Well, we’re here. The Last of Us has ended its first season, leaving us nothing less than emotional husks, nothing more than hungry for more deep character-based trauma in Season 2. We’ve endured and survived, baby girl. But after that cold hard finale, I’m sure you’ve got as many questions as we have.
Unless you’ve played the game, that is.
For those who haven’t played Naughty Dog’s lauded sequel The Last of Us Part II, the future is uncertain for Ellie (Bella Ramsey) and Joel (Pedro Pascal). The series, like the game, ended with Joel’s polarising decision to save Ellie, sacrificing a potential cure for the Cordyceps infection and executing the entire Fireflies’ medical team, including their leader, Marlene (Merle Dandridge). And now? Ellie and Joel have made it back to Jackson, where it’s ambiguous whether they’ll enjoy a warm welcome or not.
If you’re dying to know what’s in store for Season 2, we’re about to get spoilery and pinpoint some of the major plot points you can expect director Craig Mazin and creator Neil Druckmann to get stuck into. If you haven’t played the game, however, you might want to regroup, turn back, and consider our burning questions article instead, which is free of game (though not show) spoilers.
For everyone else, let’s delve into the biggest storyline moments we can expect to see in Season 2 — including the one that HBO had better expect a riot over.
The Last of Us Season 2 will take you back to Jackson
Credit: Liane Hentscher/HBO
The Last of Us Season 1, episode 6 took us to the settlement of Jackson, a key location in the second game. We don’t actually visit the Jackson settlement in the first game at all; we just see it way off in the distance, when Joel and Ellie find Tommy and Maria at the hydroelectric plant that’s powering it nearby. Jackson is also where the show finale takes Joel and Ellie, as they take a strained hike through the wilderness after everything that went down in Salt Lake City and reach a ridge above the town.
Logic predicts that Season 2 will pick up where The Last of Us Part II does, with Joel and Ellie living in Jackson in their own places. We’ll likely get a little scene immediately after the events of Season 1 before skipping ahead four years in the future, with the pair still living in Jackson, with new friends and a yet-to-be-explained strain on their relationship. By now, Ellie is 19 and riding patrols with her horse Shimmer, who made a sweet cameo in episode 6 as a foal. And most importantly, Ellie is ready for her second big love.
The Last of Us will introduce Ellie’s next big love
Credit: Naughty Dog
It’s the Easter egg gamers were abuzz about in Season 1, the fleeting appearance of a character who may or not have been a certain someone integral to Ellie’s life in The Last of Us Part II. Ellie’s tragically short romance with her best friend Riley (Storm Reid) was her first love, but it’s certainly not her last.
In episode 6, when Joel and Ellie are in the food hall tucking into what might be the only good meal they’ve had in years, there’s a moment when Ellie’s manners fail her and she throws a barb at a girl lurking nearby. Fans of the game have surmised that this is possibly Dina, Ellie’s future love interest and one of the key characters we’ll see in Season 2. In HBO’s podcast for the show, neither Mazin or Druckmann confirmed nor denied that this was Dina, but the tone they used suggested that yeah, it’s Dina.
Dina is a complex, kickass character who will play a hugely important role in Season 2, and we can’t wait to see who’s cast in the role. In The Last of Us Part II, the story basically begins with one of the franchise’s best ever scenes: As sparks fly between Dina and Ellie at a Jackson barn dance, they share their first kiss together. Ellie and Dina’s relationship grows with every patrol, every tragedy, every secret they share together — including Dina’s major reveal. Dina’s deep love for Ellie means she doesn’t even hesitate to join Ellie on her quest for revenge to Seattle: “You go, I go. End of story.”
The Last of Us Season 2 will do it: Joel’s death
Credit: Liane Hentscher/HBO
For fans of the game, we know what’s coming in Season 2. And we also know this will break fans of the show who don’t know it’s coming, as it did us while playing The Last of Us Part II.
I’m talking about Joel’s death. It’s one of the most shocking, unexpected, traumatizing events I’ve ever encountered in a video game — the brutal murder of a protagonist you’ve spent literally hundreds of hours playing, understanding, and becoming attached to. You’ve survived so much with Joel, as has Ellie, and Naughty Dog made us watch as her beloved father figure is literally bashed to death in front of her face.
