‘The Last of Us’ Season 1, Episode 2 Recap


Isabella Roman

Viewers were reunited with Joel, Tess and Ellie on Jan. 23 as HBO Max released the second episode of “The Last of Us,” titled “Infected.” The episode opens with a flashback in Jakarta, Indonesia, where police escort a mycology professor to a lab where they are studying an infected human. After learning the infection is hosted within Cordyceps, a type of fungus, and is spread through bites, the professor says the only solution is to drop bombs throughout the city.

Viewers also got an eyeful of the hauntingly beautiful setting of post-apocalyptic Boston outside the Quarantine Zone. This episode showcased a dynamic shift between Ellie, played by Bella Ramsey, Joel, played by Pedro Pascal and Tess, played by Anna Torv. As Joel insists that Ellie does not have a future ahead of her, Tess continues to give her advice on how to keep herself alive. Knowing Ellie is immune to bites she lets the younger girl know, “You’re not immune from being ripped apart.” Joel on the other hand continues to only see Ellie as cargo; given the right reward he would easily hand her in.

All of Tess’ advice comes in handy mid- episode when the group is walking through a rundown museum. They are confronted with their first “infected”. A “clicker”, an infected that is blind and uses echolocation and advanced hearing to locate its prey, finds its way into the room they are occupying. Ellie, who has never seen any infected, cannot help but gasp, triggering the fungus covered creature to attack. Joel shoots the clicker multiple times but it continues to chase him. He uses the sound of shattering glass to distract the enraged creature, yet that same glass crunching under his boots provokes the infected to chase after him and Ellie once again. The clicker falls when Tess disorients it with an axe to the head and Joel unloads two bullets into it.

Ellie reveals she was bit during the altercation but brings light to the situation saying, “Well, if it was gonna happen to one of us.” They continue their trek to the Fireflies’ base at the Massachusetts State House. Upon making it to their destination they find that all the Fireflies have been infected or killed. Tess reveals that she was also bitten and urges Joel to take care of Ellie, as she is the last hope for humanity to make a vaccine.

The newly infected, called “runners”, begin to swarm the state house. Tess pours gasoline and grenades all over the floor and tells Joel, “Save who you can save.” Joel takes Ellie with him and runs, leaving Tess to sacrifice herself in a massive explosion that eradicates all the infected that would have otherwise followed the others. Joel and Ellie watch the building explode.

The music makes the episode and show an immersive world.. The show’s score was composed by Gustavo Santaolalla, who also created the soundtrack for the “Last of Us” video game series. Fans of the original game can truly appreciate how the TV show and game both use music to establish a feeling of adventure and longing. The creators of the TV adaptation made sure they paid respect to the source material while also creating something that people who never played the game could enjoy.

The next episode will be out Jan. 30.