The Last of us episode 8 joel and ellie
Image via HBO Max

The Joel defenders come out in full force in the wake of ‘The Last of Us’ finale

Remember, anything involving Pedro Pascal is beyond critique.

Warning: The following article contains spoilers for The Last of Us.

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It may be a feeling that fans of the original game are used to, but first-time acquaintances of The Last of Us who got their start on HBO Max are no doubt still reeling from the weight of that season finale. For a show that takes a sort of neurotic joy in abusing our emotions, it managed to one-up itself one last time before departing to prepare for the second season.

In particular, the episode saw Joel come to life as the John Wick peer we know him to be, blasting his way through countless Fireflies, including a doctor who may or may not be a MacGuffin, to retrieve Ellie after he learns that the surgery required to remove the potential Cordyceps cure from her body would kill her.

Everyone can at least understand where Joel is coming from by this point; after losing one daughter back when the apocalypse first broke out, losing his adoptive daughter would be far too much for his heart to bear. But even so, there’s an undeniable moral greyness to sacrificing the key to ending the apocalypse for the sake of one person; showrunners Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin said themselves that they go back and forth on Joel’s actions.

But when one of daddy Pedro’s characters is under the threat of scrutiny, you can be certain that Team Joel will find a way to make as much noise as possible to stick up for him.

Indeed, Joel will always have a home in the hearts of fans old and new, records be damned.

There may not be a whole lot of discourse over whether Joel was right or wrong in doing what he did, but with the Joel fandom preemptively standing their ground the way they are now, the other side of the fence might be a bit too outmatched to even try getting involved anyway.

The first season of The Last of Us is available to stream on HBO Max, while a second season has already been announced.


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Charlotte Simmons
Charlotte is a freelance writer for We Got This Covered, a graduate of St. Thomas University's English program, a fountain of film opinions, and probably the single biggest fan of Peter Jackson's 'King Kong.' She has written professionally since 2018, and will tackle an idiosyncratic TikTok story with just as much gumption as she does a film review.