The Last Of Us showrunner Craig Mazin has defended season one’s controversial ending.
The show’s first season came to an end with the episode Look For The Light, which aired in the UK today March 13 and US yesterday (March 12). HBO renewed the series for a second season back in January.
The first season concluded at the exact same point as the original video game. In the episode, Joel decides to save Ellie from the Fireflies, who want to operate on her in the hopes of producing a vaccine for the infection – with the caveat that she will be killed.
After interrupting the operation, killing Marlene (Merle Dandridge) and saving Ellie in an unconscious state, Joel lies to her about what actually happened. Instead, Joel tells Ellie the Fireflies found other immune people like her and had failed to create a cure from them. After Ellie asks again, Joel insists this version of events is true.
While the episode was lauded by plenty of people, some felt it was “rushed” and “disappointing”, and didn’t agree with Joel’s decision, despite it being the same as the video game.
The finale of “The Last of Us…” ummm – anyone else a little disappointed?
— Kayla Braxton (@KaylaBraxtonWWE) March 13, 2023
The Last of Us skipped too much of the action and character development to stick the ending.
— L., MA (@leslieleeiii) March 13, 2023
man why was the last of us show ending so abrupt hello??? it feels like there should be another episode
— secret number promoter (@joshuaIover) March 13, 2023
But showrunner Mazin defended the ending, telling The Hollywood Reporter: “When you love something unconditionally, logic goes out the window and you will do really horrible things to protect the ones you love. And there’s a lot of examples worldwide of this happening all the time.”
He continued: “[There’s] greater and greater sacrifices Joel has to make for Ellie, and likewise what she’s going through to protect him.
“I’m confused about it morally. I think it’s a difficult choice. I go back and forth. I think a lot of people will go back and forth on it.”
The Last Of Us is available to stream on HBO Max in the US and NOW in the UK.