The Last of Us “Look For the Light” Photo-Recap: Stick a Needle in your Eye

The Last of Us:  Hey look, I know you’ve had a tough time, so we promise the next season is going to be Joel and Ellie finding a therapist and working out all their issues, both individually and as a pair. Then they play Boggle.

Us:  Then why are people on Twitter talking about how Joel shouldn’t have killed that Doctor?

TLOU: People are just really supportive of the medical profession right now.

Us: Look us in the screen and swear everything you said about the future of the show is true.

TLOU: I swear.

Us: Okay.

Whooooooooooboy, ammiright??? We knew the season finale of this show was going to hurt us, but in all the ways I imagined, I never thought it would be watching Joel massacre people who were trying to save the world, then bold-face lie to his baby girl.

I AM UPSET, even though I straight-up asked for it! Last week, my unsuspecting dumb ass said this:

And then they did EXACTLY that and I am SO MAD. (Well… the Fireflies aren’t TRULY good people, in fact, they might not even BE good people, but that’s a debate for another time).

Hello Ashley Johnson! I always instantly recognize her as Chrissy Seaver from Growing Pains, but Twitter has once again enthusiastically informed me that she was the original voice of Ellie in the game. What an awesome cameo for her! Literally birthing the next Ellie! 

Anyway, Ellie was like, “What’s a baby gotta do to get some service around here??” because Anne didn’t want to feed her. You see, she’s one of those new-age moms who keeps her body a temple for breastfeeding and doesn’t want to pass on a deadly virus (ugh, like, relax, right?). She quickly cut the cord, but it wasn’t fast enough to stop the plot from implanting itself into her child. 

Marlene arrived in time to find her good pal with a new baby AND new teeth-marks in her thigh. Anna gave her very calm, succinct to-do list:

  • Take out the garbage
  • Paint the outside of this ramshackle farmhouse (presentation is everything!)
  • Find someone to raise my baby
  • Kill me
  • Get a mani-pedi because you deserve it!

Marlene was pouty about killing her bestie but in the end she checked off those tasks like a type-A valedictorian. And the rest we know! She gave the baby to FEDRA to raise then kidnapped her right back when she turned out to be the Chosen One. 

Joel was dadding SO HARD: offering to teach her guitar, finding games they can play, suggesting they record a TikTok dance, ANYTHING to make her engage with him. She was also trying so hard to be normal and respond to him, but she was just so busy PTSD-ing that it was hard to concentrate on anything else. 

I respect the show so much for going there. Girl went THROUGH IT, and she’s not okay.

After Ellie layed out their exact plan (because he taught her so well, my heart hurts), they started their climb up a building to get a decent vantage point. Ellie got distracted, though, and ran off, making Joel chase after her until they came upon a FUCKING GIRAFFE. *a million heart-eye emojis* Ellie was just so damn tickled by this magnificent creature, and Joel was tickled watching Ellie be tickled. That man would do anything to make that girl smile, and it is FINE, I’m totally FINE ABOUT THIS.

Joel gave Ellie the chance to opt out of being the saviour of the world, and she countered with the sunk-cost fallacy (they’ve come so far!). Girl wants to save the world, which I’m sure won’t cause any issues later, it’s FINE. 

Joel told Ellie that the guy who shot at him and missed was none other than Joel himself. He couldn’t see the point of going on after Sarah died, and he tried to shoot himself, but he flinched. Did he subconsciously want to live, or was it an unconscious survival reflex? Who’s to say. The point is, he was an empty shell of a man before he found a replacement daughter. He laid it all out there for her, and it was BEAUTIFUL. The acting from both of them, I JUST WANT TO GIVE THEM SO MANY HIGH-FIVES.

Joel and Ellie were minding their own business, casually pal’n and pun’n, when someone set off a wiz bang and Joel woke up in the hospital. But everything was fiiiiiiiiine because it was just the Fireflies! And all they wanted to do was cut open Ellie’s head to harvest her brain-mushrooms, and calmly and collectedly escort Joel to the ‘outskirts’. No big!

Joel wasn’t super sold on the plan to murder Ellie and harvest her insides to cure all of humanity, so he went full video-game murder mode and killed every single person whether they were a threat or not (I guess everyone is a threat when your baby girl is about to get her skull sliced open). Then he scooped our girl up like she fell asleep at the movies and carried her out to the car.  

Marlene tried to stop him, but he wasn’t having any of it. He decreed that it should be Ellie’s choice whether her brain-mushrooms get picked or not, a point which Marlene quickly countered with, “Um, kettle? Pot?” I guess it slipped his notice that he, too, was taking away her choice in the matter. 

