Analyzing The Last of Us Part 2's controversial ending, and how it brings the original game full circle.
NOT THIS. Just kidding. I really don't care...
Troll yes it completes it.
Agreed. Joel's arc is complete, and his purpose served and part played. Congrats to the writers and Troy for making him so compelling. We'll see what ND does or doesn't do with the rest, but I have complete confidence in them. Masterfully done.
His arc was to get bashed in and tortured in the first hour of the sequel then spat on? Throwing his character away like a cummy tissue. Yeah...I don't think so. Our Joel would not go after and save one stranger from a Horde of infected, wander into a room full of unknown people, let his guard down, invite them back to their town and use his real name, the same guy who could smell a Hunter ambush from a mile off amongst other things. That was not Joel's arc, no way in hell. I mean sure like it, but applauding it, saying it's masterfully done? Way over the top.
They made him compelling in the original and in the second they did to him exactly what was done to Luke Skywalker in the latest Stars Wars trilogy. They disrespected Joel so much that the character was pretty much retconned. It wasn't masterfully done, it was forced in order to serve the narrative of this game as was trying to make Ellie the villain and Abby some kind of tragic hero. It was all forced because that's what Neil Druckmann set out to do: subvert expectations something I already proved to you in another discussion but I don't mind posting the link again.
"His arc was to get bashed in and tortured in the first hour of the sequel then spat on?" You're out of touch if you believe that his actions from the first game wouldn't catch up to him. It also sounds like you really didn't understand the situation surrounding that event, and you're not really considering their POV. They don't have the context of things from the first part of the story, all they know is he had murdered Abby's father, and in their eyes, he was a terrible human being that deserved to be tortured/killed for what he had done. "Our Joel would not go after and save one stranger from a Horde of infected..." How do you know that? You don't think Joel would help out another human being who was clearly in distress? Also, he didn't "go after one stranger." She was there, in distress, and they helped her out of her situation. They did what they probably would have done for anyone - help them out when they were clearly in trouble with the infected. You can't be so foolish as to assume they would have seen someone in distress and thought, "oh that person is just there because they are out to lure me into a trap and torture me, so screw 'em." "... wander into a room full of unknown people, let his guard down, invite them back to their town and use his real name, the same guy who could smell a Hunter ambush from a mile off amongst other things." You can't pretend to know exactly what Joel would have done in that situation or presume he would have done anything differently. Everything you've just said really just shows how you don't get it.
@Im You've proved absolutely nothing except that you're vehement in your misguided opinion. Neil 'did' subvert the common trope of everyone living happily ever after, and that's all he "subverted." You already made the flat-falling Luke comparison. Didn't track then and it isn't now. The first game and second game are one story. That's what a lot of people aren't acknowledging, and I believe they're only doing so in order to make this retconn/forced nonsense argument, because they just don't like what's transpired. Joel wasn't ruined; the story was merely continued. Neither The Last of Us or Part II are self contained, and none of the occurrences are insular. Again, all one story. It's very clear why people feel the way they do; they simply don't like the story. But, there's no error or contrivance, just a story that disappointed certain people.
@Foxtrot The reason of Joel being so friendly is even explained by the game, in a note you find with Ellie. Jackson village was striving to regain humanity by trusting strangers a little bit more.
@Foxtrot You are always on here bashing TLOU2 please do something else with your time. It’s an amazing story with hard parts to swallow but that doesn’t mean you turn tail and run from it. You must’ve not played it because it is a complete story that I feel is probably one of the best ever in a video game series
Here's the link again then https://www.gq-magazine.co.... "we’re gonna double down and we’re gonna expose what this ending means. To take some of the things that people hold sacred and just... dismantle it.” meaning let's shit on what people loved about the original game. "You already made the flat-falling Luke comparison. Didn't track then and it isn't now." Then try to counter what foxtrot has said about how Joel found himself in the situation that led to his death. Let's see how that moment was "masterfully" done and how it made sense when taking in consideration how Joel was characterized in the original game.
