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"Jackson" is the first chapter of The Last of Us Part II. It contains the sections "Prologue", "Waking Up", "The Overlook", "Patrol", "The Horde", "The Chalet", and "Packing Up".

Characters

Main

  • Abby Anderson (playable; The Overlook, The Horde and The Chalet)
  • Ellie (playable; Patrol, Packing Up, The Chalet)
  • Joel Miller (playable; Prologue)

Minor

Enemies

Plot

Prologue

Joel cleaning a guitar.

The game opens to Joel cleaning a string-less guitar in an abandoned house near Jackson. He sits with his brother Tommy, recounting how he rescued Ellie from the Fireflies' hospital in Salt Lake City by fighting his way through their soldiers and killing the head surgeon and their leader Marlene. Tommy, in shock, is unsure what to make of his tale. He asks how much Ellie knows, to which Joel replies that he lied to her, stating the doctors ran a few tests that found her immunity couldn't help them. He then states that Ellie neither confirmed or denied she believed his lie.

Wishing to move on, Tommy moves to leave the house, soon followed by Joel after he straps the cleaned guitar to his back. The pair get on their horses and the player must follow Tommy as Joel on their return to Jackson.

Joel overlooks Jackson.

Once there, the pair dismount their horses and prepare to put them in their stables. Tommy insists he can manage alone and Joel prepares to leave when Tommy stops him. Tommy reveals that he probably would have also done what Joel did and tells him to take that secret to his grave. Joel thanks his brother and walks down the street to his home.

Later that night, Joel visits Ellie at her house, where she is drawing and listening to music on her Walkman. He taps her, making her jump. The pair then stand in an awkward silence until Joel begins speaking about how he is impressed Ellie has settled in well and that Tommy told him a joke he wishes to tell Ellie, but he fails to remember it. Ellie insists he leave so she can sleep before her patrol the next day. Joel says he will but wants to show her something first.

Ellie with her new guitar.

He leaves and soon returns with the guitar from earlier, now with fresh strings on it. He then sits down and asks if Ellie wants to hear something, but makes her promise she won't laugh. Ellie promises and Joel prepares to play the guitar. The player must then play the opening chords to Pearl Jam's Future Days. Once done, the cinematic resumes and Joel plays and sings the entire song to Ellie. Once done, Ellie says that his singing didn't suck. Joel accepts the half-compliment and then hands her guitar, making good on his promise during the Spring to teach her how to play, arranging their first lesson for the next day.

Joel motions to leave but Ellie then asks him if he remembered the joke. Standing in the doorway, Joel does: "What is the downside to eating a clock? It's time consuming." Ellie giggles and Joel leaves, bidding her goodnight. Ellie then strums the strings on the guitar and the scene cuts to black.

Waking Up

Ellie and Dina prepare to go on patrol.

Four years later, it is now March 2, 2038. Ellie is awoken early in the morning by Jesse for their patrol. She opens the door to him and he comments that she had a "wild" night yesterday. Embarrassed, Ellie admits that Dina kissed her and that it was a heat of the moment incident. Jesse, confused, reveals he meant her and Joel's confrontation with Seth but quickly rounds on Ellie for kissing his ex-girlfriend. Ellie grows awkward, saying she is sorry and that it didn't mean anything. However, Jesse drops the act and reveals he does not really care and was just joking. Relieved, Ellie goes to close the door, but Jesse holds it open, making one more comment that what Ellie did was messed up.

Ellie gathers her journal, gun and switchblade and leaves her house, asking Jesse how Joel is. Jesse reveals that Maria sent him and Tommy out to scout a horde of Infected. As they walk, Ellie tells Jesse about the previous night and how Seth was homophobic towards her and Dina, causing Joel to intervene and then the two of them to argue. They reach the local bar to rendezvous with Maria, who asks Ellie to let Seth apologize to her. Reluctantly, Ellie allows him, who offers her steak sandwiches to further his apology. Ellie gives them to Jesse, not wishing to eat them.

