It wasn’t just Ashley Johnson — another ‘The Last of Us’ original had an easily-missed cameo in the finale
WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for HBO’s The Last of Us, Episode 9: “Look for the Light.”
Troy Baker’s James might have been hacked with a meat cleaver by Ellie in the eighth episode of HBO’s The Last of Us, but fans were losing their minds over his cameo. It was the knowledge that Ashley Johnson would be showing up in the finale that kept audiences in high spirits. For those who aren’t in the know, Baker and Johnson portray Joel and Ellie, respectively, in Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us video game franchise.
Craig Mazin and Neill Druckmann made informed decisions to feature the game’s cast in minor/supporting roles to induce nostalgia for gamers and long-time fans. Baker’s James was the right-hand man to Scott Shepherd’s David, the cannibalistic leader of a cult-like community. As for Johnson, in rather fitting fashion, she portrays Ellie’s mother, Anna, who gets bitten by an Infected while pregnant and must hand Ellie over to Marlene, leader of the Fireflies. What fans might have missed, however, is that Johnson wasn’t the only cameo from the games to feature in the finale.
In the final sequence of “Look for the Light,” Ellie and Joel reach the Firefly hospital at last, but Joel learns from Marlene that while extracting the fungus from Ellie’s brain needed to craft a cure for the cordyceps, the surgery will kill her. Naturally, Joel isn’t prepared to let that happen, so he finishes off Marlene and guns down anyone in sight to storm the hospital and stop the surgery. When barging into the treatment room, Joel holds the surgeon and his assistants at gunpoint, one of whom — and you might need to squint a bit to see it under the mask — is none other than Laura Bailey, who provided the voice and motion capture performance for Abby Anderson, the antagonist of The Last of Us: Part II.
We’re assuming that if HBO, Mazin and Druckmann continue their current theme, the second season of The Last of Us will adapt Part II, so we should be seeing Abby make her debut sooner rather than later. That’s still a long time away, but we’re on the edge of our seats to learn who might be cast to go up against an aged-up version of Bella Ramsey’s Ellie. The Last of Us fans are well aware of Abby’s involvement in the story and how the finale ties in to her motivations for hunting down Joel. Let’s hope HBO do her justice, but wasn’t it nice (and unexpected) to see Bailey, even if for a brief second?