The Last of Us Episode 6 ending explained

Ellie in The Last of Us Episode 6HBO

The Last of Us Episode 6 ends on a stomach-clutching cliffhanger, leaving Joel and Ellie in a pretty sticky spot heading into the rest of the show – so, let’s break it down.

In our review, we said “Pascal and Ramsey finally take the spotlight as Joel and Ellie in an emotionally charged, pivotal chapter of The Last of Us story… the cliffhanger will have you screaming at the TV.”

It follows Joel and Ellie as they traverse across the snowy, treacherous landscape of Wyoming, where they eventually find Tommy in a commune with his wife Maria.

Joel initially tries to pap Ellie off with his brother, fearing he’ll “fail again” and get her and himself killed, but he eventually comes to his senses and they continue their journey – but it gets off to a rough start.

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The Last of Us Episode 6 ending explained

Episode 6 ends with Ellie alone with Joel as he bleeds out in the snow, having been stabbed by raiders at the University of Colorado. It ends before we can see how (or if) he’ll recover.

After Tommy agrees to take Ellie to the Fireflies in Colorado, Joel goes to her room to break the news. Unfortunately for him, she already overheard their conversation, and asks if he “gives a sh*t” about her – before making the mistake of comparing herself to Sarah. 

“I’m not her, you know… I’m sorry about your daughter Joel, but I’ve lost people too,” she says. “You have no idea what loss is,” he responds. “Everybody I’ve cared for has either died or left me – everybody f*cking except for you. So don’t tell me that I would be safer with someone else, because the truth is I would just be more scared,” she says.

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“You’re right, you’re not my daughter, and I sure as hell Ian’t your dad. Now, come dawn, we’re going our separate ways,” he tells her, slamming the door on his way out. 


The next morning, just as planned, Tommy collects Ellie – but when they get to the stables, Joel is there waiting on her. “You deserve a choice,” he tells her, but she doesn’t even let him finish before choosing. Obviously, she wants him to go, so they set off.

They soon arrive at the university in Colorado – and it’s completely deserted, bar some wild monkeys; No Fireflies, not even any infected. A map indicates they’ve went to Salt Lake City (more specifically, St Mary’s Hospital), before they can think about it, they hear men outside.

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More likely than not, these are men from David’s group, a character who’s yet to be introduced in the show (so we won’t spoil him, don’t worry).

Joel and Ellie try to escape, but one tries to attack them. In the scuffle, Joel kills him but gets stabbed, and they manage to make a hasty escape – but just as they’re clear, Joel falls off the horse and falls unconscious.

“I can’t do this without you,” Ellie mutters in panic, and the episode ends.

So, will Joel live? We can answer this pretty conclusively: yes, of course he will. However, it’s a pretty gnarly wound, so we can expect the show to explore the Left Behind storyline while he’s out of action. Soon, as we noted, we’ll also meet David – prepare yourself for that, is all we’ll say.

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The Last of Us Episode 7 will be available to stream on February 26 in the US and February 27 in the UK. Check out the rest of our coverage here and the trailer for the weeks ahead here.