Caution!!! The article contains spoilers about the second episode of The Last Of Us.
A full week after the first episode aired here we are again, talking in detail about The Last of Us and all those hidden details that we, gamers, have been able to capture during its vision. Needless to say, but also this episode – directed by the producer and creator of the video game, Neil Druckman – left everyone speechless. Starting from the photography, passing through the music that fully involves the viewer and, finally, from the excellent acting of the three protagonists of this episode.
Throughout the episode there have been references to the video game, some clear and some less so
Let’s start by talking about the opening sequence of the second episode: it takes place in Jakarta, Indonesia, two days before the epidemic seen in Texas in the pilot episode.
The scene depicts the beginning of the global epidemic, with the disappearance of many infected workers and the arrival of the mycology professor Ratna’s mother to help find a cure. However, Ratna she says no vaccine is possible and is visibly shocked that 14 infected workers are nowhere to be found. This ties into a hidden detail in the first episode, where the unrest in Jakarta, Indonesia is mentioned on the radio of Joel.
The first scene that sees the protagonists together again is with Joel e Tess who observe Elliewaiting for any sign that the adolescent’s immune condition is not real. The woman approaches the girl asking her what the Fireflies really want from her. After explaining her motives, Joel he opposes the decision saying that a vaccine or any cure is not possible and that the subversive group had already tried it in the past. This also subliminally determines the protagonist’s final decision towards Elliewhich we will only discover during the viewing.
While the protagonists go to the meeting place, Tess start learning more about how Ellie has been bitten. She the teenager she says she broke into a mall in the QZ area of Boston by herself when she was attacked by an infected. The scene suggests how Ellie is lying about being alone, alluding to who she was really with that day.
As you know from The Last of Us: Left Behindthe DLC of the first video game of 2013, Ellie she was with her friend Riley in the mall when both were bitten, resulting in the survival of Ellie. The Last of Us will show the story of the two girls as hinted in the trailer, while episode 2 foreshadows it further. Storm Reid will interpret Riley and has been seen on multiple occasions in the promotional marketing of the television series.
Another element that the sequence on the highway brings into play is the Bloater. In the world of The Last of UsBloaters are hosts that have been infected with the Cordyceps fungus for a decade or more, resulting in hardened plaques of the fungi that make them extremely difficult to kill.
Over the course of the video game, Bloaters also fire mushroom balls that explode into harmful fumes when inhaled. In this scene from the second episode, Ellie jokingly asks: “So there’s no Superinfected exploding mushroom spores on you?“, in a direct reference to the aforementioned creatures.
As you go along, you finally get to the hotel, a scene where the character of Bella Ramsey pretends to check-in and be a bellhop; this scene is a clear direct reference to the game for those who know it. During the video game Ellie he does the same thing and pretends to be a high-ranking member who shows up at the hotel, to which Joel dice: “Be a strange one little girl“. The scene was shot almost word for word.
But another hidden detail littered in the episode the presence of Sarah. The opening sequence of episode 1 of The Last of Us and the brutal murder by Joel they were eventually brought in to define the character’s motivations Peter Pascal. The death of her daughter foreshadows her path and her eventual acceptance of Ellie. Whenever the latter approaches the man in the second episode, Joel subconsciously looks at her bloody knuckles or broken watch because she reminds him Sarah.
Moving on to the episode’s main action sequence it takes place inside a museum, another direct reference to a level from the game. In the latter the three characters battle it out in a clicker-infested museum, similar to Episode 2. The museum has been recreated almost exactly as in the game, from the Civil War memorabilia to the blue-and-white décor.
Moving on to the details of the shots, one of these shows Bella Ramsey walking on a plank of wood towards another building with a backdrop of abandoned Boston – an image almost exactly recreated from the game.
The next sequence sees Joel ask to Ellie if that was all he was probably hoping to see. She replies: “The jury hasn’t decided yet. But man, you can’t deny that view“.
Again, this is a word-for-word, shot-by-shot recreation of a scene from the game that foreshadows an important future event that HBO is to include.
Finally, the last words of Tess a Joel provide for his final decision with Ellie. The woman tells him “Save who you can save“. A clear reference to the conclusion of the game, for those who have already embarked on the adventure.