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Infected (The Last of Us)

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"Infected"
The Last of Us episode
An infected human moves in to kiss a shocked woman, with tendrils connecting their mouths.
The infection is spread to Tess via mouth. The scene was written and filmed like a kiss to underscore the theme of love.[1] It sparked both positive and negative responses.[2][3][4]
Episode no.Season 1
Episode 2
Directed byNeil Druckmann
Written byCraig Mazin
Produced by
  • Greg Spence
  • Cecil O'Connor
Featured music
Full list
Cinematography byKsenia Sereda
Editing byMark Hartzell
Original air dateJanuary 22, 2023 (2023-01-22)
Running time53 minutes
Guest appearances
Episode chronology
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"When You're Lost in the Darkness"
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"Long Long Time"
List of episodes

"Infected" is the second episode of the American post-apocalyptic drama television series The Last of Us. The episode was written by series co-creator Craig Mazin and directed by co-creator Neil Druckmann, the writer and creative director of the 2013 video game on which the series is based. It aired on HBO on January 22, 2023. In the episode, Joel (Pedro Pascal) and his partner Tess (Anna Torv) escort the young Ellie (Bella Ramsey) through a biological contamination area in Boston to reach the Massachusetts State House.

The episode was Druckmann's first experience in directing television; he found it reinforced and reflected his experience in directing video games. "Infected" introduced clickers, mutated creatures who rely on sound to move, designed using prosthetics with the game's concept art as reference material. Filming for the episode took place in Calgary, Alberta, in October and November 2021. The episode received positive reviews, with praise for its writing, direction, production design, and performances, particularly Torv's. It was watched by 5.7 million viewers on the first day.

Discover more about Infected (The Last of Us) related topics

Drama (film and television)

Drama (film and television)

In film and television, drama is a category or genre of narrative fiction intended to be more serious than humorous in tone. Drama of this kind is usually qualified with additional terms that specify its particular super-genre, macro-genre, or micro-genre, such as soap opera, police crime drama, political drama, legal drama, historical drama, domestic drama, teen drama, and comedy-drama (dramedy). These terms tend to indicate a particular setting or subject-matter, or else they qualify the otherwise serious tone of a drama with elements that encourage a broader range of moods. To these ends, a primary element in a drama is the occurrence of conflict—emotional, social, or otherwise—and its resolution in the course of the storyline.

Craig Mazin

Craig Mazin

Craig Mazin is an American screenwriter and film director. He is best known for creating the five-part HBO miniseries Chernobyl, based on the nuclear disaster of the same name in 1986. His work earned him two Primetime Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special and Outstanding Limited Series. Mazin is also known for his extensive work on the comedy genre, namely Scary Movie 3, Scary Movie 4, Superhero Movie, Identity Thief, and the two sequels to The Hangover Trilogy. He is also the co-creator and co-writer of the HBO series The Last Of Us, based on the video game of the same name, alongside the game's creator, Neil Druckmann.

Neil Druckmann

Neil Druckmann

Neil Druckmann is an Israeli-American writer, creative director, designer, and programmer who has been co-president of the video game developer Naughty Dog since 2020. He is best known for his work on the Naughty Dog game franchises Uncharted and The Last of Us, having created the latter.

HBO

HBO

Home Box Office (HBO) is an American premium television network, which is the flagship property of namesake parent subsidiary Home Box Office, Inc., itself a unit owned by Warner Bros. Discovery. The overall Home Box Office business unit is based at Warner Bros. Discovery's corporate headquarters inside 30 Hudson Yards in Manhattan's West Side district. Programming featured on the network consists primarily of theatrically released motion pictures and original television programs as well as made-for-cable movies, documentaries, occasional comedy and concert specials, and periodic interstitial programs.

Joel (The Last of Us)

Joel (The Last of Us)

Joel Miller is a fictional character in the video game series The Last of Us by Naughty Dog. In the games, he is portrayed by Troy Baker through motion capture and voice acting; in the television adaptation, he is portrayed by Pedro Pascal. In the first game, The Last of Us (2013), Joel serves as the main protagonist and is tasked with escorting the young Ellie across a post-apocalyptic United States in an attempt to create a potential cure for an infection to which Ellie is immune. He also appears briefly in the downloadable content campaign The Last of Us: Left Behind (2014). Joel is killed in The Last of Us Part II (2020) by a woman named Abby, whose father he had killed in the first game, prompting Ellie to seek revenge.

