The Last of Us Season 1 Episode 2 Recap – Why is Ellie so important?

By Ricky Valero
Published: January 23, 2023 (Last updated: January 25, 2024)
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Episode 2 was a massive step back from the premiere as it felt more like a filler than anything impactful.

We recap the HBO series The Last of Us, Season 1 Episode 2, “Infected,” which contains spoilers.

We saw the debut of The Last of Us open with one of the best first episodes of any television show in quite some time. With Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Tess (Anna Torv) now in charge of getting Ellie (Bella Ramsey) where she needs to go, what happens next? Let’s dive into episode 2 of the show.

The Last of Us Season 1 Episode 2 Recap

The episode begins with the authorities entering a restaurant looking for someone. During the car ride, the lady asked if she had committed any crimes, and they said no and took her to the station. At the station, they asked her to look at the specimen they retrieved. She explains what she saw, stating that humans couldn’t survive with it in their system. Next, they took her in to examine a body, and she freaked out at what she saw. Finally, they give her the news about how someone was bitten and bit other people, leaving it open that more are out in the world. She ends the conversation with bomb the city and everyone in it.

After the opening credits (which I love), we see Ellie awake from sleeping in this house that’s been overtaken by nature. Joel has a gun still pointed at her because he thinks she is infected. She tries to explain that she isn’t infected. As Ellie leaves to use the restroom, Joel and Tess argue over whether or not they should move forward with this plan. Tess takes over the conversation by grilling Ellie about why she is so important.

After plenty of back and forth, Ellie tells them they think she is vital in finding a vaccine. Joel isn’t thrilled about going on this mission but has no other choices. So now, the three of them start their trek towards taking Ellie where she is supposed to go. While they seem stuck, Tess has to climb to an area giving Ellie and Joel time to bond. Upon her return, they realize they couldn’t go the way they intended. So, Joel suggests they go through the museum.

The trio starts to walk through the museum, and the place begins to unravel piece by piece. But, unfortunately, it awakens the creatures in the museum, and they try to fend them off and get out. Joel and Tess do everything they can by kicking, stomping, and shooting them until they get them all. I’ll be honest, the claustrophobic feel to this shot was beautiful because it felt so much like a video game but also cinematic—brilliant work by everyone here.

Ending Explained

They have arrived at where they are supposed to take Ellie. Sadly, when they get inside, it looks like everyone inside has been killed. Tess begins to freak out, and Joel tells her it’s time for them to return. But she tells him she will stay, and Ellie says she has been affected. Tess gives a moving speech to Joel that includes her begging him to get Ellie where she needs to go.

One of the creatures gets up, and Joel shoots him. The noise causes many of them to awaken and head into the museum. Tess asks one more time, so Joel snags her, and while Ellie fights it, he is able to get her out of the building. As the creatures enter the building, Tess lights the place up in flames buying time for Ellie and Joel to get out of dodge.

Look, the episode wasn’t bad by any means, but I failed to emotionally connect the way I think they might have wanted me to with the death of Tess. The fight sequence was the only part of this episode that genuinely stood out. I also did like seeing Bella Ramsey come into her own as Ellie, so we can see her grow more in the future. Again, not a bad episode, but a filler episode that was just fine.

What did you think of The Last of Us Season 1 Episode 2? Comment below.

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