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Let’s Talk About What Happened to Tess in ‘The Last of Us’

Tess (Anna Torv) with a wounded face in key art for 'The Last of Us'

The first two episodes of The Last of Us have proven to be a great take on the game from Naughty Dog. Co-created by Neil Druckmann (who created the game) and Chernobyl‘s Craig Mazin, the show is a masterclass in how to adapt a video game for a television audience. It is also a brilliant look at how to create characters we care about in a limited amount of time. And one of those characters is Tess.

Anna Torv as Tess Servopoulos in The Last of Us is brilliant. Tess, who had a relatively small role in the game, is Joel’s partner in the modern storyline. Seeing her pick Joel up in the game? Honestly iconic. In the show, her character has a little less brute strength and a little more of a quiet power, and it’s refreshing to see.

Spoilers ahead for the first two episodes of The Last of Us

Tess and Joel together in 'the Last of us'

While we love Tess, episode 2 of The Last of Us led to a fate that fans of the game always knew was coming. As Tess and Joel (Pedro Pascal) are trying to get Ellie (Bella Ramsey) to the Fireflies, Tess becomes infected. And while there were changes from how it happened in the game, the show stayed pretty true to Tess’ fate—and it was pretty badass.

Does Tess die in The Last of Us?

The short answer is yes. While they are being attacked by two clickers in a museum in Boston, both Tess and Ellie get bitten. Ellie is obviously fine thanks to her immunity, but then Tess reveals her neck to Joel. In the short process of them escaping and trying to get to their next location, Tess’ infection has progressed to the point where it’s clear that her time is numbered. But Ellie’s bite is already healing.

It only furthers her belief that Ellie is a beacon of hope for humanity, and Tess pleads with Joel to get her to the Fireflies. To help Joel and Ellie escape, Tess sacrifices herself and blows up the museum with all the clickers inside.

It was a heroic end and while we’re going to miss Tess, this was always her fate. Changing the circumstances to have more to do with the clickers was a nice touch. I just wish we got to see even more of Anna Torv as Tess, even though we did get to spend more time with her in the series than we did in the game. Paired with Sarah’s death, Tess’s demise is a reminder that no one is safe in the world of The Last of Us. And that does leave us with a sense of fear.

(featured image: HBO)

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Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast.