We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

The Last of Us writer explains that major episode 2 change

The Last of Us TV series made a significant change to the fate of a particular character, and co-showrunner Craig Mazin has explained the logic

Anna Torv as Tess in The Last of Us

Warning, spoilers! The Last of Us TV series is largely the same story as the PS5 game. The Last of Us characters Joel and Ellie journey across zombie-ravaged United States, growing together along the way. Some liberties are taken in the horror series, and a specific one could be contentious.

In The Last of Us TV series episode 2, Tess dies in a self-sacrifice after being infected. In contrast to Naughty Dog’s videogame, she’s delaying zombies, rather than FEDRA soldiers. This leads to one of the infected kissing her using spores to speed up the fungi taking over her body.

On its own, the scene is grand, but switching from human soldiers to undead changes the tone somewhat. Craig Mazin, co-showrunner on the drama series, explained the choice to The Washington Post.

“So I would ask Neil [Druckmann, co-creator of  The Last of Us] a thousand annoying questions, especially early on,” Mazin explained. “And I remember one of the annoying questions I asked was, why are FEDRA soldiers all the way out here?”

YouTube Thumbnail

As Mazin could see, FEDRA would probably just assume Tess and Joel were done for, since Boston’s full of zombies. “They might say, ‘Hey, they did a terrible thing, but they’re just gonna get killed out there. So what do we care? We’re certainly not gonna let them back in. If we ever see their faces again, we’ll get them.’,” Mazin said. “And [Druckmann] was like, ‘OK, that’s fair’.”

Fair indeed – the change created some opportunity to explore the fungi. Have a read of our guide on what’s in the infected’s mouths for more on that. You can also check out why the Fireflies were dead in episode 2, as well. Check out our list of the best thriller series for more televisual entertainment.