The Last of Us season 1 episode 2 recap & review: Infected

The second episode of The Last of Us sees Joel, Tess, and Ellie travel through the destroyed landscape of Boston and witness what it has become. The episode is now streaming on HBO Max.


In September 2003, two officers pick up Professor Ibu Ratna in Jakarta, Indonesia. They bring her to a lab, where she is asked to examine a specimen. She recognizes the specimen they have to be ophiocordyceps.

Though she claims cordyceps cannot survive in humans, the officers show her a woman’s body from which they have retrieved it. Ratna is shocked to see tendrils grow out of that body’s mouth.

The woman’s body was bitten by someone. The guards don’t know who bit her, which means the infected one is still out there. The officer explains how the woman was attacking everyone before being shot.

The officer further asks if there is a way to contain this fungus. Ratna says there is no cure, and the only way to stop it from spreading is by bombing this city. This way, they can kill most of the people who have been affected.

In 2023, Ellie wakes up to Joel and Tess guarding her. They are waiting to see if she transforms or not. They interrogate her and learn what Marlene was doing with an infected kid.

Joel and Tess argue about whether they should proceed with the task or go back to QZ. Tess forces Ellie to spill the beans. Ellie tells them about the Firefly camp in the west, where doctors are working on a cure. Whatever happened to Ellie might be the key to it.

Joel has heard this news before, and he doesn’t believe that there is a cure. Tess convinces Joel that it doesn’t matter what Ellie is or what the Fireflies think. They deliver her, and they get what they want.

To reach the State House, Joel, Tess, and Ellie choose to go the long way to be safe. Joel says they have to check the route from the hotel first.

Throughout their journey, the trio learns more about each other and how Ellie got bit the first time. From the roof of the hotel, they see a swarm of the infected.

Ellie notices that they all are connected and behave accordingly. Tess explains how they work together. The fungus grows underground like a wire, some of them stretching over a mile.

If someone steps on one patch of cordyceps, the infected from nearby places also rise and come looking for them. The trio then opts to go through a museum.

The cordyceps there is dry, allowing them to walk on them. Eventually, the trio gets trapped with two infected clickers inside a room. These infected can’t see, but they can hear.

A single gasp from Ellie grabs the clicker’s attention. The trio brawls with the clickers and manages to kill them. In the process, Ellie gets bitten again at the same place as before.

Joel wonders if this bite will turn Ellie into an infected. A frustrated Tess, for once, tells Joel to look at the bigger picture and think that Ellie might be the cure they need.

The trio arrives at the State House but finds all the Fireflies dead. One of them got sick. The others tried to fight back but lost. Joel says the mission is over. They should go back home to QZ.

Tess claims that she has no home back there. From Tess’ words, Ellie figures out that she has been bitten. Tess shows her bitemark and then asks Ellie to show hers, which is not as bad as Tess’.

Tess convinces Joel to take her to Bill and Frank. She never asked anything from him, not even to feel the way she felt for him.

An infected rises and interrupts their conversation. Joel immediately kills it. The tendrils on the ground signal the other infected. A swarm of them starts coming toward Joel, Ellie, and Tess.

Tess tells Joel to save who he can. Joel grabs Ellie and leaves the place. Ellie then knocks over gas cans and spreads fuel all over the place. She drops grenades on them.

The infected ones arrive, and one of them corners Tess, who tries to flick a lighter. Once it does light up, she drops it. The place blows up, killing the infected along with Tess.


  • The second episode introduces the viewers to the world they will be witnessing. The destroyed Boston looks beautiful and like a mess at the same time, filled with infected people and cordyceps.
  • The show is slowly developing the relationship between Joel and Ellie. It’s natural, and one can notice how hard it is for Joel to accept that there is a cure out there after all these years.
  • The introduction of clickers is handled well. The show builds the right amount of tension around it. The viewers can feel themselves in Joel, Tess, and Ellie’s shoes. Following that, the revelation of clickers is even more scary, owing to how quick the clickers are.
The Last of Us season 1 episode 2
The Last of Us season 1 episode 2 recap & review: Infected 1

Director: Neil Druckmann

Date Created: 2023-01-23 08:30

Editor's Rating:

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