The Last of Us episode 1 ends with a brutal scene involving Joel and a FEDRA agent that sets up a major twist from the game for the future of the series.

Warning! This article contains spoilers for The last of us episode 1.The last of us Episode 1 ends with a wild scene between Joel and a FEDRA agent, which begins the HBO adaptation’s foreshadowing of the game’s big twist. The main story about The last of us Episode 1, after the time jump to 2023, focuses on Joel and Tess trying to obtain a car battery to search for Joel’s brother Tommy. This leads them to the Fireflies and the group’s leader, Marlene, who tasks Joel and Tess with smuggling a girl named Ellie out of Boston’s quarantine zone.


At the end of the episode, Joel, Tess, and Ellie are captured by a FEDRA agent that Joel previously smuggled for. After Bella Ramsey’s Ellie attacks the guard so he doesn’t think she’s infected, he holds her and Joel at gunpoint. This prompts Joel, played by Pedro Pascal, to attack the guard and brutally kill him. This scene goes back to the 2003 part of The last of us episode 1 and sets off a major event that will take place at the end of the show.

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Why Joel Killed the Cop in Last Of Us Episode 1

Joel and FEDRA Agent Last of Us

The reasoning behind Joel’s murder of the FEDRA agent ties back to Sarah’s death at the end of the 2003 episode of The last of us episode 1. After escaping the infected, Joel and Sarah are held at gunpoint for fear that they themselves are infected. The police, holding them at gunpoint, are told on their radio to kill the duo, with Joel trying to save Sarah’s life. Tragically, Sarah is shot and killed, which deeply affects Joel as shown in the 2023 timeline of The last of us.

When the FEDRA agent holds Joel and Ellie at gunpoint in 2023, Joel’s trauma causes his mind to flash back to the night of Sarah’s death and he snaps. Joel tackles the FEDRA agent and brutally kills him, brought on by the trauma of his failure to save Sarah in 2003. This furthers the setup of how deeply Joel was affected by Sarah’s death, and also establishes the beginning of Joel and Ellie’s potential relationship going forward.

Joel’s decision in episode 1 will affect a future twist

Last of us Joel and Ellie-1

Warning! Major spoilers for The Last of Us game ahead.This establishment of Joel and Ellie’s future relationship determines his decision at the end of the game. IN The Last of Us Part Iafter the fireflies tell Joel that extracting a cure from Ellie would kill her, Joel decides to save Ellie’s life by killing the fireflies and all but dooming humanity to the Cordyceps infection found in HBO’s The last of us. The reason for this comes from his immense trauma of losing Sarah at the beginning of the outbreak.

This, combined with the reluctant father-daughter bond he forms with Ellie, contributes to Joel’s decision to save her rather than let the fireflies make the cure. By having Joel brutally kill the FEDRA agent, HBO’s The last of us already sets up both the rationale for his controversial decision later, and also the beginning of his bond with Ellie. The future episodes of the series will deal with this and continue to set up Joel’s controversial final twist.

New episodes of The last of us released every Sunday on HBO.

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