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‘The Last Of Us’: A Walk Through The Memories Of The Most Heartbreaking Moments In Season 1

“The Last of Us” Season 1 has aired its finale episode, giving longtime fans a stunning and satisfying conclusion to the pilot season. For those who are unfamiliar with the story, it is based on a dystopian future where a viral epidemic has turned most of the population into mindless zombies. The narrative revolves around Joel and Ellie’s quest to stay alive while encountering mindless zombies and raiders devoid of all morals and hungry for control. The plot takes the audience on an emotional journey as they experience harrowing moments that stay with them long after they’ve binge-watched all the episodes. The show is filled with instances that will leave you emotional, from the deaths of cherished friends to the difficult choices that the protagonists must make to ensure their survival. Here are some scenes from “The Last of Us” season 1 that’ll leave you emotionally shattered.

Spoilers Ahead

Tess’ Sacrifice To Ensure Joel And Ellie’s Survival

Even though she appeared in only two episodes, Tess was one of the most prominent characters in both “The Last of Us” video games and series. During the events of the second episode, when Joel, Tess, and Ellie are journeying out of the quarantine zone to firefly headquarters, the trio comes across dozens of dead fireflies that had succumbed to the cordyceps infections and died due to the ensuing chaos. Things become more complicated when Tess reveals that she has been infected and will sooner or later succumb to the infection and turn. In the moments of despair, Tess made Joel promise that he’d see that Ellie reaches the Fireflies headquarters safely. Unfortunately, before Joel and Ellie can get out, the structure gets surrounded by hordes of flesh-hungry zombies. Tess decides to stay behind to stave off the horde so that Joel and Ellie have a fighting chance, and she blows up the building, killing herself and the zombies in the process. Unlike Joel, Tess somewhat believed that there was still a chance to build this broken world, and Ellie’s immunity from the cordyceps only worked to solidify her faith. Tess’s sacrifice was a watershed moment in the series’s narrative, suggesting that what lay ahead was perilous and everyone’s life was hanging by a thread in the forsaken world.

Tess’s loyalty to Joel ran deep, and their professional relationship blossomed into a longstanding bond. She was selfless in her determination to stake her life to save Joel and Ellie. Tess displays compassion and empathy for the people she considers friends or family, notwithstanding her rough demeanour.

Sam And Henry’s Death

“The Last of Us” Season 1 Episode 5 introduces us to Henry and Sam, who’re on the run trying to get clear of Kansas City and Kathleen’s grasp. Sam is a foolhardy and trusting little child who doesn’t yet understand the gravity of the planet’s threats. He hasn’t seen the worst of the pandemic yet, so he believes things can go back to how they were. Whereas Henry is a realistic and sensible man who is aware of the limitations of their situation. He has a cool head under pressure and isn’t hesitant to make the call that’s best for the situation.

Henry was a collaborator who was forced to feed Kathleen critical information about her group in return for antibiotics for his sick brother. With Henry’s intel, FEDRA raided Kathleen’s fortress and arrested his brother, who was later executed. Saddened by her brother’s death, Kathleen takes the reins of the group and orders everyone to find and kill Henry on the spot. Henry and Sam encounter Joel and Ellie during their run and strike a deal for safe passage out of the city. Unfortunately, after crossing the city, the group is attacked by a horde of clickers, which results in Sam getting infected. Back at the safehouse, Ellie desperately tries to save Sam, even resorting to blood transfusions, but to no avail. Soon, Sam turns and attacks Ellie, and Henry, after realising his little brother is gone, shoots him in the heart. Henry, overcome by despair, pressed the gun to his head and squeezed the trigger. Seeing them is a sombre reflection of how the world used to be, as they symbolise the optimism and naiveté of adolescence. The bond between them beautifully illustrates the depths to which brothers would go to defend one another. And Joel understood that since he was in the same boat and was trying whatever he could to reach his brother.

Professor Ibu Ratna’s Realization That The World Would Die

The truth is the toughest smack you can give yourself, and “The Last of Us”: Season 1, Episode 2 makes it perfectly clear. The episode takes us to Indonesia, one of the first places where the Cordyceps virus poked its head. Ibu Ratna, a professor of mycology at the University of Indonesia, was picked up in the middle of her lunch by armed forces and taken to a secured facility to examine a dead body infected by the Cordyceps virus. Ibu is having a hard time accepting that the slide she examined contains human tissue, as it’s impossible for cordyceps to sustain themselves in the human body. After further examination, Ibu concludes that there is no way to treat the infections as there is no known medicine or vaccine and advises the military to start bombing the city and everyone living inside it. Tears rolling down her eyes suggests that the city she loved and was raised in will soon be reduced to dust and rubble. Realising She hasn’t got much time left, she requests the military to drive her back home so that she can spend her final moments with her family.

