What Lies Beyond The Last of Us Ep 9: A Review
Warning: This article contains spoilers for The Last of Us Part II.
It’s been over a year since The Last of Us Part II was released, but the game still holds an undeniable power over those who experienced it. The game’s ambitious storytelling and powerful portrayals of characters like Ellie and Abby make it one of the most hotly debated titles in recent memory. However, there’s one element of the game that has received far less attention: the ominous post-credits sequence that hints at a possible continuation of the story.
The final moments of The Last of Us Part II see us playing as a character we haven’t seen before: a woman named Abby who, along with her companion Lev, is making her way through a jungle. After reaching a clearing, they come across a boat and set sail into the unknown. As the camera pulls back, the final shot of the game reveals a lone figure watching them from afar. This figure is left shrouded in mystery, leaving fans to speculate about what lies beyond the ending.
Many fans have speculated that this figure is none other than Joel, the father figure to Ellie who was brutally murdered at the beginning of the game. It would certainly make sense for Joel to still be alive, as the world of The Last of Us is one where the dead don’t always stay dead. However, there are several clues that suggest this figure could be someone new entirely.
One popular theory is that the figure is a member of the Fireflies, the revolutionary group that Ellie and Joel were initially trying to find in the first game. This theory is based on a few key pieces of evidence. First, Abby and Lev are heading west, towards California, which is where the Fireflies were based. Additionally, in the extra scene that plays after the credits, we hear a recording of a Firefly named Abby Anderson (presumably the same Abby we played as in Part II) talking about finding the Fireflies’ remaining members and building a new community. This could be a hint that the Fireflies are still active, and that the figure in the final shot is one of their members.
Another popular theory is that the figure is Ellie herself. This theory is based on the fact that we know Ellie had a change of heart at the end of Part II, choosing to spare Abby’s life rather than seeking vengeance. This choice left Ellie alone, with no clear path forward. It’s possible that she could have followed Abby and Lev, hoping to find some sense of purpose or redemption. This theory is supported by the fact that the figure in the final shot is wearing a backpack, which is a key part of Ellie’s signature look.
Of course, there’s a chance that the figure is someone entirely new, someone we haven’t met before. The Last of Us Part II was full of surprises, and it wouldn’t be out of character for the developers to introduce a new character late in the game. However, given that the series has always been about the relationship between Joel and Ellie, it’s hard to imagine that any new character could rival their dynamic.
Regardless of who the figure is, there’s no denying that the final shot of The Last of Us Part II is an effective one. It sets up a sense of tension and intrigue that makes fans hungry for more. The question is whether or not there will be more. At the time of writing, Naughty Dog has not revealed any plans for a sequel or DLC. The studio has said that they’re focusing on other projects for the time being, but given the success of The Last of Us Part II, it seems likely that they’ll return to the franchise at some point.
If and when they do return, they have some big shoes to fill. The Last of Us Part II was one of the most ambitious and emotionally affecting games of the past decade, and any continuation of the story will need to live up to that legacy. However, if anyone is up to the task, it’s Naughty Dog. They’ve proven time and time again that they’re masters of storytelling in video games, and if they choose to tell more of Ellie and Joel’s story, we can be sure that it will be worth playing. Until then, we’ll just have to keep speculating about what lies beyond that final shot.