ThereGoThatManQ And people like you are here defending it to the high f****** heavens ALL THE TIME so WHATS THE ISSUE? Seriously crying about one person doing something when you are doing the same Besides like I say every time it’s the story, everything else is fine It’s attacking one thing that people like yourself are over praising because of what? The respect for ND, the 7 year wait, because it’s a Sony exclusive. It’s suddenly not allowed to be criticised. Jesus. BU BU BUT YOU MUSTN'T HAVE PLAYED IT Spare me the bullshit please. It’s the shittiest counterpoint you guys can make. @Obelisk92 "The reason of Joel being so friendly is even explained by the game, in a note you find with Ellie" Yeah. What a bullshit excuse https://i.redd.it/oxe2q8rpr...
@foxtrot It's fine to be critical, but those criticisms render themselves moot when you've shown that you completely miss the point.
@Foxtrot Jesus man calm down. No need to be so salty. I don't think that the 20 years off camera can be comparable to the 5 years of Joel with Ellie. You can easily see that Ellie changed Joel. Also, I can't see why he couldn't strive to change as well, in an effort to be more likeable to Ellie. Anyway you can have a different opinion, but don't be so mean with that tone. It makes your reasons seem less credible.
@Iam Try to counter? Are you challenging me to fight someone else instead of making your own point? That's so ballsy. Joel has put his trust in plenty of people; Henry, Bill, all of Jackson Community to name a few. That's your argument? That's your big 'a-ha!' gotcha play; that it's out of character for Joel to trust anyone? Not to mention that fact that Joel's trusting of Abby was a spur of the moment occurrence. Joel was in the area and saw Abby in danger. For all Joel knew she was a potential ally; an ally that could help them in 'their' current situation. People are attempting to assign characteristics and a mindset to Joel that simply aren't there and aren't supported. Joel was a hardass in the first game, yes, but he 'did' trust people, and it's entirely possible and sensible that he became more tolerant of strangers during life in Jackson. You don't like what happened - period - that's why you're upset. But, that doesn't mean it doesn't make sense, or that it's contrived, or that it's forced, or any of the other claims you're making. Your arguments are poor, as are his. Check out some of -Fox's other doozies right now in other discussions. He's the last person of all opponents of the game I'd defer to if 'I' was an opponent of the game. They're all shortsighted and lacking context.
"it's entirely possible and sensible that he became more tolerant of strangers during life in Jackson." So he just forgot the person HE was for 20+ years wich is why he didn't outright trust strangers? Completely forgot the world he lives in? Oh how masterfully done from Naugthy dog! "During his life on Jackson" Wich we barely know anything about but you know what's funny about your reply? Is that you confirmed that TloU 2 Joel isn't the same Joel we knew from the original and all you could do to explain how the character was changed was the generic response. One that doesn't make sense because if there is something that is very patent in TloU 2 is that its world is as dangerous as it has ever been. Yes, you're right I don't like that it happened and I think it's safe to say that the majority didn't but since it had to happen at the very least make it in a way that respects who Joel was.
@Iam Now you're just grasping. You're trying to make a statue out of Joel; saying that he could only possibly behave one way; that he couldn't grow more trusting over time, that he could never possibly let his guard down, or that he couldn't grow in his humanity. You're restricting him to a very narrow, utterly distrusting man who's only interested in self-preservation and who'd never break with these character rules 'you've' imposed. That was Bill; not Joel. Bill was the unmovable one. Bill was the distrusting one. Bill was of the philosophy that caring for and looking after others was only good for one thing - getting yourself killed. You still haven't addressed how he trusted the people in Boston, Tess, Henry, or anyone else. You sidestepped my point to make another poor one of your own that doesn't hold up. Your rigid view of Joel's character isn't anywhere close to who he actually is, and it certainly isn't canon.
@ziggurcat there is no POV where torturing someone isn't completely effed up.
