The Last Of Us Episode 2, “Infected,” astonishes viewers with a suspenseful, tear-jerking zombie adventure that shouldn’t be missed.
At its core, The Last Of Us seems to be about carrying on through the loss of loved ones. The first episode introduced us to Joel Miller and his adorable, innocent young daughter. As the zombie virus began to spread, Joel took his brother Tommy, his daughter Sarah, and tried to escape the madness. Less than halfway through the episode, Joel’s daughter was tragically shot and killed right before his eyes.
Joel is a father who lost his birth child. The primary setting of the show is twenty years after the outbreak, and even then, this quality defines him. Loss motivates him in everything he does, from his missions, to his drinking, to his relationship with Tess (Anna Torv). Currently, his primary objective is to locate Tommy, who is lost in an unbelievably dangerous and unforgiving wasteland.
THE LAST OF US: EPISODE 2 “INFECTED” IS A GRIPPING NIGHTMARE
Pedro Pascal plays a broken, beaten and battered man as Joel. It stands to reason that Joel’s partner in the apocalypse would be another hardened soul with their share of baggage. Someone with drive, deeply-rooted character flaws, and most importantly, hatred for the way of the world.
Few have the resilience to fight that Tess possesses. She may be a rough, angry person, but she still believes in hope. She hates the world for taking everything, so she has to hope that there’s a way to save humanity. This idea plays out beautifully at the height of Infected. Actor Anna Torv takes her character on a painfully real emotional journey. You’ll find yourself immersed in her struggle from start to end.
The Last Of Us has amazing set design and an incredibly high budget that’s used efficiently and strategically. There are several big, show-stopping moments and setpieces each week. That’s not even getting into the disturbingly fantastic design of this unique, fungal take on zombie infection. But as wonderful as these visual elements are, it’s ultimately the heart-breaking performances from stars like Anna Torv that take The Last Of Us to the next level.
THE LAST OF US EPISODE 2 REVEALS SECRETS OF THE INFECTED
Infected begins with an incredible cold open that rivals the premiere in terms of tension. The opening sheds some light on the origins of the fungal zombie infection that reigns supreme in The Last Of Us. Suspenseful, haunting and unsettling, it sets the precedent for the horror that awaits Joel, Ellie and Tess in the main storyline.
Stay after the credits of The Last Of Us for a special behind-the-scenes look at the production. The most fascinating tidbit in this week’s segment was a major change from the source material. In The Last Of Us video games, the cordyceps infection spreads through spores. The HBO adaptation loses that element, instead focusing on the root-like underground connections that fungi have. In other words, if you mess with one infected here, and you might alert a whole pack of zombies in a different location.
THE LAST OF US: ANNA TORV STEALS THE SHOW AS TESS IN EPISODE 2
The aftershow BTS also reveals a look at how the “clicker” zombies are made. Featured in the immensely frightening museum sequence, these zombie variants are blind, hunting through sense of sound alone. There is a sense of respect and honor for the original work evident in the live-action “clicker” design.
The Last Of Us looks like it’s going to be a massive hit for HBO. Episode 2, “Infected” continues to build a compelling, heart-breaking and horrifying world. Thanks to powerful acting from Pascal and Torv, stronger pacing than the premiere, and visible influence from The Last Of Us video game, the sophomore episode is a triumph.
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