Final Of Us Finale Recap Episode 9 Search for the Mild on HBO

Picture: Liane Hentscher/HBO

Sure, that happened. Sure, that’s how the sport ends. No, we are still not over it. Let’s sit down and talk about the season finale of The Final of Us.

Image for article titled The Last of Us Season One Ends With Its Most Painful, Powerful Episode Ever

Picture: Liane Hentscher/HBO

Nowadays everybody loves to guage media by its size. “Lengthy is nice” and “quick is dangerous” is an accepted mind-set. Nicely, with “Search for the Mild,” the ninth and closing episode of The Final of Us season one, that will get thrown out totally. It’s the shortest episode of the season, and but its 44-minute runtime is stuffed with game-changing substance. Living proof, the episode’s chilly open, which begins mysterious and builds into perhaps probably the most vital scene in the complete season. Till, nicely, the top of the episode.

A girl named Anna (Ashley Johnson) is operating within the woods. She’s pregnant. Behind her, we hear the sounds of a clicker in pursuit. Anna finds an outdated farmhouse that she expects could have folks in it however it’s empty. As she runs up the steps, her water breaks. This child is coming. She barricades herself in a room and takes out a knife. A knife that, by this level, ought to look fairly acquainted. Did you work it out at this level?

The clicker makes its approach into the home. It runs up the steps and is now banging on the bed room door. The door offers approach and the clicker assaults Anna. There’s a wrestle and virtually concurrently three issues occur: Anna stabs the clicker within the head, she will get bitten, and her child arrives. Anna cuts the umbilical wire and appears adoringly at her crying child. “You fucking inform ‘em, Ellie,” she says. Yup. We simply noticed the second of Ellie’s beginning and a possible rationalization of why she, out of everybody, is immune: an infection occurred on the time of beginning. It’s part of her.

Image for article titled The Last of Us Season One Ends With Its Most Painful, Powerful Episode Ever

Picture: Liane Hentscher/HBO

It’s quite a bit to soak up (particularly whenever you notice Ashley Johnson performs Ellie within the video video games, so she form of offers beginning to herself)—so fortunately now we have a couple of minutes to sit down with what’s simply occurred because the opening credit roll. When issues choose again up, we’re nonetheless prior to now. Marlene (Merle Dandridge) arrives with just a few fellow Fireflies. They discover the home locked however take the again approach in and notice, due to the damaged window, one thing dangerous occurred right here. Upstairs, they hear singing. It’s Anna holding Ellie, coated in blood. She explains to Marlene that the infant is hungry and must be fed however that she couldn’t feed her as a result of she’s been bitten. Marlene’s thoughts instantly goes to if the infant is contaminated however Anna lies and says she minimize the umbilical wire earlier than she was bitten. It’s an enormous danger that places everybody at risk however they don’t understand it but.

Anna begs Marlene to take the infant together with her to Boston and lift it, however Marlene doesn’t wish to. After revealing that they’ve recognized one another their complete lives, Marlene agrees. Anna additionally needs Marlene to kill her, however Marlene doesn’t suppose she will. Once more, Anna begs, and so in opposition to her finest needs, Marlene kills her.

Earlier than transferring on, it’s value it to unpack this scene, which is a brand new addition to the mythology and never explicitly seen within the sport (although it’s hinted at). Clearly, seeing how Ellie’s mother died and explaining how she’s immune are large revelations. However the truth that Marlene not solely knew Anna her complete life, however was tasked with defending her, additionally actually flips some issues. Within the sequence’ first episode, it appeared as if Ellie had by no means met Marlene earlier than. Which means Marlene particularly selected to not act as a mom determine to Ellie. Additionally, figuring out their historical past collectively provides a complete different layer to what occurs on the finish of the episode. All of that is extremely highly effective and virtually an excessive amount of to digest, however the finale is simply getting began.

The sound of Marlene’s gunshot killing her mother cuts again to Ellie within the current. She’s distant. Zoned out. As you may be in case you’d just lately stabbed a person 21 instances after he tried to rape and homicide you in a burning constructing. It’s unclear how a lot time has handed or how, particularly, she and Joel acquired from Colorado to Salt Lake Metropolis (keep in mind in episode six after they realized the Firefly scientists had moved there?), however they’ve. They’re near their closing vacation spot.

However Joel is conserving it mild. He’s excited they discovered some Chef Boyardee and Boggle and mentions perhaps after they get again to Wyoming, he can educate Ellie find out how to play the guitar. She’s solely half listening although as she’s clearly not her outdated self. Who is aware of if she’ll ever be once more?