@frosty That's not what I said.
its nice they ended his story with a friendly game of golf i dont get why people are upset :P
SyntheticForm Oh the irony..." 'you've' imposed." I'm not imposing anything, the original game did as that is who Joel was. He was an established character and neither ND or you gave ANY reason whatsoever as to why he somehow became more trusting of strangers. You're the one grasping, you're the one imposing your assumptions on the character. "that he couldn't grow more trusting over time, that he could never possibly let his guard down, or that he couldn't grow in his humanity" That's who he was for 20+ years. "trusting over time" "never possibly let his guard down" ??? Have you seen the world he lives in? Why would he somehow change and all of the sudden start trusting complete strangers for no reason whatsoever? Oh wait, you already gave your generic response! There was nothing masterful about what ND did with Joel's arc.
In my opinion, and that's the only one I can give, i loved the game from start to finish. I have no issues with the diversity of the characters or the story that was told. I smiled, i hated,i loved and i cried ( a few times). The story is revenge driven by love and ultimately saved through forgiveness. For me, it was a cinematic masterpiece with an ending fight which knocked MGS4 off the top spot for me. Im still haunted by all the moments and yet ive came out the other end with new emotional attachments to the likes of Lev.
Finally someone else saw the similarities with the ending fight to that of Snake and Ocelot fight of MGS4. Both are immeasurably epic.
I find this analysis to be a little, just a little more deep and credible than "Ending is dumb, revenge bad, script ends with yep".
It's actually not that deep. Check out the comments in the website's page as there are some good counter arguments, and I also tried to give my own, but there are some better ones than I could even conjure. The article is essentially saying that Ellie's need to forgive Joel parallels the need to forgive Abby. But that's ridiculous because both Joel's death and the introduction of Abby's character were contrived just to make Ellie into this (out-of-character) person who is "need" of a lesson on forgiveness. That's all well and good for Part II, but it doesn't do justice to the ending of Part 1 since Ellie never needed to forgive in part 1. It's a contrived story that just drags on beyond the ambiguous ending of the first in ordrr to manufacture a crisis within Ellie's psyche by turning her into a villainous character only for Naughty Dog to pat themselves on the back with a preachy message about forgiveness onto a character (Ellie) who never needed this lesson in the first place. They just lazily placed Joel, Abby, Tommy and Ellie as props for a story on forgivness that never needed telling (if not for the contrived/forced setup that turned Ellie into a broken villain only so ND can congratulate themselves for turning around said contrived broken villain and make her forgiving. I'm not gullible enough to find meaning in such forced storytelling and poorly strewn character motives that were only written to force a character into needing to be taught a lesson on forgiveness (which Ellie never had an issue with in the first game). The only story it compliments is the insular one of Part II. It does nothing for Part I.
From the ending of part 1, you could see in her eyes that she did not believe Joel. The trust was broken at this point.
Ellie never had an issue with forgiveness in the first game? Dude, it was literally the last frame of the game where Ellie was visibly doubtful of what joel was saying. Just by seeing that, you would know that the sequel would talk about her having a conflict by knowing the truth in the end. The Part II had to be a forgiveness tale. It was written in the first game's finale.
Well said. This could have been a full on ND emotional powerhouse if they made the themes into another game that wasn't Last of Us. It does feel contrived. But if it had been done with new characters in a new scenario within the TLoU universe it wouldn't have felt so contrived. Or like I said, a different game altogether. But I still love Tlou 2 even if it doesn't hit as hard as part 1. I can't wait to play again when PS4 Pro is back in stock. Can't wait to be blown away again by the technical masterpiece this game is in 4k.
Doubting Joel and having issues with forgiveness are two different things
@DonDon3000: Hit the nail on the head and couldn't have said it better myself.
They are two different things but they can, and should, be considered consequential. It fits for me that the ending of the first game leads to this story. I don't find it contrived. While I agree with you that the characters take a very different evolution than in the first one, I don't see why they shouldn't anyway. It's a different story, a lot of years have passed, Ellie turned into an adult. I see your point, I just disagree.
