'The Last of Us': How are the Infected connected to each other?

'The Last of Us': How are the Infected connected to each other?
A still from 'The Last of Us' (HBO)

HBO’s ‘The Last of Us’ is based on a video game series of the same name and keeps a lot of things in the same way as the game. However, TV or movie adaptations always change a few elements to give a new spin to the story. Even though the HBO series is pretty close to what people saw during the game, there is one significant change that viewers saw in the second episode, and is connected with the monsters that have been created by the outbreak.

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The makers didn’t take the safe path of just remaining faithful to the source material and didn’t shy away from making some changes that will make things even more interesting. For the uninitiated, the ‘infected’ are humans who have been infected by the Cordyceps brain infection and subsequently mutated into horrific new forms. So, in Episode 2, we get a closer look at the infected when Joel, Ellie, and Tess continue their journey.

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Samuel Hoeksema as Ticker in 'The Last of Us' (HBO)
Samuel Hoeksema as Ticker in 'The Last of Us' (HBO)

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The trio reaches a hotel and sees what lies ahead for them. During the scene, viewers see that the safest path has now turned into the most dangerous one because of a large group of zombies. Ellie seems to think that all the infected behave in the same manner and that’s when Tess tells her how they are connected to each other. Tess notes that they are essentially a part of a hive mind and the living cordyceps fungus are all over the place. This means, if you step on it or alert it, it sends a signal to the infected in the immediate area and they are ready to rip you apart.

“The fungus also grows underground. Long fibers like wires, some of them stretching over a mile. Now, you step on a patch of cordyceps in one place and you can wake a dozen Infected from somewhere else. Now they know where you are, now they come. You’re not immune from being ripped apart,” Tess says.

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Anna Torv as Tess in 'The Last of Us' (HBO)
Anna Torv as Tess in 'The Last of Us' (HBO)

A few moments later, we get to see what Tess told Ellie. In the scene where the trio enters the State House to discuss their next strategy, Joel and Ellie find out that Tess is infected. A dead body gets off the ground and starts moving toward them. Joel doesn’t take much time to kill it. However, it triggers the hivemind response, and every infected person in the area runs toward the building.

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Now, that’s a major change from the game because, in that particular scene, it’s FEDRA that barges into the State House building.

The scene ends on a tragic note as Tess sacrifices herself and asks Joel to continue with the journey and transport Ellie to the final destination.

‘The Last of Us’ returns to HBO with a new episode every Sunday at 9 pm EST.

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