5 best moments from HBO’s The Last of Us (and the 5 most devastating)

The Last of Us Episode 7
The Last of Us Episode 7 /
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The Last of Us season 1 is at an end. Ellie (Bella Ramsey) and Joel’s (Pedro Pascal) cross-country roadtrip concluded with the explosive “Look For The Light,” as the our new favorite surrogate father-daughter pair finally found the Fireflies in Salt Lake City.

As usual, things didn’t work out well. Despite being a zombie drama, The Last of Us is really all about people. There are emotional highs, exciting moments, and horrific turns, but they only work because we care about the characters.

Now that season 1 is behind us, let’s look back at our five favorite moments…as well as five that left us sobbing bitter tears and cursing the show’s creators for getting us yet again.

The Last of Us Episode 8
The Last of Us Episode 8 /

Fifth best moment on The Last of Us: Ellie kills David and the cannibals

Episode 8 of The Last of Us centered around Ellie’s horrific run-in with a group of cannibals camping out at a resort called Silver Lake in the wilds of Colorado. This is easily the darkest point of Ellie’s story, and the closest she comes to dying a horrible death.

“When We Are In Need” features a bunch of key moments from The Last of Us video game by Naughty Dog, from David’s “Everything happens for a reason” speech to Joel’s torture of two of the cannibals. Beyond just being a good adaptation, the episode as a whole is pretty solid, with great performances from Ramsey, Pascal, Scott Shepherd (David) and Troy Baker (James).

But the high point is Ellie’s final showdown with cannibal leader David. After biting him seconds before he chops her up into tiny, digestible bits, Ellie tells David he’s infected now, since she was bitten by a zombie. As he and James argue over whether it’s true, Ellie grabs a cleaver, cuts her way through James, and then hides out in the mess hall of the resort. David pursues her, letting the true horror at the bottom of his being spill out.

As the building burns down around them, Ellie finally overcomes David and chops his face to pieces. It’s a pulse-pounding sequence that serves as a great climax to the season’s penultimate episode.

The Last of Us Episode 2
The Last of Us Episode 2 /

Fifth most devastating moment on The Last of Us: Tess’ last stand

There are plenty of shocker deaths on The Last of Us, and it should be no surprise that many of them number among the show’s most devastating moments. One of the earliest was the loss of Tess (Anna Torv) in the show’s second episode.

While Tess is first bitten by a clicker during the horrifying attack in an abandoned museum, the viewer doesn’t find out until later, when she starts panicking after discovering that all the Fireflies she and Joel were supposed to hand Ellie off to have been killed. It’s then that Tess reveals that the infection is already taking hold of her.

As a swarm of other infected comes racing toward the building where she’s holed up with Joel and Ellie, Tess begs them to leave, saying she’ll buy time for their escape by staying behind. She then proceeds to set off an explosion that consumes her and all the infected in the building, but not before one of them stalks up to her and gives her a gross, tendrily kiss to welcome her into the infected family. It’s a skin-crawling moment that let fans know we were in for a dark ride ahead.

Honorable mention: The clicker attack

We’d be remiss not to give the terrifying clicker attack that led to Tess’ infection a shout out. It’s easily one of the scariest scenes in the series, and the show nails the onscreen versions of these creatures from the game.