The Last of Us - The Movie

Joel's dislike of the kiss hello was more pronounced with certain people.
Joel's dislike of the kiss hello was more pronounced with certain people.

FADE IN:

INT. ORDINARY HOME - TEXAS

JOEL, a THIRTY-SOMETHING LABOURER, comes home and rests on THE COUCH next to SARAH, his TEENAGE DAUGHTER.

JOEL

I’m beat from work. Let’s chat for a bit, then I’m gonna go to bed.

(beat)

This is a weird start to an action-adventure game.

SARAH

Oh yeah, haven’t you heard? This game is way innovative. It’s like there was an accounting screwup at Naughty Dog and the pimp graphics budget suddenly had to be matched dollar-for-dollar with the budget for organic, character-driven narrative.

JOEL

Sweet! So I wonder what ground-breakingly original premise this medium-redefining game is going to --

A ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE HAPPENS HOLY FUCKING SHIT!

SARAH

LOOK OUT, ZOMBIEEEES!

DEVELOPER NAUGHTY DOG

I do believe these are people infected with a parasitic fungus that actually exists in animals and has now jumped species, not zombies!

(snorts, pushes up glasses)

JOEL and SARAH meet up with JOEL'S BROTHER TOMMY and they all drive through A TOWN BESET BY HORDES OF ANGRY SPRINT ZOMBIES. Mobs PANIC, cars CRASH, things EXPLODE. Eventually, they make it to THE OUTSKIRTS OF TOWN.

JOEL

Tommy, we’ve got to get Sarah to safety.

TOMMY

Sure, Joel. I understand --

JOEL

No, listen. She gave me a BIRTHDAY PRESENT, Tommy. At the beginning of the game she stayed up late to give me a present that I can put on my wrist and visibly carry around for years to come.

TOMMY

Oh damn, she’s fucked then. If this were a fantasy RPG, she’d be the innocent little village where you were raised.

Sure enough, just as they seem about to be RESCUED by the MILITARY, A SOLDIER SHOOTS SARAH INSTEAD.

JOEL

SARAH NO BABY PLEASE DON'T DO THIS OH JESUS GOD IN HEAVEN NO!

(beat)

So, what happens now? Do the remaining zombies and soldiers just never arrive here? Or do I leave my daughter’s body lying in some ditch? Or do I manage to continue fleeing the chaos with a corpse slung over my shoulder?

TOMMY

We better timeskip real fucking hard if we want people to not think about that.

EXT. QUARANTINE ZONE - SUMMER

JOEL has now been through TWENTY YEARS OF INTENSE SURVIVALIST MISERY, as evidenced by SOME CROW'S FEET AND LIGHTLY SALT-AND-PEPPERED HAIR. He is visited by TESS.

TESS

Hey there, partner in crime and also possibly lover. I was just out doing whatever black market dealings you and I do for a living when it turned out that Robert, who is some guy who works with us in some way, knows we were after him for some reason and now wants us dead or whatever.

JOEL

Ah, the ultra-vague school of storytelling. Guess this explains why nobody even has any surnames. Alright, let’s go kill that guy for doing that stuff with the things!

They head out into the HEAVILY MILITARISED QUARANTINE ZONE where they live and SNEAK THROUGH SOME BACK ALLEYS.

TESS

Uh-oh, this corridor is filled with the fungal spores that cause zombification! Or infection, whatever. Gas masks on!

JOEL

Fungal spores? Sweet, so instead of boring old zombie bites, we suffer the insidious horror that the very air we breathe may turn us! I wonder how this is going to be handled in gameplay?

TESS

It’s not, we just put on the gas masks automatically now and then. And our attitude expresses less insidious horror and more "Ugh, this malarkey again, what a minor nuisance."

(beat)

Also we put the boring old zombie bites thing in anyway because fuck it.

They get out of the SPORE CLOUD.

TESS

Alright, we’re like six feet past the cloud of brain-destroying poison, let’s immediately take our gas masks off. I’m sure none of those fine dust-like particles have clung to our clothes or anything.

JOEL

And how is this meant to be a quarantine zone exactly?

They go find ROBERT and kill their way through the SMALL ARMY OF THUGS he's acquired through SOME HALF-ASSEDLY EXPLAINED MEANS.

