The Last Of Us Tess tendril kiss

Anna Toro, Bella Ramsey, and Pedro Pascal

Anna Toro, Bella Ramsey, and Pedro Pascal
picture: Leanne Hencher/HBO

[Spoiler warning: The following discusses events from the second episode of the first season of The Last Of Us. If you haven’t seen it, you may want to wait until you have before reading on.]

Whether you’ve played the game or not, the ending is “impressive”. Part II HBO the last of us– should come as a shock. Although the tragic death of Tess (impressively portrayed by Anna Thoreau) is revealed in the same way at the beginning of the play, what happens to her after she reveals to Joel and Ellie that she is ill Infected is a very different story. No one could have predicted that Tess would go down a terrifying path on the show. We all got to experience that funky kiss of death together for the first time, and for anyone who hates such things (this writer included) it was truly horrifying.

Worse, the episode’s director—none other than the game’s co-executive producer and creator, Neil Druckman—didn’t have the guts to film an intimate, romantic moment between Tess and the infected host. It was as if the life form invading her body sought to bond with its own kind, holding her frozen in place, while the last remnants of her consciousness stirred anxiously. The type was lighting it, trying to turn a spark into a deadly fire. It would be beautiful if it wasn’t so dirty. on HBO Official the last of us podcast, Druckman’s co-showrunner Craig Mazin points out that the scene reflects the theme of the love show and how it functions. “Fungus love, too,” Mazin says. “It makes more of itself. That’s what we do when we love each other. Most of us make more of ourselves. That’s how the generation reproduces.” Who knew chicks’ sex lives could be so fascinating? Craig Mazin, apparently.

Sam Hoeksema

Sam Hoeksema
picture: Leanne Hencher/HBO

For more context on how we got here, let’s go back up. Of all the changes Druckman and Mazen made for the show, one of the most fundamental was how the fungus propagated in the real world. In some areas of the game where the fungus is more concentrated, the spores become airborne. Everyone who passes (except Eli) must wear a gas mask to prevent infection. The creators were worried that the audience wouldn’t buy the premise that these seeds were limited to a certain area, so widespread with cordyceps (they also didn’t want to keep their actors behind masks all the time), so they removed them. Air threat for the show. Instead, the fungus is connected to an underground network (based on scientific studies of actual mycelium networks). The infection now invades the body through a bite or an existing opening such as the mouth.

And so, with Tess choosing to stay behind to escape Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey), she becomes the target of an assailant. Another difference between the game and the show is that it wasn’t originally a group of monsters, but a much less terrifying group of FEDRA goons. At this point in the game, they have been following the trio since their noisy escape from the Boston QZ. After the officers join them at the State House, Tess sacrifices them. It’s a heroic moment, but not as charged, or as gut-wrenching, as it plays out on the show.

Anna Toro and Pedro Pascal

Anna Toro and Pedro Pascal
picture: Leanne Hencher/HBO

the last of us Get to something deeply unsettling about our relationship with fungal organisms. It is difficult to explain why; This is just the beginning. If you feel a little uncomfortable watching the opening credits, that’s a natural reaction. The show also wants us to appreciate the aesthetics of these fungi, the organic colors and shapes that make them unique. There is no better example of this contrast than the scene between Tess and the former human host with whom she shares her final kiss. Our instinct is to turn away as the sweaty furrows reach her, but at the same time we can’t help but watch it as it happens. Like Tess.

We have to give credit to Anna Toro’s fully committed performance, which works hand in hand with the cinematography and shot framing to make the scene so effective. From the moment we meet her in the premiere, Toro puts her own spin on her fan favorite character, giving us a version of Tess who’s tough and in control, but underneath it all she’s believable. That there is still hope for humanity. We’ve only had two episodes to get to know her (though she May appear in subsequent flashbacks) but she made a huge impression. Like Joel, we won’t be getting over her sudden death (or the messy way it went down) anytime soon. As players have been learning the hard way since 2013, allowing yourself to invest in anyone besides Joel and Ellie in this story is setting yourself up for heartbreak. The one-two punch of losing Sarah (Nico Parker) and then Tess in the first two episodes is kind of a warning to viewers and players alike — you might think you know what’s coming, but you don’t know what’s in store. . Thanks for the nightmares, guys.

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