The “kiss” of episode 2 of ‘The Last of Us’ has an explanation

The second episode of the adaptation of The Last of Us, on HBO, showed the desolate landscape of the world that survived the outbreak of the fungal infection. Also, the death of a central character, in a scene that directly refers to the video game. But rather than accurately recreate the events known to all fans of the story, the screenwriters Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann made some storytelling decisions. Which included an image that angered and uncomfortable a good part of the audience.

It is about the “kiss” between an infected person and Tess, the character played by actress Anna Torv. In the same way as in the source material, Joel’s smuggling partner (Pedro Pascal) ends up dying in a tragic situation. In the Naughty Dog story, the beloved figure is killed by a group of Phaedra soldiers. But in adaptation, the situation is posed differently. Infected and aware of what awaits her, she decides to immolate herself in the middle of a crowd of clickers (clickers) that invade the place where they are.

It is then, when the sequence occurs: Tess remains standing while one of the infected approaches her. Finally, she stops next to her, bows her head, and ends up resting her face on the woman’s. During the supposed kiss, the creature opens its mouth and the contagious tendrils of the fungus that lives inside can be seen.

An image that seems meaningless, disgusting, but has an explanation

The scene caused rejection from a large part of the audience, especially from fans of the game. From what the creators of the story explained during an interview with Variety that the situation explains a key detail of the series. As they explain, it is a way of showing the nature of the Cordyceps fungus. Specifically, how the infection could spread from one body to another to continue reproducing. Therefore, it was not a sequence in which the infected tried to express affection; as some mistakenly understood.

“We were doing initial research on how fungi appear in the real world. I found the image that an artist had created of someone who had been subsumed by fungus. In his mouth there were signs of contagion, ”explained Mazin, adding:

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The “kiss” of episode 2 of ‘The Last of Us’ has an explanation

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