The Last of Us Explained: How the TV Show Changed a Major Character’s Death

Second episode of The last of us ended on a high note as fans saw the death of one of the main characters – warning: spoilers ahead The last of us Section 2.

What happened to Tess in The Last of Us?

Tess Servopoulos (Anna Torv) died at the end of The last of us Episode 2. Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Tess put their smuggling skills to work to deliver Ellie (Bella Ramsey) to the Fireflies, hoping to receive the battery-charged truck as part of their deal with the revolutionary militia group. In turn, the Fireflies were interested in seeing Ellie safe, as she seemed to be the only person to survive the cordyceps infection without turning into a zombie.

It wasn’t an easy road that led the trio to the Fireflies’ base in the Massachusetts State House. The protagonist trio sneaked through an old museum full of Clickers after noticing that their traditional route was occupied by an army of runners and stalkers. Despite their best efforts, Joel, Tess and Ellie failed to pass unnoticed through the Boston ruins when the Clickers attacked them. The trio survived the mushroom horde attack, but paid a heavy price. Somewhere during the clash, Tess was bitten by one of the creatures, but managed to survive and hide the truth from the others. “Infected” gave more details on how the infection worked, showing that all the infected were connected through some kind of underground fungal network.

To the protagonists’ dismay, they found the Fireflies’ base full of corpses, who alerted the other zombies to the trio’s presence through the mushroom network. When Joel appeared to leave Ellie behind and return “home” to the Quarantine Zone, Tess told him the truth about her condition and asked him to bring Ellie to the Fireflies to be studied. Ellie was the only person bitten and survived to tell the others without transforming. “Save who you can,” Tess said, urging Joel and Ellie to run. Tess then prepared to welcome the zombie horde into the Massachusetts State House with grenades and plenty of flammable material.

How did Tess’s death differ from the game?

Tess’s death is where the series took a different direction from the Naughty Dog video game. In the game, Tess sacrificed herself after being bitten by taking on a platoon of military alone and was quickly knocked out by a gunshot. In the live-action adaptation, Tess desperately looked to light her lighter before the horde noticed her. One of the Stalkers approached and kissed her as cordyceps tendrils reached out from the corpse’s mouth to the woman. At the very last second, Tess lit her lighter and threw it away, causing a violent explosion. Common to the two deaths was Tess’ unwillingness to become a zombie, preferring to die rather than lose her humanity.

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