welp. Well, guys, this is it I was The second episode of The Last of Us. A much shorter affair than the last outing (read The Last of Us Episode 1 recap to catch up if you didn’t), but you can still hit our heroes hard.
This is one of the four episodes we previously saw before writing our The Last of Us review, and it’s… well, that’s the spoiler-free section of the article. So we’ll just say we were as amazed as we were.
But don’t scroll down before watching The Last of Us episode two online (trust us, this HBO Max show should be watched first, not read in advance). This is what happens when you’ve had one of the best HBO shows in a while.
Below is a detailed synopsis of The Last of Us Episode 2, so there are spoilers. Below this summary, you’ll also find notes based on which The Last of Us video games the episode references.
The Last of Us Episode 2 Synopsis: Starting Where It All Began
Remember when Joel, Tommy, and Sarah heard about a disturbance in Jakarta (that only Sarah knew anything about) on the radio? Well, no strings will be untwisted for now, as we’ve narrowed down the number of first infections in Jakarta in 2003. After the military finds Ippo Ratna (Christine Hakim), a professor of mycology (making her an expert on fungi) enjoying lunch, she rushes to find out. Ophiocordyceps samples that you don’t think are from a human.
Sadly, she is wrong, as she soon examines an injured (dead) human. Shocked by the fungal material found when cutting the subject’s leg, she watched tendrils emerge from his mouth. In an adjoining room, a member of the military tells her that this is one of many people who are potentially injured, and the others are missing.
Then he said she was brought in to help find a vaccine or medicine to stop it. She replied, “There is no medicine or vaccine.” He was asked what to do next? She takes a somber moment before saying “Bomb. Start bombing. Bomb this city and everyone in it”, before crying and pleading to go home to spend these last moments with her family.
Synopsis for The Last of Us Episode 2: Back in 2023
Luckily, we’ve got a little humor to kick this part into the current timeline. Ellie (Bella Ramsey) wakes up to see Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Tess (Anna Torv) watching her suspiciously (and with a loaded gun).
And she looks at them as if to say “Really?” – before I say “Do I look like I’m injured?” before drinking them more after showing her still not spreading wound. Joel and Tess grill her about how she got here, and she’s finally allowed to get a vital break.
After Joel and Tess discuss what to do – he wants to get rid of Ellie, she wants to see him – we learn that Ellie has food in her bag. Real chickens, in fact, which is much to the surprise of her new shepherds. Unpleasant things are exchanged, Ellie explains the concept that she is supposed to be the key to treatment – what Marilyn told her in private – and Joel doesn’t believe her.
Tess talks Joel into going through with it, and Ellie fakes an infection attack before calling for a weapon of her own. I denied. While walking outside, Ellie marvels at the scenery, which is some of the most impressive shots in the series so far. On the road, Tess is surprised how Ellie survived. Then the gang goes inside a flooded building where Ellie doesn’t know how to proceed. Joel shows her that they can get through before the kid does a weird, confusing comedy routine at the front desk.
When debris blocks the group’s path, Tess goes ahead to clear it up – giving Ellie and Joel time to talk. Or, well, praise her knife and try to talk to her. Eli Sorta opens up to him, but then Joel becomes withdrawn. Throughout this scene, though, you’ll see the chemistry and banter between the two, even when they don’t get along together. Once Tess returns, the trio walk up to the roof, looking at a giant lump of infected mendacity (I think they’re conserving energy).
Ellie realizes they are “connected”, before Tess explains that they are deeper than that. The fungus is damaged in one area, and the infected relative will be on you. Afterwards, Joel says he went to the museum, the only way to move on without going through the crowd of infected people. Again, Ellie asks for a gun and is refused (her saying “I’ve got a spare hand” and Joel responding “Congratulations” was probably my favorite moment so far in the episode). The gang stumbles upon a dead man who apparently wasn’t killed by an infected, and after Joel tells everyone to shut up… things quickly go wrong.
A type of infected known as “clicks” due to the noise they make to find and chase our heroes, all very similar to the Velociraptor hunting humans in Jurassic Park. Joel shoots an infected after it gets everywhere, and Tess enters another with an axe.
After the enemies were taken out, Joel asked Tess if she was okay. She says she sprained her ankle, but ok. Ellie “Well, I didn’t take my pants off!” It’s more proof that this show is capable of finding humor in the dark. Ellie also realizes she has been bitten again, but remarks “Well, if it would happen to one of us”. There is a pregnancy pause between Joel and Tess, before she says they have to get out of there.
Ellie laughs at the fear of walking across the plank separating the rooftops while Joel helps lift Tess’ ankle. After he reflects on Ellie’s continued lack of infection, Tess snaps at him for accepting the good news for once. After he’s gone, we see she’s grieving, and it’s clear what wasn’t said.
Joel and Ellie share a cute moment on the rooftop before the group finds the rendezvous spot where they were supposed to swap Ellie into the Fireflies to be abandoned, with traces of blood. Inside, they realize everyone was taken out – someone was bitten and then it all went wrong.
While Tess tries to bring Ellie West up, Joel is ready to leave and go home. Except Tess says she’s staying. that her luck “was bound to run out sooner or later”. Joel realizes what’s up, but can’t say it. Ellie realizes this and says “she’s hurt”, before Tess shows Joel the new and spreading wound. They compare bites, and Tess says Joel needs to take Ellie to Bill and Frank, who will take care of her. That he can “set everything right”. The casualty snaps back to life before Joel fires it, and the casualty’s device senses those shots. Joel, realizing this, checked outside to see that they were all coming.
Tess soaks the entire room in gasoline to make sure they don’t follow Ellie and Joel, while he begins to cry without crying. Saying the words that will likely haunt us all, Tess says, “Save who you can save,” before an angry Joel forces Ellie to leave. Tess does her best to get a flame out of her lighter, but it just doesn’t happen. The injured broke through the building and he doesn’t look right.
However, The Last of Us manages to surprise the beauty with a weirdly adorable shot of an infected possum trying to “kiss” Tess and spreading fungal tendrils. Outside, Joel and Ellie wait until the explosion from within shows that Tess has done it. And three become two, who turn away.
The Last of Us Episode 2 spoilers from the video games
Before you go, do you want to know who Bill and Frank are?
- In the original Last of Us games, Bill and Frank They were partners and fellow survivors. Frank leaves Bell at one point, and Bell then decorates the area around him with traps for his protection. He even worked with Joel and Tess. Frank commits suicide after realizing he has been infected.