“The Last of Us” episode 2 explores and expands upon the backstory of the infected pre-pandemic. The episode boldly opens in Indonesia, where a doctor chillingly studies the effects of the disease on a dead body. When she sees the gravity of the spread and it’s effect on the human body, she suggests to Indonesian officials that the best way to minimize the spread is to bomb the city. From there, we pick right back up with Joel, Ellie, and Tess, who have made their way through the crumbling city of Boston, where you can see deteriorating buildings and bridges that have been affected by bombings that took place years ago. We get to know more about Ellie here and Joel and Tess escort her to the Fireflies meet up spot. They run into some Clickers and infected along the way. Spoilers from here on.
This week’s episode was a treat! As a fan of the games, I loved seeing more of the world being explored. I also really love the way they are handling some of the changes, while also balancing the more pivotal character moments from the game. One of the major changes is the inclusion of the hive mind of the infected, showcasing that they care all connected in this network of fungi, and showing how they are able to communicate to each other. This adds an interesting element of danger to the world, because it explains the way of spread and swarm. I think it’s an interesting change and approach, and actually makes the way the Clickers/infected move around even scarier.
I also want to continue applauding the acting. Bella Ramsey is confidently peeling away Ellie’s layers of her character, unraveling the childlike nature of Ellie, who was born after the pandemic, and has only know a world where the infection took over. She’s excited to explore the world to which she’s only learned about through books. We get to learn more of her purpose and importance to the Fireflies, because they believe she is a real shot of hope to humanity, and may be the key to a vaccine. Tess and Joel escort her, but as they make their way through the abandoned city, they run into danger; some Clickers. This is our first reveal of the monsters and the make up work was phenomenal! Ripped straight from the game, the intricate details of the Clickers were beautiful in a very disturbing way. Not to mention how tense the scenes with them are, since any little noise attracts them immediately. The sound design of the clicking noises are hair raising, and perfectly done. The tension in this section was done excellently and makes me really look forward to more.
The episode finishes off with another heavy felt scene, one that fans of the game knew was coming. Anna Torv does an amazing job with her portrayal of Tess, and is the MVP of the episode. I feel like the ending of this episode hits a bit harder than in the game, because we were given more time with Tess and seeing her relationship and bond with Joel as well as the one she momentarily had with Ellie. We are set up with the objective of the next episode, as Joel and Ellie are forced to continue on and move forward.
So far, ‘The Last of Us’ has been so good! I want to applaud the direction behind the series since they’ve been doing a fantastic job adapting the game on screen. I’ve also been enjoying the additions each episode has been giving, and I think most of these have been great calls. Every episode makes me excited for the next and to see what’s in store for us all. If they continue this type of quality and care for the story and characters, then we will be blessed as fans of the series. If you’re new here, then strap in, for the ride gets crazier from here on out.
The Last of Us episodes one and two are available to stream on HBO and HBO Max.