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HomeVideo GameLet's recap The Final of Us episode two

Let’s recap The Final of Us episode two

Following final week’s introduction to Pedro Pascal’s Joel and Bella Ramsey’s Ellie, this episode of The Final of Us continues on from the revelation Ellie is resistant to the cordyceps an infection that has ravished humanity.

We final noticed Ellie and Joel, together with Anna Torv’s Tess, fleeing FEDRA troopers patrolling the QZ. As they ran off into the darkness, the unmistakable noise of a clicker might be heard reverberating by means of the ruined metropolis, giving us a haunting sense for what’s to come back.

So, with out additional ado, let’s take a more in-depth have a look at episode two of The Final of Us (which, by the way, marks Neil Druckmann‘s TV directorial debut).


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As with final week, the second episode of The Final of Us begins with a chilly open that leans into the equipment of science. It takes us to Jakarta in 2003 (you might recall that Jakarta was talked about on the radio when Joel was having breakfast with Sarah and Tommy in final week’s episode).

It introduces us to Ibu Ratna, a mycologist who is delivered to her college to check a fungal specimen with no different context. Ibu quickly realises that this specimen has come from a human – one thing seemingly unattainable. Ibu goes to see the useless physique (executed by way of a gunshot to the top), and it’s right here we get one other have a look at simply how this model of the collection’ cordyceps fungus can overcome its sufferer.

Ibu arrives on the college she works at (picture HBO).

Totally suited and booted for the event, Ibu creates an incision by means of the cadaver’s chew wound – a wound she is knowledgeable got here from one other human – and sees the fungus inside. She then makes use of surgical scissors to additional examine contained in the deceased’s mouth. Right here she discovers the fungal tendrils we first noticed coming from Nana’s mouth in episode one – and they’re nonetheless writhing.

Understandably, Ibu flees from the room in horror however then involves an much more distressing realisation. There isn’t any treatment. No vaccination. To cease this fungus from spreading, the federal government might want to bomb town… and everybody in it.

As with final week’s chilly open, these scenes add to the story of The Final of Us, and I imply that extra than simply in its most simple and apparent type. What I imply is, they don’t fall into the entice many different online game variations have prior to now after they go off-script, and don’t detract from the established story many followers already know and love.

I described episode one’s chilly open as ‘bonus content material’ for individuals who have performed the sport, and I might do the identical right here. The time spent in Jakarta with Ibu brings a richer narrative to this world and, as soon as once more, introduces a way of discomfort and foreboding that can sit with viewers for the remainder of the episode.

Ibu extracts some cordyceps tendrils from an contaminated cadaver (picture HBO).

The cordyceps takes over Nana in episode one (picture HBO).

Following the opening credit, we’re reunited with Joel, Tess and Ellie within the current day. The present takes a small step away from the sport’s narrative right here with its change in time. Quite than discussing the revelation that Ellie is contaminated within the moments following their escape from the FEDRA troopers (one in all whom Joel savagely beat to demise), it’s now the morning after the evening earlier than.

Ellie awakens within the daylight (simply as Sarah did in episode one), as a butterfly flits overhead. Nevertheless tranquil this second could appear at first, it’s quickly interrupted by the realisation that each Joel and Tess have been watching Ellie sleep, Joel with a gun in his palms.

They’re distrusting of Ellie, and interrogate her about what Marlene was doing together with her. Ellie explains she was locked up with the Fireflies then “testing” her daily (we noticed these exams in episode one, with Ellie counting to 10). Nevertheless, Ellie factors out that what actually impressed them was the very fact she “did not flip right into a fucking monster” regardless of being bitten.

Joel is clearly nonetheless on edge, extra so than Tess who appears to have some hope, and is ready to shoot Ellie on the first signal of any an infection taking up her physique. When Ellie will get as much as depart for the bathroom, Joel takes to his toes instantly with the gun in his hand. He’s very cautious of Ellie, and when she voices her concern that one thing “unhealthy” could also be lurking within the subsequent room, Joel states the one unhealthy factor in there shall be her.

The abrasive perspective Joel shows creates a parallel between his emotions for Ellie and people he felt for his daughter. Whereas within the recreation there may be definitely a ‘friction’ between Joel and Ellie within the early days of their relationship, the best way Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey painting the characters in these moments appears to amplify the aura of scepticism between them.

Ellie will get questioned about her chew (picture HBO).

As for Joel himself, he nonetheless seems somewhat shaken by the occasions of the evening earlier than. Whereas within the recreation, Joel will eliminate patrolling members of FEDRA as he makes his rain-soaked approach additional into town and away from the QZ with none quarrel, within the present his palms shake when he appears down at his bloody knuckles. It provides one other layer of complexity to this model of Joel, along with his character clearly scuffling with PTSD.

