The second episode of HBO’s we got what essentially amounted to a prologue for the story–from the (Nico Parker) to Joel and Tess (Anna Torv) meeting Ellie for the first time. Now, the danger of this world is high as ever, something that was very apparent in the second episode.has arrived, putting a bit of a spin on events from the game as the journey for Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) truly begins. In last week’s episode,
Warning: The following contains spoilers for The Last of Us Episode 2. If you still need to catch up on HBO’s adaptation of the Naughty Dog game franchise, stop now and head over to HBO Max to watch first.
In the new episode, Joel, Ellie, and Tess make it out of the quarantine zone and into the city of Boston. Of course, that doesn’t come without its share of problems–or clickers, rather–and the climax of the episode finds viewers losing one of the show’s heroes.
As Joel, Ellie, and Tess attempt to escape a building being descended on by a horde of clickers, Tess realizes that both she and Ellie have been bitten. The difference she sees between them, though, is that the infection Tess has is getting worse, while Ellie’s isn’t. Suddenly, what seemed impossible–Ellie being immune to the outbreak–becomes a small sign of hope for the future of humanity.
“She gets bit and Ellie does too, and she looks and she goes, ‘Oh my god, this is real; this is what people keep talking about.’ Surely there has to be a cure; surely there has to be an antidote,” Torv told GameSpot, TV Guide, and Metacritic. “She says it all at the end: ‘This is real, Joel. This is real and this is potentially your chance to have the world forgive us for all the s***ty things we’ve done. This is it. Save what you can save.'”
And to that end, Torv sacrifices herself, having Joel and Ellie escape while she blows up the building–and the clicker infestation within. It’s a bit of a spin on what happens in the games. There, Tess dies while killing soldiers coming after Joel and Ellie, which is still quite the sacrifice.
“I think she truly believes that [she’s doing her part to save the world],” Torv said.
Of course, in doing so, she was also subjected to one of the worst things ever shown on TV when a clicker sprouted cordyceps from its mouth into Tess’s, making for the worst kiss of all time. Of course, don’t be too freaked out. While the scene was horrifying for Torv, the grossest parts were digital effects.
“It’s just revolting. I thought it was going to be different. That scene, when I read it, I thought it was going to be a very different thing, and the answer is all of that is effects except the guy,” she said. “As far as the infected goes, a lot of it was makeup–pretty amazing makeup–but all of the tendrils and all the rest of it is all special effects.”
In the end, while we’ve said goodbye to Tess at this point, it’s entirely possible we haven’t seen the last of her. After all, there could always be flashbacks to the 20 years between the outbreak and the current day. If this was her final bow, though, there’s now a much more memorable way to exit the series.
The Last of Us airs Sundays on HBO.
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