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The Last Of Us Season 1 Episode 9 Recap and Review

The Last Of Us Season 1 Episode 9 is the season finale, and it lines up exactly with the ending of The Last Of Us Part 1 video game.

The Last of Us Season 1 Joel

The Last Of Us Season 1 Episode 9 marks the end of the finale. With just a 43 minute runtime, viewers might wonder if it delivers, and thankfully we can say that it does. Those who played TLOU video game know that the storyline is coming to an end. It makes sense that the series took the first game and made an entire season out of it, rather than dragging it out. Still, it seemed to go by fast. 

The entire season 1 has been very loyal to the video game source material, while changing things up every once in a while to make the story better. It has been brought to life by a group of incredibly talented people, and the finale is no different. Here is our The Last Of Us Season 1 Episode 9 spoiler recap and review, but be warned if you haven’t watched it yet or played the game, because this article is filled with spoilers.

Warning: Spoilers for The Last Of Us Season 1 Episode 9 Ahead

This episode starts with a pregnant woman (played by the video game voice of Ellie, Ashley Johnson) running through forest. She is clearly being chased by infected. Luckily she gets to a house and yells that it is her, but no one is there to answer her. She’s in labor and does the best she can to barricade the house up. The infected breaks through and attacks her. She is about to stab and kill the infected, and then her baby is born. This is when she realizes her leg is bit. She cuts the umbilocal cord right away, hoping to not spread the infection. The baby is crying a lot and she says “yeah, you tell them Ellie” revealing that this is how Ellie came into the world.

Viewers now see Marlene and a few others get to that house, and they are clearly looking for Ellie’s mother, Anna. They find her and she looks up at Marlene, telling her that the baby is hungry but she didn’t want to nurse her because she was bit. Marlene is instantly on edge, so she assures her that she cut the cord before she was bit.

She says take Ellie to Boston and find someone to raise her. Marlene answers that she can’t, but Anna says we have known each other our whole lives — so pick her up and then kill me. Marlene picks her up but says I can’t kill her. She leaves the room and Anna yells please, not wanting to turn into a monster. This gets to Marlene, so she hands the baby to one of the men and says cover her ears. She then goes in the room and shoots Anna.

The Last Of Us Season 1 Episode 9 then brings us back to present day. Ellie is sitting on a truck bed on the highway and Joel is yelling for her. He says he found some food and Boggle, the one game Ellie could probably beat him at. He also says that a hospital is close, and that might be the one they are looking for. The one where the fireflies are.

the last of us season 1 episodes ranked

Joel also mentions that there was a guitar in the RV. He says that it was broken but it got him thinking about finding one. He used to love to play and he could teach her. Ellie is being very quiet and distracted, which Joel notices but doesn’t press her.

They need to cut through a building to get to the hospital, but most of the doorways inside are blocked. Joel sees a ladder up on a ledge and tells Ellie he will boost her and she can drop it down. Another fantastic nod to the video game as Ellie does this for Joel quite a bit.

Ellie hears something while she is up on the ledge and she drops the ladder. She yells to Joel that he has to come see something and it’s a giraffe. The two feed it and laugh. This is also right out of the video game, and very exciting to see in The Last Of Us Season 1 Episode 9. Ellie seems happy again, although still distracted. When the giraffe walks away, she runs after it and ends up in a clearing, in front of a whole group of them. Can’t deny that view, Ellie says.

The Last Of Us Season 1 Episode 9 Recap and Review

Joel knows that Ellie is distracted because they are about to get to the fireflies, who want to run tests on her and hopefully make a cure. He offers up a suggestion — that they don’t have to do this. He says they can just go back to Tommy’s and forget about the whole thing. Ellie says that after everything they’ve been through, and everything that she has done, it can’t be for nothing.

She adds that after the fireflies, they can do whatever, though. She tells Joel she will follow him wherever he goes, but that there is no halfway with this. They need to finish what they started.

As they are walking, they see a medical camp. Joel explains that the Army set them up all over the place when the outbreak first happened. Joel says he was put in one for that gunshot wound that they talked about at the start of the season. The shot that missed him, but grazed him, and left him with a scar. This is when he opens up to Ellie.

He says it was him that shot and missed. Sarah was dead and he was ready to die. He went to pull the trigger and flinched, but he doesn’t know why. Ellie says time heals all wounds she guesses, and he says it wasn’t time — hinting that it was her. This scene is very emotional. The two of them tear up, as will most viewers. It is great to see the bond that has been formed over so much time together. He really is a father figure to her, and she is like his daughter.