With Ellie out of the room, Tess addresses his wounds, asking if his hand is damaged. Joel brushes her off, commenting that there’s maybe a hairline fracture however his hand will heal quick. However whereas he acknowledges her query, he doesn’t make any eye contact with Tess as he’s saying this, ending their dialog about what occurred with the soldier.

As somebody who is aware of the video games, in addition to Ellie and Joel’s arc, I admire the additional character groundwork being specified by these earlier episodes. As I mentioned earlier, it provides extra layers to Joel and the like, for each these aware of the collection already and people experiencing it for the primary time. This could imply the finale could have a extra profound affect on the viewer, no matter their earlier information of the story.

Tess questions Ellie (picture HBO).

Joel is unsure of Ellie (picture HBO).

Again to the present. Tess is amazed by the Ellie’s obvious immunity and advocates urgent on and getting Ellie to the Fireflies, as Marlene has requested. Joel, nevertheless, needs to smuggle Ellie again into the QZ, telling Tess she has to “cease speaking about [Ellie] like she has some form of life in entrance of her”.

Joel needs to discover a totally different technique to get the automotive battery he and Tess have been first after in final week’s episode, to be able to discover Tommy, his youthful brother, who has been lacking for a number of weeks. I wish to level out right here that Joel could be very a lot a person pushed by love, however I don’t imply that as factor. Let’s be sincere, Joel is a little bit of a dick, and does not care if individuals understand it. When Tess factors out that Ellie shall be shot if anybody within the QZ notices her arm, Joel doesn’t appear to thoughts. His precedence is attending to Tommy, irrespective of the implications to others. A love like this may be very harmful.

When Ellie returns from the lavatory (effectively, the totally different room she may use in non-public), Tess questions her additional about why Marlene believes she is so necessary. As within the recreation, Ellie reveals that the Fireflies are engaged on a treatment for the an infection. Joel (each within the recreation and within the present) scoffs at this, saying everybody had “heard that earlier than”.

Ellie insists her immunity might present the Firefly medical doctors with a solution, telling Joel “Fuck you, man! I did not ask for this.” Once more, that is dialogue lifted instantly from the sport.

Joel nonetheless pushes for the three to show again and return to the QZ. Tess, nevertheless, convinces Joel to maintain going. He agrees, however says that if Ellie “a lot as twitches” he’ll shoot her. All of them pack up, and head out into the broader world (and it has fortunately stopped raining).

As with the video games, Ellie is left in awe of the size of all the pieces exterior of the QZ. She feedback on the bomb crators all through town, remarking that it appears like a “fucked up moon”. Tess explains that the army bombed all the massive cities in an try and sluggish the unfold (a reference not simply to Ibu’s phrases earlier within the episode, but in addition the same assertion from Tess within the recreation: “They bombed the hell out of the encompassing areas to the quarantine zones, hoping to kill as a lot of the contaminated as doable”).

Ellie appears up on the skyscrappers within the metropolis (picture HBO).

Tess talks concerning the bombs dropped on town in The Final of Us PS5 remake (picture Naughty Canine).

Quickly, Ellie, Joel and Tess come to a crossroads of types. To get to their rendezvous level with the Fireflies, they will both go the “great distance” or the “we’re fucking useless approach”. They comply with examine the route forward by scouting it out from a close-by resort. It’s a comparable transfer made by Nathan Drake and Chloe Frazer in Naughty Canine’s Uncharted 2: Amongst Thieves. Maybe a coincidence, however as a giant Uncharted fan, this amused me.

As they make their technique to the resort, Ellie explains that she was bitten when she broke right into a sealed off and deserted mall. When requested if she was alone within the mall, Ellie turns into barely shifty however claims that she was. She additionally assures Tess that nobody shall be coming after her. She is an orphan, and when Tess asks if Ellie has a boyfriend she replies with an virtually sarcastic “no”.

As with sure moments in final week’s episode, these responses from Ellie are clearly setting The Final of Us viewers up for some flashback scenes in upcoming episodes. These aware of the sport and its DLC will already know what I’m speaking about.

Throughout this dialog, Ellie additionally asks extra concerning the contaminated. This gives these of us who’ve performed the sport with an acknowledgement from the showrunners that they’ve modified the best way an infection spreads within the TV adaptation (one thing many are sad about).

Ellie mentions “fungus spores”, and Tess appears reasonably amused by this suggestion. She does, nevertheless, get uncomfortable when Ellie asks concerning the existence of contaminated with “cut up open heads that see at the hours of darkness like bats”.

Taking a look at Joel, Tess’ response provides us an ominous feeling for issues to come back. At this level, the one contaminated we now have seen – bar the preliminary runners from the outbreak scenes – are the lone clicker you can simply miss at episode one’s conclusion (see beneath), and the one which had expired and fused with the wall beneath the Boston QZ.

