‘The Last Of Us’ Episode 2: Teaser Trailer, Breakdown: What Horrors Can We Expect In The Second Episode?

The 2013 video game “The Last of Us” by Sony Computer Entertainment is still remembered as one of the greatest video games ever created. However, Craig Mazin’s TV series adaptation of the game of the same name is quickly heading to become the best-ever video game adaptation if fan reviews are anything to go by. After a thrilling and riveting first episode that aired on January 16, HBO has now released a teaser trailer for the second episode, and hard-core fans of the game and the series are already splitting hairs trying to find hidden clues and Easter eggs in it. If you have played the game, you may be able to connect the dots quickly, but if you haven’t, sit back as we go through every clue that the teaser has to offer.


Spoilers Ahead

Creatures, Freaks, And Monsters

The last we saw of the group of Joel, Tess, and Ellie, they had just murdered a FEDRA soldier outside the city gates and run into an infection-prone zone. As the three can be seen making their way through the ruins of a city, the iconic twin skyscrapers, with one leaning onto the next, come into view. These buildings form a landmark spot in the game, and it denotes that the group is in very dangerous waters. The teaser opens in a room with glass boxes and Joel, Ellie, and Tess standing ready as creatures fumble through the dark. Ellie’s voiceover can be heard when she asks Joel if he has killed an infected before. This room with glass boxes is none other than the Civil War museum, where an important portion of the game takes place. It’s here that we’re introduced to the Clickers—infected people who have been exposed to the infection for so long that the fungus has grown out of their eyes, blinding them. That’s why they depend on echolocation -using clicks similar to bats and responding based on the vibrations received. Thus, standing behind glass walls hides Joel and the rest from these creatures, and their eyes are destroyed so they can safely use torchlight.


The next scene is of Ellie approaching another infected, and in the voiceover, she asks Joel if it ever bothered him killing these creatures, given that they used to be humans, but he doesn’t respond. The creature that she approaches with her switchblade at the ready is a stalker that’s trapped under rubble with its head sticking out. The makeup and design are extremely well-done, as the tendrils sticking out from its eye make the creature look even better than in the game. Stalkers aren’t completely mindless monsters like the Clickers, though they’re heading in that direction. They retain some of their human intellect to know that a parasite is eating through their brains to convert them into zombies, which is why many Stalkers can be found crying in the game. You’d almost pity these things if they weren’t so hideous. 

Ellie takes in the vastness of the unknown world while standing in front of the twin skyscrapers, as Joel’s voiceover says that he’d prefer that neither of them shares their past with the other. In a flurry of scenes, a lot of Ellie’s backstory is shown. She’s seen approaching a merry-go-round with another girl. This girl has been mentioned in Episode 1, but nothing else has been revealed about her identity. However, if you played the “Left Behind” DLC of the game, you’ll immediately know that Riley was Ellie’s best friend, and that the two met at the military school. Although she had left to become a member of the Fireflies, one day, she returned, and the two cherished their evening in a shopping mall in ruins until Riley revealed that she’d be posted in another city. Ellie and her get into a fight, but eventually, she agrees with Riley’s decision. However, before Riley can leave, Ellie starts crying and begs her friend to stay, who immediately agrees. Overjoyed, Ellie kisses her. Just then, the mall is attacked by the infected, and the girls are bitten. In the hours after being bitten, Riley gets infected and changes, while Ellie doesn’t. But this is all in the game, and the teaser just shows Ellie rubbing the bite mark while screaming. It can be guessed that immediately after this, she was taken by the Fireflies because she’s wearing the same t-shirt she was wearing when we first saw her in Episode 1, in chains and held captive by the organization. 


A Host Of New Characters

In the teaser, the three walk toward the Capitol Building, which serves as a landmark for them in the game. Tess tells Ellie that their goal is to keep her alive because she can be easily ripped to shreds by the creatures, even if she doesn’t turn when bitten. Joel shushes the lot in the museum, and a close-up shot of a Clicker screaming reveals how freakish these things look. The scene changes and with quickening pace, an RV bursts through a padlocked gate as Bill talks to someone named Frank in the former’s hometown, Lincoln. Bill (Nick Offerman) is a paranoid and slightly unhinged survivor whose traps were quite annoying in the game. He tells Frank, who seems to have been added exclusively for the show, that out there in the open country, he can’t hope to make friends because there’s nobody to make friends with. This is in line with his character, paranoid as he is. The next scene is of Frank crouching with a gun in hand during the night while flaming torches can be seen in the distance. This might be some enemy gang or rebels, probably led by the next character we’re introduced to.

Kathleen (Melanie Lynskey) is a character that the series introduces, and she seems to be leading a gang of raucous and rebellious people. She’s seen with a gun in hand, pointing at someone, and in all probability, this scene happens in Pittsburgh, given how the bulldozers have “RUN” spray-painted on them. These rebels might not be any better than the FEDRA that they plan to overthrow, as the game shows how these rebels use guile, violence, and deceit to harm innocents. The next scene is set in Jackson, a place covered in snow where situations seem less dire. However, we don’t enter Jackson until the second game, “Last of Us 2,” and the scene carries a few Easter eggs. A poster on the left side informs about a light festival that was to be hosted in 2003 when the outbreak happened. On the right is the Tipsy Bison restaurant, a canonical establishment where an important scene happens in the game.


Rapidly changing scenes show Tommy, Joel’s brother, telling him that Joel’s life stopping for him shouldn’t mean that his own life also needs to come to a standstill. This is mixed with a scene of Joel looking at the watch his daughter gifted him—another iconic scene from the game. Henry and Sam, brothers whom we meet in the game, are briefly shown, where the older Henry uses sign language to communicate with Sam. While neither brother was deaf in the game, it’s possible that they have adapted their own way of communicating to survive in a world where monsters use sounds to track their prey. As Tommy closes the door on Joel, a Bloater rises. A bBoater is a severe case of infection where the creature grows to be massively strong that’s immensely strong and can spew acid at the player. In blink-and-you-miss-it shots, Joel is seen smashing something; there is an explosion, a creature roars, and a monster attacks Ellie.

Is The Final Scene A Major Spoiler?

The final scene shows Joel tiptoeing down a corridor full of rooms with a gun in hand as bullet shells fall to the floor. This may hint at the finale of the series, which means massive spoilers follow.

In all probability, this is the scene where Joel learns that the doctors plan to cut the mutated strain from Ellie’s brain, which will result in her death. Not ready to lose someone who reminds him so much of his daughter, Joel terminates all the doctors and the soldiers in there. Ellie’s voiceover says that things can’t be done half-heartedly and that they need to finish the journey they ventured on. A lot of mysteries will be unraveled on January 22, Sunday, when the next episode drops, and we can hardly wait.

See more: ‘The Last Of Us’ Character: Joel Miller, Explained – Looking Into Joel’s PTSD-driven Actions In Episode 1

Indrayudh Talukdar
Indrayudh Talukdar
Indrayudh has a master's degree in English literature from Calcutta University and a passion for all things in cinema. He loves writing about the finer aspects of cinema, although he is also an equally big fan of webseries and anime. In his free time, Indrayudh loves playing video games and reading classic novels.

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