Credit: Liane Hentscher/HBO
Yes, Joel’s death allowed Naughty Dog to differentiate the games and introduce new character dynamics, namely moving Ellie into young adulthood. But I have a feeling this episode will be one of the most talked about, most hands-in-the-air, Red Wedding-level, how-could-they-do-this-to-us episode of Season 2. Considering the skyrocketing fame and internet belovedness of Pedro Pascal following Season 1, this devastating moment in the narrative will be all over your feed.
This absolutely brutal scene will likely be in the first episode of the second season, and it will rattle viewers to the core. Instead of a harrowing rescue by our teen hero, the game mechanics literally pin Ellie to the ground as Joel is murdered by Abby (more on her below), with Ellie helpless to stop it. Joel won’t be OK, and neither will Ellie or HBO audiences after this. Prepare for several solid weeks of people grieving online. I’m guessing episode 2 will begin with Joel’s burial and Ellie going through Joel’s house in Jackson. If she sniffs Joel’s signature brown jacket in the closet before taking his broken watch with her, I will lose it, people.
But don’t worry, Pascal fans. The game features a few flashback scenes with the pair, including an all-important, dinosaur-related memory and a major reveal about why exactly there’s tension between Joel and Ellie at the beginning of the sequel, so it’s fair to assume Season 2 won’t be completely Pascal-free, even after his character’s death.
We’ll meet two new factions — and a new “villain”
With the death of Marlene and a lot of Fireflies at the end of Season 1 at Joel’s hands, the second season will see the repercussions of our main man’s decisions when he saves the wrong person’s life.
The first episode will likely introduce the new character of Abby Anderson, who we mentioned above as Joel’s killer. Fair warning to whoever is cast in this role: This will not be a popular screen moment for you, at least until your backstory episode. Abby’s character also plays a major role in the game beyond Joel’s murder, expanding the world of The Last of Us beyond Ellie’s experience. The word “villain” is subjective as always for humans in this franchise, depending on your perspective. (Except David. David is a villain.)
Ultimately, saving Abby’s life from Infected beyond the safety of the Jackson settlement will be Joel’s fatal error, as she’s part of a militia group known as the Washington Liberation Front (WLF), aka the Wolves. The Wolves are based in Seattle, and they’re comprised of former Fireflies. And we all remember what happened to the Fireflies.
In Season 2, we’ll also probably meet the faction behind some preachy graffiti, the Seraphites, also referred to as the Scars, who are a form of cult and direct rivals to the Wolves.
The Last of Us will introduce another solid young lead
Another Season 2 newbie will be Ellie’s pal Jesse, who is Dina’s ex-boyfriend from Jackson. Jesse tracks Ellie and Dina on their travels to Seattle in order to help them on their quest to find Tommy (more on that below). He’s a no-nonsense, responsible friend to Ellie and Dina, and every last young actor around will be clambering over themselves for this role.
Bella Ramsey will have ample room to shine next season.
Credit: Liane Hentscher/HBO
Season 2 is all about Ellie. Our protagonist’s grief and rage in The Last of Us Part II will give Bella Ramsey the challenge they deserve to take an already incredible performance even further. Pascal and Ramsey have built the same level of chemistry and bond Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson’s Joel and Ellie did, and it’s going to break our hearts to see Bellie and Pedge destroyed like this. But Ramsey will also have plenty of action scenes ahead of them too, as Ellie will do the majority of fighting next season.
The Last of Us Season 2 will focus on a shellshocked Ellie wanting only revenge, with her sights set on Seattle, where the WLF are supposedly based, and a list of Wolves to torture and kill. Tommy (Gabriel Luna) does right by his fallen brother Joel by attempting to keep Ellie safe and going after the WLF himself. So, the events of The Last of Us Season 2 will mirror those of the first season, but the other way around.
This Season 2 road trip, from Wyoming to Washington this time, will focus on Ellie’s journey as she tracks the WLF group — namely, the murderous Abby. As Ellie gets more and more brutal in her hunting tactics, fuelled by grief and rage, Ramsey will have one hell of a journey on their hands. That scene from episode 8 in which Joel gets real cold and torture-y with the map trick? It rubbed off, people.
Will we hear Pedro Pascal sing Pearl Jam in episode 1?
At the very beginning of The Last of Us Part II, Joel gifts Ellie a guitar and the promise of lessons, but not before he plays a little something on it. He picks Pearl Jam’s “Future Days,” a somber ballad that begins with the fitting lyric “If I ever were to lose you / I’d surely lose myself.” This begs the question: Will we hear Pedro Pascal himself sing a little Pearl Jam in Season 2, episode 1?
Go to Source