Warning: Major spoilers for The Last of Us ahead
Video game curse, what video game curse? Something “clicks” between the audience and HBOs The last of us series, as Craig Mazin’s live-action adaptation is already breaking records.
We’re only two episodes into season 1 and already we’re not wasting time digging through 2013 The last of us game. Sadly, this means we’re already saying goodbye to some fan favorites.
We always knew it was coming, but with Zoom‘s Anna Torv adding an extra layer to the tough Tess from the video games, was anyone ready to see her off in Episode 2?
What was Tess’ The Last Of Us backstory?
So far, Mazin and co. did a great job of splitting flashbacks into the current timeline of the 2023 apocalypse. Neuman (John Hannah) in 1968, Episode 2 began with the origin of the outbreak in Jakarta.
However, it turns out that our flashback to Joel and Sarah on Outbreak Day wasn’t our only tragic arc of deadly family deaths. Speaking to The Last of Us Podcast, Mazin explained, “We wrote it, but we never recorded it: it was a bit of a backstory for Tess.
“Tess had a child. She had a husband and she had a son, and they were infected. She had to kill them. She killed her husband, but she couldn’t kill her son. She couldn’t. She locked him up. in the basement, where in theory he’s still a clicker.”
It sounds like chilling stuff, with executive producer Neil Druckmann adding, “We had a cold opening where the camera was pushing on this door and you could hear the banging coming from this basement. Later Tess would tell the story of how she couldn’t kill her son.”
Given the impact Torv made in such a short time as Tess, her own backstory would have added another dimension. Importantly, none of this happened in the games, meaning it was another one of the subtle departures from the show that has been praised across the board.
Let’s talk about THAT kiss
While many already favor live-action Tess over video game Tess, let’s talk about the fungus-shaped elephant in the room.
Tess’ heroic ending saw her reveal to Ellie and Joel that she was infected, then left to take out a horde of Cordyceps monsters. There was an awkward moment when an infected man found Tess and then stuck his tendrils in her mouth.
In an era of #MeToo, some called the scene unnecessary, while others said it fit the remixed source material and the idea that all Infected are connected through one hivemind.
Critics say it was an unworthy ending for Tess and she was clearly terrified, but remember the theory that she’s trembling as she succumbs to her infection. Whatever you think, there’s no denying it was an explosive goodbye.
One fan summed up most of the thoughts and concluded, “I don’t know how I feel about Tess’s death. I think it’s more tragic, but from her dying fighting (even knocking down two soldiers) in the game to her just losing bodily autonomy and being “kissed” by an infected… idk, unnecessarily icky.
It’s clear there was more to Tes’ story, with Joel saying “only” when Ellie tried to pry their relationship. Sadly, unless we get more flashbacks, it’s the end of the road for Torv The last of us. We add her to the list alongside Nico Parker (Sarah) of those we wish we could have spent a little more time with.