TESS

Where’s our things that you took? Guns? Was it guns? Let's say guns.

ROBERT

Sure fine, that seems black market enough. I took your guns and sold them to the Fireflies, that rebel group I owed to.

TESS

You owed them, so to clear the debt you sold them stuff? That’s not how debts work, you weirdo!

(kills Robert)

JOEL

Great, now we need to find the Fireflies somehow. Where do we even begin to track down the most elusive, slippery group of terrorists in --

MARLENE, leader of the FIREFLIES, literally WANDERS AROUND THE CORNER.

MARLENE

Alright guys, I’ll give you your guns back IF you smuggle a special package out of the city for me.

JOEL

Smuggle a mystery package, eh? Having experienced fiction ever in my life, I’d say there’s a two-in-three chance it’s gonna turn out to be a live human of some description.

NAIVE YET PRECOCIOUS TEENAGER ELLIE enters.

ELLIE

Hey there, I’m your cargo.

JOEL

Bingo. So what, is this a game-length escort mission then? Jesus, kill me now.

MARLENE

No, it’s cool! Ellie is marginally useful and basically indestructible in combat! As you can see, we follow the BioShock Infinite school of escort missions.

JOEL

I’m a grizzled, self-loathing cynic voiced by Troy Baker, serving as a protector for a young lady whose name is possibly Elizabeth. We follow the BioShock Infinite school of a lot of things.

TESS

Okay then, let’s head off. This is bound to be an epic, life-changing journey for the three of us, as we are forged by shared trials into a trio of inseparable --

(sees promotional material for the game)

Oh fuck.

EXT. OUTSIDE QUARANTINE ZONE

JOEL, ELLIE and TESS head out onto the set of I AM LEGEND. FIVE SECONDS LATER they run afoul of some MILITARY GOONS and ELLIE has to save them all. YEAH, GOOD ESCORTING WORK THERE GUYS.

JOEL

Wait a minute, those goons scanned Ellie and it turns out she’s infected!

ELLIE

It’s okay, I’m immune! You know, like that woman from 28 Weeks Later!

(beat)

Wait, I mean nothing like the woman from 28 Weeks Later. Some version of immune that doesn’t result in fuckups and everybody dying!

JOEL

We’re bringing you to the Fireflies so they can try and create a cure for the fungus? This makes no practical difference to us and doesn’t change the parameters of our job at all, but I’m still gonna get all pissed and act like this whole gig is terrible now!

(beat)

And then I’m going to continue on with the job as though nothing has changed. Which it hasn’t. Sorry for wasting everyone’s time.

TESS

Okay, let’s head for the Capitol Building, which we can see just over there.

They head through SOME ABANDONED BUILDINGS, where they run into CLICKERS.

ELLIE

Jesus fuck, what are those things? They look like something Guillermo del Toro would draw while he was high on mescaline and having a seizure!

JOEL

What, are -- are you fucking kidding me? You’re telling me nobody’s taught you about the disease that’s destroyed civilisation? The single biggest danger in the world? That shit should be taught in preschool. It should be like, "Cow says moo, horse says neigh, advanced infected have disgusting fungal growths all over face and see by echolocation so if you make a sound near one it will END YOUR SHIT."

ELLIE

Echolocation? Yeesh, what a creepily unhuman ability.

JOEL

I know, right? Now hold on, I’ll hunt and kill them using my ability to form detailed images by listening, even through walls.

(beat)

Which is completely different and normal.

They MURDER ALL THE CLICKERS and then emerge into a DIFFERENT PART OF THE CITY.

TESS

Okay, let’s keep heading for the Capitol Building, which we can still see just over there.

They go through SOME MORE BUILDINGS and encounter a bunch of MILITARY TROOPS.

JOEL

(hides behind couch)

Shit, we can't take these guys head on. Ellie, we'll have to use stealth. Be really, really quiet and try to --

ELLIE

(collides face-first with a soldier)

Whoops, pardon me!

(steps on his toes)

Oh, sorry about that!

(falls into china hutch)

SOLDIER

Say, did anybody hear anything? Eh, must’ve been the wind.

JOEL

Uh, that’s normal too! THIS GAME IS REALLY REALISTIC AND IMMERSIVE OKAY!

They SNEAK PAST THE SOLDIERS and emerge into ANOTHER PART OF THE CITY.

