The Last of Us series is proving to be a success in every way for HBO Max. The spectacular performances of Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey add to the impressive storytelling, which has left us with spectacular moments: from discovering the origin of the fungus that unleashed the Apocalypse to the beautiful love story in the third episode.
The reviews for the fiction can’t be better, and the audience data are such that they are even triggering Spotify plays. And, although many creative licenses are being taken when adapting the video game, the fiction headed by Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann is becoming one of the best adaptations in the history of the medium.
In the third chapter, the last one broadcasted so far, the series took a different direction from the video game and devoted itself to show the love story between Bill, a character acclaimed by fans, and Frank, her lover who until now was seen as “a ghost”, as he never appeared. The story has dazzled everyone, and despite taking a somewhat different direction from the game it maintains the trajectory of Joel and Ellie’s journey.
On their way to meet Joel’s brother, the two protagonists are encountering dangers and emotional moments. So it’s fair to ask, what’s next? If we take into account that they are following the steps of the game, except for some punctual moments and other details, we know the next steps to be taken by the protagonists. And they are the following.
Pittsburgh’s journey and the hunters
In the next section of the video game, Ellie and Joel arrive by car in Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania), a city in the west that is on their path. At that moment, a group of hunters attacks them, and one of these bandits pretends to be wounded to ambush them. However, Joel does not fall into the trap and they end up fighting until the vehicle in which they were coming is destroyed.
Faced with this problem, they have to walk to a bridge to get out of the city, and end up passing abandoned buildings such as a library and a hotel as they begin to get to know each other more and more. The drama begins when, down an elevator shaft, Joe falls to the top floor, which is flooded. It is Ellie who has to take the initiative: finding a way back up to get him out while overcoming the infected.
In this section, Ellie emerges as a heroine, alternating her role with Joel, and even protects him when a hunter is about to kill him. Her “adoptive father” doesn’t thank her for it and continues in his own way, but little by little he realizes that Ellie can be useful and lets her help him by giving him a rifle to finish off other hunters. Another attack takes place at the end of the bridge, specifically with the brothers Henry and Sam. But they end up collaborating together to flee the city.
Henry and Sam search for the fireflies, but first they want to go through a radio station to meet their companions. However, Henry ends up betraying Joel and, together with Ellie, they again have to join forces to escape unharmed.
Joel ends up forgiving the brothers and they stay together for a while, but the story ends in a very tragic way between infected bites and suicides. The two protagonists are once again alone.
Tommy and Jackson County
The story time jumps here a few months, and we see that Joel and Ellie have reached their target: Jackson County. It is here that they find Tommy, Joel’s brother, in a crowd of armed people. After helping the group he’s in, they finally have a moment of intimacy in which the two brothers talk about what they’ve been up to during that time.
Joel’s idea was for Tommy to take Ellie with the fireflies, but he refuses for the sake of his family and it is not until after an incident in which they steal a horse that they end up collaborating together. This is a particularly difficult moment for the relationship between the two protagonists, in which they argue and Joel ends up having to apologize and accompany him with the fireflies.
On this trip, which they also take with Callus, Joel finally explains his past to Ellie, which brings the characters much closer together. Finally, they arrive at Saint Mary’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah, only to discover that the fireflies have already left.
Ellie becomes the protector
Ellie and Joel suffer a major attack by a new unknown group, and although Pedro Pascal’s character manages to finish them all off, he ends up falling through a railing and pierced by a metal bar. He barely escapes, but badly wounded, and the tables turn.
Over the next few weeks, it is Ellie who becomes Joel’s protector. She must help him, find food, protect him and find shelter for both of them. Together with other survivors in the area, she gets medicine for Joel to recover, but new battles ensue.
First, Ellie must fight against a horde of infected that attack them. Soon after, a new story of betrayal looms over them with David’s character, and a new battle for survival in the midst of the Apocalypse ends up being fought. Eventually, they end up separated.
After several days of extreme survival in which Joel is about to die on more than one occasion, he finally wakes up recovered thanks to the medicines, and begins to look for Ellie. He manages to free her from the hands of David and his men, and saves her from being raped by a captor. Finally, Joel and Ellie melt in an embrace that says much more than it represents.
Salt Lake City and the Fireflies
The journey continues with all sorts of ups and downs, battles, trials and thrills, and they finally arrive in Salt Lake City, where the Fireflies are believed to be. There, Joel changes his mind for a moment and asks Ellie if she wouldn’t like it better to make a life together and stop adventuring, but they finally decide to continue on their journey.
Both must overcome new challenges: a tunnel full of infected and a well in which Ellie almost drowns, at which point they meet the Fireflies. They are the ones who save them and help them move forward, passing through a tough surgery of Ellie on the way.
Marlene, leader of the Fireflies, fights with Joel over Ellie, and he finally ends her life with a shot to the head. Ellie’s life is the most important thing to Joel. Eventually, they leave their hopes behind and end up on the run together, living a new life in Jackson.
Ellie plays her guitar to end the game, with one of the most iconic endings of all time. Undoubtedly, it is a scene that we will end up seeing in the series, and that may become the most iconic of the fiction if they continue on the path they are going down.
Possible changes in the plot
Although this is the official story of the videogame, we have already seen in the first three chapters that, while respecting the essence, the creators are not afraid to change certain aspects. The death of Tess was already one of the most substantial changes with respect to the game, and so was the magnificent chapter 3.
This means that, especially when new characters appear, everything can be different. From flashbacks and new baggage of known characters to different scenes and battles, anything can happen in the series. Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann are certainly doing an impressive job of adapting the game, and it doesn’t look like this is going to change in the future.
In addition, there is still a whole second video game that gives them plenty of material to continue the fiction. A Season 2 has already been announced (logical considering the great success it is having), so it is only a matter of time before we see the story move forward.