Pedro Pascal

Pedro Pascal

José Pedro Balmaceda Pascal is a Chilean and American actor. After nearly two decades of taking small roles in film and television, Pascal rose to prominence for portraying Oberyn Martell during the fourth season of the HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones (2014) and Javier Peña in the Netflix crime series Narcos (2015–2017). Since 2019, he has starred as the title character in the Disney+ Star Wars series The Mandalorian and since 2023, he has played Joel in the HBO drama series The Last of Us. He also reprised his Mandalorian role in the spin-off series The Book of Boba Fett (2022).

Anna Torv

Anna Torv

Anna Torv is an Australian actress. She is known for her roles as Olivia Dunham on the Fox science fiction series Fringe (2008–2013), Wendy Carr in the Netflix crime thriller series Mindhunter (2017–2019), and Tess in the HBO post-apocalyptic drama series The Last of Us (2023). Her performance in Fringe earned her four Saturn Awards for Best Actress on Television and nominations for the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actress in a Drama Series.

Ellie (The Last of Us)

Ellie (The Last of Us)

Ellie is a character in the video game series The Last of Us by Naughty Dog. She is portrayed by Ashley Johnson through motion capture and voice acting; in the television adaptation, she is portrayed by Bella Ramsey. In the first game, The Last of Us (2013), Joel Miller is tasked with escorting a 14-year-old Ellie across a post-apocalyptic United States in an attempt to create a cure for an infection to which Ellie is immune. While players briefly assume control of Ellie for a portion of the game, the artificial intelligence primarily controls her actions, often assisting in combat by attacking or identifying enemies. Ellie reappeared as the playable character in the downloadable content prequel The Last of Us: Left Behind, in which she spends time with her friend Riley. In The Last of Us Part II (2020), players control a 19-year-old Ellie as she seeks revenge on Abby for Joel's death.

Bella Ramsey

Bella Ramsey

Isabella May Ramsey is an English actress. She is known for her breakthrough role as young noblewoman Lyanna Mormont in the HBO fantasy television series Game of Thrones (2016–2019), and subsequent television roles as Mildred Hubble in the 2017 CBBC series The Worst Witch, the voice of the title character in the Netflix animated series Hilda (2018–present), and Jane Grey in the 2022 Starz drama Becoming Elizabeth.

Boston

Boston

Boston, officially the City of Boston, is the state capital and most populous city of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, as well as the cultural and financial center of the New England region of the United States. It is the 24th-most populous city in the country. The city boundaries encompass an area of about 48.4 sq mi (125 km2) and a population of 675,647 as of 2020. The city is the economic and cultural anchor of a substantially larger metropolitan area known as Greater Boston, a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) home to a census-estimated 4.8 million people in 2016 and ranking as the tenth-largest MSA in the country. A broader combined statistical area (CSA), generally corresponding to the commuting area and including Providence, Rhode Island, is home to approximately 8.2 million people, making it the sixth most populous in the United States.

Massachusetts State House

Massachusetts State House

The Massachusetts State House, also known as the Massachusetts Statehouse or the New State House, is the state capitol and seat of government for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, located in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston. The building houses the Massachusetts General Court and the offices of the Governor of Massachusetts. The building, designed by architect Charles Bulfinch, was completed in January 1798 at a cost of $133,333, and has repeatedly been enlarged since. It is one of the oldest state capitols in current use. It is considered a masterpiece of Federal architecture and among Bulfinch's finest works, and was designated a National Historic Landmark for its architectural significance.

Calgary

Calgary

Calgary is the largest city in the western Canadian province of Alberta and the largest metro area of the three Prairie Provinces. As of 2021, the city proper had a population of 1,306,784 and a metropolitan population of 1,481,806, making it the third-largest city and fifth-largest metropolitan area in Canada.

Plot

In 2003, two days prior to events in Austin, authorities in Jakarta ask Dr. Ratna (Christine Hakim), a mycology professor, to examine the corpse of a woman who was recently killed after attacking her co-workers at a flour factory. Ratna notices the corpse has a human bite mark on its leg and fungal growths in its mouth. After learning the growths have been identified as Cordyceps and several workers from the same factory are missing, military officer Agus Hidayat (Yayu A.W. Unru [id]) asks her what can be done to prevent further spread. Ratna tells him to bomb the city and wipe out everyone living in it.

