About That Last of Us Ending

Finished it on Sunday. All the spoilers for the ending of The Last of Us. Below the jump.

Apparently that was controversial? Apparently lots of people didn’t like it?

That was not at all my experience. When the Fireflies at the end said “we have to cut her brain open,” my husband was sitting next to me during those last few moments of the game.

Our collective reaction was “Aw, helllll naw,” and it was lock and load all the way till the end. I took the next few sections of tactical combat as seriously as I’d taken any other sections.

When I got to the operating room I had the shotgun out and I blew the lead doctor away before he could say anything. I did not have that “and then the game made me kill him” experience.

After it was all over, I only then mused “I wonder if I could’ve made another decision there.”

And my husband said “Nope, I think that’s the way it ends.”

I looked online to see if there was a second ending. There isn’t. But I was totally satisfied with the ending as presented (which felt, at the time, like one I chose).

I guess lots of people wanted that to be a choice situation, but treating it like one didn’t occur to me at all at the time. I guess I’m agreeing with people who have said “yeah, I’m glad the game didn’t make that a choice situation,” but I’m agreeing with it only in the most basic way, which is to say, I didn’t even consider a second choice in the moment. I mean it just felt like the way it was supposed to go, to me. As much as I pick fun of the “dad with a gun” conceit as a repeating trope, it was obviously the point of the story to here and it all comes together in a narratively inevitable way. So, um, good end, guys.

3 thoughts on “About That Last of Us Ending”

  1. I was a little surprised he went there (especially with “I swear”) but it certainly didn’t seem out of character for him. It wasn’t necessarily the right thing to do, but, it was what Joel would’ve done for sure.

    And maybe it wasn’t necessarily the WRONG thing to do, either. Maybe he just wants her to live, and not in fear. My sister also pointed out something from her studies as an infectious disease expert, which is that although Joel believes he’s lying about there being other immune people, in the grand scheme of things, there probably ARE other immune people.

  2. Great points. Yeah, that whole “chosen one” trope certainly gets in the way of the other immune people expectation. But it really is likely. And yeah, I agree that Joel’s “I swear” was completely consistent with this character.

    It’s not my favorite ending or one I feel like I own. But it is interesting character development, and it’s a million times less muddy than that Bioshock Infinite conclusion.

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