TESS

Okay, let’s continue towards the Capitol Building, which we can still see juuuust over --

ELLIE

Fuck! What is this, an optical illusion? One of those nightmares where you keep running towards something but it never seems to get any closer? FUCK YOU BUILDING, YOU GODDAMN TEASE!

INT. CAPITOL BUILDING FOR REAL

Eventually however, they make it to the CAPITOL BUILDING.

TESS

Great, we made it! Mission accomplished, great work guys!

(beat)

Except for the slight hiccup that the Fireflies who were supposed to take Ellie off our hands are all dead.

(beat)

And now a shitload of soldiers are bearing down on our position.

(beat)

Oh and did I mention I got bit like an hour ago and now I’m infected? Man, some days you just can’t catch a break.

JOEL

Infected? No! Tess, you can’t do this! You can’t pull this cliché "I'm not gonna make it, go on without me" bullshit on us! Not after all we’ve been through!

TESS

I have no choice! Don’t you see? I’m Julianne Moore!

JOEL

You’re -- huh?

TESS

Haven’t you figured it out yet? Look, it’s a couple decades into a calamity that's decimated the human population, right? The remains of civilisation live under strict military rule, and there are rebels and explosions and general discord, see?

JOEL

Mnyeah?

TESS

Meanwhile you’re a weary antihero who gave up on life back when you lost your kid. A bunch of rebels have tasked you with escorting some mysterious teenage girl, then it turns out she’s immune to the calamity and you need to get her to a rebel lab so they can use her to find a cure --

JOEL

Oh my God. It’s Children of Men. It's EXACTLY Children of Men.

TESS

Right. So, as the Julianne Moore equivalent, it’s right about time for me to suddenly get killed off. Have fun traversing the war-torn tatters of civilisation!

JOEL and ELLIE leave together while TESS stays behind to COMMIT SUICIDE-BY-MILITARY-BATTALION.

JOEL

Now we'll have to ask my vague former associate Bill for help. He's a survivalist nut job who's rigged this part of town with all sorts of traps. Basically, he's Father Grigori.

ELLIE

Okay, I'll keep my eyes open for traps. But what if one of them is part of a scripted set piece?

JOEL

I'll answer that question right as I move through this inconspicuous door.

JOEL stumbles into A SNARE which SUSPENDS HIM UPSIDE DOWN.

JOEL

Oh no! Ellie, cut me down quick! We haven't seen any infected for ages, but they're all sure to bum rush us now!

They are suddenly SWARMED BY INFECTED. OF COURSE.

JOEL

Hurry it up, Ellie! I've only got a couple of rounds left for my pistol and oh wait no, I suddenly have infinite ammo. Whoa, that seriously undercuts the tension of frugal resource management.

Eventually, ELLIE manages to CUT DOWN JOEL. They move on and track down BILL'S CRAZY SURVIVALIST BOOBY TRAPS EMPORIUM.

JOEL

Bill, you still owe me some vague favours, but I can't for the life of me remember what they are.

BILL

In that case, just dramatically stare at me for a little bit and let there be an unspoken understanding between us.

JOEL

Fair enough. I need to get this girl to some Firefly lab. But to do that, I'll first need to go get directions from my brother Tommy, who was once a Firefly as it happens. But to do that, I'll first need you to get me a car.

BILL

Okay, but to do that, we'll first need to scavenge some car parts. But to do that, we’ll first need to go stock up on guns and ammo. But to do that, we'll --

ELLIE

Okay, knock it off with the endless detours within detours already! For fuck’s sake, there are some ways we definitely DON’T want to be BioShock Infinite.

They go load up on SUPPLIES.

BILL

Oh, check my latest invention: tin-can explosive devices! Pretty impressive, huh?

JOEL

You just came up with this? Twenty years as a survivalist nut job, and you only now worked out how to shove explosives and scissor parts into a can. Tell you what, Mr. Techno Wizard. If you need me, I'll be over here crafting a rifle scope out of scrap metal using a pair of fucking pliers.

They go to get a CAR BATTERY out of a BUS, only to find that it’s been STOLEN.

JOEL

Crap! What now?

BILL

Depends. How good are you guys with contrived coincidences?

JOEL

We’ve sort of been trying to avoid them.