In 2023, Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Tess (Anna Torv) hold Ellie (Bella Ramsey) at gunpoint and demand to know why they were tasked with escorting her. Ellie reveals the Fireflies have established a secret camp out west with doctors working on a vaccine to prevent infection, and her DNA may be the key to ensuring the success of the vaccine. Joel demands they return to the quarantine zone but Tess, still skeptical of Ellie's immunity, nonetheless convinces him to follow through with their original arrangement as the Fireflies will still give them supplies.

As the group make their way towards the Massachusetts State House, Tess discovers a large pack of infected blocking the route she planned to use, explaining to Ellie the fungi can sense uninfected humans across long distances and draw its hosts towards them. Tess suggests going through a museum. A roof cave-in attracts two "clickers", mutated hosts who rely on sound to move. Ellie gets bitten before Joel and Tess can kill the clickers. When they arrive at the State House, the Fireflies do not come out to meet them. Tess checks inside and finds all of them dead: Joel finds evidence of infection and surmises they killed each other. Tess tries to find clues on where to go next, but Joel tells her the job is finished and they will return home. Tess tells him that she cannot go back, revealing a bite mark on her neck. She reveals Ellie's mark has already healed, proving she is immune.

Joel shoots an infected Firefly who tries to attack them, revealing their location to other infected hosts in the city. Tess tells Joel to take Ellie to fellow smugglers Bill and Frank, since they will be able to help. She covers the room with gasoline and grenades as Joel and Ellie leave. An infected man begins the process of converting Tess when she ignites the building, killing the creatures. Joel and Ellie watch as the State House explodes before Joel walks away.

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When You're Lost in the Darkness

When You're Lost in the Darkness

"When You're Lost in the Darkness" is the series premiere of the American post-apocalyptic drama television series The Last of Us. Written by series creators Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann and directed by Mazin, the episode aired on HBO on January 15, 2023. It introduced the character Joel, whose daughter Sarah is killed during the chaos of a global pandemic outbreak caused by a mutated form of the Cordyceps fungus that turns its victims into bloodthirsty attackers. Twenty years later, Joel and his partner Tess set out to find Joel's brother Tommy and are tasked with smuggling the young Ellie in exchange for supplies.

Jakarta

Jakarta

Jakarta, officially the Special Capital Region of Jakarta, is the capital and largest city of Indonesia. Lying on the northwest coast of Java, the world's most populous island, Jakarta is the largest city in Southeast Asia and serves as the diplomatic capital of ASEAN.

Christine Hakim

Christine Hakim

Herlina Christine Natalia Hakim is an Indonesian actress, film producer, and activist. Born to a devout Muslim family of a mixed-race background in Jambi, she grew up in Yogyakarta, aspiring to be an architect or psychologist. This changed after she was discovered by Teguh Karya for his 1973 movie Cinta Pertama, a role which garnered her a Citra Award for Best Actress and convinced her to follow a career in acting. Since then, she has starred in numerous films, including 1977's Badai Pasti Berlalu and 1988's Tjoet Nja' Dhien; she also had a minor role in the 2010 Hollywood movie Eat Pray Love. As of 2011, she has won six Citra Awards, received a lifetime achievement award from the Cinemanila International Film Festival, and served as a member of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival

Mycology

Mycology

Mycology is the branch of biology concerned with the study of fungi, including their genetic and biochemical properties, their taxonomy and their use to humans, including as a source for tinder, traditional medicine, food, and entheogens, as well as their dangers, such as toxicity or infection.

Cordyceps

Cordyceps

Cordyceps is a genus of ascomycete fungi that includes about 600 species. Most Cordyceps species are endoparasitoids, parasitic mainly on insects and other arthropods ; a few are parasitic on other fungi. The generic name Cordyceps is derived from the Greek word κορδύλη kordýlē, meaning "club", and the Latin suffix -ceps, meaning "-headed".

Joel (The Last of Us)

Joel (The Last of Us)

Joel Miller is a fictional character in the video game series The Last of Us by Naughty Dog. In the games, he is portrayed by Troy Baker through motion capture and voice acting; in the television adaptation, he is portrayed by Pedro Pascal. In the first game, The Last of Us (2013), Joel serves as the main protagonist and is tasked with escorting the young Ellie across a post-apocalyptic United States in an attempt to create a potential cure for an infection to which Ellie is immune. He also appears briefly in the downloadable content campaign The Last of Us: Left Behind (2014). Joel is killed in The Last of Us Part II (2020) by a woman named Abby, whose father he had killed in the first game, prompting Ellie to seek revenge.

