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TLOU Finale's Abrupt Ending Had Fans Double-Checking The Runtime

"The Last of Us" Season 1 finale didn't last as long as fans thought it would. 

In a spoiler-free Reddit thread about Episode 9 ("Look for the Light"), u/DirtyJerzzz commented, "That episode felt like it was 15 min[utes] long." It seemed as though all of Reddit was in agreement here, with users like u/WritingPretty responding, "Had the exact same feeling. Paused it with like 5 min left because I thought to myself, 'The episode just started and all this happened already? What are we like 20 minutes in?'" In fact, the ending was considered so abrupt that some viewers searched for more footage, just in case they were being duped by an early credit roll. u/ph0be14 was so frazzled by the conclusion that they added, "I was confused when it ended and went to check the run time." 

But there was nothing else to find — and yes, the ending really was the ending. "The Last of Us" Season 1 was over, even if fans craved more. And more will come, as HBO already renewed the series. However, Season 2 won't be here for a long time yet. 

A fast farewell to The Last of Us (but there's more to come)

This collective impression that viewers were treated to less content is not unwarranted. According to HBO Max, Episode 9 was the shortest episode of the season by a notable margin, clocking in at only 43 minutes. Aside from Episode 4 ("Please Hold to My Hand"), which also runs short at 45 minutes, the rest of the episodes are pushing the hour mark, if not beyond. Episode 1 ("When You're Lost in the Darkness") earns the title for longest episode in the season with a viewing time of 80 minutes. In terms of duration, that's a Disney Channel Original Movie. It permitted the important exposition to breathe so that audiences were allowed to fully grasp the following narrative.

But the finale was not permitted that same window of opportunity. It hit the important beats, it lifted settings and dialogue directly from the critically acclaimed videogame, it even found time to create a role for the voice actor who lent their talents to Ellie in the first place (there are other reasons why Anna Williams might look familiar, too) ... but then, it left before viewers were ready to say goodbye. 

At least Season 2 is already confirmed.