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The Last of Us S01E02 Recap

January 23, 2023

Need to catch up on the previous week? I got you covered. If not, here’s your The Last of Us S01E02 recap. Monsters are real this week.

We flashed back 20 years to Jakarta at the start of the episode. Military officers walk into a restaurant and ask about an elderly lady who eats alone. They put her in the back of a police cruiser and apologize for interrupting her lunch. She wants to know what she did wrong. They don’t say anything and they know it’s a professor who studies mycology. I assume she’s being brought in to examine the outbreak. They take her to a facility and have her look through a microscope. She identifies it as an ophiocordyceps. He tells her that the sample was taken from a human. She says it’s impossible.

We now see the scientist in a hazmat suit. A voice tells her that the dead woman she is looking at was not well. The doctor begins to dissect a bite mark on the body. Inside the wound is a fungus. She then opens her mouth and pulls out more mushrooms, long ropes. This fungus moves. She runs out of the bedroom.

Later, she drinks tea and discusses where the woman was found. She was found in town and she was a perfectly nice woman before she went crazy. She was eventually shot dead by the police. The good scientist wants to know who bit her. They want his help to develop a vaccine. She tells him that there is no medicine that will stop him. He tells her what to do then. She tells him to bomb the city. Bomb everyone into it. She is distraught and asks to be with her family.

We resume with Ellie. She was sleeping and wakes up to see Joel and Tess with guns pointed at her. They are aware of his infection. Ellie says Marlene tested her every day. She describes the tests and finally, Joël and Marlène let her urinate.

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Joel’s hand is probably broken. Doesn’t look great. Now they are fighting over what to do with Ellie. Joel wants to leave her in the QZ. Tess wants to go ahead with the plan. Tess wants to know what’s so special about Ellie. Things are heating up. Ellie doesn’t play nice or answer questions. Ellie tells them that there is a secret Fire Fly base with scientists and doctors and they need Ellie for something. Joel pushes back and argues that they’ve heard it all before. Joel reluctantly gives up. They prepare to leave. They deny Ellie’s request for a gun.

As you leave you have a crazy view of a city that has collapsed. Skyscrapers crumbled as the greenery around them reclaimed their stolen spaces. We learn that the city was bombed to slow the spread. They have to travel a long way to get around the city. As they walk, Ellie explains how she got bitten. We learn that she is 14 years old. There are a number of urban legends surrounding those infected and Ellie regales us with them. We hear a scream/howl and the group accelerates.

Joel opens a door and they appear to be in a hotel lobby. They have to cross the flooded hall. Ellie is definitely not into it. She’s having fun with the hallway. Only to be scared off by a real skeleton. Joel reacts quickly and they share a very decent little moment between the two. Higher up in the hotel, it seems that one of the floors has fallen. Tess goes up and up to find another way. Ellie and Joel finally have a semi-civil conversation. We learn that Joel is from Texas and Tess is from Detroit. He also tells her that he killed a lot of infected people. She wants to know if it was hard. Tess returns, she has found a new path.

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She leads them in a different way. on the balcony there is a giant pit of humans all connected together by the mycelium. It’s a super shitty thing to see but eventually Ellie starts to realize the extent of the danger there is. They decide to go through the museum. The door to the museum is covered in mushrooms. However, everything seems to be dry. They must climb to the top of the museum. So they enter cautiously. The mushroom covers every inch, but it’s been cooked. There’s a dead guy on the stairs. Like a fresh dead guy. He was attacked. They think it might be one of the fungal zombies. They fall silent as they go up the stairs. The stairs threaten to fall. There is an upper level mushroom on the second floor.

The mushrooms they move around seem to be mostly dried mushrooms. On the upper level, the group manages to avoid the stairs as they collapse completely. The group begins to hear a series of clicks. There are two clicker style zombies. Joel tells Ella that they can’t see and that type of zombie can only hear and they use echolocation. The party splits up when both clickers attack them. One takes it out on Joel, the other on Tess and Ellie. Joel and Ellie hide and eventually the group manages to kill the zombies.

They leave the museum but not before seeing that Tess has sprained her ankle a la Patrick Mahomes. Ellie was also bitten AGAIN. Joel and Tess glue his ankle. She’s had enough of his pessimism. She’s not in good shape.

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As they walk the streets of Boston again, Joel fights the urge to worry about Ellie’s new bite. They arrive at the Fire Fly base. There are very fresh corpses lying around. There’s a trail of blood that leads to inside. Tess and Ellie go inside and there are more corpses. Looks like bullet wounds. It’s a killer. There is no longer anyone alive. Tess frantically searches for a clue while Joel wants to give up. Tess is infected. She shows Joel the bite and the mushroom is already growing. Tess wants Joel to take Ellie to Bill and Franks. She makes him promise.

There’s an incredibly terrifying shot of the mycelium as they communicate between one of the corpses on the ground and a group of zombies hanging around a block. A world-class new twist on zombie communication. Tess sets the building up like a bomb so she can sacrifice herself to kill all the zombies when they break in. She lights the building on fire just as they begin to do so. Ellie and Joel watch the building burn from afar.

Tyler Unsell

Tyler has been the editor of Signal Horizon since its inception. He is also the director of Monsters 101 at Truman State University, a course that combines horror movie criticism with survival skills to help middle and high school students learn critical thinking. When he’s not watching, teaching, or thinking about horror, he’s the director of debate and forensics at a high school in Kansas City, Missouri.

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