BILL

I get it. I was gonna suggest we stumble into some random nearby house and find the battery already sitting there in a working car, but if you’d rather hang onto your storytelling integrity --

JOEL

Ah, fuck that. CONTRIVANCE HO!

JOEL and ELLIE drive off. Fortunately they find themselves on A ROAD that isn't FLOODED or BLOCKADED or OVERGROWN like EVERY OTHER ROAD IN THE GAME SO FAR.

EXT. PITTSBURGH

JOEL and ELLIE have almost reached PITTSBURGH.

JOEL

Dum dee dum, just driving along, la dee da. Sure hope this game doesn't copy Children of Men to such an extent that it'll also include that famous ambush scene!

Their CAR gets AMBUSHED by HUNTERS, who JOEL has to FIGHT AND KILL.

JOEL

Brace yourself, Ellie. We’re in bandit territory now, otherwise known as the entire fucking world outside of the quarantine zones.

ELLIE

So, having dealt with squadrons of machine gun-toting soldiers, now we’re stepping up the threat by fighting skinny hobos armed with two-by-fours?

JOEL

Shush, we’ve got a lot of ground to cover if we want to make it to the bridge, which I can already see juuuust over --

ELLIE

OH GOD NOT THIS SHIT AGAIN!

They sneak up on a HUNTER CAMP.

HUNTER

Say fellow hunter, feel like having a humanising conversation, deepening this game's sense of moral ambiguity and making the player feel like shit?

JOEL

Pfft, nice try fellas, but I’m stealth-hunting you from two rooms away so your dialogue is basically "wah wah wahhh wah", like the teachers from Peanuts.

HUNTER

Even so, you do know you don’t have to kill us, right? If you time it right you can usually just sneak right past us all.

JOEL

Shit, is this another Dishonored-type morality system? What’s the bad ending like?

HUNTER

Well no, there’s only one ending, but that shouldn't --

(stabbed in brain)

JOEL and ELLIE sneak, fight and sneak-fight ACROSS THE TOWN. Eventually they meet FELLOW NON-PSYCHOPATH BROTHERS HENRY AND SAM.

HENRY

Hey, we should totally team up! With our combined strengths, we’re bound to become a foursome that can achieve anything!

(sees promotional material for the game)

Dear God, what have I done?

SAM

We’re heading for this radio tower, want to come with?

ELLIE

Easy, let’s wait until we reach that bridge before we start banging on about the next arbitrary landmark on the horizon, okay?

They team up, split up, nearly drown, regroup and eventually find themselves in a SEWER.

JOEL

So I guess all the envelope-pushing game design in the world can’t save us from the curse of the mandatory sewer level.

HENRY

Hey, check out these sequentially scattered journal entries! It seems this place was the home of a guy called Ish and his surrogate family.

JOEL

Ish? What the hell kind of a name is that? What’s it short for, Ishward? Ishbert?

HENRY

Damn, a room where a guy was forced to mercy-kill some kids! This place tells a real tragic story, man.

JOEL

Isherson? I guess it could be Ishmael. After all, we did find the first diary entry on a boat. But if we’re drawing that comparison, what themes are we --

HENRY

OKAY! Let’s just skip to the inevitable barrage of monsters, why don’t we?

They get attacked by INFECTED. They split up AGAIN and regroup AGAIN, then get out the other end and head into THE SUBURBS.

JOEL

Hey look, we just happen to have run back into that same armoured car that was pestering us back in the city.

ELLIE

We sure are getting better at the whole “being contrived” thing.

They BLOW UP THE ARMOURED CAR and kill EVERYONE IN THE STREET.

INFECTED

RRRAAAAHHH WHILE THE HUNTERS WERE ABLE TO HOLE UP HERE UNMOLESTED FOR DAYS OR MAYBE EVEN WEEKS, WE’RE GOING TO APPEAR OUT OF NOWHERE LITERALLY SECONDS AFTER THEY’VE BEEN CLEARED OUT!

ELLIE

Oh yeah, we got MAD contrivance skills now!

They kill the INFECTED, but not before SAM GETS BITTEN.

SAM

Damnit! Guys, you’re gonna have to go on without me --

JOEL

Hold it, we already did the "I’ve been bitten and can’t go with you" scene. You’d better switch to the other zombie bite cliché.

