The Last of Us has fungal monsters who strut around naked covered in spores, drooling from what's left of their mouths, bleeding as puss and other bodily fluids leak out of them, and it's gross. But the newest episode of the HBO show has topped it.
Warning, spoilers for The Last of Us HBO Episode 2.
Tess meets her end in a fiery blaze of glory, taking out all the clickers as Joel and Ellie scurry to safety. It's what we expected, knowing how she dies in the game, but before she sacrifices herself, a clicker plants its lips on hers and some fungal tendrils sprawl into her mouth. Some have said it's a poetic end, her embracing the clickers she's about to join as her humanity clings to the lighter, while others have labelled it a disgusting and unnecessary addition to the clicker mythos that undermines Tess' end.
One of the complaints levied at this scene is how it feels gendered, in that it's unlikely an infected male character would be put in the same position. Tess in the game doesn't have this problem as she has a much more heroic last stand, dying with dignity. In the show, she freezes and reluctantly accepts what's happening before dropping the lighter and blowing everything up.
Going beyond the kiss, many are taking this as evidence that swapping spores for tendrils was a mistake. In the games, the infection is airborne and certain areas are more polluted than others, requiring gas masks, but this has been changed to tendrils, likely to show the actors' faces more. The kiss was an expansion of this new idea, and already it's proving divisive.
However, others took it to be a representation of the kiss of death, with Tess becoming part of the clicker hive, as a lone clicker initiated the kiss while a swarm waited behind them.
Whatever side of the fence you land on, I'm sure we can all agree that even a peck on the cheek from a clicker would be disgusting, let alone what actually happened.
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