HBO’s original series The Last of Us based on video game franchise under the same name season one episode nine entitled “Look for the light” kicks off with Ashely Johnson’s Ann as she is giving birth to Bella Ramsey’s Ellie while infected due to a fight she had with an infected person. As a result of this she is forced to give her to Merle Dandridge’s Marlene. In her mind, she knows that she cannot take care of Ellie as she is infected with no hope of seeing Ellie grow up. Which is why she is okay with dying on the spot if it means that Ellie will live on after she is gone. Deep down she does not want to let Ellie go due to the fact that she has only just brought her into the world. However, it is clear to the viewer that she does not want to turn into a monster and possibly hurt her child. This is why she asks Marlene to kill her so she can die as the person she is. Thanks to the fantastic acting by Ashley Johnson and Merle Dandridge the entire scene was a rollercoaster of emotions. During and after the birth scene the series creates a connection between the viewer regarding Ellie. The viewer feels a sense of protection and the need to do what is best for her and Anna.
Additionally, the viewer sees Pedro Pascal’s Joel Miller as he tries to cheer up Ellie due to, her being traumatized over what she did. The interesting part about this is how now he is the one who is trying to break the ice between them. This is a wonderful example of the evolution and de-evolution of both Joel and Ellie. In his mind, he sees how messed up Ellie is which is why he tries to return things to the way they were before. Deep down he feels as if he failed again with how she was forced to go through a traumatic event. Now he is desperate to make things right with her, so she does not make his worst fear come true and hate him. However, in her mind Joel has nothing to do with her change in attitude. She now knows the true horrors of the broken world she has grown up in. Which is why she does not act like she usually does with a childlike innocence.
Later into the episode, Joel is faced with a tough decision that can have serious consequences for all of humanity. The interesting part about his choice is that it can create an understanding as well as a discussion among the series viewers. That is the best part about the acting done by Pedro Pascal as Joel. He manages to capture the emotion a grieving father goes through as he is faced with the possibility of losing a second child. Knowing what he has lost is what creates an understanding with the viewer during the moment he decides to act. Some might consider his actions selfish due to him dooming all of humanity as he takes away a possible cure. Meanwhile, others would do the same thing in his position given as how some viewers have children or have lost children and would do anything to save them.
At the end of the episode, Joel and Ellie return to Joel’s brother’s town to start new lives. Unfortunately, by the look on Ellie’s face the viewer can tell that she does not fully believe the story that Joel tells her. In her mind, she knows that Joel might have done something horrible that could have serious consequences for everyone. This is due to how he told her that he has found a new reason to live now that he sees her as his daughter. Unfortunately, she refuses to believe that he did anything that would destroy her trust and love in him. Deep down she knows he loves her as she loves him which is why a part of her wants to believe him. However, there is another part of her that knows he lied about what he told her.
Overall, this episode has stayed true to the source material in the long run. The best part is that it ends in the same way the game does. The series has done a fantastic job at asking the question what someone do if they were given the chance to love again. Also, how far would one go to save someone who does not want to be saved. This is where the true humanity comes in everyone in a sense that we all love and have lost people we love. Which is why the question should not be is saving a certain person who does not want to be saved worth it. Instead, it should be how does someone live with themselves after choosing for that person.