The Last of Us Episode 9: A Gut-Wrenching Season Finale (Ending Explained)

The most common thing you will hear about The Last of Us anywhere on the internet is that it has been one of the best video game adaptations ever. More often than not, adaptations are more of a miss than a hit, and that happens because almost nothing can live up to the source material.

However, HBO and The Last of Us were set out to change that notion, and we are happy to say that they have officially succeeded. The Last of Us Season 1 has finally come to an end with nine brilliant episodes, each of which was a skillful adaptation of the video game.

The Last of Us Episode 9

For any video games fans out there, we would love to know your thoughts about this series, albeit, we are here today to talk about The Last of Us Episode 9, which was the much anticipated season finale.

This brings us to the main question that everyone has on their minds, did the season finale of The Last of Us live up to its expectation? Because no matter how great the series is, everything ultimately rides on the finale.

We will explore The Last of Us Episode 9 and some of the core moments in this review, so there might be some spoilers ahead, and if The Last of Us has taught us anything, it is to proceed with caution.

To What End Will Joel Continue to Save Ellie?

The Last of Us Episode 9 brings us to the end of the line, which is also the end of the first game and the story it told.

The season finale was one of the most anticipated episodes of the series, and while it hasn’t been out for too and the jury is still out, the season finale has received some mixed reviews, and we’re going to have to side with the more disappointing one in this case, which truly is upsetting because The Last of Us as a series continues to remain fantastic and beyond everyone’s expectation, but season finale might have dropped the ball.

We’re not saying that we hated the episode, it just didn’t live up to the incredibly high set bar, that was the previous episodes.

To What End Will Joel Continue to Save Ellie?

The Last of Us Episode 9 was a powerhouse filled with action and several moments that would absolutely crush your soul. The Last of Us has had several moments in the last eight episodes that have earned well-deserved gasps and “oh my god” reactions, and the season finale didn’t lack that element either.

In our opinion, The Last of Us should have had ten episodes, making this episode the penultimate, and frankly, everyone would have liked that a little more. This is because The Last of Us Episode 9 simply didn’t feel grand enough to be the grand finale, it lacked that wow factor, and we kept searching for it, but before we knew it, The Last of Us Episode 9 officially ended, leaving us a little unsatisfied.

The Last of Us

There is one part of The Last of Us Episode 9 that wasn’t in the game but has been a welcome change in the season finale, and that is a very crucial flashback, that helps fill in a few blanks about who Ellie is, why is she immune and just how important she is to the story, and of course, to Joel.

Ellie is the character that ties everyone together, and while we are aware there is a separate fan base for Joel, Ellie is the star of the series for us.

The flashback gives us a glimpse into Ellie’s birth which begins with a tragedy, and it set the pace for the rest of the episode, and truly had us believe that by the end of the season, we could potentially lose Ellie, and while it would have been divesting, this could have provided a brilliant “circle of life” moment for the series in multiple ways, but as you can probably tell, that’s not what happened.

Of course, we do understand this wouldn’t be canonically accurate either, but it was worth considering nevertheless.


The one thing that truly saved The Last of Us Episode 9 is the stellar performances delivered by Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal, who have been consistent for all nine episodes, delivering winning performances every single time they are on screen.

In this episode, we see Joel happy for the first time since his daughter died, and this is a moment that every fan of this series has desperately been waiting for. Joel has found a sense of purpose and happiness in his relationship with Ellie, and we can all admit that despite that dark plot and action-packed scenes, their relationship truly stands out as the ray of sunshine.

The Last of Us Episode 9 is proof that Joel will do anything to protect Ellie and keep her alive, and it doesn’t matter whom he has to kill along the way. At the end of the day, all Ellie wanted to do was to save the human race, but Joel wasn’t ready for that, especially not if it meant losing Ellie in the process.


While we are talking about Joel, this contrast in his actions and personality from the start of The Last of Us Episode 9 to the end of it was almost jarring and frankly, unsatisfying. Joel went from being warm and wanting to feed giraffes to being a killing machine and destroying people who truly wanted to save the human race.

Has Joel’s character arc been ruined by the season finale? Because now all we can think about is how the writers are going to spin this around in the next season. Right now, we aren’t love in with Joel’s character because he didn’t take into consideration anything other than his own relationship with Ellie which has been filling the much-needed void in his life.

There is a lot of discourse going around the internet and everyone has their own opinions about what Joel should have done versus what he actually did in The Last of Us Episode 9, so we would definitely like to know in the comments where you stand.

The Last of Us Episode 9

The ending of The Last of Us Episode 9 leaves us with one major question: will Joel ever be able to redeem himself? Hopefully, that’s something we learn in the next season, which everyone is looking forward to. Of course, we are also wondering about the cure that has been a crucial part of the ending.

If Ellie is potentially the cure, Joel is never going to let that happen, and that has been made very clear in this episode. The ending of The Last of Us Episode 9 walks us through Joel’s impending doom because he might have saved Ellie, but lying to her is going to worsen their relationship in the next season.

Joel and Ellie have returned back to Jackson to be a part of Tommy’s community, but there is an evident crack in this chosen family, and that’s bound to burst open sooner than later.

Joel and Ellie have returned back to Jackson to be a part of Tommy’s community


The Last of Us Episode 9 has a lot of people on the fence, but the writers have definitely created a lot of anticipation for the future of this series, and we are looking forward to it too.

There is a lot that needs to be said and done, and we would love to know your thoughts about The Last of Us Season 1, so do let us know in the comments below!

The Last of Us Episode 9

Director: Ali Abbasi

Editor's Rating:
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