Image for article titled The Last of Us Season One Ends With Its Most Painful, Powerful Episode Ever

Picture: Liane Hentscher/HBO

Joel continues to be talkative as they enter town searching for the hospital. As they start to climb up a constructing for a greater view, one thing distracts Ellie and she or he bolts off. She’s being loud, screaming, and Joel runs after her attempting to maintain her quiet. Then we see what distracted her. It’s a giraffe.

If Ellie, raised in a Boston Quarantine Zone, had by no means seen an escalator earlier than, clearly she’d by no means seen a giraffe earlier than. She’s past joyful and seeing her smile once more makes Joel smile. They feed the animal and see that there are just a few roaming across the metropolis. With the giraffes considerably lifting the cloud that’s been hanging over Ellie, Joel tells her that, they don’t have to do that. They’ll simply flip round and return to Tommy in Wyoming.

That’s not what Ellie needs. After all the things they’ve completed and gone by means of, she wants it to be for one thing. For it to imply one thing. Then, after that? She doesn’t care. She’ll go or do no matter Joel needs. It’s an odd factor for Joel to say so near the top, however within the subsequent scene we discover out why. They stumble right into a medical space that’s been there for many years and Joel reveals to Ellie that previously he tried, and failed, to commit suicide. After Sarah died, and with all the things taking place, he didn’t see some extent in dwelling anymore. He was able to die. However, for some cause, he flinched and now, all these years later, he is aware of why. It was due to Ellie.

A few of that is implied between the traces of the present’s lovely writing, however it’s actually hammered dwelling when Ellie says to Joel that point heals all wounds and he replies, with a loving look, that it wasn’t time. No, for Joel, all the things they’ve been by means of, all of the ache and loss of life, it’s value it as a result of he has a daughter once more. It’s arguably probably the most touching second of the complete season, and it brings all the things collectively for Joel. He’s succeeded right here. He cares much less about Ellie’s potential for a remedy and extra about not dropping an individual he loves once more. He, is as soon as once more, complete.

After the emotional reflection, the pair get away the pun guide and for a second, The Final of Us makes you overlook concerning the world. It’s simply two characters telling jokes. However within the background you discover a soldier sneaking up on them—after which throwing a grenade. The gasoline knocks them each out and, nicely. Right here we go.

Earlier than we get to the massive occasion right here, I do suppose it’s value noting that, in case you’ve performed the sport, the episode has a totally completely different vitality. Realizing what’s about to occur provides a sure worry and pressure that’s most likely lacking from the expertise of somebody who nonetheless doesn’t know what’s about to occur. That particular person might be extra frightened and curious. Both approach, Joel and Ellie’s seize here’s a second of utmost change on which the complete sequence pivots, and a part of why this present has been so successful is it really works whether or not you realize what’s coming or not, simply in barely other ways.

Joel wakes up and sees Firefly symbols. They’ve made it to the hospital they wanted to get to. In walks Marlene, who’s shocked that the person she tasked with bringing Ellie to her folks nevertheless many months in the past has truly succeeded. She mentioned she misplaced half the individuals who had been assigned to get her from Boston to Salt Lake Metropolis however by some means, Joel and Ellie made it. Joel says it was all Ellie and that she fought like hell to be right here. Which is true. Marlene says she’s in his debt.

Joel asks the place Ellie is and Marlene says she’s prepping for surgical procedure. That catches Joel’s consideration. Why is she going into surgical procedure? Seems the physician believes the virus has been in her since beginning (which this episode made clear) and so anytime she’s “contaminated,” it doesn’t take as a result of the virus already thinks she’s contaminated. He believes if he can harvest the cells which have that code, they will truly create a remedy.

It’s improbable information, and it’s all the things Joel, Ellie, and Marlene have been working towards the complete season. Besides Joel realizes that the virus grows within the mind. So the surgical procedure Ellie is being prepped for is mind surgical procedure. Mind surgical procedure that can kill her. He begins to freak out as a result of it’s like he’s dropping a daughter once more and yells to Marlene that she doesn’t perceive. Besides, with the revelations from earlier, we all know she does perceive. She’s been watching over Ellie her whole life. They’re not as shut, however she too is letting some she loves be sacrificed.

For Marlene, there’s no different selection. It’s Ellie versus actually each different particular person on the planet and, she assures Joel, she’ll really feel no ache. He needs to see her although and it begins to seem like he’s going to be an issue. So Marlene tells her males to take him to the freeway.

As Joel is being escorted out, he catches a glimpse of the hospital listing for an thought of the place Ellie may be after which *deep breath* he jumps and kills the 2 males who had been escorting them. He takes their weapons and begins to make his approach by means of the hospital, murdering each single particular person in sight. Even individuals who beg for mercy get none—and instantly our hero, flawed as he may be, is one thing else. He’s a mass shooter and the visible of Joel sneaking across the hospital, killing each single particular person he sees, is extremely arduous to look at, particularly as a result of we’ve seen the nice in him. That is past stunning.

