HBO’s The Final of Us is a strikingly trustworthy adaptation of its online game supply materials. Other than a number of small adjustments, many of the present seems like the sport has been translated on to the display screen, at the very least within the first two episodes. There are even a number of moments that really feel like nearly excellent re-creations of frames from the sport.
However one level of whole deviation got here on the very finish of the present’s second episode when Tess’ (Anna Torv) storyline bought a giant replace.
[Ed. note: This story contains spoilers for The Last of Us the game and the first two episodes of the series.]
Tess’ demise on the finish of episode 2 isn’t a complete shock, precisely. Whereas it might come as a shock to first-timers, recreation gamers knew she would die from the beginning, although not essentially in the best way the present performs out. Whereas Tess does die at nearly precisely the identical level of the story in 2013’s The Final of Us, the precise occasions surrounding it are fairly completely different.
Within the recreation’s story, Tess is definitely killed by FEDRA troopers, although the truth that she is already contaminated and sacrifices herself stalling for Ellie and Joel continues to be the identical. On high of that, Joel (and due to this fact the participant) truly witnesses Tess’ demise, whereas within the present he clearly solely sees its ensuing explosion.
There are a number of causes that the present may have made this variation, one among which being that FEDRA merely has barely been established within the drama of the collection. Whereas the federal government response has performed a small position within the story up to now, it actually hasn’t been sufficient for FEDRA’s presence to be felt. Tess’ demise by the hands of the contaminated additionally serves to make the virus and its hosts appear genuinely harmful, particularly after they have been largely absent from the present’s pilot.
The video games apart, the present’s execution of Tess’ demise is unsettling and unusual. Whereas the present clearly loves its bizarre, gross contaminated, with their tendril-y fungi strands that writhe and flit continuously, all the time trying to find new hosts, the extended voyeuristic “kiss” is nearly leering for a present that always isn’t and doesn’t have to be. Seeing a mushroom zombie infect Tess like that doesn’t do a lot to additional our understanding of the Cordyceps curse that killed humanity or give a extra impactful feeling to Tess’ demise.
Based on showrunner Craig Mazin, the aim with this was to discover what occurred when somebody was contaminated peacefully, and that not every part needed to be violent. “What does it appear to be should you simply stand completely nonetheless and allow them to do that to you?” Mazin requested in an interview with Selection. “Then we landed on this nightmare gasoline. It’s disturbing and it’s violative. I feel it’s very primal in the best way it invades your individual physique.” Maybe the perfect clarification for the scene is Mazin’s personal description for it: “To make use of an overused phrase, it’s triggering.”
Whereas there could also be extra unstated, sensible causes for the change, showrunners Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin proved with episode 2 that they nonetheless have some surprises in retailer each for viewers coming to the story for the primary time by means of the present and for veterans of the online game.