allows Ellie to live with the infection, so she is the only person with immunity to the disease. The Fireflies have devised a way to remove the cordyceps from Ellie and possibly bring immunity to humanity, which will kill her. 

Joel seems to finally come to terms with the death of his daughter, Sarah, at the beginning of the show, because of Ellie. He changes from a distrusting, cynical monster to rediscovering a purpose in life. Joel can’t live without Ellie and is willing to sacrifice anything to keep her from dying. His murderous rampage throughout the hospital demonstrates his heartlessness and selfishness. To Joel, it doesn’t matter if Ellie’s death allows humanity a future because, without her, there is no future. Ellie may want to sacrifice herself, and Joel knows that, but it doesn’t matter to him when he lies to her about what happened in the hospital. 

Whether or not you believe Joel made the right decision, the video game adaptation has hooked us all as we wait for the next season.