Pedro Pascal

Pedro Pascal

José Pedro Balmaceda Pascal is a Chilean and American actor. After nearly two decades of taking small roles in film and television, Pascal rose to prominence for portraying Oberyn Martell during the fourth season of the HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones (2014) and Javier Peña in the Netflix crime series Narcos (2015–2017). Since 2019, he has starred as the title character in the Disney+ Star Wars series The Mandalorian and since 2023, he has played Joel in the HBO drama series The Last of Us. He also reprised his Mandalorian role in the spin-off series The Book of Boba Fett (2022).

Anna Torv

Anna Torv

Anna Torv is an Australian actress. She is known for her roles as Olivia Dunham on the Fox science fiction series Fringe (2008–2013), Wendy Carr in the Netflix crime thriller series Mindhunter (2017–2019), and Tess in the HBO post-apocalyptic drama series The Last of Us (2023). Her performance in Fringe earned her four Saturn Awards for Best Actress on Television and nominations for the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actress in a Drama Series.

Ellie (The Last of Us)

Ellie (The Last of Us)

Ellie is a character in the video game series The Last of Us by Naughty Dog. She is portrayed by Ashley Johnson through motion capture and voice acting; in the television adaptation, she is portrayed by Bella Ramsey. In the first game, The Last of Us (2013), Joel Miller is tasked with escorting a 14-year-old Ellie across a post-apocalyptic United States in an attempt to create a cure for an infection to which Ellie is immune. While players briefly assume control of Ellie for a portion of the game, the artificial intelligence primarily controls her actions, often assisting in combat by attacking or identifying enemies. Ellie reappeared as the playable character in the downloadable content prequel The Last of Us: Left Behind, in which she spends time with her friend Riley. In The Last of Us Part II (2020), players control a 19-year-old Ellie as she seeks revenge on Abby for Joel's death.

Bella Ramsey

Bella Ramsey

Isabella May Ramsey is an English actress. She is known for her breakthrough role as young noblewoman Lyanna Mormont in the HBO fantasy television series Game of Thrones (2016–2019), and subsequent television roles as Mildred Hubble in the 2017 CBBC series The Worst Witch, the voice of the title character in the Netflix animated series Hilda (2018–present), and Jane Grey in the 2022 Starz drama Becoming Elizabeth.

Massachusetts State House

Massachusetts State House

The Massachusetts State House, also known as the Massachusetts Statehouse or the New State House, is the state capitol and seat of government for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, located in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston. The building houses the Massachusetts General Court and the offices of the Governor of Massachusetts. The building, designed by architect Charles Bulfinch, was completed in January 1798 at a cost of $133,333, and has repeatedly been enlarged since. It is one of the oldest state capitols in current use. It is considered a masterpiece of Federal architecture and among Bulfinch's finest works, and was designated a National Historic Landmark for its architectural significance.

Production

Conception and writing

"Infected" was series co-creator Neil Druckmann's first experience in directing television.[5]
"Infected" was series co-creator Neil Druckmann's first experience in directing television.[5]

The Last of Us series creators Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann respectively wrote and directed "Infected"; Druckmann was the writer and creative director of the video game on which the series is based.[6] The Directors Guild of Canada revealed Druckmann was assigned to direct an episode in September 2021;[7] in February 2022, Druckmann confirmed he directed an episode and said his experience reinforced and reflected his experience in directing games.[8] He previously predicted the experience would be significantly different than directing games, but noted several similarities after witnessing Mazin direct the first episode. He found the biggest difference was the inability to make changes after production; in game development, he is able to request changes to factors such as framing, lighting, clothing, environments, lighting, and weather. He spent over a month preparing for the episode as it was his first experience in directing television.[5] Pascal considered Druckmann the most open and excited of the show's directors, and Ramsey found his feedback believable due to his proximity to the source material.[9] In January 2023, it was revealed Druckmann directed the second episode.[10] Rotten Tomatoes listed the episode's title in December 2022 as "Cordyceps Ordo Seclorum";[11] Mazin clarified it was "an early idea" that was later replaced as "it doesn't really make much sense".[12]

