The Last of Us’ epic finale leaves fans emotionally devastated: ‘Nothing short of masterful’

The Last of Us finale delivered a gut wrenching conclusion to the critically acclaimed fungal apocalypse series – but not all fans are thrilled at the ending, even though it’s faithful to the game.

The ending for The Last of Us has been infamously divisive since it was first played through in its video game form in 2013.

Having escorted Ellie (Bella Ramsey) to the hospital occupied by resistance group the Fireflies, Joel (Pedro Pascal) is informed that in order to use her immunity to develop a cure (for all of humanity, mind you), the doctors will have to perform an operation that will kill her, as Ellie’s Cordyceps mutation that shields her from infection is wrapped around her brain.

Joel ever so slightly loses his entire mind, goes a bit Rambo and shoots up the entire hospital to save Ellie from the operating theatre. One of the doctors that finds himself at the business end of Joel’s gun is later revealed to be the casualty that sets the entire chain of events of The Last of Us: Part Two in motion. This link contains mild spoilers as to what that event is.

Although Joel and Ellie both survive – even though Ellie has no idea why the operation did not go ahead – fans have been split down the middle at the show’s ending.

Some have defended Joel’s decision to save Ellie, pointing out that it would be like him losing another daughter figure after Sarah (his biological daughter) was gunned down in the opening episode.

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A portion of complaints surrounding the conclusion has come from the subsection of viewers who did not play the adaptation’s 2013 video game source material, in which the ending is exactly the same.

Others are from those who did play the game, but have felt the series painted Joel in a more obviously “selfish” light in his decision to save Ellie.

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“It was incredibly selfish of him, but he doesn’t owe the world shit,” one wrote.

If there’s one thing that they’re unanimous on, though, it’s that the The Last of Us finale has left them “emotionally distraught” – both at Joel’s decision to rid humanity of its last chance of survival and the fact that him and Ellie both somehow made it through Infected, cannibals, starvation, homophobes and more to see the end credits.

Another common thread of praise being sent the way of the The Last of Us finale is the inclusion of Ellie’s birth scene – something not included in the game – featuring original Ellie voice actor Ashley Johnson as the character’s mother.

“I don’t think a show has [ever] honoured the source material quite like what The Last of Us did [in the finale] with Ashley Johnson,” one wrote.

Johnson is not the only voice actor from the game to appear in the series: Troy Baker, the original Joel, appeared in episode eight and Jeffrey Pierce, the voice of Tommy (Joel’s brother), was cast as Kathleen’s right hand man in episodes four and five.

As Bella Ramsey herself has said: “Okay”

Season two of The Last of Us is expected to widely cover the events of the 2020 sequel to the eponymous video game; spoiler alert – it doesn’t get any less traumatic.

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