Episode 2 of The Last of Us has made it clear that the series lives up to the original video game, and its good numbers (its audience has increased by 22% from the first to the second chapter) make people talk about renewing it for a Season 2 in which Abby should appear.
The appearance of the clickers has meant that this second chapter will be remembered for the terror it has aroused. However, not everything has finished working in the series… or at least that is the opinion of some fans of the saga.
The character of Tess, played more than effectively by the Australian Anna Torv, is the protagonist throughout the chapter. As in the game, she is the one who shows Joel’s evolution throughout the first act and the one in charge of laying the foundations of the dystopian world in which they live. However, there are certain differences between her appearance in the series and her role in the PlayStation 3 game that have not convinced everyone.
The main difference is not shown so much in their role as in their attitude. In the original game, Tess is a very competent smuggler who makes all the important decisions alongside Joel. He is not afraid of violence and exercises it with even more force than Joel, without ever doubting his actions.
A more sensitive and less radical Tess
This causes Robert to have a special fear of Tess, who is shown as a rebel without a cause. In the original game, she tandems with Joel and both are seen as very dangerous people in Boston, and she is the one making all the deals and handling “The Business”. However, here she is quite a bit more sensitive and tries to handle other avenues before resorting to direct action.
In addition, her presentation in the series already makes it clear that she is quite different from how she was shown in the game. In this one she appears shouting that she is not a firefly to the FEDRA agents. Ignoring her protests, the officers throw her to the ground, handcuff her and take her away. This serves to portray the ferocity of FEDRA, but it is something that the Tess in the video game would not have allowed.
On the other hand, the signs of the love he feels for Joel (and vice versa) in the series become much more evident than in the video game, even sharing a bed (and with a very clear ending). This helps us feel more empathy for Tess at the end of the second episode, but it leaves her again as a woman who puts sensitivity to work above, and it is something that does not quite fit with the original Tess.
Finally, Tess’ death in episode 2 occurs under similar circumstances to her death in the game, but with a rather drastic twist. After crossing Boston to deliver Ellie to a group of fireflies, Joel and Tess arrive at the rendezvous site and realize that they have been completely wiped out by the fungus. But, just before, Tess had been bitten by an infected and knows her time is limited. Tess pleads with Joel to take Ellie away from the scene and pin his hopes on her. As a horde of infected head towards them, she sets the whole place on fire to save them.
However, in the game the infected were exchanged for the Phaedra, and Tess ends her life in a shootout. Craig Mazin, however, has justified this change as it makes more sense for the infected to be the ones chasing the heroes instead of Phaedra. It’s a change that helps increase the threat of the series, but it leaves some loose ends in the plot that fans will miss.