An early version of the cold open featured an unseen individual hitting a door, later revealed to be Tess's infected son who she locked in a basement as she was unable to kill him; it was cut before production as the writers felt it did not fit.[1]: 14:08  Torv and the writers thought Tess's decision to keep Ellie safe was to redeem past actions in her life.[13]: 3:18  Mazin ultimately set the cold open in Indonesia to disorient the audience, a technique he was inspired to use from Vince Gilligan's television work. He found episodic storytelling allowed an opportunity to view the origins of the pandemic and demonstrate its global reach.[1]: 7:45  The original plan was to feature a montage of cities around the world, but they lacked the budget.[1]: 9:05  The writers felt following a single character—and her brief connection with one other character—granted a greater sense of dread and grounded the events in reality.[1]: 9:23 [14] The opening scene uses the song "Hampa" by Ari Lasso.[15]

Mazin wanted the clickers to resemble the in-game design through prosthetics; he felt using visual effects would have lessened their impact.[1]: 18:24  Barrie and Sarah Gower, with whom Mazin had worked on Chernobyl, were engaged to create the prosthetics.[13]: 0:31 [14] Their team found themselves continually referring to the original concept art from the game.[13]: 0:44  The performers of the clickers were fans of the game and understood their movement.[13]: 1:17  The silent conversation between Joel and Ellie was added during reshoots as executive producer Carolyn Strauss did not understand how clickers operate.[1]: 19:58  In the game, Tess sacrifices herself to provide Joel and Ellie time to escape pursuing soldiers; in the episode, they are replaced with infected. Mazin considered it illogical for soldiers to patrol so far away from the quarantine zone and felt replacing them with infected granted the opportunity to demonstrate the connectivity between the creatures.[1]: 24:58  Mazin felt the kiss between Tess and the infected underscored the theme of love, noting the creatures were still capable of love through their spread of the fungus.[1]: 29:08  Druckmann wanted to frame and light the shot of the kiss in a beautiful way to emphasize its creepiness.[1]: 28:11 

Joel's final glance at Ellie in the final scene was an unscripted addition by Pascal; Druckmann felt it demonstrated Joel's frustration with Ellie, a feeling she returned. Mazin considered ending the episode with Ellie following Joel but Druckmann insisted the ending remain unresolved.[1]: 32:52  The final scene and credits use the song "Allowed to be Happy" by Gustavo Santaolalla, featured in the video game The Last of Us Part II (2020).[16]

Casting and characters

Christine Hakim's role was revealed in a trailer in December 2022.[17] She was contacted to appear in the series via Instagram. She was initially hesitant to accept the role as she was caring for her mother and husband amid the COVID-19 pandemic but was convinced by her grandniece, a fan of the game. Hakim recorded her role in Calgary in late October 2021. She brought her traditional batik scarves and Indonesian jewelry, which the costume department accepted for use in the series. Hakim was impressed by Druckmann's ability to direct Indonesian roles and the art director's creation of the Jakarta set in Calgary.[18]

Filming

Filming took place in Downtown Edmonton in October, including Rice Howard Way (left) and the Alberta Legislature Building (right).[19][20]
Filming took place in Downtown Edmonton in October, including Rice Howard Way (left) and the Alberta Legislature Building (right).[19][20]
Filming took place in Downtown Edmonton in October, including Rice Howard Way (left) and the Alberta Legislature Building (right).[19][20]

Ksenia Sereda worked as cinematographer for the episode.[21] Filming took place in and around Rice Howard Way in Downtown Edmonton from October 2–18, requiring the closure of sidewalks between October 12–14;[19] Pascal filmed establishing shots in the area in early October,[20] and returned for full production later in the month alongside Ramsey and Torv.[20][22] The location replicated a post-apocalyptic Boston;[20][23] production designer John Paino was unable to find a location imitating Boston's brick-lined streets, requiring manual transformation and sculpting on set. Manual tree placement was similarly required as Canadian trees share few similarities with those in Boston.[24] Rice Howard Way was set up with a large crater in front of an Italian restaurant and a green screen for the skyline. The production crew converted a local business into a ruined salon and asked another if they would permit a stunt performer to fly through the front window.[20]

Production took place at the Alberta Legislature Building,[20] which was dressed with vines and greenery.[19] Production spent around CA$372,000 for a four-day shoot in Edmonton.[25] Some streets in downtown Calgary were closed for production from October 15–18,[26][27] followed by the closure of several blocks in Beltline from October 23–28.[28] Shutting down the Fourth Avenue flyover that took the locations team around six to eight weeks of negotiations with the city.[29] The hotel interior location required draining as fungi quickly began to grow.[24] Druckmann's work on the episode completed production by November 7, 2021.[21]

Discover more about Production related topics

Neil Druckmann

Neil Druckmann

Neil Druckmann is an Israeli-American writer, creative director, designer, and programmer who has been co-president of the video game developer Naughty Dog since 2020. He is best known for his work on the Naughty Dog game franchises Uncharted and The Last of Us, having created the latter.

