The Last of Us Season 1 Episode 9 Review: Look for the Light

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Well, that's one way to end a stellar season.

The Last of Us Season 1 Episode 9 was another hour that tugged at the heartstrings and set up some of the coming events for The Last of Us Season 2.

It's hard to believe that Joel called Ellie Cargo at the beginning of The Last of Us Season 1, and look at them now.

Ellie's Mom - The Last of Us

As the series progressed, they relied on one another for safety, and by the end of "Look for the Light," they had formed a father-daughter bond that had Joel reminiscing about the past.

It makes sense then that Joel was against the Fireflies using Ellie for a potential cure. The thought of killing anyone to make a possible cure is harrowing, never mind a teenager.

Joel Isn't Ready - The Last of Us Season 1 Episode 9

What the series did much better than the first video game was flesh out the character of Marlene to showcase that, to her, killing Ellie would be going against Anna's wishes.

Adding the original Ellie, aka Ashley Johnson, into the mix as Ellie's mother was an inspired casting choice.

Johnson was perfect as Anna, and it's a shame she won't have a more enduring future on the series.

Anna's plight to save her daughter while being prepared to kill herself made for a painful watch, but we might have gotten our explanation about how Ellie is immune to the virus throughout the pain.

Preparing for the Next Move - The Last of Us Season 1 Episode 9

Anna was bitten right before Ellie was born, so she lied to Marlene about getting the wound after her daughter was born.

Anna understood her journey was over and that she had to tell a lie if her daughter had any shot at being allowed to live in this post-apocalyptic universe.

Truthfully, I had a theory that Ashley Johnson would be playing an adult Ellie in those opening scenes, but the writing, directing, and acting reiterated the creative choice chosen by Craig Mazin and Neil Druckman enhanced the source material in many vital aspects.

Jumping to the future would have been a big swing and would have effectively spoiled many of the coming events, but I can dream, right?

Making Moves - The Last of Us Season 1 Episode 9

Marlene has been cutthroat throughout the series, but she was in pain in those initial scenes when she realized she had to kill poor Anna to honor her dying wish.

It's clear there's a long history between Marlene and many of the characters we've met through the series, which can be attributed to her cunning.

However, something tells me she should have followed her gut with Joel if she wanted to complete the mission to extract the Cordyceps from Ellie.

Merle Dandridge showcased every ounce of Marlene's discomfort to perfection as she told Joel the truth.

Looking for the Giraffes - The Last of Us Season 1 Episode 9

Joel didn't want to kill Marlene, but he recognized that as long as there were Fireflies, they would be in search of Ellie. She wouldn't be able to have any form of life.

Ellie dying while in his care isn't something Joel could withstand. He's resigned to the fact that he has to keep her safe. It's his purpose in life.

Joel is driven by his want to keep Ellie safe throughout these final episodes, and the duo made several emotional breakthroughs because they communicated with one another.

My immediate concern is how Ellie will react when she learns the truth about what happened at the hospital.

Talking With Joel - The Last of Us Season 1 Episode 9

Joel's tall tale about raiders storming the hospital and shooting everyone in sight seemed more like an afterthought, and perhaps Ellie picked up on it. She did ask him to promise her he was telling the truth.

Ellie has spent much time throughout The Last of Us Season 1 pondering her mortality and importance in a world ravaged by a virus.

She knew the Fireflies were interested in what she could potentially do with her immunity, so it must have been disheartening to learn she was no longer needed.

Ellie and Joel's relationship now has a ticking timebomb hanging over it, thanks to Joel wiping out everyone at the hospital and lying to her about it.

Contemplating Their Next Move - The Last of Us Season 1 Episode 9

Those hospital scenes were intense, showing the lengths Joel was willing to go to keep her safe. One wrong move could have resulted in her death, and he wasn't leaving anything up to chance.

Ellie telling him about Riley and how she had to kill her showcased that Ellie put 100 percent of her trust in Joel, but the fact that he lied to her right will haunt him for the years to come.

Maria was already skeptical of Joel, and if they're going to be living in her compound, it's hard not to think about whether she would tell Ellie if Joel told Tommy.

If Ellie being immune due to Anna being bitten does turn out to be the truth, then there's a good chance there are other people out there like Ellie.

At the Hospital - The Last of Us Season 1 Episode 9

It raises a lot of questions about who Ellie and the others might encounter on the road. Ellie's birth was a unique situation, but it could have happened to other people in a world ravaged by a virus.

Wouldn't it be fun if we met someone else like Ellie or, at the very least, learned more about the potential cure?

For now, the series showcases the connection between Joel and Ellie to perfection.

Joel has struggled to exist in this world without his daughter, and by the end of the finale, he's realized that his calling is now to keep this young girl safe from the virus and the people who want to use her for a cure.

Helping Joel - The Last of Us Season 1 Episode 8

Joel opening up about his suicide attempt was another moving character moment.

As far as I can remember, Joel didn't open up about that in the video game, so it adds another layer to the TV adaptation.

The series has been a slave to the source material in many respects, but it has expanded many of the characters and situations, making it the perfect companion for fans.

That's all I got, Last of Us fanatics!

What are your thoughts on Joel's lie? Do you think he made the right call?

What are your thoughts on potential fireflies showing up to get revenge on Joel?

Hit the comments.

Look for the Light Review

Editor Rating: 4.75 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.4 / 5.0 (26 Votes)

Paul Dailly was an Associate Editor for TV Fanatic.Follow him on X.

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The Last of Us Season 1 Episode 9 Quotes

Anna: You have to kill me.
Marlene: I can't.
Anna: You have to.

Marlene: Please, you can't kill me.
Joel: I have to, or else you'd just keep coming after her.