Heading outside, Maria reveals that she wants Jesse to take his squad to switch out with Joel and Tommy, stating the pair have been out for hours so should be relieved. Jesse switches his patrol route with Ellie and Dina so he can do so. Before meeting Dina, Maria asks Ellie what is going on between her and Joel. Ellie claims the pair are on good terms and presses on to Dina, who is in a snowball fight with the local children. Jesse tells Ellie to get Dina and head to the stables. Ellie gets Dina to come to her and they discuss their kiss. Dina reveals she regrets embarrassing Ellie like that but says she doesn't regret her feelings for her. A child throws a snowball at Ellie, causing the pair to fight the group of children. After the scuffle, the pair press on to the stables and retrieve their horses, Shimmer and Japan.

The pair head outside to the gate to meet Jesse and his squad. Jesse gives the team last minute advice to mark their routes, clear out any Infected they see and to fall back if they face a threat they think they are unable to overcome. The group then mount their horses and ride out on their routes.

The Overlook

The story then shifts towards Abby Anderson and her group of friends hiding out in the abandoned Baldwin lodge, a few hours from Jackson. She stirs awake, frightened from a nightmare. She looks up to see Owen Moore staring out the window. She approaches him, who confirms that she did indeed mumble in her sleep. She asks why he is awake so early, to which he reveals he found something, telling her to come outside with him.

Abby learns Owen got Mel pregnant.

Outside, Abby follows Owen through the snow to a hillside where they can see Jackson in view. The community, bigger than expected, worries Owen, who thinks their friends will want to turn back to Seattle. Abby defiantly refuses to do so. Owen then reveals he got his girlfriend Mel pregnant. Angered, Abby runs off, deciding to go to a nearby lookout she assumes is used by Jackson patrolmen, intent on capturing them to learn more about the settlement.

Along the way, she comes across several Infected, fighting them off in the streets and then in a house. She eventually comes across horse tracks heading towards the lookout, prompting her to continue in that direction.

Patrol

Meanwhile, Dina and Ellie are almost at the creek trails to begin their patrol in the nearby town. On the way, Ellie asks Dina why she broke up with Jesse. Dina reveals that she felt the pair reached a point where they were together simply for the sake of staying together and that there was no love in the relationship anymore. She insists she still likes him and loves seeing his parents before shifting to Ellie's former girlfriend Cat. Ellie remarks she thought Dina didn't like Cat, to which Dina states she simply thought Cat wasn't the right girl for Ellie.

Ellie riding Shimmer.

The pair reach the lookout and Ellie signs them in, writing in the log that there were no Infected present. The pair then head out to search the town. On the way, Dina asks if Ellie wants to hang out that night, only for Ellie to reveal she was going to ask Joel to come over to watch a movie. Dina then switches topics to how Jesse was thinking of traveling to Mexico, something that surprises Ellie since she believes Jesse loved living in Jackson.

The two then come across a dead moose. Based on the mutilated corpse, they judge a group of Infected killed it. They search a nearby supermarket and clear it of Runners. They decide to clear the other side as well, but find it filled with spores. Putting on their gas masks, they proceed inside. Ellie soon falls through the floor and her and Dina are attacked by three Clickers but they manage to kill them. Dina gifts Ellie a Molotov cocktail to use. The pair then enter the next room and kill the group of Infected within. They then use a rope to climb back outside.

Ellie kisses Dina.

While riding to the next lookout, the snowstorm picks up into a blizzard that forces the pair to take shelter in a nearby library. Searching through it, they find that the former Firefly Eugene Linden lived there. They soon find his marijuana den in the basement and decide to smoke some of it while there. Dina then asks Ellie to rate how good their kiss was the previous night. Ellie, irritated Dina only gave it a six out of ten, discards her blunt and proceeds to kiss her passionately, the scene soon ending.

The Horde

Elsewhere, Abby is following the horse tracks in the snow. However, she comes across a horde of Runners, who chase her. She races through the snow-filled terrain, dodging numerous Infected before vaulting a fence into the outpost's back yard. She presses on, pushing through the fenced-off area. The Runners all slam into the fence, gradually pushing it down on Abby with their sheer weight. Abby is forced to crawl, losing her hat as one Runner grabs her. The Runners keep pushing on the fence, one making it through, climbing on top of Abby. She struggles to push it off, crying out for help.

Joel tells Abby to run.

Bang.

