There are those who wouldn’t have appreciated the passage of time in The Last of Us without it having such an impact on the relationship between Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey), but I didn’t. In an apocalyptic series, it would be weirder for him to reach Wisconsin in three days than three months on foot. And with an annoying teenage girl for company, he stood his ground.
As mentioned before here, The Last of Us follows the school of The Walking Dead, with its protagonists bumping into good and bad people along the way. When Ellie entered Joel’s life, he was distressed by the lack of news of his brother, Tommy, and determined to find him. He added “deliver” Ellie to the Fireflies who would be close to where he imagined his brother was and thus began their journey.
On the way they lost Tess, they couldn’t arrive in time to say goodbye to Frank and Bill, they were impacted by the story of Sam and Henry and here, months later, they finally arrive at the place where Tommy is. And I swear, their reunion reminded me of this one.
So we discover that instead of being in danger (the 1980s music code would be a sign), Tommy was happily in an oasis in the midst of disgrace. A peaceful community, rebuilt and protected, albeit isolated and paranoid about who might join the fold. The emotion in Joel’s voice, looks and gestures when he sees Tommy provokes clear jealousy in Ellie, making it even clearer that her guide does not open his heart to her. Incidentally, jealousy and envy are the keynotes of the episode.
Tommy, who had always supported Joel and Sarah, was the one who needed help, who didn’t have a family. As he walked away from Joel, he found everything he saw and envied in his brother, finding his peace. Joel, who has lost everything and everyone he loved, after the seconds of relief and happiness of being with Tommy, has passed, feels left out and abandoned, jealous and envious of what Tommy has and what Joel has lost. Conflict soon arises between them and neither Ellie nor Maria, Tommy’s wife, can interfere.
Although the series does not show how Joel and Tommy’s relationship frayed soon after they had to survive, I am with Joel that it is unacceptable, and unforgivable that once in the oasis he found himself in, Tommy did not give any sign of life for his brother. or tried to bring him into the group. Even though the dream of raising goats was being realized, Tommy’s lack of sensitivity and humanity underscores once again how complex human relationships are in adversity. Having accepted himself after trials, he didn’t want to risk his comfort for Joel. No wonder he doesn’t want to stay now.
At the same time, Ellie discovers the main reason for Joel’s rejection of her: his projection of the loss of Sarah. As she reminds him, she is not Sarah and she has lost a lot of people too. Even worse: he had no love or family. But Joel has one more concern. He’s been failing to be safe, sleeping too much, and in doing so he could be putting Ellie in danger. As they are (in theory) only 5 days away from where she should be, he asks Tommy to take her (while he leaves). This comes from the teenager’s heart.
On the morning of departure, a remorseful Joel shows up to give Ellie a choice and she doesn’t even bat an eyelash at electing him. The two leave, he with plans to return. A happy ending in The Last of Us is like Game of Thrones. Does not exist.
In a deserted city, abandoned by people waiting for Ellie, Joel and the girl suffer a surprise attack, leaving him seriously injured.
For those who know what will happen, it’s chilling what we’ll see in the next episode. Who doesn’t know yet… get ready.
The Last of Us ends with an acoustic version of what is officially Joel and Ellie’s theme, Never Let Me Down Again, by Depeche Mode. The lyrics are about friends – best friends – who trust and depend on each other. Nothing is more expressive than these two. And the best? The music teaser. Joel comments that he always wanted to be a singer. Oh, when he finds the guitar, we already know what he’s going to sing for Ellie… Less to go!