Ellie curled up on the ground
"Ellie curled up on the ground," The Last Of Us, "Infected," directed by Neil Druckmann, 2023, (HBO)

As Ellie, Joel, and Tess head into downtown Boston, we get our first sighting of clickers.

Aired (HBO) 1/22/2023
Episode Title Infected
Director(s) Neil Druckmann
Writer(s) Craig Mazin
Noted Characters
Tess Anna Torv
Joel Pedro Pascal
Ellie Bella Ramsey

Recap

This content contains pertinent spoilers. Also, images and text in this post may contain affiliate links which, if a purchase is made from those sites, we may earn money or products from the company.

Bombs Away

Like episode 1, “When You’re Lost in the Darkness,” the episode begins in the past. Mainly, Jakarta, as the infection gets discovered, begins to spread, and the initial bombings to contain the infection were proposed.

The Long Way – Tess, Joel, Ellie

A dead clicker
“A dead clicker,” The Last Of Us, “Infected,” directed by Neil Druckmann, 2023, (HBO)

Getting into downtown Boston means the potential of encountering clickers, and with Ellie being this miraculous discovery and a potty-mouthed 14-year-old, better safe than sorry is the way. So while the short way is naturally quicker, being that it’ll mean guns blazing and clickers, the long way is decided.

At least, that is until there is a realization that the structure which allowed for the long way has crumbled to the point it is no longer an option.

But it wasn’t a complete waste, as it did give Joel and Ellie time to get to know each other. Not enough for Joel to fully let his guard down, but he does open up about being from Texas.

The Short Way – Tess, Joel, Ellie

With the long way now a dead end, the short route is chosen, and, initially, it seems quite safe. The fungus which wiped out most of the world has appeared to dry out, and while there is a freshly dead body downstairs, there is an agreement to write him off.

However, two clickers upstairs lead to Ellie, Tess, and Joel not being alone. But, thankfully, Joel and Tess are able to handle the two clickers. Certainly not with ease, but with their lives intact.

Yet, it may all be for naught. They get to where the fireflies are supposed to meet Joel and Tess, and they look massacred. It seems one got bitten, and with that, bullets flew until everyone was dead or close to it.

Ellie after Tess' sacrifice
“Ellie after Tess’ sacrifice,” The Last Of Us, “Infected,” directed by Neil Druckmann, 2023, (HBO)

This leaves Joel and Tess unsure of what to do beyond continuing west. However, with the reveal Tess is bitten, it becomes clear she won’t join Ellie and Joel. In fact, after killing a firefly who comes back to life, she stays behind to handle the onslaught of clickers on the way by blowing them and herself up. Thus, Ellie and Joel, the unlikely duo, find themselves alone, reliant on each other in ways neither expected nor wants.

Things To Note

What Could Happen Next

  1. Meeting raiders, since we’ve already met clickers.
  2. With Tess dying in this episode, seeing how she and Joel met soon
  3. A Tommy update potentially

Review

On The Fence

Tess’ Death

Tess telling Joel to save who he can save
“Tess telling Joel to save who he can save,” The Last Of Us, “Infected,” directed by Neil Druckmann, 2023, (HBO)

Tess’ death, similar to Sarah, just lacked impact for us. Again, maybe because we knew it was coming? So with the lack of surprise, what reason is there to get emotional? But, while the death didn’t bring anything out of us, there is no denying that in terms of the story, tone, and vibe, “The Last of Us” is making a notable effort to remain faithful to the games when necessary.


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