Second adaptation episode Last of us, on the HBO channel, showed the desert landscape of the world, surviving an outbreak of a fungal infection. Also the death of the central character in a scene that directly refers to the video game. But instead of accurately recreating the events known to all fans of history, screenwriters Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann made several versions of the story. Including an image that angered and confused a significant portion of the audience..

It’s about a “kiss” between an infected person and Tess, a character played by actress Anna Torv. As in the source material, Joel’s smuggling partner (Pedro Pascal) dies in a tragic situation. In the history of Naughty Dog, beloved figure killed by a group of Phaedra soldiers. But in adaptation, the situation is different. Infected and realizing what awaits her, she decides to sacrifice herself in the middle of the crowd clickers (clickers) that invade where they are.

That’s when the sequence happens: Tess stays standing while one of the infected approaches her. Finally, he stops beside her, bows his head and puts his face on the woman’s. During the alleged kiss, the creature opens its mouth to reveal the infectious tendrils of the fungus that lives inside.

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An image that seems meaningless, disgusting, but has an explanation

The scene caused rejection among a significant part of the audience, especially among the fans of the game. From what the creators of the story explained in an interview Diversity that the situation explains a key detail of the series. As they explain, this is a way of showing the nature of the cordyceps fungus. Specifically, how an infection can spread from one body to another in order to keep multiplying. Therefore, this was not a sequence in which the infected tried to express affection; as some have misunderstood.

“We were doing initial research on how mushrooms appear in the real world. I found an artist’s image of a man afflicted with a fungus. He had signs of infection in his mouth, ”Mazin explained, adding:

“We have already talked about the appearance of antennae and asked these philosophical questions. Why are infected people aggressive? If the goal is to spread the fungus, then why should they be cruel? We come to the conclusion that they are, because we resist, and you? What would it look like if you just stood completely still and let them do it to you?”

“We were doing some initial research on what the mushrooms would look like in the real world, and we already had a good idea of ​​what they would look like in the game. I found an artist’s image of someone who was devoured by mushrooms and had mushrooms in their mouth. We end up asking all these philosophical questions like “why do infected people become violent?” If the goal is to spread the fungus, why should they be cruel? We came to the conclusion that no. The infected become violent because the people resist us. But what if it isn’t? What would it look like if you just stood completely still and let them do whatever they want with you?

“So we ended up filming that awkward moment that leaves you with nightmares. It interferes and disrupts. This is a very primitive way of invading the body. The scene was the result of excellent direction by Neil Druckmann and acting by Anna Torv. Especially since there’s actually nothing there, after filming the scenes, the visual effects team did an incredible job to make everything befitting and absolutely awful.

Definitely, infected are only aggressive when provoked or resist infection. And that “kiss” that, when you see it, makes you feel bad, is actually a “natural” way – in the context of the show, of course – in which one infected person infects another. No blood, no physical violence.

For Mazin, it was important to point out that infection is a natural fact that obeys biological laws. In fact, more than a kiss, the producers wanted to show body penetration. On the other hand, Druckmann agreed that the sequence was trying to show a reaction in which anyone could have a contagious circumstance. “It was like she already knew it was over. And then the cigarette lighter did not work. We pushed her to the limit of terror before she finally found a way out.”

Source: Hiper Textual

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