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Was Joel Right to Save Ellie in The Last of Us? Answered

How Old Are Sam & Henry in HBO Max's The Last of Us
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Was Joel Right to Save Ellie in The Last of Us? Answered

Was Joel’s choice the right one?

Since its premiere, HBO’s The Last of Us has been very good at riling up its fans. The latest episode continues this trend in maddeningly effective fashion. In the Season 1 finale, titled “Look for the Light,” Pedro Pascal’s Joel makes a bold — and extremely controversial — choice. But to understand Joel’s boneheaded decision, we’ve gotta circle back and provide some context. Here’s our take on whether Joel was right to save Ellie in The Last of Us.

Did Joel Make the Right Choice in The Last of Us?

Did Joel make the right choice when he saved Ellie from the Fireflies? Chances are your answer will depend on who you are and how your life has unfolded. If you’re a parent, you’ll undoubtedly feel that Joel’s decision was the right one, as any parent would want to protect their kid. If you’re coming at this dilemma from a more “big picture” perspective, though, then it’s clear that Joel’s decision was the wrong one, as he’s effectively doomed humanity for the sake of one life.

After a contemplative, relatively uneventful first half, “Look for the Light” hits us with a series of gut-punches from which we still haven’t recovered. Joel and Ellie are promptly captured by Fireflies and taken to a nearby hospital. Marlene, having also escaped Boston more or less in one piece, informs Joel that Ellie’s body has somehow found a way to trick Cordyceps (the damn fungus that sent the world up in flames) into not ravaging it with a brain-eating infection. She then reveals that the Fireflies are prepping Ellie for a surgery that could result in a cure. Joel reacts to this news predictably: He kills the Fireflies(including Marlene), whisks Ellie away from the hospital, and lies to her when she asks what happened.

So, was Joel right to save Ellie? There isn’t an easy answer to this. If you’re a parent, then it’s a no-brainer. You protect your child at any cost. An understandable initial reaction to this turn of events is to sympathize with Joel, to reason that he was acting as any father would and that he was acting out of love. But the guy robbed humanity of a shot at survival, making the opposing argument just as valid. Ellie represents an opportunity for a cure, something that no one thought possible until now. Joel made a number of questionable choices over the course of The Last of Us, but his loving (and very, very selfish) pivot from distant protector to devoted father figure will absolutely have the biggest consequences in the forthcoming second season.

And that does it for our take on whether Joel was right to save Ellie in The Last of Us. Be sure to search for Twinfinite for more news and information on the show.

About the author

Hayden Mears

Hayden was a freelance writer for Twinfinite that covered pretty much anything there was to in the realm of movies and television. He was responsible for timely reviews and features on the most popular content currently airing, including Game of Thrones, Star Wars, and Avatar.
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