Spoilers for The Last of Us Episode 2
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: When Tess died ending the second episode of The Last of Us, Joel and Ellie embarked on their own quest for a specific place. Joel, Tess, and Ellie continued to the State House to take Ellie to the Fireflies after encountering two clickers in a museum early in the episode. Even Tess, who was bitten by a clicker, had contracted the infection because the fireflies at the State House were either dead or sick.
Tess begs Joel to give Ellie over to the fireflies because she is now desperate to complete her mission due to her awkward reaction to the bite, which has made her more confident than ever about Ellie’s immunity. In the video games, Tess manages this by instructing Joel to take Ellie to Tommy, but in Episode 2 of The Last of Us, Joel and Ellie travel to a different location that the radio song from the previous episode alludes to. Joel is instructed by Tess to take Ellie to Frank and Bill, two of her contacts in the smuggling business.
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Tess’ death and infected tentacles explained
The Last of Us Episode 2 ends with the horrific death of Tess, as evidenced by the revelation of her bite and Joel’s reluctant agreement to take Ellie to Bill and Frank. Tess stays behind to blow up the State House to delay her transformation into a monster, sometimes allowing Joel and Ellie (played by Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey, respectively) and wreaking no doubt overdue revenge on the infected. Tess waits for the horde with a lighter after emptying oil drums and throwing firefly grenades on the oil-covered ground. The result is one of the most chilling scenes from The Last of Us yet.
This sequence references the vines that replace the game’s original spurs in HBO’s The Last of Us. Episodes 1 and 2 featured the tendrils emerging from the lips of their affected hosts, explaining how the disease is spread through bites. A walker presses its tendrils into Tess’ lips in a horrifying image as Tess has been bitten and will likely show signs of it such as tendrils. Aside from the chronological shifts in The Last of Us, the vines represent the biggest change in the game so far.
Tess tells Joel to take Ellie to Bill and Frank after asking him to continue her mission. She promises that they will take Ellie out of his care and give her to the fireflies. The radio message and glimpses of Bill and Frank in the show’s marketing videos strongly suggest they live in a town outside of Boston QZ. The explanation for this was also suggested by Ellie’s decoding of the radio code. The radio code was found to indicate whether Bill and Frank had news, had no news, or were warning of danger.
The creators of The Last of Us have announced that Bill and Frank’s storyline will change slightly for the upcoming season of the HBO series. In the game, Bill is alone when Joel and Ellie arrive in his town. While Frank is mentioned, he is only seen physically once, lying dead after failing to escape from Bill and the town. The relationship between the two is hinted at but never fully explained.
New episodes of The Last of Us are released every Sunday on HBO.