The Last of Us episode 2 ending explained: Is [SPOILER] really dead?

The Last of Us Episode 2
The Last of Us Episode 2 /

The Last of Us episode 2 concluded on an emotional and heartbreaking moment. Is “Infected” the end for one beloved character?

Heading into The Last of Us, it was clear that this show wasn’t going to be for the faint of heart. If you played the video game prior to the HBO series’ debut, this is something you knew especially well.

Even then, you’d think it would ease you into the brave new world of Clickers and threats that surround Ellie, Joel, Tess and the rest of the survivors. In a way, that’s what the premiere episode did. That wasn’t followed through, however, in the second episode, which held nothing back and showed us the horrors of the apocalyptic world.

If you’re still reeling from the events of “Infected”, here’s a rundown of what happened and what it means. Be warned, spoilers ahead.

*** This article contains major SPOILERS from The Last of Us season 1 episode 2. Don’t read on if you don’t want it spoiled. ***

What happened in The Last of Us episode 2?

After Ellie convinced Tess and Joel that she wasn’t a threat to them, the trio headed off into the city to fulfil the promise they made to Marlene. That brought them to a museum where they had a horrifying run-in with two deadly Clickers that would make even the most hardened of zombie-genre viewers want to hide behind their cushions.

Though they survived the run-in, their success was short-lived, because the Fireflies were all dead after one of them was seemingly bitten. It was there that Ellie discovered that Tess had actually been bitten during her fight with a Clicker.

With an army of infected on their way (who were alerted of Ellie, Tess and Joel’s presence in the city via the underground system of fungi that connects all of them), Tess decided to sacrifice herself, drawing them all into the building and blowing it up, so that Joel and Ellie could escape with their lives intact.

Does Tess die in The Last of Us?

Unfortunately, it looks like this really is the end of Tess. While the character has been a major part of the show for its first two episodes, actress Anna Torv is not a series regular. In fact, Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey are the only series regulars on the show, so Joel and Ellie will venture on now that Tess is no longer with them.

If Tess did somehow survive the explosion, she’s still infected, and that infection could have spread quicker after the infected entity confronted her and allowed more of the fungi to make its way into her mouth. But given that she was right at the heart of where the building went up in flames, it’s unlikely that she (or the entity she could become) made it out of that alive.

If you’ve played the video game, you likely knew that Tess’s death was coming – although it played out slightly differently in the games (even though most of the events were the same).

dark. Next. Why you should watch The Last of Us

What did you think of The Last of Us episode 2? Let us know in the comments below!