The Last Of Us Episode 2 “Infected” Review

The Last Of Us creator Neil Druckmann makes a flawless live-action directorial debut and enhances its story beyond fans’ expectations

The Last Of Us Episode 2: Infected ramps up the drama from the first scene. They weren’t lying when they said that they want every scene to mean something because this is what we are getting. This episode is way better than the first.

Episode 2 starts off in Jakarta, Indonesia. If you remember from the first episode, when Sarah, Joel and Tommy are about to eat their eggs, there was a news report on the radio about Jakarta.

Army officials arrive at a busy Indonesian restaurant and escort a college professor out of the premises. This woman is a professor of mycology and has studied cordyceps her whole life. After viewing a recent sample, she is horrified and can’t believe this sample was taken from a recently deceased human. She is then brought into a morgue to examine the dead body and witnesses the birth of the cordyceps apocalypse when she sees the living fungus inside of the corpse. Now, again, this deviates away from the games, but, holy shit, it just makes it even better.

We are only 5-minutes into the series, and just like the opening of episode one, this sequence explains and confirms a lot for us: the virus is spread through flour and grain and it all started at the biggest flour and grain plant in the world in Jakarta, Indonesia. When our professor notices this, it’s already too late. Flour and grain are “the perfect substrate”. When an army official asks her about a vaccine or a cure her reply is to “bomb the city and everyone in it”.

The Jakarta opening really doesn’t offer us anything in regard to the main story with Joel and Ellie. However, I love the new stuff that Druckmann and Mazin have come up with. These changes do not mess with the story we all love. In my opinion, it is enhancing an already perfect story, taking it to horrific new heights.

We are then reunited with Joel, Tess and Ellie and they continue their journey west through a bombed and destroyed Boston

We get to witness a fallen Boston; filled with mushroom fungus-infected landscapes, and dilapidated crumbling skyscrapers. Not only have they achieved adapting the story but the production design is identical to the games. They really have approached this with extreme care and love and so far the transition of story, characters and setting has been exceptional.

This is Ellie’s first time outside of her walled world run by Fedra where she has spent her whole life.

All she had was stories of what it was like on the outside. She was expecting (and this confirms the clickers and bloaters) split-headed infected that see in the dark like bats and ones that shoot fungus spores at you. Her fascination with her new surroundings doesn’t last long as the group comes into contact with some Clickers (again, this was truly exceptional and everything and more as a fan of the games). The clickers scene was some proper horror. I am happy the first time we get to see them is from Druckmann’s direction.

Another change was the way the infected behave: they are all one, signals cant be sent via the fungus and can awaken swarms of dormant infected to come after you.

And because we have such huge complaints from the haters about adapting this into a live-action series, this episode also puts the controller back in our hands and throws the haters back under their rock…where they belong.

In this episode, we really start to see the bond between Joel and Ellie

Joel is constantly reminded in small gestures by Ellie of his dead daughter, Sarah…and it terrifies him. We know his resistance of not trying to feel anything is slowly breaking. There’s also Ellie, who really is seeking the approval of some sort of parental figure. Not just anyone, but someone who can protect her and go to extreme limits doing so. These two need each other to survive.

Another thing they have changed from the game was the death of Tess. And, yup, again, this is a way more devasting exit for the character and IMO one of the most disturbing death scenes in zombie/infected history. Tess really made an impression, right? She was only here for one and a half episodes yet we feel the importance of her character. Her ice-cold badass attitude was starting to break when having conversations with Ellie. Instead of this smuggling heartless killing machine, we get a glimpse into what a caring woman/mother she was, or can be.

I’m loving that we’re not really left with a cliffhanger at the end of each episode. It’s like that small chapter of the story is done and now we just move on to another epic chapter/episode of this terrifying story.

The Last Of Us Episode 2, Infected is much better than an already fantastic episode 1. For those who thought this was just going to be another zombie series, I am hoping now you’ve been introduced to a terrifying new cause of infection, with a terrifying new breed of infected. And trust me, there’s so much more to come.

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