After last week’s shocking ending that saw Ellie get her first kill, the latest and last installment promises to conclude the first season in a manner that’s faithful to the acclaimed video game. With the way things have gone for eight chapters, HBO’s hit series manages to stick to its landing while building up excitement for the second season. We take a look at The Last Of Us episode 9 ending explained to truly learn what went down in the season finale.
The Last Of Us episode 9 ending explained
This week’s installment of The Last Of Us starts with a pregnant woman named Anna running through the woods and about to give birth. She finds an abandoned house and starts looking for someone, only to find her water has already broken. She barricades a door but fails as an infected individual bites her hand. After killing her attacker, Anna gives birth and names the baby Ellie.
At night time, Marlene arrives at the abandoned house with two men to look for Ellie’s mother. They find Anna inside an empty room with a bite on her leg and about to turn soon. She asks Marlene to take Ellie, find someone to take care of her, and give the child the knife she used to kill the infected when she grows up. Marlene initially refuses but follows her friend’s wishes in the end, including killing her before she turns.
Fast forward to several years later, we see Joel trying to cheer Ellie up as the teenager is visibly shaken after her encounter with David. The pair then proceed on their journey to find the Fireflies. As they’re walking, Joel asks an absent-minded Ellie if she wants to learn how to play the guitar with her saying yes.
Upon entering an abandoned building, Joel and Ellie go up to inspect their surroundings from a higher position. From there, Ellie spots a giraffe thriving within a place filled with trees and plants. They follow the mammal further and see that it’s not alone as a herd of giraffes has made the city their home. As they’re looking at the view, Joel tries to dissuade Ellie from continuing on their journey and just return to Jackson. In response, Ellie says all of what she has gone through must mean something. She adds that they have to finish what they started.
Moving deeper into the city, Joel recounts what happened after Sarah died. He tells Ellie that the scar on his head was borne out of a failed suicide attempt because of the loss of his daughter. Before they get too sentimental, Joel asks to hear more from Ellie’s joke book. As they’re joking about it, an unknown individual throws a smoke grenade at them and knocks Joel out.
After a few moments, Joel wakes up with Marlene watching over him. She recounts the struggles her team had to go through to reach their current destination and a sense of amazement that Joel did the same with Ellie. Marlene then tells Joel that they’ve found a way to make a vaccine from Ellie’s body but they need to kill her, a detail Joel vehemently opposes. She orders the Fireflies to take Joel out to the highway so he wouldn’t reach out to Ellie and change her mind.
Even before being taken outside, Joel manages to overpower his captors and takes their weapons in the process. He goes on to take out Marlene’s Fireflies scattered all throughout the hospital and locates Ellie as she’s being prepped for surgery. Joel kills the doctor working on the young girl, and takes her away from the Fireflies. But before he can do so, he is confronted by Marlene. The Firefly leader makes him realize the consequences if he saves Ellie, which will doom the entire world.
The scene then abruptly cuts to Joel driving on an open road with Ellie sleeping in the backseat. He tells the young girl that there are a lot of immune individuals and all of them didn’t contribute to making an effective vaccine. Joel adds that they just escaped after a group of raiders attacked the hospital. This conversation plays alongside a flashback to how Joel killed Marlene. Before he escapes, Marlene pleads with Joel to let her live but he shoots her in the head instead.
With a couple of days passing by since their escape, Joel and Ellie are back near Jackson. As they’re walking back, Joel mentions that Sarah would have liked Ellie and he thinks that the girl would like his daughter too. Ellie is visibly confused before reaching Jackson and admits what happened before they met by recounting the events of The Last Of Us episode 7. She then makes Joel swear that everything that happened with the Fireflies was true as Joel responds with a yes. This marks the conclusion of The Last Of Us season 1.
What just happened? The Last Of Us episode 9 recap
After eight episodes, the progression of Joel and Ellie’s characters has finally reached a high note as the pair finally find the Firefly hospital they’ve been looking for. But for Joel, it turns out not to be everything he hoped for as Marlene admits that there will be a need to kill Ellie to produce an effective vaccine. This admission spurs Joel to take out the Fireflies to save an unconscious Ellie from being opened up.
As they’re returning to Jackson, Joel concocts a story about not needing Ellie’s immunity anymore as a vaccine can’t be made. For her part, Ellie doubts Joel and makes him swear that everything he said was true, marking the end of the first season on HBO. Fans of the show mustn’t fret because a second season is confirmed, which means that the story of Ellie and Joel will continue. Until then, it’s best to keep an eye out for all of The Last Of Us updates that will be coming out.