Image for article titled The Last of Us Season One Ends With Its Most Painful, Powerful Episode Ever

Picture: Liane Hentscher/HBO

Watching the episode I misplaced depend of how many individuals Joel kills, however it’s round 15-20. Simply a lot loss of life and destruction. Lastly, and mercifully for the viewers, he makes it to the working room. He asks the physician to unhook Ellie and when the lead physician says he can’t let Joel take her, Joel shoots him within the head. The person who might save the world will get shot within the head. He lets the 2 nurses stay (one among whom is performed by Final of Us Half II voice actress Laura Bailey, in a pleasant wink for followers), they take away all of the wires from Ellie, and he grabs her. The present can also be certain to linger an additional second on that physician for, you realize, reasons.

Then, by some means, issues worsen. Joel takes Ellie all the way down to the storage to seize a automobile and runs into Marlene. She tells Joel that it doesn’t matter what occurs Ellie goes to die ultimately and he’s not seeing the massive image. Collectively, they may save everybody—however as an alternative, he’s simply saving her. Joel yells that she wasn’t given the selection within the matter however he, Marlene, and most significantly the viewers know that doesn’t matter. Ellie made it clear that this journey needed to be about one thing and nothing would’ve been extra necessary than a remedy. Marlene tells Joel it’s not too late.

Earlier than it’s revealed what occurs subsequent within the storage, we see Joel driving away. Ellie is laying within the again seat and wakes up confused about what occurred. Joel tells her that the docs had been operating exams on not simply on her, however dozens of different individuals who had been proof against the virus. Nonetheless, the docs couldn’t make it work they usually stopped searching for a remedy.

As we sit there shocked at Joel’s lies, we see the energy of his resolve. The present cuts again to him within the storage as he shoots Marlene. Again within the automobile, Joel’s gaslighting continues. He says that raiders attacked the hospital and he barely acquired Ellie out of there alive. Many individuals had been harm. When Ellie asks if Marlene is okay, Joel doesn’t reply. However the TV present does. After Joel shoots her, Marlene is crumpled up on the bottom. She asks him to let her go to which Joel replies, with an ice-cold demeanor that’s scary for even him, “You’d simply come after her.” And he fires one other shot into her head.

Days later, Joel and Ellie’s automobile craps out just a few hours away from Tommy’s. They begin to hike and Joel talks to Ellie about Sarah: how they’re completely different, how they’re comparable. Pedro Pascal’s efficiency right here is unbelievable as a result of he’s attempting to be joyful, however you see that that is all simply justification. It’s Joel coping with the guilt of what he simply did to be with Ellie. What he simply determined the world have to be for them to be collectively.

Once they attain the house stretch, Ellie stops Joel. For the primary time she reveals to him that the primary particular person she ever needed to kill was her finest pal Riley, and since then, so many individuals have died for her: Tess, Sam, and so on. She makes Joel swear to her that what he mentioned concerning the Fireflies was true. That their whole journey wasn’t for nothing and {that a} remedy actually wasn’t attainable. He swears to her. And within the closing shot, a skeptical Ellie says the one factor she will say. “Okay.”

So was this journey all for nothing? It relies on your viewpoint. For Joel, it appears he would have killed each particular person on the planet for an opportunity to recapture the love he misplaced on the primary day of the outbreak. And, in the long run, he form of did simply that. To take action although, he needed to deprive Ellie of what she believed was her true function: to save lots of folks. For one among them to have what they wished, the opposite couldn’t.

Image for article titled The Last of Us Season One Ends With Its Most Painful, Powerful Episode Ever

Picture: Liane Hentscher/HBO

The fallout of the lies and destruction all come into play in season two; if you wish to see what occurs subsequent, The Final of Us Half II is correct there. However taking this as the top of a season of tv, it’s simply so extremely advanced. Each angle you have a look at it from gives new views. Joel’s actions had been deplorable, clearly, however does doing them within the title of affection make them okay? If Ellie had given her life, are we actually certain that the remedy would have labored? May it have gotten to everybody or would some have tried to revenue from it? Greed is fairly prevalent on this world. Did skepticism concerning the remedy weigh into Joel’s choice? And the way a lot do you like somebody in case you make them imagine not only a lie, however one thing that’s so removed from the reality, it’s virtually definitely unforgivable? These questions and plenty of, many, many extra will likely be mentioned within the coming months, which is the mark of a really nice piece of artwork. One thing that The Final of Us most definitely is.

Stream all episodes of The Final of Us now on HBO Max.


Need extra io9 information? Try when to count on the newest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s subsequent for the DC Universe on film and TV, and all the things it is advisable to find out about the way forward for Doctor Who.

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