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The Last of Us season 1 finale explained and burning questions

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Warning: This article contains spoilers for the final episode of The Last of Us and the first The Last of Us game. For more, you can check out our review of the ninth and final episode here.


We’ve finally reached the end of the road. Over the course of the gripping first season, we follow Jules (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) as they navigate the ravaged world of Cordyceps-infested America in search of fireflies for a potential cure. Players were well aware of what was going to happen in the agonizing finale, but it was a violent ride that changed our expectations about heroes and the sacrifices they’re willing to make for people who don’t know the source material. And with the shocking end of the last episode, we are here to explain to you the conclusion and talk about pressing questions as we head towards the second season, of course with as little spoilers as possible for the game!

Explanation of the end of the last episode of The Last of Us series

After they arrive in Salt Lake City, Jules seems to be doing well. He is committed to his new life with Ellie and even suggests that they go back to Jackson and give up the mission. We got some iconic moments from the game, including the amazing scene when Ellie finds a giraffe and Joel helps feed it. But nothing good can last in a world in ruins and things soon turn upside down for both of them. After being captured by the Fireflies, Joel awakens in the facility, and Marilyn (Merle Dandridge) explains to him that Ellie has already been prepared for surgery.

The series expands on the game in which Marilyn explains that the reason behind Ellie’s immunity is a “mutation”, but here Marilyn explains to Joel that scientists believe Ellie was immune from birth due to the Cordyceps fungus growing with her. This resulted in the cordyceps in her body basically sending a message to others saying it was cordyceps. The good news? The doctor thinks they can make a cure out of that. The bad news? The operation will kill Ellie, and it turns out that the girl was not told about the whole thing before she was drugged and that she might die.

Predictably, Joel doesn’t take kindly to the news, pretending to be agreeable enough to just in time turn on the Fireflies, then shoot left and right around the hospital to get to Ellie before eventually confronting Marilyn in the garage. And just like in the game, this act represents the story’s central moral conflict: Is it worth sacrificing one life to potentially save millions? For Jules, of course, the answer is no. But seeing him kill so many Fireflies and perhaps the only man who can find a cure, this decision will not pass without consequences. This raises huge questions about freedom of decision. As the Fireflies did not give Ellie a choice to decide whether or not to sacrifice herself, although the series leads us to believe that she might accept the sacrifice. Also, although Joel saves her, he also lies to her about what happened, once again ignoring Ellie’s right to decide for herself.

It’s clear that Joel’s choice will be a major source of conflict in Season 2, especially since he left out some of the nurses who witnessed what happened and will tell the Fireflies. Putting Jules and Ellie in conflict against the group would make a lot of sense and there would be more pressure on Jules because he would have to hide the truth from Ellie while protecting her. Whatever happens, this decision will haunt the duo into the future.

Was Ellie’s mother being bitten what gave her immunity?

Replayed the first season of The Last of Us In his latest episode, a fan-favorite actress from the game confirmed a huge fan theory. Ashley Johnson, who voiced Ellie in the original games, appears as Ellie’s mother Anna in the series. The episode opens with a pregnant Anna running through the woods. She is preparing to give birth in an abandoned house, but seconds before the baby is born, she is attacked. After killing the infected, she realizes she was bitten just as Ellie was born.

Fans have speculated for years that Anna was bitten before Ellie was born, giving Ellie something like a vaccine against the virus, and the series appears to confirm this theory. Although Anna told Marilyn that she cut the umbilical cord before she was bitten, we know the truth. This important moment also confirms that Marilyn had always had reason to suspect Ellie of some invulnerability, since it was she who found Anna in her last moments and took her child. And as we find out in this episode, it pays off because according to the Fireflies, Marilyn was right.

Why did Jules kill the Fireflies? Was what he did justified?

This ethical question has been at the center of one of the most shocking events since its release The Last of Us Set in 2013. Just like the last episode of the series, the game ends with Joel (and the players) sent on a killing rampage through the Fireflies Lab after discovering that Ellie must be killed in order to create the cure. Although Joel’s brutality in the game is unsurprising, his choice to save Ellie over a possible cure is shocking. We as players had killed hundreds of people by the time we got to the hospital but they were all a ‘threat’ standing in the way of Joel’s mission to get Ellie to the Fireflies and save the world. This makes the game’s final chapter, and our complicity as players, a shocking surprise. Players thought they were on a hero’s journey and ended up killing the very people they were supposed to help, choosing one life over the lives of millions.

But in the series, that choice seems less shocking and more like a natural, good decision for Joel to make. Joel’s love for Ellie is on display in this episode, and we’ve seen how far he’s willing to go to protect her. So when Marilyn shows up and reveals that Ellie is about to die with a theory to back her up, Joel’s decision seems less sinister. Since there is no proven science to support their plan, they never give Ellie a chance to decide here, and they are never discussed or given a choice. Instead, it was they who made the decision. We of course know from what Ellie said earlier in the final episode that she would most likely choose to have the operation. But Ellie’s choice here is not respected at any point by either Jules or the Fireflies. Which brings us to the next big question this episode poses.

Will Jules confess the truth to Ellie?

Joel gets a chance to tell Ellie the truth when she asks him to swear that what he told her about what happened is the truth. He doubles his lie by confirming that he told her the truth, but we do not know if he will tell her with time. Of course, this would greatly change their relationship and expose the brutality Joel has been trying to hide from Ellie all season, but the fact that they’re going back to Jackson makes the truth even more likely. Maria (Rutina Weasley) tells Ellie earlier in the season that she should be careful not to trust Jules, so it would make sense that if Ellie suspects something is wrong, she might end up trusting her later in the series. This could introduce an unexpected and intriguing new alliance between Maria and Ellie and drive a wedge between Ellie and Joel.

If the truth about what Joel did was revealed, this would cause huge problems between Joel and Ellie, especially since he killed the only other adult who cared about her: Marilyn. Is there a chance that one day Ellie will understand what Joel did? Maybe, since they live in a violent reality eventually, but she wouldn’t be able to do that unless he told her the truth. So with the second season coming up, a conflict between surrogate father and daughter seems more likely.

What will happen to Fireflies now?

Marilyn tells Joel that the Fireflies have lost half their numbers shifting locations across the country. Jules kills every Firefly in the hospital (including their leader herself). So where does that leave the group? We know there are pockets of this radical organization all over the country, but it appears that this was one of their last real bases. The Fireflies may not find out right away, which will leave Joel and Ellie safe for a while, but when the rest of the Fireflies realize what happened, they will surely come after our two friends.

How will Season 2 of The Last of Us handle the games’ time jump?

If you want answers about what will happen next, the best option is play The Last of Us Part II. We won’t go into any of the game’s events here because the first season was pretty much identical to the original game. But that’s the only big sub-burn question we can ask. The events of the second part take place seven years after the end of the first game. Although Bella Ramsey is closer to Ellie V Part II In real life, however, Pedro Pascal actually plays a several years larger role as Jules. Aside from those logical questions, there’s also the fact that Season 2 could potentially be used to fill in events that took place in the years gap between games, given that Part 2 It would need more than one TV season to complete its storyline. But we can probably expect the same time jump to happen in the series as well as another semi-direct adaptation of one of the most popular video games of all time.

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