SAM

Fair enough. Hey, anybody been bitten? Because I sure haven’t! Nope, nobody’s been bitten less than me! Just check out the sweet uncompromised integrity of my skinnngggRRRAAAAHHH!

HENRY is forced to SHOOT SAM.

HENRY

Oh my God, I just killed my baby brother! What a sudden but inevitable turn of events!

JOEL

You didn't have a choice, Henry. I know this isn't what you want to hear right now, but I struggled a long time with surviving. No matter what, you keep finding something to fight for. We've all lost --

ELLIE

Joel, Henry blew his brains out while you were blabbing away.

JOEL

Oh. Well, you just remember that heartfelt speech in case things ever get this dramatic for you.

EXT. HYDROELECTRIC DAM - FALL

JOEL and ELLIE approach a DAM.

ELLIE

Fall? Shit, we’re only up to part two of four, are you kidding me?

JOEL

Nah it’s cool, the summer chapter was just CRAZY disproportionate. Now, we've got to cross this body of water. How about you get on this floating pallet and I push you across?

ELLIE

Neat puzzle. Almost as neat as it was the three or four previous times we did it.

JOEL

And it’ll only get better the next five or six times, just you wait!

ELLIE

At least it's not another fucking ladder hunt.

They get into the DAM, where TOMMY lives with A WHOLE GROUP OF SURVIVORS.

TOMMY

Check it out, we've established a self-sufficient community in this town! For the past while we’ve been working on getting the power plant running -- and huh, we just succeeded, like three minutes after you arrived. Have you guys been practicing your plot contrivances or something?

JOEL

Why else do you think hunters are attacking two minutes after we arrived? I swear, we attract these things like flies.

JOEL helps TOMMY fight off some HUNTERS using his newly-acquired SNIPER RIFLE PISTOL.

JOEL

Man, this goes great with the shotgun pistol I found in the sewer! What other pistol hybrids am I gonna get? I’m telling you, a flamethrower pistol would be fucking hilarious.

TOMMY

Alright, the hunters are dealt with. Oh no, Ellie’s run off on one of our horses!

JOEL

(slaps forehead)

HORSES! Damn, why has seemingly nobody else anywhere thought of this?

JOEL and TOMMY grab a couple of HORSES and ride off in pursuit of ELLIE, eventually tracking her to a RANCH.

JOEL

Ellie, how the hell did you get here? We took the only path you could have taken and there was this whole hunter camp we had to murder our way through. Was everybody conveniently tying their shoelaces while you and the horse tiptoed past?

ELLIE

I'm sure you've noticed by now that I'm basically invisible to bad guys. But never mind that, you were planning to hand me over to Tommy for the rest of the trip, weren’t you? You know how afraid I am of being left alone! That’s why I tried to run away and be completely alone!

JOEL

Complain all you want, I’ve made a firm decision that you and I are parting ways.

(kills some hunters)

And now I’ve changed my mind. Tommy, tell us where the Firefly lab is and go home.

TOMMY

Are you sure? I know this area better and I'm handy in a fight, plus the fate of humanity hinges on this. Maybe all three of us should stick together and --

(sees promotional material)

Uhmm what I meant to say was, good luck with that!

(flees)

ELLIE

Dang, the lab’s all the way over in Colorado. We’re gonna have to go through all sorts of travails before we aaaaand we’re already here. Huh. Thanks, bonus non-seasonal timeskip!

TOMMY

Now let’s find the Firefly lab. I'm sure these abandoned sentry posts aren’t a bad sign. Or these swarms of infected wandering freely all over the place. Or the fact that we’re still only in our second season.

ELLIE

Don't talk about Firefly and a second season. That hurts most of all.

INT. FIREFLY LAB

They enter A FIREFLY-RUN LAB and find EVERYBODY DEAD OR GONE.

JOEL

Big fucking surprise.

ELLIE

But look, a convenient audio diary!

AUDIO DIARY

I’ve been bitten and am about to turn. Now I leave my only legacy to the world, my dying thoughts as preserved in this audio diary, so that some kind stranger might know that --

JOEL

(fast forwarding)

Yada yada yada, just tell me where the fucking lab was moved to. I’m not gonna waste like five minutes listening to some guy’s precious last moments, even if he was part of the team we’re trying to reach and literally any random snippet of his monologue could contain valuable information as far as I know.

