The Last Of Us – Season 1 Episode 9 Recap, Review & Ending Explained

Look For The Light

Episode 9 of The Last Of Us starts with Ellie’s mum rushing through to an abandoned house, desperate for salvation. She’s heavily pregnant and her water breaks as she scrambles up the stairs. With a knife in hand, a rare sight occurs – an infected! We haven’t seen one of those for a while! Anyway, Anna manages to kill the infected at the same time as giving birth but unfortunately, she’s scratched in the ensuing conflict, meaning she’s going to turn.

The few precious moments she has with her babe she makes the most of, cradling her child and telling her daughter, Ellie, that she’s super tough. As day paves way for night, Marlene breaks into the house with her Firefly compatriots and sees Anna with her babe. She also sees her scratch.

Anna hands over Ellie, telling Marlene to take the child to Boston with her. As Ellie is taken out the room, a choice is made and Anna is shot in the head.

What does Ellie see at the top of the building?

Fast forward to the present and Ellie is distant and reserved after what happened with David. The pair are getting close to the hospital but before that,they decide to climb an abandoned skyscraper to get a better vantage point and lay of the land. Ellie is boosted up, dropping a ladder for Joel before suddenly seeing something and rushing off, telling Joel he needs to follow. It’s a giraffe!

One of the best scenes from the game is adapted beautifully here, as Ellie smiles and feeds the giraffe. Joel and Ellie watch as the giraffe returns to its herd before Joel contemplates what to do next. He’s concerned and even suggests they head back home again. “There’s no halfway with this,” Ellie says. “We finish what we started.” As the pair press on to find the hospital.

At an old, abandoned army base, Joel reveals that he gave up in the past and Ellie was the only thing that kept him going. It’s a really beautiful chat, and as the pair continue on, with Ellie getting her pun book back out again, they grow nearer to the hospital. However, there’s a problem.

Does Joel save Ellie?

Soldiers show up, throwing a grenade, and grabbing both Joel and Ellie. Joel is knocked out and brought into a hospital where Marlene happens to be waiting for him. She reveals the horrible truth that Ellie is being prepped for surgery. As Cordyceps grows in the brain, surgery would mean Ellie is going to be killed in order to fashion a cure.

That’s something Joel won’t be able to take, and as he’s led out to the highway by two armed guards, Joel takes advantage of the situation and kills both men on the stairwell. A shootout ensues as the sound design beautifully mirrors the chaos and destruction. Joel plunges through the corridors, killing soldiers left and right as he desperately tries to find Ellie.

Joel shows up at surgery and kills the surgeon, forcing his two assistants to unhook Ellie and leave her. Joel scoops her up and takes Ellie down to the parking lot, where Marlene happens to be waiting for them. She pleads with Joel to do the right thing and save Ellie but he refuses. Instead, he drives Ellie out the hospital and away.

How does The Last Of Us end?

On the way, Ellie regains consciousness and Joel lies to Ellie, claiming that there are numerous others immune like her. He points out that raiders showed up and attacked the hospital but of course, we know that it’s Joel. As further flashbacks reveal, he also shot Marlene too, making sure she can’t follow Ellie.

As for Joel and Ellie, they drive day and night before arriving at Wyoming. They’ve got a 5 hour hike ahead of them so they head off and overlook their settlement. Before they continue on, Ellie asks Joel about what went down. Joel swears to Ellie that everything he’s said about the Fireflies and the raiders is true. Ellie rolls the words around in her head before replying, “Okay.”

The Episode Review

The Last Of Us ends with a bang and what better way to do it than to faithfully adapt everything that happens during the latter part of the game. For those unaware, the only major decision here that can be avoided is shooting the surgeon in the head. In the original game you can actually choose not to do this and still take Ellie but the reasons for this will become clear in season 2. I’m not about to spoil the plot beats here though!

I’ve been a pretty big critic of this show overall, given the lack of action, the hit or miss pacing and the characterisation but this episode shows that adapting the game breeds the best results. The only gripe one could have is the quickness at which Ellie switches from being downcast and upset to jovial and cracking jokes, but that’s pretty accurate to the game so one can’t have too many grumbles with that.

We finally get a bit of action this episode too, which works beautifully with the montage, although the sheer lack of infected or clickers in this is mightily disappointing. We’ve had one scene with clickers and a few tiny cameos with the infected, but beyond that the show has felt much more like a post-apocalyptic romp like The Stand than anything else.

With all that considered, The Last Of Us does manage to end things with a bang; a simple but effective final chapter that adapts the last bit of the game and does so in a really satisfying and well worked manner.

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