Last of Us Dina Tease Paves the Way for a Massive Finale Cameo
A sign of things to come.
As HBO’s The Last of Us rapidly approaches its finale, the groundwork for the second part of the video game adaptation is already being set. While there have been some subtle hints at events to come in the second season, which will adapt the much more divisive Last of Us Part II, Episode 6 gave fans one of the most concrete connections to the sequel seen in the series so far, with the appearance of a character that is all but confirmed to be Dina. While her cameo is important in its own right, it also paves the way for an even bigger cameo to appear in the finale — Abby.
During Episode 6, Ellie and Joel are eating at a table with Tommy in Jackson when Ellie spies a girl staring at her behind a pillar.
“What?” says Ellie towards the unnamed girl, who then runs away without a word. Fans immediately theorized that this is Dina, who plays a significant role in the sequel.
The actor and her outfit look similar to how Dina appears in the game. In addition, eagle-eyed fans have also pointed out this interaction reflects a short anecdote from Dina in Part II about seeing Ellie eating food as one of their first interactions. Showrunners Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin are playing coy with the audience, discussing this unnamed character in the official podcast with Mazin saying, “I wonder who that could be, theoretically or not. We'll find out maybe one day.”
With this cameo, the HBO show is actively working to make the connections to the sequel clearer to the audience. It also makes it that much more likely that the season finale will have an appearance from Abby in some form.
The Last of Us Part II drastically changes the perspective of the story by following not only Ellie but also Abby as dual primary protagonists. Without getting into spoiler territory the last events in the first season of The Last of Us are also incredibly important to Abby’s motivations in the second game.
One of the most prominent changes that The Last of Us has made to the original game in adaptation is more clearly laying the groundwork for overarching character arcs in the series at large. A criticism of The Last of Us Part II upon release was that some characters had personalities that felt disconnected from how they appeared in the first game, with the entire story arc already planned out with the HBO series, the showrunners are able to more subtly show how the characters change from season 1 to 2.
With Abby being such a contentious character in the franchise, introducing the audience to her in the closing moments of Season 1 is a great way to have viewers start asking questions about the larger ethical ramifications of Ellie and Joel’s actions and thinking about how the larger world works.
Dina’s inclusion in Episode 6 directly pulls locations and characters from The Last of Us Part II’s portrayal of Jackson, things that the first game did not show. Abby’s story includes new perspectives on important events in Joel and Ellie’s story, and could easily be included in the season finale.
Another reason that an Abby cameo feels likely is that it just makes for a great Season 1 cliffhanger to tease her relationship with Ellie and Joel. The ending to the first game has a finality to it, despite its nebulous answers to important questions that the end brings. Juxtaposing the original ending with the knowledge that this story isn’t over yet is a great way to leave the audience wanting more in anticipation of Season 2.