AUDIO DIARY

-- which is, if you think about it, the real meaning of life. P.S. we’ve all gone to Salt Lake City.

JOEL

Alright! Now let’s head back to our horse and trek back through all those rooms we went through earlier that were full of cover and throwable items. Yeah, I think we all know where this is going.

HUNTERS attack. One of them tackles JOEL off a balcony, who is IMPALED on a piece of EXPOSED REBAR.

JOEL

Oh no, a piece of thin cylindrical metal has gone through my torso and it wasn't a bullet this time! ARGH I'M DYING!

ELLIE

No! Damnit Joel, Clive Owen's not supposed to die until the end of Children of Men!

(gets Joel to his feet)

We gotta get out of here. And game, I know what you’re tempted to do right now, but don’t you fucking dare!

EXT. FOREST - WINTER

Several months later, ELLIE is hunting IN SNOW-COVERED WOODS BY HERSELF.

ELLIE

Motherfucker! So, what do we think? Is Joel dead? Did the game just permanently and without warning take away every bit of upgrading we’ve done to our weapons and player character? Could go either way! I mean, what developer doesn't like getting bricks hurled through their windows?

She kills a DEER with a BOW AND ARROW, using the ADVANCED ARCHERY SKILLS she naturally learned while living HER ENTIRE LIFE UNDER MILITARY RULE IN AN IMPOVERISHED INNER-CITY QUARANTINE ZONE. Then a couple of GUYS called DAVID and JAMES show up.

ELLIE

Hey! Drop your high-powered one-shot-kill hunting rifle or I’ll shoot this arrow at you!

DAVID

Uhh sure, I’m in a good mood so I guess I’ll play along. Look, we're real hungry, what can I give you for your deer?

ELLIE

I’ll trade it to you for some penicillin that I need for an injured guy who is totally alive so everyone can just relax now.

JAMES heads back to CAMP for some PENICILLIN, but then A WHOLE BUNCH OF INFECTED SHOW UP!

ELLIE

OH FOR CHRIST’S SAKE! This is just a barn in some random frozen wasteland, what the fuck are like fifty infected doing here? This is probably more people than have ever been in this location at any one time ever in history!

Eventually, ELLIE and DAVID wipe out ALL THE INFECTED and JAMES returns with the PENICILLIN.

DAVID

Incidentally, did I tell you about the time a bunch of my men got slaughtered by some crazy guy who was travelling with a teenage girl?

ELLIE

What, and some of them lived to tell the tale? Yeah, that definitely wasn’t us.

DAVID

Let’s just assume it happened during a timeskip. Anyway, you head off now, leaving big clompy hoofprints in the deep snow.

ELLIE

Sayyy, you’re not going to try and track me back to Joel, are you?

DAVID

Come on. If I wanted to do that, then why the hell would I be all “HEY GUESS WHAT YOU’RE MY MORTAL ENEMY” right when you were starting to trust me?

ELLIE

I guess that would be unfathomably stupid. I’ll just head on back to Joel and sit around for several hours without taking the slightest precaution against you guys.

She DOES and winds up getting TRACKED, CHASED and CAPTURED.

DAVID

Now listen, I know my men have been shooting at you and killed your horse, but I want you to join our creepy cannibal cult. Think of all the human flesh you’d get to eat! Also I just might like to have sex with you, if that helps.

ELLIE

Cannibals? Why are you guys resorting to eating each other? Nature has reclaimed the world, it hasn't been stripped of its resources. Honestly, this feels more like a convenient post-apocalyptic shorthand for the evil depths humanity will sink to in times of desperation.

DAVID

Oh, you want to see evil? How about I just shoot you now while you're stuck harmlessly behind bars and can't defend yourself? Or even better, I'll take you out of your cell and try and kill you then! No way that could backfire!

He takes ELLIE out of her cell and she ESCAPES.

ELLIE

Okay, just gotta cut through this empty diner here. This empty diner with broken crockery spread strategically underneath almost every conceivable hiding place.

(beat)

No way am I getting out of this place without something bad going down.

Sure enough, just as she reaches the door, DAVID BURSTS IN. They play CAT AND MOUSE around a bunch of SOUND-TRAPPED DINER BOOTHS for a while and eventually they both get DISARMED.

