Episode 9 of The Last Of Us opens with Ellie running into an abandoned house desperate for escape from her mother. She is heavily pregnant and her water breaks while walking up the stairs. Anyway, Anna manages to kill the infected at the same time as the birth, but unfortunately she is scratched in the ensuing conflict, meaning she will turn.
She makes the most of the few precious moments she has with her baby, holding her child in her arms and telling her daughter Ellie that she’s too tough. As day gives way to night, Marlene enters the Firefly house with her housemates and finds Anna with her baby. He also sees his own scratches.
Anna hands Ellie over and tells Marlene to take the child with her to Boston. As Ellie is being led out of the room, a choice is made and Anna is shot in the head.
The pair approach the hospital, but before they do, they decide to climb an abandoned skyscraper to get a better vantage point and terrain. Ellie stands up, drops a ladder for Joel before suddenly noticing something and hastily telling Joel that she should follow. It’s a giraffe!
One of the game’s best scenes is beautifully adapted here, when Ellie smiles and feeds the giraffe. Joel and Ellie watch the giraffe return to its herd, wondering what to do next. He is worried and even offers to go back home again. “There’s no half way,” says Ellie. “We finish what we started.” As you double click to find the hospital.
At an old, abandoned army base, Joel reveals that he has given up on the past and that the only thing keeping him going is Ellie. It’s a really nice conversation, and as the pair continue, Ellie pulls out her playbook again and approaches the hospital. However, there is a problem.
Does Joel save Ellie?
The soldiers throw a grenade and capture both Joel and Ellie. Joel is beaten and brought to the hospital where Marlene is waiting for him. He reveals the horrifying truth that Ellie is being prepared for surgery. As cordyceps grows in the brain, surgery would mean killing Ellie to develop a cure.
This is something Joel can’t handle, and when he’s taken out onto the highway by two armed guards, Joel takes advantage of the situation and kills both men in the stairwell. A shootout ensues as the sound design beautifully captures the chaos and destruction. Joel kills soldiers left and right as he runs through the corridors trying to find Ellie.
Joel picks her up and takes Ellie to the park, where Marlene happens to be waiting for them.
How does The Last Of Us end?
On the way, Ellie regains consciousness and Joel lies to Ellie and claims that there are many others with immunity like her. He mentions that raiders have come and attacked the hospital, but of course we know it’s Joel. As additional flashbacks unfold, he also shoots Marlene, making sure she can’t track Ellie.
There is a 5-hour drive ahead of them, so they set off and ignore their settlements. Before they continue, Ellie asks Joel what happened.
The Last Of Us ends with a bang, and what better way to do that than to faithfully match everything that happened in the second part of the game. For the uninitiated, the only major avoidable decision here is to shoot the surgeon in the head.
I’ve been a pretty big critic of this show, given the lackluster, hit-or-miss pacing and characterization, but this episode shows that game adaptation pays off at its best. The only gripe is the speed at which Ellie goes from grumpy and angry to cheerful and crazy, but that’s pretty accurate to the game, so not too much to complain about.
Finally we got some action in this episode too, it works nicely with the montage, although the lack of infected or clickers in this one is very disappointing. We had a scene with clickers and a few small cameras that were infected, but other than that the show felt more like a post-apocalyptic romp like The Stand than anything else.
With all that in mind, The Last Of Us manages to end things with a bang; a simple yet effective final chapter that adapts the last part of the game and does so in a truly satisfying and well-crafted way.