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HBO's The Last Of Us Finale: Does Ellie Know The Truth?

Major spoilers ahead for "The Last of Us" games and HBO series.

The final moments of the season finale for HBO's "The Last of Us" are challenging, to say the least. Upon learning that the Fireflies would have to perform a surgery on Ellie that would kill her, Joel goes on a rampage through the group's facility, killing almost everyone inside and escaping with Ellie. By doing this, he knows he's thrown away the Fireflies' one chance at finding a cure for the Cordyceps that has infected humanity and decimated the world. When Ellie wakes, Joel tells her that the Fireflies have given up trying to create a vaccine, and that the hospital was destroyed by raiders. Ellie remains quiet and turns her back to Joel.

As the episode reaches its end, Ellie once more asks Joel to promise her that he's not lying, that the Fireflies really sent them on their way after realizing there was no cure. Joel looks her dead in the eyes and swears he's telling the truth. Ellie says, "Okay," and the episode cuts to black.

The original video game ended almost exactly the same way, and it was no less controversial there. In the years between the game's release and the arrival of its sequel, fans fiercely debated the ambiguity of the ending. What would happen next? Did Ellie believe Joel, or did his betrayal completely wreck everything? Fans of the TV series no doubt have the same questions — and luckily, the second game in the series provides many of the answers.

The Last of Us Part 2 reveals Joel's lies

"The Last of Us Part 2" contains several flashbacks that show players how the relationship between Ellie and Joel deteriorated over time. Though she initially tries to go along with Joel's insistence that the Fireflies could not make a cure, Ellie knows that there are things about Joel's story that don't add up. Within weeks of the St. Mary's incident, she begins asking Joel for more details about what really went down at the hospital. 

A few years later, her doubts get the best of her and she returns to St. Mary's Hospital to see for herself. There, she finds a recording from one of the surviving Fireflies, who reveals that Ellie was indeed the only chance at a cure, and that the doctor meant to perform the necessary surgery had been murdered. Enraged, Ellie confronts Joel for not only potentially dooming the human race, but also taking away Ellie's right to decide whether or not to sacrifice herself for the greater good. After learning the truth, Ellie's survivor's guilt only intensifies, and she decides to cut Joel out of her life. It's a long time before the pair have a civil conversation again.

Given how closely the inaugural season of the show follows the first game's story, it's a safe bet that we know how Season Two of "The Last of Us" will approach Ellie's reaction to Joel's lies. Hopefully viewers won't have to wait too terribly long to find out for sure, as Pedro Pascal has told Collider that "The Last of Us" Season Two may begin filming before the end of the year.