And similar to that, the Season 1 finale of HBO’s The Final of Us has come to an in depth. The primary 9 episodes of the sequence caught fairly near the occasions of the 2013 sport, with some vital modifications alongside the way in which to deepen character improvement. In the long run, although, these of us who’ve performed The Final of Us know the way it has to finish. And even with some added context within the Season 1 finale, the sequence fantastically landed the story’s conclusion.
Warning: The next comprises spoilers for the Season 1 finale of The Final of Us, in addition to the occasions of The Final of Us Half II. If you have not seen the episode but or do not need to be spoiled on the 2020 sport, flip away now.
A real standout on this ultimate episode is a returning Marlene (Merle Dandridge), who not solely obtained pivotal moments with Pedro Pascal’s Joel all through the episode however was additionally explored by way of her personal flashback, which is an extremely vital piece of her story–and allowed for the return of a fan-favorite performer from the video games.
GameSpot sat down with Dandrige to debate all of Marlene’s main moments within the finale and the emotion that went into the episode.
The start of Ellie
The episode opens with the introduction of Anna, performed by Ashley Johnson, the actor who portrays Ellie within the video games. Now, although, she’s within the function of Ellie’s mom. Whereas in labor, about to present start to Ellie, Anna is bitten by an contaminated and similar to that, we all know her destiny is sealed. Nonetheless, we additionally study that she is Marlene’s finest buddy with the 2 having a connection that stems again to earlier than outbreak day.
Talking concerning the second and her reunion with Johnson, Dandridge admitted, “Once I first learn that episode and that scene, I do consider I might need clutched it to my chest and sighed and cried… Working with Ashley has at all times been an absolute pleasure.”
What’s extra, although, this lengthy opening scene allowed Dandridge the chance to discover a bit of Marlene we have by no means actually seen earlier than. “I believe when you had actually delved deep into the sport, you might need heard some extra of the backstory or the interplay between Marlene and Anna,” the actress mentioned. “And for these followers, these old-school, deep-dive sort of followers, they’re getting that payoff, however for us–I can not converse for Ashley, however for me–the elementary items round what and who I constructed Marlene to be, you understand, by way of this car of Merle, have been steeped on this relationship and who she was earlier than outbreak day.”
Apparently, this explicit story was nearly explored extra deeply earlier than. Throughout a convention name with the press, The Final of Us co-creator Neil Druckmann revealed that he is had an thought for a narrative primarily based round Anna that he is tried to discover as a comic book e-book, a sport, and even a brief movie beforehand.
“I wrote this quick script about Ellie’s mother and the way she gave start to Ellie, was bitten on the similar time and wasn’t certain if she was contaminated throughout that start,” he defined. “And it simply grew to become this little character drama that felt prefer it spoke to the identical themes of parental love for his or her baby and the way a lot you are keen to do even if you’re on loss of life’s door.”
Whereas that by no means got here to fruition beforehand, it really works as a centerpiece second for the HBO sequence. And despite the fact that Dandridge did not know it might be showcased till she learn the Season 1 finale script, it was on her thoughts from the beginning.
“In my first conversations with [showrunner] Craig [Mazin], Anna was such part of that,” Dandridge mentioned. “She’s inherent to why and the way I’ve been referring to Ellie and maybe why she’s chosen to maintain her secure and the way in which that she’s chosen to maintain her secure.”
In the end, Joel rescued Ellie from the Fireflies’ physician, whose process would have killed her to be able to efficiently extract what he wanted to develop a possible remedy (when you name dooming the remainder of the world a rescue). However earlier than he escapes along with her, Joel comes face-to-face as soon as extra with Marlene, who makes an attempt to cause with him.
An enormous second on this scene is when she tries to impress upon Joel that she understands why he feels the necessity to save Ellie. Let’s not overlook that earlier than Joel got here into the image, it was Marlene caring for the younger woman after her time within the FEDRA coaching camp. What’s extra, now that we all know her connection to Ellie’s mom, in fact, she cares for the woman. Nonetheless, that needs to be balanced with the potential of a world-saving remedy.
For those who’ve performed The Final of Us Half II, you understand that Marlene didn’t make the selection to sacrifice Ellie calmly. “You see that she is rigorously questioning and pushing again on this physician’s know-how and science that there needs to be another approach,” Dandridge mentioned. “There needs to be one other approach and solely after exhaustive time and understanding and work and clarification and testing has she come to the conclusion that that is the one approach. And that realization when she sees that come over Joel, ‘I do get it. I’ve been within the precise place of denial that you’re proper now. And I can confidently stand in entrance of you and say, I’ve beloved her longer and extra. And that is nonetheless the fitting alternative.'”
At that time, although, Joel merely would not care. After killing the surgeon, and everybody else in sight, he shoots Marlene as properly. In any case, he knows–as does Dandridge–that if left alive, Marlene would by no means cease her seek for Ellie.
“She is unrelenting in her sense of goal,” Dandridge mentioned. “Sure, she would observe Joel to the ends of the Earth if he had Ellie in his arms. And, there’s a world through which a greater final result might have been reached–a higher understanding.”
Was Joel proper?
That is the final word query at play right here, and one The Final of Us followers have been debating for a decade. Joel basically destroyed any risk of discovering a remedy for the an infection simply to save lots of one individual. Nonetheless, that one individual is the factor he cares about conserving alive essentially the most. It is laborious to know if he is definitively proper or improper on this scenario. Dandridge has an opinion on the matter, although.
“My breath catches once I simply give it some thought. If there was somebody that I beloved in hurt’s approach, I’d do the whole lot in my energy to maintain them secure to guard them from hurt’s approach,” she defined. “And happily, I am not making these sorts of credit score selections for the sake of humanity. My goodness. However would you sacrifice that? I imply, that is a biblical sort of query. It’s so massive in scope, that it is overwhelming to even take into account. So [as] Merle, I couldn’t even put my thoughts to contemplate [it].”
Sadly, this seems to be like the top of the street for Marlene. We all know she would not survive Joel’s bullets within the video games. Nonetheless, it isn’t as if modifications have not been made to the video games up to now. Even Dandridge doesn’t know Marlene’s destiny. One factor’s for certain, she is aware of it is her want for Joel to grasp the great that comes with the sacrifice that needs to be thought-about.
“This high quality of hers finally ends up being her demise,” she mentioned. “Or is it? I do not know.”
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