The Runner drops dead. A man picks her up. It's Joel. He tells Abby to run, aiming his revolver at the group of Infected. Tommy runs over and pulls Abby away, leading her to a corridor while Joel shoots several Runners dead. Tommy declares Abby must come with them to their horses but a group of Infected charge through a door, forcing Tommy to throw a Molotov cocktail at them. He then shoots the remaining ones. Meanwhile, Joel forces open a door and orders the pair into the next room. They do so, barricading the door. Joel checks on Abby, confirming she has a gun and knows how to shoot. Tommy remarks the horde has overrun their entire look out, recommending they return with more armed men to clean it up later. Joel agrees but states the trio should find a way out of the building first.

The trio move into the next room where the gondolas are kept. Tommy notices way out high above and makes Abby help him lift a dislodged gondola onto the table so he can push it to the opening so they can escape. Joel hears Runners approaching, drawing his shotgun and machete. Abby picks up a nearby pipe and the pair fight off the group while Tommy moves the gondola into position. Eventually, Tommy sets it in place and the trio flee out the other side. However, more Runners await them, leading the three to flee towards the lodge where Tommy and Joel's horses are. Joel kills one Runner with his revolver and helps Abby through the double doors, which Tommy quickly barricades.

Abby convinces Joel and Tommy to flee Infected with her.

Tommy asks for Abby's name, which she gives and then tells her his own and Joel's name. Abby begins staring at Joel, almost as if in disbelief. Tommy shakes her, asking if she is okay and she confirms she is. Abby and Joel keep their sidearms trained on the door as Tommy fumbles around, trying to think of a better way to barricade it. However, more Infected begin to break through an opening further down the room. Joel, insistent, declares they have to flee back to Jackson but Tommy states their horses won't be able to outrun the Infected in the snowstorm. Abby calls out, revealing her group are at a lodge a few miles north from their ski lodge. Joel realizes it is the once-abandoned Baldwin lodge, an enclosed area and near-perfectly secure from Infected attacks. Tommy recognizes the name and agrees to head there rather than Jackson. The brothers run to their horses while Abby stands for a moment, panting as if in disbelief. Joel calls out to her to which she responds and jumps up on his horse with him. The trio then race from the lodge just as the horde breaks through their barricade and race after them.

The Chalet

Meanwhile, at Eugene's, Ellie and Dina lie on the couch, talking about scars they have. Ellie raises here arm and begins talking about the chemical burn her tattoo covers. With some hesitation, she reveals she did it burn out and cover up and Infected bite. She then reveals that she is immune to the Cordyceps brain infection. Dina punches her in the arm and mounts her. Dina mocks Ellie for lying to her despite her telling her a real story about her scar. Ellie insists she is telling the truth.

Before they can talk further, Jesse comes rushing in, gun drawn, calling for the pair. The girls jump from the couch and begin putting their clothes back on as Dina calls for Jesse to stay put. Jesse finds the pair and berates them for slacking on their patrol duties. Dina tries to argue back, stating they only stopped because of the blizzard and that he should have been at his lookout. Jesse then reveals he came looking because Tommy and Joel did not meet them at the switch off point. Ellie grows serious and orders the pair to begin covering all of the brothers' route. She marches from the room, concern deep on her face.

Joel signs his death sentence.

Elsewhere, Joel, Tommy and Abby ride through the horde, reaching the Baldwin mansion where Abby's friends await. They group locks the gates after the trio ride through and begins shooting numerous Runners. Owen then runs out with Mel and tosses several Molotov cocktails at the Infected, killing them. He then orders everyone inside.

Within, Nora Harris asks if Tommy and Joel are okay, to which they confirm. Tommy insists they will leave the group once the storm settles. Owen pulls Abby aside, asking her in the next room who she has brought with her. The brothers then enter, followed by Manny Alvarez, Nick and Leah. Tommy asks how long the group have been there to which Jordan reveals they are simply passing through. He asks where the brothers are from and Tommy, leaning on a table, reveals they are from a community a few hours down the hill. Joel moves to the center of the room. Tommy then invites the group to come back with the brothers to Jackson. Mel takes him up on the offer and introduces herself, Tommy then introduces his brother to them.

On hearing Joel's name, the group grows quiet, all staring at him. He asks if they know the pair to which Abby, shotgun in hand, confirms by shooting out his right knee. Tommy cries out only for Jordan and Nick to restrain him while Nora knocks him out. Manny and Owen then pin Joel to the wall while Abby taunts him. She asks him to guess who she is but he just orders her to say whatever speech she has rehearsed and get on with her plan. Abby then gives Owen her shotgun and orders Mel to tourniquet Joel's leg. She then picks up a golf club and strikes Joel in the head with it.

