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The last of usThe second episode of finally introduced the infamous “clickers”.
Named for the annoying noises they make to locate others, clickers are humans who have been so infected with the cordyceps fungus that they are completely unrecognizable as humans.
*Warning – Spoilers ahead for The last of us episode two*
The aptly titled episode “Infected” ends with Tess (Anna Torv) sacrificing herself to save Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey).
After being infected herself, Tess covers an abandoned building in gasoline and lures the infected towards her with the goal of setting them all on fire – herself included – while the other two escape.
Viewers had to endure a biting scene in which Tess struggles to light her lighter as the infected flood the room.
She is finally able to ignite the flame, but only when an infected person approaches her and slowly kisses her with fungal tendrils extending from her mouth to hers.
Fans quickly took to social media to express their disgust at the scene.
“Very curious to know what artistic inspiration led Neil Druckmann to include a scene in the last episode of Last of Us where a French zombie kisses Tess”, a
very curious to know what artistic inspiration drove Neil Druckmann to include a scene in the newest last of us episode where a zombie french kisses Tess— Doctor Contra (@DrGrimEvil) January 23, 2023
Luckily for this fan, Druckmann and co-creator Craig Mazin explained the disturbing scene in an interview with The variety.
“We were already talking about tendrils coming out and we were asking these philosophical questions: ‘Why are infected people violent? If the goal is to spread the fungus, why do they have to be violent? We came across the fact that they don’t. They are violent because we resist, but what if you don’t? What does it look like if you stand perfectly still and let them do this to you? Mazin applied.
“Then we landed on this nightmarish fuel. It’s disturbing and it’s violent. I think it’s very primitive in the way it invades your own body. To use a hackneyed word, it’s triggering. It’s a remarkable combination of Neil’s direction, Anna Torv’s acting when there’s obviously nothing there, and our visual effects department doing this magnificent job of making everything come together and feel real and terrible.
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Druckmann, meanwhile, explained the decision to deviate from the video game the series is based on, in which Tess is killed by soldiers.
“We had a long conversation about what’s most thematically appropriate for this episode, which is called ‘Infected’ and is about the threat from the outside,” he said.
“We left the quarantine zone and that led to this other version where it gives Joel and Ellie an opening to escape by blowing up a bunch of infected. Because we’re cruel to the characters we love so much, it was like she knew she was screwed, and then the lighter didn’t work, and we took her to the brink of horror before finally give an exit.”
Episode two was also praised for casting Indonesian actors in a Jakarta scene.
The last of us is available to watch in the UK on Sky Atlantic and NOW, with the third episode arriving next Sunday (February 29).
. creators reveal decision behind disturbing scene kiss who revolted viewers in episode