The three hear an unnerving and inhuman cry from shut by. As within the recreation, Ellie is anxious about this noise, having comparatively little or no expertise of the contaminated.

They lastly make it to the resort, and the following couple of scenes are totally different to the sport.

Because the trio enter the institution, they see it’s flooded (with a rogue frog knocking out some suitably ominous music as he leaps on an deserted piano). Ellie mentions she will be able to’t swim, as certainly she can’t within the recreation, and is nervous about going into the water. Joel scoffs at her, leaping into the resort’s flooded reception to indicate that the water is just knee excessive (on him at the very least). So, no pallets for Ellie simply but.

I actually like and admire the second that occurs subsequent. It exhibits us extra of Ellie’ a-dork-ability in a state of affairs that, let’s face it, is fairly grim. Regardless of wading by means of murky and doubtless very chilly water whereas absolutely clothed, she makes her technique to the reception desk and begins to faux she is a visitor checking in. That is much like one thing she does throughout a flashback scene in The Final of Us Half 2, when Joel takes her to the Wyoming Museum of Science and Historical past for her birthday. It is a small second that made me smile.

Ellie pretends to take a telephone name in The Final of Us Half 2 (picture Naughty Canine).

The lightness of the second is quickly introduced swiftly again to the fact, nevertheless, as Ellie by chance disturbs a skeleton within the water. Joel involves her facet when this occurs, and gives her his hand. Ellie takes it, however quickly the 2 launch their grasp. As Ellie walks on, Joel appears down at his hand, clearly somewhat stunned by this contact. It is a small signal of one thing beginning to thaw in his icy manner.

The group ascends the steps of the resort, with Tess complaining about her knees after they get to the ground they have been aiming for. It is a good acknowledgement that Tess and Joel aren’t as younger as Ellie, and never blessed with limitless stamina like a personality in a recreation. As put by the present’s co-creator Craig Mazin, by “embracing [the] frailty [of the characters]… I feel [it] helps pull individuals into this sort of immersion, which is totally different than the online game immersion” (by way of Polygon).

One other small nod to the sport comes within the moments straight after, when the route the three are attempting to make their approach by means of is unexpectedly blocked. Right here, Joel boosts Tess up by means of a niche he’s too massive for therefore she will be able to create a approach spherical from the opposite facet. Within the recreation, this occurs on a semi-regular foundation with Joel and Ellie.

We now see extra of Joel and Ellie alone. Once more, issues are awkward between the 2. Joel asks about Ellie’s knife, she provides him a sarcastic response. Ellie asks Joel about his previous, he refuses to reply. They do discover a ‘protected’ matter, nevertheless, after they speak concerning the contaminated. Joel says he has killed many contaminated, telling Ellie typically it’s exhausting. Ellie then asks him about his killing of the FEDRA soldier the evening earlier than, and as soon as once more he turns into closed off.

Fortunately, Tess returns with a brand new approach spherical for them, so any awkward stress is dispelled. As a replacement, nevertheless, is a nerve-inducing have a look at the extent of the an infection within the metropolis. Peering down from the resort balcony, the three can see a mass of contaminated writhing on the street beneath.

At this level, we get a greater sense of what the tendrils which Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin beforehand spoke about can do. When Ellie feedback that the contaminated beneath are all related, Tess explains that they’re and “greater than [Ellie knows]”.

She goes on to say that the fungus additionally grows underground with “lengthy fibres like wires”. Tess states that ought to somebody “step on a patch of cordyceps in a single place, [they] can wake a dozen contaminated from some place else”. Then, the contaminated will know that individual’s location, and hunt them down. For me, this feels just like the present’s first actually exhausting steer away from the sport.

As the best way they supposed to go is blocked by this swarm of contaminated, Joel suggests they undergo the museum, and we’re again in territory that’s taken from the sport. And, oddly, this bit is definitely the a part of this episode I loved the least.

Joel masses his gun as a clicker passes by within the background (picture HBO).

Making an attempt to keep away from detection within the museum (picture HBO).

Within the recreation, there are a number of enemies so that you can both stealth your well past or eliminate right here, however within the present there may be solely a small handful (if that) of clickers. Whereas seeing the clickers in motion ultimately is suitably nerve-wracking, I additionally felt the shortage of enemies made this part very sluggish.

I think about the scenes within the museum have been designed this manner as an introduction to clickers for individuals who haven’t performed the sport. The primary time we see a (stay) clicker within the present’s museum, it’s within the background as Joel and co. attempt to sneak previous, hiding behind show instances. Ultimately the clicker is introduced into sharp focus (and regardless that I did understand it was coming, it did nonetheless make me leap).

Our first actual face stuffed with clicker (picture HBO).

In addition to the pacing of the museum scene, I additionally felt somewhat dissatisfied by Joel’s virtually liberal use of bullets right here. One of many issues I cherished when enjoying the sport was understanding that ammo and sources have been sparse, and so I needed to be selective with what I used and when.

