The Last of Us Episode 2 Review: Anna Torv Steals the Show as Tess

Leaping ahead in time to rejoin Ellie, Joel, and Tess as they proceed their trek out of Boston’s QZ seems like a breath of recent air. Ramsay, Pascal, and Torv are a delight to observe. They don’t simply transfer the plot together with their dialogue—they act with intention, and you’ll sense the emotional underpinnings in each uncomfortable pause and anxious look. Joel hasn’t felt happiness or hope in a very long time. This isn’t explicitly defined, however you may see in Pascal’s efficiency that Joel by no means totally recovered from dropping Sarah. His relationship with Tess is clearly a deep (and considerably darkish) one, however the reminiscence and fallout of dropping his daughter has decreased him to being a perpetually unhappy bastard.

Ellie simply could be the hope he’s been disadvantaged of for thus lengthy, however he’s clearly too terrified to attach together with her contemplating the emotional scars dropping Sarah left. He’s standoff-ish throughout their sit-down chat within the hallway of the deserted resort, however you may see his partitions begin to break down as he spends extra time together with her. 

The episode all delivers a second followers have been eagerly awaiting: the introduction of clickers within the deserted museum (whose exterior, midway swallowed by overgrowths of flora and fungi, appears to be like spectacular, by the best way). The clickers look appropriately mortifying, and one way or the other sound even scarier than they appear. They translate completely to TV, and actually, the complete museum clicker melee is masterfully choreographed. It’s taken straight from the sport, and even includes a shot of Joel and Ellie crouched collectively behind cowl as a clicker lurks across the nook, evoking all of the feels for followers accustomed to that iconic visible of the duo in motion.

Sometimes, when a sport adaptation makes a direct reference to the sport it’s primarily based on, it’s cringe-y and distracting as all hell. However on this present, completely not one of the nods to the sport appear misplaced, irrespective of how straight ripped from the sport they’re. It additionally appears to work seamlessly from one medium to the opposite, one other instance being the swap to first-person perspective inside Joel’s truck within the first episode. That is extra a testomony to simply how cinematically sturdy the sport was when it launched virtually 10 years in the past on the PS3.

And like the sport, the episode can’t assist however take a darkish and unhappy flip by the tip. We come to seek out out later that Tess has been contaminated by one of many clickers, however they’re so near finishing their mission that she retains Joel and Ellie at nighttime in order to not deter them. She is aware of Ellie is value preventing for, and together with her heroic final act, she passes on that message to Joel. 

The sophistication of Torv’s efficiency is value shouting out particularly. The combo of dedication and sorrow on Torv’s face as Tess carries out her last smuggling mission is heartbreaking, and her exchanges with Pascal are superbly complicated and downright tragic at occasions. 

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