Craig Mazin

Craig Mazin

Craig Mazin is an American screenwriter and film director. He is best known for creating the five-part HBO miniseries Chernobyl, based on the nuclear disaster of the same name in 1986. His work earned him two Primetime Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special and Outstanding Limited Series. Mazin is also known for his extensive work on the comedy genre, namely Scary Movie 3, Scary Movie 4, Superhero Movie, Identity Thief, and the two sequels to The Hangover Trilogy. He is also the co-creator and co-writer of the HBO series The Last Of Us, based on the video game of the same name, alongside the game's creator, Neil Druckmann.

Directors Guild of Canada

Directors Guild of Canada

The Directors Guild of Canada (DGC) is a Canadian labour union representing more than 5,500 professionals from 48 different occupations in the Canadian film and television industry. Founded in 1962, the DGC represents directors, editors, assistant directors, location managers, production assistants and others.

Cold open

Cold open

A cold open is a narrative technique used in television and films. It is the practice of jumping directly into a story at the beginning of the show before the title sequence or opening credits are shown. In American television, this is often done on the theory that involving the audience in the plot as soon as possible will reduce the likelihood of their switching from a show during the opening commercial. A cold open may also be used to recap events in previous episodes or storylines that will be revisited during the current episode.

Ari Lasso

Ari Lasso

Ari Bernardus Lasso is an Indonesian singer of Minahasan origin. Songwriter, musician and former lead vocalist of Dewa 19.

Chernobyl (miniseries)

Chernobyl (miniseries)

Chernobyl is a 2019 historical drama television miniseries that revolves around the Chernobyl disaster of 1986 and the cleanup efforts that followed. The series was created and written by Craig Mazin and directed by Johan Renck. It features an ensemble cast led by Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgård, Emily Watson and Paul Ritter. The series was produced by HBO in the United States and Sky UK in the United Kingdom.

Carolyn Strauss

Carolyn Strauss

Carolyn Strauss is an American television executive and producer. She was the president of the Home Box Office network's entertainment division until 2008 and was responsible for commissioning series like The Sopranos, The Wire, Six Feet Under, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Sex and the City. Upon leaving the position she became a television developer and producer and was given a production deal with HBO. She has collaborated with the network on the series Treme, Game of Thrones and Luck.

Gustavo Santaolalla

Gustavo Santaolalla

Gustavo Alfredo Santaolalla is an Argentine musician, composer, and record producer. He is known for composing his film scores with his collaborator and acclaimed director Alejandro González Iñárritu, which composed the first four psychological drama films Iñárritu directed. He also composed the original scores for the video games The Last of Us (2013) and The Last of Us Part II (2020), as well as the themes for television series such as Jane the Virgin (2014–2019) and Making a Murderer (2015–2018). He won Academy Awards for Best Original Score in two consecutive years, first for Brokeback Mountain (2005) and then Babel (2006).

Instagram

Instagram

Instagram is a photo and video sharing social networking service owned by American company Meta Platforms. The app allows users to upload media that can be edited with filters and organized by hashtags and geographical tagging. Posts can be shared publicly or with preapproved followers. Users can browse other users' content by tag and location, view trending content, like photos, and follow other users to add their content to a personal feed.

COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic, also known as the coronavirus pandemic, is an ongoing global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The novel virus was first identified in an outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019. Attempts to contain it there failed, allowing the virus to spread to other areas of Asia and later worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern on 30 January 2020, and a pandemic on 11 March 2020. As of 27 January 2023, the pandemic had caused more than 670 million cases and 6.82 million confirmed deaths, making it one of the deadliest in history.

Calgary

Calgary

Calgary is the largest city in the western Canadian province of Alberta and the largest metro area of the three Prairie Provinces. As of 2021, the city proper had a population of 1,306,784 and a metropolitan population of 1,481,806, making it the third-largest city and fifth-largest metropolitan area in Canada.

