HBO's Last of Us Season 1 Has the Perfect Cliffhanger Setup
Image Credit: HBO and Warner Media

HBO’s Last of Us Season 1 Has the Perfect Cliffhanger Setup

They can't miss this opportunity.

HBO’s The Last of Us has made a huge mark since its debut, with the show already being renewed for a second season prior to the third episode airing. Now that we all know the show is set to adapt even more of the available source material, it’s time to start considering just how they may choose to close off the first season of the show.

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We all know that HBO’s adaptation is staying as faithful to the video games as possible, with the first season set to follow Ellie and Joel’s adventure throughout the entire duration of the first game. If the show was to be renewed (which, thankfully it now has), it means that the second game could be broken up into two more seasons worth of content.

That means that we’re going to see everything that goes on in the first game this season, including that nail-biting scene where Joel is carrying an unconscious Ellie in his arms as he flees from the hospital. This is such a pivotal moment in the games, and if the show has proven anything thus far, it’s that it will likely be a star moment of the TV adaptation, too.

What we don’t see in the games, however, is the aftermath of the events at the hospital, and this is where the TV show could create some brilliant cliffhanger tension prior to the second season. HBO’s The Last of Us season 2 should end with a younger Abby stumbling across the dead body of her father, breaking down, and then igniting a fire within herself that burns for revenge.

HBO's Last of Us Season 1 Has the Perfect Cliffhanger Setup
Screenshot by Twinfinite via Naughty Dog and Sony

This would give viewers the indication that Abby is an important character to look out for in the future, and would give the audience some more understanding about the reasoning for her actions and just why she has such a cutthroat approach once she runs into Joel and Ellie.

It would also fix one of the biggest problems from the source material. The Last of Us Part II kind of throws Abby into the mix and makes her seem like some big-bad villain in the beginning. She comes off as a horrible, violent person after killing Joel, while Ellie’s obsession with revenge feels totally justified.

I didn’t really grow to like and understand her until I played as her more frequently, learning about what was truly going on inside her head. When I saw things from Abby’s perspective, I was left with this horrible realization: Ellie’s feelings and hate toward Abby, and her need for revenge, are exactly what Abby was feeling toward Joel after her father’s death.

Despite what you may initially be led to believe, Abby is no more of an antagonist than Joel or Ellie. In fact, she’s believed to be only a few years older than Ellie, which means that she was nothing more than a child or a young teenager when her father was ripped away from her; not by the virus, but by murder at the hands of Joel.

Screenshot by Twinfinite via Naughty Dog and Sony

Such a change would also help create clearer parallels between Ellie, Joel, and Abby early on. All three characters have a lot in common, as they’ve all had to make selfish decisions in moments of desperation, causing others to suffer. They’ve all suffered loss, all been forced to make sacrifices, and most importantly, all find someone they’d do anything to protect — Joel with Ellie, Ellie with Dina, and Abby with Lev.

This, in turn, would hammer home one of the most integral themes of the series beautifully: There are no good people in The Last of Us. There are just those doing whatever they can to protect themselves and the people they care about. Nothing is black and white, and the shades of grey people are left with result in the kinds of conflicts that erupt between Joel, Ellie and Abby. There’s some real potential to dive further into Abby’s hurt within this context, and for the show to give viewers this understanding of just how complex the situation is, much earlier than the games.

What do you think about this potential cliffhanger? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to check out the rest of our content. We have a variety of The Last of Us posts, so feel free to scroll down and check out the related articles for yourself.


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Author
Grace Black
Grace is a writer and digital artist from New Zealand with a love for fiction and storytelling. Grace has been writing for Twinfinite for one year and in the games industry for two years. She's an enthusiast of everything spooky, an occasional anime enjoyer, and a die-hard Ghost-Type Pokemon fangirl. Her favorite video games include Overwatch 2, Life is Strange, The Last of Us, Baldur's Gate 3, and Pokemon - all of which she will never tire of.