The Sad Conclusion To The Bill And Frank Story

The third episode of “The Last of Us” received a mixed reception from fans all over the world, which can be credited to the showrunner’s decision to kill Bill and Frank. In the video games, Bill never dies and is one of the most interesting characters, adept at surviving skills and citing life lessons. Frank, on the other hand, succumbed to his illness before Joel and Ellie could reach the town. But this doesn’t make his death any less saddening. In the series, Bill is a grumpy-old survivor living in Lincoln who lost his heart to Frank, another survivor who was trying to make it to Boston after all hell broke loose. In the years that followed, Bill and Frank developed an unbreakable bond, even choosing to get married. Unfortunately, Frank was suffering from a terminal disease and decided to commit suicide. On his final day, he requests that Bill cook him a nice dinner, slips multiple sleeping pills into his wine glass, and embraces his body as he departs. However, Bill wasn’t ready to let him leave alone. He drugs both glasses and takes Frank into their bedroom, where they both breathe their last. Also, the letter he left on the dining table addressed to Joel, asking him not to come into the bedroom, makes the scene all the more depressing.

When Bill found Frank, he was an isolated man, oscillating his hours between gathering supplies and setting up traps to subdue or kill raiders and undead, but Frank’s entry into his life gave him a purpose to keep going on and taught him to see the world in a new light. But without Frank, Bill believes that there’s simply no reason for him to continue, as he has already enjoyed the best years of his life with the most precious man he has ever met.

Ellie’s Harrowing Confrontation With David

After Joel is left incapacitated due to the knife wound, Ellie is left with no choice but to fend for herself and take care of Joel. Ellie comes across David and his men while gathering supplies and offers to trade the deer she had hunted for antibiotics. At first glance, David seems kind and generous, yet he is a depraved monster who uses unusual tactics to gain power and control over his group’s members, even forcing them to resort to cannibalism. David has also been looking for a girl traveling with a middle-aged man, who had killed one of his group’s members, and Ellie and Joel happened to fit that description perfectly. Realising Joel is wounded and Ellie is alone and vulnerable, David sends his men back to capture them. David tries his very best to convince Ellie to join his side so that they can expand their group together, but he orders his men to chop her after the latter turns him down. Ellie somehow manages to escape captivity, only to face the degenerate pedophile once again in a burning bar. This scene is particularly gut-wrenching as we see Ellie desperately trying to keep David away from herself. At that crucial time, Ellie gave up on the possibility that the world might be saved, sprang to David’s neck, and stabbed him to death. Ellie runs into Joel outside of the cottage, and the sight of her clutching at him in terror will make your heart bleed all over again.

Riley’s Death 

Experiencing the loss of a close friend right before your eyes is the most heartbreaking thing that can happen to anyone. Sadly, Ellie was no stranger to losing a loved one. During her time in military school, Ellie developed a close relationship with Riley, a teenager whose loyalty weaved between FEDRA and Fireflies. One ominous day, Riley manages to sneak into the facility and asks her to join her on their trip to the abandoned mall. Riley had secretly joined the Fireflies and was about to leave the city, so she made the decision to see her best friend before she left. However, their adventure is cut short when the duo is attacked by a violent clicker, who is alerted of their presence owing to the cordyceps branches enveloping the mall’s basement. The duo desperately tried to fend off the attacker but, unfortunately, were bitten in the process. Riley, realising she has not had much time on her hands, offers Ellie the choice of shooting one another or spending their final moments together. Sadly, unlike Ellie, Riley wasn’t immune to the cordyceps virus and turned into a flesh-hungry zombie, forcing Ellie to shoot her to save her life.

Sarah’s Death In Joel’s Embrace

There’s no debate that seeing Sarah clutching onto Joel’s arms while she desperately grasps for air is the most heartbreaking scene of “The Last of Us” series. The fact that Sarah’s death is inevitable isn’t meant to lessen its tragedy for anybody who has played the original game. After watching his favorite movie with Sarah, Joel tucks his daughter into bed and leaves for the county jail to pay for Tommy’s bail. Sarah is jolted awake by the whir of a helicopter passing above her house and heads out to check on her old neighbor. Sarah is shocked to see that her old neighbor has turned into a flesh-hungry monster, out for blood. Fortunately, Joel intervenes, puts Sarah in her car, and heads toward the border. Unfortunately, the car flipped, forcing the duo to continue on foot. In a twist of fate, Joel and Sarah encounter armed personnel who have orders to eliminate anyone who shows signs of infection. Despite Joel’s pleas, the guard opened fire, fatally injuring Sarah. Joel frantically tried to staunch Sarah’s bleeding, but she gradually lost consciousness and passed away. The loss of Sarah changed him irrevocably, slowly turning him into a cruel and hostile person who had lost all sense of right and wrong.

Joel was an affectionate dad who was quite involved in Sarah’s life prior to the pandemic. With the ensuing mayhem of the pandemic’s breakout, Joel watches helplessly as Sarah slowly departs from his embrace. His heart has hardened since Sarah’s passing, and he frequently rejects the idea of getting close to someone to avoid feeling that harrowing pain again.


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