At the start of The Last of Us Part II, you get a glimpse of Ellie’s life in idyllic Jackson, Wyoming. If it were not for the walls enclosing the town, you might almost forget that the world is crawling with infectious monsters that could kill everyone in sight; its own main road, blanketed in snow is a charming row of old buildings with decks for sidewalks, more Old West city compared to post-apocalypse settlement.
The Last of Us Part II Cinematic Trailer
Its inhabitants grow meals, care for horses, often bars, and have dances and movie nights. Four years after Joel rescued (kidnapped?) Ellie in the Firefly hospital, this is the life he wanted for her.
The Last of Us Part II grapples with Joel’s conclusion not through Joel, but via Ellie. This life is obviously insufficient for her; she’s remote and brooding, clearly conflicted about something. She’s changed a lot.
And when everything falls apart and she sets out in quest of vengeance, you see her pain at its rawest, most brutal form.
It’s a catastrophic, gruesome story of revenge in which the purpose of violence becomes muddied by its intensity.
However, as a character study, The Last of Us Part II is amazing and haunting, and I found myself totally overwhelmed by the emotional weight of it.