Last of Us Last Episode: Why the Ending Was Perfectly Bittersweet
The Last of Us is one of the most popular and critically acclaimed video game franchises of all time, and its latest release, The Last of Us Part II, has been no exception. The game’s story is a compelling tale of love, loss, trauma, and revenge told through the eyes of two survivors in a world ravaged by a deadly pandemic.
The final episode of The Last of Us Part II, titled “The Farmhouse,” left fans torn and emotional. Many were satisfied with the bittersweet ending, while others were disappointed with how it concluded. However, upon closer examination, there’s an argument to be made for the ending being perfectly bittersweet.
In “The Farmhouse,” we’re reunited with Ellie, who has settled down on a farm with her girlfriend, Dina, and young son, J.J. Ellie is content and at peace, but she’s still haunted by the memories of Joel and her lost chance for revenge against Abby.
The arrival of Joel’s brother, Tommy, changes everything. He arrives at the farm with a lead on Abby’s whereabouts and urges Ellie to come with him to find her. Ellie is torn between her desire for closure and her love for her new family, but ultimately decides to leave.
The subsequent journey is grueling, and Ellie is forced to confront the physical and emotional demons that have plagued her for years. Along the way, she has flashbacks that explore her relationship with Joel, her feelings of guilt over his death, and her experiences with Abby.
As she finally confronts Abby, Ellie has the chance to exact her revenge, but she hesitates. In a shocking twist, we see that Abby is now a broken and emaciated shadow of her former self, hanging defenseless from a pole. Ellie realizes the futility of violence and the cost of her revenge, and she releases Abby, choosing to walk away from the cycle of violence.
Many fans objected to Ellie’s decision, feeling it was out of character and that the game didn’t give them the satisfaction of seeing Abby get punished. However, upon closer examination, there are two key reasons why the ending was perfectly bittersweet.
First, Ellie’s decision to let Abby go showed the growth of her character throughout the game. Ellie was not the same person she was at the beginning of the game, hell-bent on revenge. She had experienced loss and trauma, and she had learned the hard way that revenge was a cycle that only caused more pain.
Second, the ending was bittersweet because it acknowledged the terrible cost of violence. Throughout the game, we saw the human toll of the violence and how it left everyone involved damaged and forever changed. The ending showed that even when Ellie got her revenge, it wasn’t worth it. Her choices cost her everything, including her relationship with Dina and her ability to play guitar.
In conclusion, the last episode of The Last of Us Part II was a fittingly bittersweet conclusion to an emotionally charged game. It took risks with its storytelling, eschewed conventional video game tropes, and challenged players to confront the cost of violence. While some fans may have been disappointed by the ending, Ellie’s decision to let Abby go was the perfect culmination of her character arc, and the game’s message was a poignant reminder that, sometimes, the sweetest victories are the ones that come at the greatest cost.