DAVID

Oh ho, crawling towards the machete I dropped, eh? I could just reach over and grab it myself, but even though you’re incredibly dangerous and have literally stabbed me three times in the past five minutes, I’ll just casually --

(hacked to bits)

JOEL

(bursting in)

Alright, I had to torture some guys and fight through a blizzard even though I’m nowhere near healed, but I’m finally ready to heroically charge in and save -- oh. You already saved yourself. Well good.

(kicks rock dejectedly)

EXT. SALT LAKE CITY - SPRING

JOEL and ELLIE approach the HOSPITAL.

JOEL

So we’re nearly done! I can’t wait until this is all over and we can both live happily ever after in magic rainbow land. Isn’t it great that I’ve finally opened up to you emotionally? Hey, let’s pet this random giraffe!

ELLIE

You are just begging for this whole situation to go straight to hell, you know that?

JOEL

Like there was ever any other option.

Suddenly an ACTION SET PIECE happens and KNOCKS THEM OUT. JOEL wakes up in the HOSPITAL to MARLENE sitting by him.

MARLENE

My people were just in time to save you and Ellie from drowning. Some might call that fate.

JOEL

I assure you, it isn't. I know a thing or two about contrivances. I'm sure that also explains how you made it here, despite having travelled through the same hazardous wasteland we did.

MARLENE

Hey, good news. The doctors have put Ellie through a bunch of tests, analysed the results, discovered the cause of her immunity, figured out the best way to create a vaccine, come to a decision after lots of arguing and now they’re prepping her for surgery.

JOEL

How fucking long was I out?

MARLENE

The bad news is that the surgery involves cutting out most of her brain. Huh, kind of ironic how we've tried to avoid zombie clichés and here we are going after someone's brain.

JOEL

You know, you probably shouldn't have told me that.

MARLENE

Maybe. But I’m sure it’ll be fine if I assign one single guard to watch over a guy who just fought his way across an entire country of bandits and monsters.

(leaves)

JOEL kills his GUARD and starts MURDERING HIS WAY through all the FIREFLIES.

JOEL

Damn, it’s a shame I’m in such a hurry. This’d make a killer addition to my collection of Firefly dog tags.

Eventually, he makes it to THE OPERATING ROOM, where he KILLS THE DOCTORS and GRABS ELLIE.

JOEL

Come on, Ellie! The safe place we’ve been trying to reach for ages has turned out to have sinister intent for us, so I’ve had to start killing them all, which means at some point we must have switched from Children of Men to 28 Days Later! Barring any mean-spirited alternate endings, we might both get to live after all!

He flees the remaining FIREFLIES and makes it to the ELEVATOR. When he gets out, MARLENE is waiting WITHOUT ANY BACKUP OR HELP WHATSOEVER.

MARLENE

Give her back, Joel. We both know this is what she wants. Although I guess I’m not actually confident enough in that to have let her wake up first and give her consent. Or even to suggest that as an option now.

JOEL shoots MARLENE.

MARLENE

Ack! Okay, at this point I'll reduce my demands to "God please don’t kill me!"

JOEL

You’d only come after her.

MARLENE

Yeah, but the remaining Fireflies will probably do that anyway. You really think you’ll be better off with them not having a leader who’s at least somewhat sympathetic to --

JOEL kills MARLENE in the FACE and drives off with ELLIE, who wakes up while they’re fleeing THE TOWN.

JOEL

It’s fine, it turns out there have been plenty of immune people and they had no use for you.

(beat)

And then we left quickly before you could wake up. Without getting supplies or, like, having a meal or anything. Or even getting you some clothes other than the hospital gown you’re still wearing for no reason at all.

ELLIE

So I pretty much see through this lie right away, huh? GOOD.

JOEL and ELLIE head back to TOMMY'S COMMUNITY.

ELLIE

So you should probably know that, thanks to a massive case of survivor’s guilt I got in some DLC, I really was fine to have my brain chopped up back there. Promise me your bullshit story was true. Promise me humanity's one hope for survival wasn't just flushed down the toilet by a guy in need of a surrogate daughter.

JOEL

Fine, I promise. Now let’s share an ambiguous pause which leaves the very nature of our relationship from here on out open to interpretation and leave it at that.

(beat)

This is a weird end to an action-adventure video game.

THE END

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