TV & Movies

Joel's Big Fireflies Move In TLOU Finale Is Something We (And The Showrunners) Struggle With

The unflinching shoot-out showcases the brutality of “The Last of Us” while highlighting Joel’s deep love for Ellie. This is exceedingly evident in Joel’s great efforts to protect her; once he found out Ellie’s life was in danger, a switch flipped, and he went on a violent rampage.

Throughout Season 1, we’ve seen desperate measures taken to combat the devastating effects of the cordyceps infection. These almost always involve protecting or sparing a loved one — like Tess’ (Anna Torv) noble sacrifice and Ellie’s mercy killing of her infected friend Riley (Storm Reid). Craig Mazin talked about the intention behind these intense moments with The Hollywood Reporter, saying, “And there’s a lot of examples worldwide of this happening all the time. So for us it was just like, ‘Here are all the different pieces that we have, the tools we have within this story. How can we, with each episode, thematically, touch on that in some way?’ Both the beautiful joy that can come out of like a story like Bill and Frank, and a fate worse than death when a man has to kill his own brother because he’s turned.” 

This sentiment highlights Joel’s actions in the hospital where he resorted to extreme measures out of love for Ellie. He only killed those who were armed and spared those who didn’t pose as great a threat, distinguishing himself from other bloodthirsty foes we’ve met throughout the season.

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