This article contains major plot spoilers for The Last of Us Part IIThe very mention of The Last of Us: Part 2 sends waves of grief through my entire body. Not only due to the Naughty Dog sequel’s hard-hitting narrative and emotional undercurrent, but it also brings to the boil the anxiety that I won’t get to experience what happens next. Where did Ellie go when she left the empty farmhouse she shared with Dina? Where did Dina go, and what are Abby and Lev up to now?
Being a huge TLOU enthusiast, these are thoughts that swirl my mind constantly while I hang onto a morsel of hope that I’ll get to see my beloved characters again. Kind of poetic, really, given that a major theme of the series is hanging onto hope in a world seemingly stripped of it.
Of course, we know that Neil Druckmann has previously stated that an outline had been written for The Last of Us Part 3 but if the studio can’t come up with a compelling story that is as special as Part 2, it just won’t happen. Ergh, that doesn’t sit well with me, and let me explain why The Last of Us Part 3 needs to happen to finally tie up loose ends previously left exposed.
Neil, if you’re reading this, don’t stop reading!
The Dina-Ellie Show
When we last saw Dina, she was begging Ellie not to leave her and baby JJ on her vengeful escapade to kill Abby for the murder of Joel. In The Last of Us Part 2’s ending, Ellie returns to the picturesque farmhouse she shared with Dina only to find it empty and void of the happy life they shared.
This left a lot of unanswered questions, like why was Ellie wearing the bracelet Dina gave her at the end even though she wasn’t seen wearing it in Santa Barbara? Was she merely coming back to the farmhouse to pick up some things and meet Dina in Jackson afterward? Has the relationship come to a complete collapse even though Dina knew Ellie suffered from PTSD which affected her actions? These uncertainties open up several solid paths for the couple’s narrative in The Last of Us Part 3.
One very dark and devastating yet fitting theory for their relationship in The Last of Us Part 3 could be that the consequences of Ellie’s actions haven’t yet ended, with Dina getting killed while out on patrol one night. This turn of events would then lead to Ellie having to look after JJ, who years later finds out about her vendetta that ultimately left him and Dina on their own. JJ goes on to resents Ellie, and the problematic Ellie-Joel cycle rolls back round again for a new generation.
Pretty bleak, huh? Ok, let’s try a lighter path (which, let’s face it, isn’t really in keeping with The Last of Us). Dina and Ellie could rekindle their relationship, with Dina helping Ellie recover from her traumas; after all, there’s too much love and understanding between them both to just throw away. This would play a huge part in furthering the storyline into Ellie’s immunity, and help he reconnect with the task of trying to provide a cure for the Cordyceps scourge.
The Abby side of the story
As much as I like Ellie in all her trauma and complexity, I have to say that I loved Abby’s arc even more in Part 2. Having Abby at the forefront would not only allow us to explore this misunderstood character more and what she’s been up to since taking off on the boat, but also Lev’s life and how they have dealt with their pain together as they take refuge at the Firefly headquarters. This unexpected pairing deserves their very own fully fleshed-out story.
It would be amazing to see Abby pick up her late father’s work in trying to find a cure, perhaps leading to her running into Ellie once again. Of course, Ellie would need to face people like Tommy, Joel’s brother, in Part 3 and explain why Abby is still living and breathing…or would she?
A twisted plot could initially involve Ellie lying to Tommy by saying she took Abby’s life only to later find out while they are both on patrol that Abby is still alive when the pair come across her and Lev as part of the fireflies. This could also incorporate a pivotal scene in which Tommy flies into a rage and attacks Abby for the murder of his brother. And as events tend to pan out in The Last of Us, this could lead to Tommy’s demise. It’s also fitting that, again, deceit plays into the narrative as it has done in Part 1 and Part 2.
Whatever way Naughty Dog decides to take The Last of Us Part 3, I have complete faith they will do it justice. I have a hunch that the third game will delve into the theme of forgiveness, though personally I don’t want it to go there. I want to feel the slimy and sickly dread and devastation TLOU2 brought, and allow it to coat my entire existence once more.
I want to feel that rage, anger, and sorrow – something I’ve never truly felt in any game before. And yes, I may have needed a week alone in isolation after playing it, but the lingering feeling I still have today when talking about The Last of Us Part 2 is what I want to feel again with Part 3.
Neil, stop sodding around and just make the bloody game.
- The Last of Us
- PS4, PS5
- June 19, 2020
- Naughty Dog
- Sony Interactive Entertainment
- Action, Third-Person Shooter