The third entry in this Hidden Gems series for The Last Of Us Part II takes place during Day 2 with Ellie, from a particular chapter, Finding Strings. It’s Autumn in Jackson as Ellie and Tommy meet with Joel at a ski resort lookout, which according to Tommy, has the comfiest couches of all the lookouts. During this flashback, it made me say, “Tommy is perhaps the most undervalued character from The Last Of Us Part II.”
So the dust has settled, and fan debate has, for the most part, died down. Following my second playthrough of The Last Of Us Part II, I was staggered by just how much content I’d missed in the first run. This leads me to the scene at the ski resort. It made me ask why Tommy, Joel’s own brother, who has perhaps the most vital storyline second to Ellie, was absent for the most part of the game’s extensive campaign.
It intrigues me to imagine what a second-half featuring Tommy, or both Ellie and Tommy, would be like. From his dark past with a former Firefly, Eugene, mentioned by Dina and Ellie in the library, to his violent methods of interrogation.
The game’s two-act structure between Ellie and Abby was the subject of criticism, and for me, while the second-half with Abby had its moments (the Seraphite Island attack and the Rat King come to mind), it felt somewhat excessive. They could have weaved small moments throughout either of the two halves for Tommy, firstly breaking the monotony of what was at times, slow-paced storytelling, and secondly, giving us some insight into his life, perhaps in the form of flashbacks with Eugene and the dark days with the Fireflies.
While Tommy was not the focus in The Last Of Us, and with Joel dead early into the second, his character should have had a more central role in Part II’s proceedings. While it was a missed opportunity during the campaign, I hold out hope for a DLC chronicling Tommy’s story. Of course, this is likely wishful thinking, as Naughty Dog recently confirmed they had no plans for a DLC beyond Part II.
Plus, on the lighter side of things, as the clip above demonstrates, Tommy breathed some comic relief into an otherwise dreadfully bleak game. From his quips about the comfiest couches in all the lookouts (describing them as ‘magic’ had me chuckling), to his blatant attempts at reconciling Joel and Ellie. There is also his issues with Joel’s eating habits and his awkward guitar-playing.
Here’s to hoping there’s a DLC on the way. Come on Naughty Dog. The Last Of Us Part II is available on PS4.