Apart from the unnecessary Feminism and social agendas.. this game was is a masterpiece, the gameplay the gfx the soundtracks the word building the acting and story is fantastic. Start with the quest full of ravage and anger, then to more hate feelings by forcing you to play the person you want to kill the most, then back to get your ultimate awaited revenge, but then it asks you to let go and forgive...freaking an Emotional Roller coaster!! Ppl will say, yah but the ending doesn’t make sense after Eille brutally killed all those ppl then she let go out of Abby. Well, for once this is a game... secondly, you can actually just sneak past most enemies and only forcefully kill about 4 from the Wolves (2of which by accident and 1 was self defense ) .. oh and a dog. So the ending makes perfect sense.
Yes, it completely destroys it.
The ending is excellent.
Sure it does bud.
Best ending I've ever played in a game after 30 years of gaming.
WTF were you playing in those 30 years!
Tetris has better ending than this.
Okay here's a quote from the article and why that writers interpretation is weak: "And yet, in its own bleak way, The Last of Us Part 2 has a happy ending. The final shot of The Last of Us Part 2 is of Joel's guitar, the symbol of the unresolved differences between Joel and Ellie, left behind in the window. Ellie's future is uncertain as she departs the farm, having basically lost what amounts to her entire family. But after everything, at least now she can move forward." *end quote* Ok, the problem with this interpretation is that the author thinks that this ending somehow completes that of the first game. However, the only thing it compliments is it's own self-inflicted conflicts. Ellie never had a forgiveness problem in the FIRST game. In fact, Ellie was aware that most if not all living people in her world had experienced loss of loved ones. The "need" for her to learn forgiveness is a contrived need that was insular to only the 2nd game. The definition of contrived: "deliberately created rather than arising naturally or spontaneously". So essentially her growth was only needed because of a made-up scenario unique only to the 2nd game (Abby killing Joel, and Joel telling Ellie the truth about the fireflies). The first game ended on a decidedly ambiguos note. Any other lessons that Ellie needed to learn were forced and contrived into the second game by the choice of the writters to make up such a useless "need". The only thing the game did was go full circle to "fix" a broken Ellie that didn't need fixing in the FIRST game. They brake her in the 2nd game only to pat themselves on the back by saying they fixed her by the end of the same game (part 2). It's ridiculous and overly contrived/forced and unecessary to have even made this story in the first place. No, i'm not saying they shouldn't have made a sequel (though the first game was fine). But they way they manufactured a reason to make Ellie into a villain who needs redemption is so weak and forced just for the sake of being preachy while utilizing a character (Ellie) who never previously had any issues with forgiveness or rage. This is ridiculous. And I haven't even gotten started on how hollow the side characters/villains are in comparison to part 1 (Bill, Sam, Henry, Tess, David, of part 1 blow Jesse, Dina, Owen, Mel, etc out of the water in terms of writing, dialog, character driven motives, and overall just plain being more interesting). If you like the game, then great. But it's not a good sequel plot-wise and pacing-wise (gameplay is still good). Good game, but not a smart story.
"utilizing a character (Ellie) who never previously had any issues with forgiveness" Care to give some examples of that from the first game? Being good at heart is not the same thing as being full of forgiveness.
I don't have the burden of providing proof that Ellie didn't have forgiveness issues (especially since the first game never showed her as being [specifically] an unforgiving person. How do you prove that a character DOESN'T have an issue? If anything, the burden is on the writers and the writer of this article to provide proof that Ellie ever needed to have a lesson on forgiveness in the first place. Especially so much so that it was worth dragging this character into a second game, only to contrive a plot that would force such a dubious lesson on the merit's of forgiveness onto her.
So basically your defense is that you just made something up and that that is ok. Got it. Not surprising that when questioned you have no examples to back up the claim that you made. "How do you prove that a character DOESN'T have an issue?" You tell us since you stated that Ellie never previously had any issues with forgiveness. If you cannot even name a single time where the topic of forgiveness came up in The Last of Us, then perhaps you shouldn't be talking about it.
