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16th Mar 2023

The Last Of Us showrunner defends series finalé that left viewers divided

Patrick McCarry

Last of Us final episode

“I think it’s a difficult choice.”

The Last of Us final episode left many viewers and fans divided. Showrunner Craig Mazin has spoken of the decision process involved.

HBO’s dystopian thriller, which stars Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey, as unlikely duo Joel and Ellie, left critics and audiences captivated throughout its’ highly successful nine-episode run.

HBO confirmed, as early as January, that The Last of Us had been renewed for Season 2. In likelihood, it should have a long run on our screens (and devices).

What follows (below) comes with a SPOILER WARNING as details of the final episode of the season ‘Look for the Light’ feature.

Last of Us final episode

The Last of Us final episode

The characters of Joel and Ellie were brought together, amid chaotic scenes, in episode one of The Last of Us. Initially spiky travel companions, a strong bond was form as the duo made their way across the country, and survived all manners of hell, to reach members of the FEDRA resistance.

The Last of Us final episode sees that resistance (The Fireflies) coming up with a plan to send Ellie for brain surgery that will most likely kill her, in return for a possible cure to the outbreak that has so threatened mankind.

Joel refuses to let the sedated Ellie go to her death on an off-chance that wider humanity could be given a fighting chance. Instead, he goes on a bloody rampage and kills Fireflies leader, Marlene before driving Ellie to safety.

Such a wild and bloody turn of events, with Joel almost taking on the role of bad guy, left viewers divided. It is close to the canon of the original game, but many those following the HBO series were horrified with the season one ending. In a wide-ranging interview with The Hollywood Reporter, showrunner Craig Mazin explained:

“When you love something unconditionally, logic goes out the window and you will do really horrible things to protect the ones you love. And there’s a lot of examples worldwide of this happening all the time.”

He continued: “[There are] greater and greater sacrifices Joel has to make for Ellie, and likewise what she’s going through to protect him. I’m confused about it morally. I think it’s a difficult choice. I go back and forth. I think a lot of people will go back and forth on it.”

There is more background on that episode here:

Season 2 is set for a time-jump of several years and will join Joel and Ellie as the try to navigate their way through a world titled way off its’ axis.

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