Batik

Batik

Batik is an Indonesian technique of wax-resist dyeing applied to the whole cloth. This technique originated from the island of Java, Indonesia. Batik is made either by drawing dots and lines of the resist with a spouted tool called a canting, or by printing the resist with a copper stamp called a cap. The applied wax resists dyes and therefore allows the artisan to colour selectively by soaking the cloth in one colour, removing the wax with boiling water, and repeating if multiple colours are desired.

Reception

Broadcast and ratings

The episode aired on HBO on January 22, 2023.[30] The episode had 5.7 million viewers in the United States on its first night, including linear viewers and streams on HBO Max—an increase of 22 percent from the previous week, the largest second-week audience growth for an original HBO drama series in the network's history.[31] On linear television, it had 633,000 viewers on its first night, with a 0.185 ratings share.[32]

Critical response

Anna Torv's performance as Tess was widely praised by critics.[3][2][33]
Anna Torv's performance as Tess was widely praised by critics.[3][2][33]

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, "Infected" has an approval rating of 95 percent based on 22 reviews, with an average rating of 8.5/10. The website's critical consensus said the episode features "a terrific turn by Anna Torv and monsters that fully deliver on their terrifying potential".[34] Torv's performance received particular praise. Total Film's Bradley Russell felt demonstrated the character's emotional depth,[3] and Den of Geek's Bernard Boo found it sophisticated and heartbreaking.[35] IGN's Simon Cardy wrote she displayed "warmth beneath a scarred, steely surface", lauding her relationship with Pascal's Joel.[2] IndieWire's Steve Greene applauded Torv's capability to demonstrate Tess's sadness and pain through facial expressions alone.[33] Praise was also directed at Pascal's performance for his restraint and Ramsey for her humor,[3][2] and Den of Geek's Boo commended all three cast members for acting "with intention", allowing viewers to witness their emotional foundations.[35] Push Square's Aaron Bayne felt Ramsey had not yet "embodied the role" of Ellie like Pascal with Joel but enjoyed their banter.[36]

Total Film's Russell lauded Mazin's writing and found quiet moments and conversations carried purpose and dramatic weight.[3] The Escapist's Darren Mooney felt the script occasionally felt "like reading a strategy guide" due to the amount of exposition delivered through dialogue, noting it was effective but not compelling.[6] The cold open was generally well-received;[2][37][36] The Washington Post's Mikhail Klimentov found it more effective than the previous episode's due to its delivery of melancholy and dread without the restraint of providing context,[38] though Den of Geek's Boo considered it "less compelling" than the entirety of the first episode.[35] IGN's Cardy wrote the kiss between Tess and the infected validated the creative decision to replace spores with tendrils.[2] Conversely, Total Film's Russell considered it "a baffling choice and fundamentally silly",[3] and The Washington Post's Klimentov found it the worst sequence of the series to date.[38] Several outlets similarly reported viewers were similarly divided on the scene; some called it heartbreaking and others considered it unnecessary.[4][39]

Several critics praised Druckmann's directing and Sereda's cinematography,[38][40] particularly during the museum action sequence;[35][41] Den of Geek's Boo called it "masterfully choreographed" and compared it to the video game,[35] and IGN's Cardy found it fit the inelegant aesthetic of the world.[2] Total Film's Russell praised Druckmann's "keen eye for beauty in this shattered world", citing a shot of a frog on a piano as a standout.[3] The New York Times's Noel Murray felt the low-angle shots allowed an effective backdrop for visual effects.[40] Reviewers lauded the production design;[6][37] IGN's Cardy considered it "one of the show's high points" with its visualization of nature reclaiming civilization.[2] Den of Geek's Boo found the design and sounds of the clickers appropriately frightening;[35] The Hollywood Reporter's Daniel Fienberg called them "a genre palate cleanser" after The Walking Dead's design.[10]

Discover more about Reception related topics

HBO

HBO

Home Box Office (HBO) is an American premium television network, which is the flagship property of namesake parent subsidiary Home Box Office, Inc., itself a unit owned by Warner Bros. Discovery. The overall Home Box Office business unit is based at Warner Bros. Discovery's corporate headquarters inside 30 Hudson Yards in Manhattan's West Side district. Programming featured on the network consists primarily of theatrically released motion pictures and original television programs as well as made-for-cable movies, documentaries, occasional comedy and concert specials, and periodic interstitial programs.

