‘The Last of Us’ From Game to Screen: Episode 2

We are back with another edition of #GameToScreen, where we review the key differences between a video game and its adaptation. We continue with Episode 2 of The Last Of Us, Infected. You can read our veteran’s review here and our newbie’s review here, and you can yell at Charles if need be. Let’s dive right in!

The Connection Between The Infected

We alluded to this in Episode 1’s Game to Screen, but Episode 2 confirms the impact that the subtle change in how people are infected can have on this world. Since people are infected via the vines of other infected, then this means they are all theoretically connected. Now, this is obviously a drastic change from the games in that there is almost a symbiotic relationship between each of the infected. It, also, really gives us more questions than answers. Are they learning from each other? Is there an Infected Prime somewhere who is essentially Patient Zero?

Tess’s Death

We, also, alluded to this in last week’s Game to Screen, but changing Tess from Joel’s business partner to his business partner slash lover meant that things that were headed our way would have much different meaning. Tess dies off-camera in the games, choosing to sacrifice herself to ensure that Joel and Ellie live, though she makes sure to take everyone and everything she can with her in a flurry of gunfire. The show keeps the sacrifice, decides to remove the humans she encounters before dying, and instead sends in a mass wave of Clickers. Tess chooses to go down in a literal blaze of glory as she sets fire to herself and all the Clickers that surround her. We are, also, treated to what can only be described as a French kiss between a Clicker and Tess, which makes things very awkward. All jokes aside, having Tess die differently, albeit slightly earlier, really brings up so many questions about the fate of a lot of the characters we are going to meet. What changes to our characters await us down the road?

Ellie’s Infection

In the game, Ellie’s valuable in that she is immune from this airborne and by-the-bite virus. That’s right: she cannot become infected no matter how many times she’s bitten or, you know, breathes. In the show, they have already established that the way you are infected is different in the show. However, it is in Tess’s conversation with Ellie where something comes into focus: Ellie is actually infected. Tess tells Ellie, in fact, that even stepping on a vine draws the attention of multiple infected, which is fascinating considering that Ellie is very much infected in the show given that she has been struck with the vines before. Is Ellie not just the key to a cure, but also the key to finding the presumptive leader of the Infected?

The First Clicker Encounter

Ellie, Joel, and Tess first encounter the Clicker in the museum in Boston, during a dark night in Beantown. The show sets this encounter a little bit earlier, removes FEDRA’s presence from the encounter, and lets it play out in broad daylight. Considering this is one of the most tense situations in the game, setting it in the daytime would remove all tension, you would think, but not even a little bit: it is still very much unnerving to see Clickers for the first time, and to see them in the location you did not expect. One of the really great things about the Resident Evil remakes being released now is that they circumvent our expectations, and The Last of Us has found a way to do that in nice ways through two episodes. What other subtle changes are in store for us that change our expectations?

Tess’s Dying Wish

Tess, gearing up to sacrifice herself, tells Joel to take Ellie to Bill and Frank, and urges him to have them take her to the Fireflies: in the game, this just does not play out like that at all, and Frank is actually dead. Joel finds a corpse in the train station after Tess sacrifices herself, and you later discover that that was Frank who was dead. In the show, Frank is very much alive, and that introduces a new dynamic for the next episode. Tess’s instructions are for them to take Ellie to the Fireflies, while Joel can continue looking for the Ghost Rider Gabriel Luna. We will not get into Bill’s future given how spoilery it would be, but Frank’s future being re-written really has us excited.

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