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The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

‘The Last of Us’ stuns audiences with finale

The+Last+of+Us+stuns+audiences+with+finale
naughty_dog via Flickr

HBO aired the season one finale of the critically acclaimed show “The Last of Us” March 12. Filled with a blend of gore and the severity of survival, audiences were left on the edge of their seats desperate to see what happens next.

The series is a video game adaptation that took audiences by storm since its original release on Jan. 15. 

Following the outbreak of “Cordyceps,” which turns humans into zombie-like beings after they’re infected, Joel, played by Pedro Pascal, and Ellie, played by Bella Ramsey, trek across the post-apocalyptic United States in a wretched search for safety. 

In the first few minutes of the finale, viewers are transported to the time of Ellie’s birth. 

I was left on the edge of my seat watching as Anna fought for her own life fending off the infected, while at the same time acting fast to save Ellie. Ashley Johnson, who plays Ellie’s mother, put on a remarkable performance to demonstrate how much her character cared for her daughter as she rapidly cut her own umbilical cord before the infection could spread to her baby. 

Johnson also voiced Ellie’s character in the original video game, which I found to be a special touch that was added to the final episode by directors.

While Joel and Ellie are still in the thick of their journey we see that they’ve gotten closer to reaching the “Fireflies” and the hospital. The audience follows along a they make their way through the destruction of cities and old medical camps. Much of the set in this episode was conjured up of abandoned buildings, cars and gutted land to make viewers feel as if they are transported directly into the wasteland our characters are trekking through.

I feel as though throughout this episode we also got to peel back the layers of who Joel truly is. Although we see Pascal often depicting his character as a man of loss and one who fends off danger for those he loves, the finale lets us turn a new leaf for vulnerability. A striking scene was when Joel revealed to Ellie how he had tried to commit suicide following his daughter, Sarah’s, death. Not only did this spread heartache across audiences as we were given insight to Joel’s personal battle with his own demons, but it makes us wonder what would happen if he ever were to lose Ellie.

Later on we see Joel go to great lengths to save Ellie from detrimental surgery. As he went on a rampage killing “Fireflies” and every hospital worker in the building, Pascal puts on an impeccable performance as he digs deep into Joel’s violent side. A switch flipped as viewers are able to see Pascal transform from a devoted father-figure into an emotionless machine that wouldn’t stop killing until he reached Ellie. 

Hearts were left severed in the last few moments of the finale as Joel robbed Ellie of the truth. He lies to Ellie telling her that there was no way for a cure to be found, and his deception reveals the layers of burden within Joel’s life. These final scenes made me question whether Joel had put his selfish intentions first as he lied to Ellie, or was he just transforming into a father who needed to protect his daughter all over again? Even so, did he make the right decision as a parent?

Overall, the emotional rollercoaster I strapped in for during the finale has only left me, and fellow audiences, wanting more. From the gut-wrenching twists and turns jeopardizing the lives of Ellie and Joel, to the gruesome path left by the infected, season 2 can only go up from here. 

Follow Juliana on Twitter @julianap.03

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About the Contributor
Juliana Pinto, Staff Writer | she/her
Juliana is a sophomore from Lynn, Massachusetts majoring in print/web journalism. When she's not writing for the Journal, you can find her exploring Beacon hill with her friends, rewatching her favorite shows, reading, listening to music or spending time with her family.

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‘The Last of Us’ stuns audiences with finale