HBO Max

HBO Max

HBO Max is an American subscription video on-demand over-the-top streaming service owned by Warner Bros. Discovery. Launched in the United States on May 27, 2020, the service is built around the libraries of HBO, Warner Bros., Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, and their related brands. The service also carries first-run programming from the HBO pay television service, original programming under the "Max Originals" banner, and content acquired via third-party library deals and co-production agreements.

Anna Torv

Anna Torv

Anna Torv is an Australian actress. She is known for her roles as Olivia Dunham on the Fox science fiction series Fringe (2008–2013), Wendy Carr in the Netflix crime thriller series Mindhunter (2017–2019), and Tess in the HBO post-apocalyptic drama series The Last of Us (2023). Her performance in Fringe earned her four Saturn Awards for Best Actress on Television and nominations for the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actress in a Drama Series.

Den of Geek

Den of Geek

Den of Geek is a US and UK-based website covering entertainment with a focus on pop culture. The website also issues a bi-annual magazine.

IGN

IGN

IGN is an American video game and entertainment media website operated by IGN Entertainment Inc., a subsidiary of Ziff Davis, Inc. The company's headquarters is located in San Francisco's SoMa district and is headed by its former editor-in-chief, Peer Schneider. The IGN website was the brainchild of media entrepreneur Chris Anderson and launched on September 29, 1996. It focuses on games, films, anime, television, comics, technology, and other media. Originally a network of desktop websites, IGN is now also distributed on mobile platforms, console programs on the Xbox and PlayStation, FireTV, Roku, and via YouTube, Twitch, Hulu, and Snapchat.

IndieWire

IndieWire

IndieWire is a film industry and review website that was established in 1996. The site's focus was predominantly independent film, although its coverage has grown to "to include all aspects of Hollywood and the expanding universes of TV and streaming." IndieWire is part of Penske Media.

The Escapist (magazine)

The Escapist (magazine)

The Escapist is an American video game website and online magazine. First published as a weekly online magazine by Themis Media on July 12, 2005, The Escapist eventually pivoted to a traditional web journalism format. In 2018, Escapist Magazine launched Volume Two, a rehauled website in conjunction with its purchase by Enthusiast Gaming. The site name reverted to The Escapist in April 2020. Gamurs Group acquired the site in September 2022.

Strategy guide

Strategy guide

Strategy guides are instruction books that contain hints or complete solutions to specific video games. The line between strategy guides and walkthroughs is somewhat blurred, with the former often containing or being written around the latter. Strategy guides are often published in print, both in book form and also as articles within video game magazines. In cases of exceptionally popular game titles, guides may be sold through more mainstream publication channels, such as bookstores or even newsstands. Some publishers also sell E-Book versions on their websites.

The New York Times

The New York Times

The New York Times is a daily newspaper based in New York City with a worldwide readership reported in 2022 to comprise 740,000 paid print subscribers, and 8.6 million paid digital subscribers. It also is a producer of popular podcasts such as The Daily. Founded in 1851, it is published by The New York Times Company. The Times has won 132 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any newspaper, and has long been regarded as a national "newspaper of record". For print, it is ranked 18th in the world by circulation and 3rd in the United States.

Low-angle shot

Low-angle shot

In cinematography, a low-angle shot, is a shot from a camera angle positioned low on the vertical axis, anywhere below the eye line, looking up. Sometimes, it is even directly below the subject's feet. Psychologically, the effect of the low-angle shot is that it makes the subject look strong and powerful.

The Hollywood Reporter

The Hollywood Reporter

The Hollywood Reporter (THR) is an American digital and print magazine which focuses on the Hollywood film, television, and entertainment industries. It was founded in 1930 as a daily trade paper, and in 2010 switched to a weekly large-format print magazine with a revamped website. As of 2020, the day-to-day operations of the company are handled by Penske Media Corporation through a joint venture with Eldridge Industries.

The Walking Dead (TV series)

The Walking Dead (TV series)

The Walking Dead is an American post-apocalyptic horror drama television series based on the comic book series of the same name by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard—together forming the core of The Walking Dead franchise. The series features a large ensemble cast as survivors of a zombie apocalypse trying to stay alive under near-constant threat of attacks from zombies known as "walkers". With the collapse of modern civilization, these survivors must confront other human survivors who have formed groups and communities with their own sets of laws and morals, sometimes leading to open, hostile conflict between them. The series is the first television series within The Walking Dead franchise.

Source: "Infected (The Last of Us)", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, January 28th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infected_(The_Last_of_Us).

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