Going by your logic (and I hate opening with that) every story is "contrived" or "manufactured." You're basically arguing that characters are immovable, non-malleable, and set in stone for the duration of their presence in a story. So-and-so behaves a certain way in Chapter 1, and so must stay that way for Chapter 2 and every other chapter. So-and-so can't change, or evolve; he must stay as he was in Chapter 1, and if he doesn't, it's a "forced" or "contrived" betrayal of his 'true character.' I'm sorry but W T F? I wonder if in that cloud of self-righteous delusion you're at all aware of the utter crap you're speaking. All you've done here is express that you disagree with the storytelling. It's clear that you're simply intolerant of the direction they went in not based on flaws at the writing level, but based on what transpired; based on what happened to so-and-so, and what so-and-so did. That's not a flaw in writing, that's your personal disagreement. Stop trying to frame your grievance as anything other than what it is - personal disagreement.
I read this couple days ago and I have to agree. It's a good article.
This review tries so hard to make sense and to tell you that everything makes sense and is good. Every writer can direct you to where they want you to believe even if the story is bad. I'm not saying the ending is bad. I am just saying that such an article is not worth it to read.
So you read it even if it's not worth it to read?
No, I didn't read it. I read the title.
Completely agreed. Sadly, there are too many people who are one dimensional thinkers, who don’t have the thought process, or understanding of what the story is or what it is trying to tell you. This was NEVER suppose to be a happy/cheerful story.
The people who hate it tend to fall into 2 groups: Group 1, the people who don't like it because it isn't what their fan fiction of a sequel is. Group 2, the people who don't like it because it isn't afraid to tell them that life sucks, and happy endings aren't always possible.
group 3, XBOX fan boys
Don't forget the 'muh sjw' group who balked at a muscular woman from the leaks, calling her a 'tranny' and whatnot. Those are the largest group of detractors.
nobody asked for it to be a happy ending or story. The first game wasn't happy nor eas the ending. And even the aithor of the article didn't even accuse naysayers of hating the game merely because it didn't have a happy story. You're the only one who made that up. A contrived made-up accusation against those who had their own legitimate contrivances with this game. Your statement lacks in logic.
Stop sugar coating a pile of shit and call it a masterpiece
Do you need a hug?
LOL no. It shits all over the original.
Play it again, but this time leave what you think it should've been at the door and see it for what it is.
I did. It was just a bad story with excellent gameplay and graphics. It happens to the best of developers.
Game had a really good ending. This game was a real rollercoaster.
No, the difference you see, is that rollercoasters are fun 🤭
Overall, TLOU2 was a fantastic adventure. It totally reminds me of an M Night Shyamalan movie with respect to the idea that the more I think about what had happened, the more I can appreciate the experience after the fact. I did not like how they portrayed Ellie at times, and especially in the end. It felt off. But I came around as to why. When you really think back to her rbf moments and her internal conflict, she was so miserable because she had lost the opportunity to understand why Joel did what he did fully, and to forgive him. The closing scene was symbolically perfect. The guitar was the last remaining connection to Joel. And her missing fingers severed that connection permanently. Did she finally let go?
I don't think it was an issue of her letting go and forgiving him, but not being able to tell him that she did. Joel died not knowing what her decision would be, something that will follow her forever.
Part 2 as a whole ruining Naughty Dog reputation.
lol, no... Game is being hailed towards the sky and gamers declares this as the game of the generation, and hit has broken sell records. Ruin what? Everyone is instead asking when is Part III?
Everyone? Oh really 🤭
Calm your tits there buddy. game of the gen? gtfoh. It's not better than GOW. Having said that, I found this story to be fantastic. I don't get what all the bitch moaning and complaining is about.
Go play it again, and again, and again, until you understand it.
I wouldn't go that far. I'm really disappointed in the story, but many people love it and have no problem with it. Just because part of the fan base didn't enjoy the story(I'm talking only about the story, since graphics and game play are great), it doesn't undermine anything the ND has done.