The episode time-jumps back to 2003 where we are taken to Jakarta, and we are introduced to Dr Ratna (Christine Hakim) who has been asked to examine the corpse of a woman who attacked co-workers at a flour factory. Dr Ratna notices a bite on the woman along with a fungal growth inside her mouth. It’s at this point the seriousness of the phenomenon is happening, as Dr Ratna asks a series of questions to military officer Agus Hidayat (Yayu A.W. Unru) about the other co-workers who are now missing. This happens to be one of the most important scenes in the series thus far, as we learn more about the Cordyceps and how deadly this outbreak is.
After learning that the growths have been identified as Cordyceps, and several workers from the same factory are missing, military officer Agus Hidayat asks what they can do to stop the spread. The answer is simple: according to Dr Ratna, there is no cure, and she suggests that they bomb Jakarta to stop the infection from spreading.
At this point, we are still left with some thoughts on how the infected became infected, so while viewing this episode, the old pennies start to drop, and we start to understand how the infection started to spread across the globe.
We then return to our main team, Joel and Tess, as they hold Ellie at gunpoint to question her: Why are they taking her to the Fireflies? It’s at this point Ellie reveals that the Fireflies have a secret base with doctors that are working on a vaccine. She also tells them that her DNA may be the key to unlocking prevention of infections. Joel still isn’t keen on escorting Ellie, but with Tess by his side, she convinces him to continue to follow through with delivering Ellie to the Fireflies at this secret base.
The group sets off and makes their way closer to the State House, which many may recall from the game. In this location, they go through the museum, and unfortunately for our group, they cause a collapse which attracts Clickers. These are some epic and tense scenes as they fight to survive against the mutated hosts. Ellie is now bitten again, but they do in fact make it out in one piece and move towards the State House. This scene differs from the game, but it’s a great change as we can now see just how the infected draw themselves together to attack the non-infected.
As Tess struggles to find clues on where to go and what the next move is, Joel is adamant that they leave to go home. Tess then reveals that she can’t, as she too was bitten in the last fight against the deadly Clickers. Sadly, we have to say goodbye to Tess, and in a must-watch ending, I’ll leave you to watch the harrowing conclusion of her sacrifice for Joel and Ellie.
Episode 2: Infected
Director: Neil Druckmann
Written by: Craig Mazin
Air date: January 22nd 2023 (January 22nd, 2023 Australia)
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