This hurt my heart so bad, you guys. SO BAD. Ellie woke up drugged and confused, and Joel bold-faced lied that the cure wasn’t possible and Raiders attacked the hospital. Even through her drug-fog, our girl ain’t no fool, and we could all see it on her face that she had doubts. 

The truck broke down and our duo had to hike the rest of the way to Communism County. On the way Joel opened up about Sarah and how even though she and Ellie are very different, they still would have been friends. It was beautiful and sad, and an interesting thought-experiment, considering Sarah would be in her 30s by now if she’d lived. It also raises the question, would Joel be so invested in Ellie if his daughter hadn’t died? 

Ow! Oh shit, I just hurt my own heart. Dammit. What were we talking about?

Because Ellie is a savvy young woman of wits and charm, she was able to suss out his lie. However, our own instincts sometimes aren’t strong enough to override what we want to be true, and Ellie doesn’t want Joel to be lying. Not because she doesn’t want to die for the cure (I think we can all agree she would) but because she trusts Joel. She loves him. The idea that he’s lying to her is too much, so she accepts it. 

AND IT HUUUUUUUUURTS. Did I want Ellie to die? NO. Did I want Joel to murder a group of people with the aim to save the world? ALSO NO. Do I completely trust the Fireflies? NO. Did I think they deserved to be slaughtered? ALSO NO.

I won’t get into who I thought was right, because neither of them are? Both of them are? This whole season has culminated in such a frustratingly beautiful dilemma and I’m so mad and sad, but I can’t help but respect it. 

And now we wait. I had no idea what to expect going into this adventure, and I’m so glad I did. Pedro Pascale knocks my socks of as a sad, grumpy silver fox dad, and Bella Ramsey is honestly killing it in every facet of this role. As I said last recap: Give them all the awards. Just all of them. Everyone in this show knocked it out of the park, and were perfectly cast, but I don’t think anyone would fight me when I say the very best were Marlon and Florence. Give them a spin-off immediately.


  • The guy who was told to cover Ellie’s ears as Marlene shot her mother had ONE JOB. Get it together, TERRY (I assume).
  • We seriously have to wait until next season to see these two play Boggle???
  • “You tell ’em, Ellie.” I loved Ashley Johnson as Ellie’s mom, and I hope we see more of her on our screens in the future.
  • “I’m glad that that didn’t work out,” is the utmost Ellie response to a suicide attempt.
  • I understand why they didn’t mention his suicide attempt during his visit with Tommy (the big reveal!) but one has to assume that his brother trying to kill himself and thereby almost leaving him completely alone in the apocalypse adds to their baggage. 
  • I could watch Joel score Ellie’s puns for a full five hours. 
  • There are only 2 parts of the game, right? So does that mean there are going to be two seasons total? I hope so. Don’t get me wrong, I’m loving the way this show is shredding my heart up and leaving me a bleeding husk of torment on the cold hard ground every week, but I also hope they don’t jump the shark. The game is a self-contained story, I hope the show follows it and leaves it at that. 
  • Why yes it WAS borderline adorable how bad Joel is at lying.
  • The way Joel kept putting his foot in it was very DAD. “She was girly, not that you’re not! She had a killer smile, not that you don’t!” 
  • He was so excited to talk about Sarah and compare/contrast the two of them, without realizing how profoundly sad that is, both for him and for Ellie.
  • Let’s get #FlorenceAndMarlonAsSeasonRegularsForTheLastofUsSeason2 trending! We can do it, guys!
  • Joel walked by a giraffe painted on the wall in the pediatric ward. If I have to sit with that, so do you.
  • How do we think Tommy and Maria will react to Joel and Ellie’s return? 
  • On a scale of One to Moping My Heart Off the Floor, how much pain are you in right now?



5 thoughts on “The Last of Us “Look For the Light” Photo-Recap: Stick a Needle in your Eye

  1. So there’s two games. The Last of Us, and then The Last of Us: Part II. Two separate games (released years apart), but after the second one came out, the first one was re-released as The Last of Us: Part I. The second game is much denser and the showrunners have confirmed they will split it up unto multiple seasons.


    1. That’s good to know. It’s not so much the number of seasons I’m worried about, but the story. I just want them to tell the story that happened in the game. I hope HBO doesn’t try to drag it out and add stuff once it’s done.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. By the hospital part of the game I was so nervous what the final fate of Ellie would be. And when it came down to it, I was 100% on board with the choice Joel made. My only quibble was if to spare the doctor or not. In the game, the fight to get there is very difficult, but I can see how it wouldn’t be with all my failures and deaths edited out 🙂

    I’m finally working my way through Part 2. I’ve avoided spoilers the entire time. I can’t wait to finally finish it and discuss with people 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s