Joel, Tess and Ellie finally rid themselves of the clickers, and Ellie notices she has been bitten once more. That is clearly the present’s approach of additional proving Ellie’s immunity, as because of the shortage of spores on this adaptation, she will be able to’t be proven not sporting a gasoline masks in locations that different characters should.

Ellie jokes that, if it needed to occur to anybody, at the very least it was her. They then depart the museum and Ellie crosses the roof tops on a plank similar to she does within the recreation.

Ellie crosses over the rooftops from the museum in HBO’s present.

And that very same second within the recreation.

Tess appears agitated when they’re all out within the recent air once more. She has twisted her ankle and snaps at Joel when he takes a extra pessimistic outlook at their state of affairs. As somebody who has performed the sport I knew why this was immediately. For these unfamiliar with the story already, nevertheless, this may occasionally have come as a little bit of a shock.

Tess asks Joel to depart her, and to go and watch Ellie as an alternative. Once more, we now have dialogue taken straight from the sport. As Joel and Ellie look out over town, Ellie expresses whereas the “jury continues to be out” concerning the world, “you’ll be able to’t deny that view”.

Ellie and Joel take within the view after leaving the museum (picture HBO).

Joel smiles at Ellie after they depart the museum within the recreation (picture Naughty Canine).

The three lastly make it to the rendezvous level, nevertheless there are not any Fireflies to be seen. After scouting the realm, they finally uncover the useless our bodies of these they have been meant to fulfill. They conclude one in all them was bitten, and the remainder started to struggle between themselves. That is totally different to the sport, and one other part of sluggish pacing, albeit one by which the present builds stress.

Tess instantly turns into determined, searching for some technique to talk with Marlene or a map to the place Ellie’s last vacation spot is supposed to be (Marlene solely informed Ellie “west”). Joel tries to calm Tess down, and Tess lashes out at him, main Ellie to understand Tess is contaminated.

Tess, stepping ahead to indicate her more and more fungal chew wound (which makes Joel flinch and take a step again from her), implores Joel to get Ellie to Invoice and Frank’s (within the recreation she says Tommy, who use to be a Firefly). “You get her there, you retain her alive, and also you set all the pieces proper.” Tess is aware of that is the top for her.

Tess is contaminated and determined to seek out the Fireflies, however no one is round (picture HBO).

This fairly emotional scene is interrupted by one of many our bodies on the ground. It’s not, as all of us thought, useless, and it’s contaminated. Joel shoots the contaminated within the head, and we now see how the tendrils Tess described earlier within the episode work.

Fungus creeps out of the earth coated ground beneath the now useless contaminated, looping into its fingers. The scene then cuts to the identical factor occurring to the contaminated we first noticed from the resort balcony.

Realizing they solely have just a few moments earlier than they’re overrun by extra contaminated (once more totally different to the sport, the place the three are besieged by troopers), Tess begs a resistant Joel to depart with Ellie. “Save who it can save you.” She upturns the cans of gasoline the Fireflies had saved at this assembly level, and spills grenades throughout the ground.

As I discussed earlier than, I discovered a few of the pacing of this episode somewhat sluggish, however these last moments with Tess have been accomplished brilliantly. On this second, in contrast to within the recreation, we stick with Tess as Joel and Ellie depart the constructing (Ellie very begrudgingly) and the scene.

Anna Torv does an exquisite job of conveying each Tess’ willpower and concern within the second the contaminated come crashing into the constructing. Initially, they don’t acknowledge her, and he or she backs away right into a nook whereas desperately making an attempt to ignite a lighter.

One, nevertheless, finally does and walks in direction of her with a goosebump-inducing calmness. Because the contaminated approaches Tess, we see the cordyceps’ tendrils make their approach out of its mouth and ‘kiss’ her. Tess’ eyes are wide-open as this occurs, and he or she is lastly in a position to get the lighter to work. She drops it into the gasoline, and the constructing explodes.

Tess lastly will get her lighter to work (picture HBO).

The digicam cuts again to Joel and Ellie as they witness the explosion. After a pause, Joel walks away from Ellie, leaving her trying on after him not sure of what to do subsequent, earlier than the scene cuts to the credit. Regardless that I knew this was coming, I cried my eyes out.

The actors deserve nothing however reward for his or her performances right here. The very fact there was no dialogue from the second Joel and Ellie left Tess by means of to the present’s credit is a testomony to how a lot every actor may convey simply with their actions alone. I felt Tess’ concern. I felt Joel’s loss. I felt Ellie’s shock. I felt all of it.

Whereas episode one was the higher of the 2 I’ve seen to date, this ending left me desperate to see extra… and with an empty field of tissues by my facet.

Properly performed, TV present. Properly performed.



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