Episode 6 of The Last of Us picks up three months after the Henry and Sam tragedy. An elderly man walks back to his secluded cabin carrying a freshly killed rabbit. When he walks in, he knows something is off. His wife is just sitting there. Joel quickly makes his presence known. Ellie is upstairs.
Joel is looking for Tommy. The man has never heard the name Tommy before. He’s never heard of the Fireflies either. After Joel asks for some help with a map, the man warns him to never go past the river. “What’s past the river?” Ellie asks. The wife responds, “Death.”
Joel and Ellie carry on anyway. There’s a moment on the way out where Joel has to pause and clutch his chest. Ellie’s worried about him, but Joel says he’s fine. They continue their journey west and set up camp for the night ahead of crossing the river.
Ellie asks Joel about what he’d like to do if a vaccine is developed. He says he’d like to have a ranch and raise some sheep. As for Ellie, wants to become an astronaut like Sally Ride. “It’ll work, right? The vaccine?” Ellie asks. Joel replies, “It’s a little late to start wondering.” She finally confesses about trying to save Sam. Joel admits that a vaccine is more complicated than just using her blood.
Joel & Tommy Reunite
When Joel and Ellie head out the next morning, they become surrounded by people on horseback. They have a dog who will attack if someone’s been infected. They are taken to a gated community called Jackson. Joel finally reunites with his brother, Tommy.
After all these years, the brothers are finally together again. Their reunion gets off to an awkward start when Tommy reveals that he’s now with Maria. Joel and Tommy get some alone time to talk while Ellie gets cleaned up. Tommy asks about Tess and Joel lies. Joel doesn’t initially reveal the truth about Ellie.
Joel brings up Tommy coming along on their journey to the Fireflies, but Tommy wants to stay behind. Maria is pregnant, and he wants to be careful. The prospect of Tommy becoming a father is a tad bittersweet for Joel. When he walks outside, he sees a girl who looks similar to Sarah from the back. After all these years, the pain of losing her can still take his breath away.
Ellie thanks Maria for the diva cup, which she calls the “weirdest gift ever.” Maria has given Ellie all-new clothes as well, including a new jacket for winter. She also gives Ellie’s hair a trim. During the haircut, Maria reveals she used to be a lawyer. Ellie brings up the memorial she spotted and offers her condolences to Maria.
Maria notes that Sarah was actually Joel’s daughter. Ellie had no idea. Maria uses this opportunity to let it be known that she doesn’t trust Joel. “Be careful who you put your faith in,” she says.
Later, Tommy apologizes to Joel for their talk earlier. Joel decides to tell Tommy that Ellie is immune. Tommy has Joel explain everything. Joel reveals how Tess died, how Ellie saved him, and what happened with Henry and Sam. Joel finally breaks and admits he was so “afraid” Ellie was going to be killed by that dog if he smelled the infection on her.
“I’m not who I was,” Joel says. He confesses that fear comes out of nowhere, and it feels like his heart stops. He has dreams every night where he just fails over and over again. “All I’ve ever done is fail her,” he says about Ellie. Joel believes he’s going to get Ellie killed. That’s why he wants Tommy to take her to the Fireflies. He makes Tommy swear not to tell anyone, not even Ellie.
Joel goes to find Ellie, and she’s already pissed at him. She overheard him talking to Tommy. “Do you give a sh*t about me or not?” she asks him. He says, “Of course, I do.”
Ellie continues, “I’m not her, you know. Maria told me about Sarah.” Joel tells her not to say another word. “I’m sorry about your daughter, Joel. But I’ve lost people, too,” she says. Joel doesn’t think Ellie has any idea what loss is.
“Everybody I have cared for has either died or left me. Everybody f***ing except for you,” she admits. Ellie says she’ll be more scared without him. This doesn’t change Joel’s mind. “You’re right. You’re not my daughter. And I sure as hell ain’t your dad. Now come dawn, we’re going our separate ways,” he says before walking out.
Joel Is Stabbed After Being Ambushed
The next morning, Ellie heads out with Tommy to the stables. When they reach them, Joel is already there. “You deserve a choice. I still think you’d be better off with Tommy,” Joel says. Ellie doesn’t hesitate. Her choice is Joel.
Joel and Tommy share a hug before saying goodbye. “There’s a place for you here. Both of you,” Tommy tells them. Over the course of 5 days on horseback, Joel teaches Ellie a lot. They finally reach the University of Eastern Colorado where the Fireflies are supposed to be. They see monkeys running around and a Fireflies symbol but no Fireflies.
When they go inside one of the buildings, it’s completely empty. They only find monkeys upstairs. They stumble upon a map where it appears that the Fireflies have left for Salt Lake City.
Ellie and Joel hear some raiders outside and realize they have to leave immediately. On their way out, a man attacks Joel. Joel is able to kill the guy, but he quickly discovers that he’s been stabbed. They manage to get away before the raiders can catch them. Outside of town, a pale Joel falls off the horse. Ellie rushes to his side. Joel isn’t waking up. “I can’t f***ing do this without you,” Ellie says as she begs Joel to get up. Joel doesn’t respond to Ellie’s pleas.