Joel, near-death, as Abby stands over him, making sure Ellie watches.

Sometime later, Ellie is riding Shimmer outside when she finds the Baldwin lodge. She sneaks inside and hears cries of pain coming from the basement. She reaches the room and finds Abby beating Joel to death. She moves to kill her but Jordan grabs her. Ellie manages to fight him off with her switchblade but Nick and Nora tackle and pin her down. Jordan, angered, kicks Ellie in the stomach but Manny restrains him. Ellie declares she will kill them all for what they have done to Joel. Owen walks in with Mel and berates his friends for failing to secure the mansion from intruders. He then declares they have to go before more people from Jackson find them. He tells Abby to finish Joel off, to which she does despite Ellie's pleas for her to stop. Ellie ceases hearing the group's words as she is overcome with grief and despair, staring and crying at Joel's dead body. Her tears only stop once Jordan knocks her out with a kick to the face.

A while later, Dina and Jesse arrive with their patrol and find Joel, Tommy and Ellie below. Dina wakes Ellie up, who continues to cry in disbelief at Joel's death.

Packing Up

That night, Ellie sits alone in her room, still grieving Joel's death. Tommy knocks on her door and asks to come in to which he does and the pair sit on the couch. Not looking at her, he passes her a box of food, stating Maria wants to ensure that Ellie eats something. However, Ellie declares she will not stop her and Tommy from chasing the group. Tommy, still not looking at her, states they cannot even be sure they know where the group are going. Ellie insists Tommy was sure earlier they were Washington Liberation Front soldiers from Seattle. Tommy continues to deflect, suggesting the WLF moved and that taking a group of Jackson's patrolmen to pursue the group would leave the community vulnerable to attacks from Hunters.

Tommy sits with Ellie.

Ellie stands at this point, declaring she will not let Maria stop her going because Joel would already be heading there if her or Tommy were murdered like that. Tommy stands, finally looking at Ellie, and admits his own resolve to avenge Joel as well. However, he insists Ellie let him talk to Maria again, believing that getting some gunmen to come with them will be better than going alone. Ellie begins to cry to which Tommy hugs her only to soon retract and leave the room.

The next day, Ellie sits beside Joel's freshly dug grave in Jackson cemetery, saying her goodbyes before joining Dina at the entrance. Ellie asks if Dina is certain she wishes to go after Joel's killers with her to which Dina insists that she is going too.

"You go. I go."

The pair then head to Joel's house as Ellie wishes to collect some of his things first. The entrance is adorned with flowers, letters and pictures commemorating Joel. At the door, Ellie's hand shakes. Dina offers to go in for her but Ellie insists she can do it. The pair enter and Ellie goes upstairs while Dina awaits below. Upstairs, Ellie takes in Joel's belongings, smelling his coat, observing his craftsmanship, and looks at his picture of him and his deceased daughter Sarah, finally in a frame on his windowsill alongside one of him and Ellie with Shimmer. She then moves to Joel's lockbox and opens it. Within is Joel's personal revolver and his watch which Sarah gifted him. She takes the items and leaves the room.

On the stairs, she hears Dina call for her to come into the dining room. Once Ellie gets there, she finds Maria inside with a letter in her hand. She reads from it, revealing Tommy stole a horse and scoped hunting rifle and ran away in the night after Maria refused to allow anyone to chase down Joel's killers. He also advised Maria to lock Ellie up to prevent her from doing likewise. Maria asks if Ellie and Dina are really going to go as well to which both confirm. Despite her anger, Maria gives them permission to take Shimmer and several guns and pursue the killers, so long as they promise to return Tommy home, however, they find him. The girls promise and move to leave the house shortly after Maria storms out.

Trivia

  • The prologue level used parts of the epilogue from the One Night Live show as a cutscene at the end of the level.
  • The first shot in this level, Joel cleaning a guitar with a moth on the fret-board with the intent to gift it to Ellie, mirrors the final shot of the game in "The Farm". There, the guitar with the moth insignia is displayed again but this time Ellie is walking away from it, symbolizing her leaving Joel and her connection to him behind.
  • The composer for the game, Gustavo Santaolalla, cameos in this chapter as a banjo player sitting in a chair, just after the player leaves Ellie's house and pets Buckley.

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