Joel says that he is in the mood for some shitty puns and the two walk and laugh together as she reads from her book. Then a smoke grenade is thrown at them and Ellie is dragged away.

The Last Of Us Season 1 Episode 9 Recap and Review

A Tough Choice

Joel wakes up and Marlene is there. He has made it to the fireflies. Marlene tells him that he is the one person she never wanted to be in debt to, but here they are. He made it there with Ellie, a much longer trip than they expected. She says she owes him one and he says just to take him to Ellie. Marlene’s face drops as she says that Ellie is being prepped for surgery.

She explains that the doctor thinks the fungi has been growing with Ellie since birth, which is what allows her to be immune. Her body must be producing a chemical response to it. They can take it out of Ellie and study it. Then produce the chemical and give it to everyone as a cure. Joel points out that it grows in the brain, and Marlene assures him that they didn’t tell Ellie so there was no fear, and it will be a painless death for her.

Joel says you don’t understand and Marlene says she does. She’s been with Ellie since birth and promised her mother she would keep her safe. Marlene tells two fireflies to escort Joel to the highway and if he tries anything, shoot him. They get to a stairwell where Joel shoots them when they won’t tell him where Ellie is.

The Last Of Us Season 1 Episode 9 Recap and Review

Joel goes through the hospital, having to shoot fireflies around nearly every corner. This is very much like the TLOU video game, as well. He gets to the surgery hall and sees the doctor and nurses around Ellie. He tells them to unhook her but they don’t so he shoots and kills the doctor. Ellie is knocked out from anesthesia and he carries her to the elevator.

When he gets to the garage, he heads towards a car. That is when Marlene walks up on him with a gun. She tells him that he can’t keep Ellie safe forever. That she will eventually be then apart by infected or killed by Raiders — because she lives in a broken world that Joel could have saved. Marlene says Ellie would choose the right thing and he knows it. She says Joel can be forgiven, even after killing all those fireflies, and they can find a way forward from this.

The Last Of Us Season 1 Episode 9 cuts to Joel driving, seemingly alone. Then Ellie wakes up in the backseat. He tells her to take it easy because the drugs are still wearing off. Joel tells her that the fireflies ran tests on her, and about a dozen others that are immune. But that the doctors can’t make it work so they are giving up on a cure. He also says that Raiders attacked the hospital and a lot of people were hurt — he barely got her out of there. Joel says he is taking them home.

In a flashback, we see that he shot Marlene. She didn’t die right away and begged to be saved but he said she would just come after Ellie and he couldn’t let that happen, before shooting and killing her.

There is music playing as we see the car drive to Wyoming. It breaks down and he says they have about a five hour hike ahead of them. As they walk, they talk about Sarah and how Ellie and her are different. Joel says Sarah would have liked Ellie because she’s funny and would have made her laugh. They come up on Jackson settlement and are about to head down when Ellie says to wait.

She says that back in Kansas City, they talked about how it wasn’t Ellie’s first time killing somebody. She then tells Joel about Riley. How they both got bit and didn’t know what to do. They decided to turn together and then Riley lost her mind and Ellie didn’t. So she had to shoot her. Ellie then tells Joel to swear to her that everything she said about the fireflies is true. He swears. She nods and says ok. Then The Last Of Us Season 1 Episode 9, and Season 1 as a whole, ends.

Overall Thoughts

The Last Of Us Season 1 Episode 9 is the perfect ending to the season. It completes the story that fans got in the video game, and the way it plays out will likely shock viewers that did not know what was going to happen. 

The biggest issue with this season is that it was lacking a bit in the infected. Yes, we see clickers and bloaters and newly infected, but not nearly as much as we would come across in the video game. However, one of the biggest threats in the game is the people, and choosing to focus on them was a smart move as it tells more of a story rather than making the TV series an action-slasher.

Now we know that the second season will focus heavily on Part II of the video game, and we cannot wait to see how it turns out.

Rating: 5 out of 5

NEXT: The Last Of Us Season 1 Episode 8 Recap and Review

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About The Last Of Us

THE LAST OF US story takes place twenty years after modern civilization has been destroyed. Joel, a hardened survivor, is hired to smuggle Ellie, a 14-year-old girl, out of an oppressive quarantine zone. What starts as a small job soon becomes a brutal, heartbreaking journey, as they both must traverse the U.S. and depend on each other for survival.

The Last Of Us season 1 episode 9 is now streaming on HBO Max.