The first episode of HBO’s The Last of Us premiered last week, and episode 2 is set to debut at 9 PM this Sunday the 22nd. It’s already been noted by Neil Druckman that the show would not use spores to spread the infection, but instead focus on a different manner of spreading.
We weren’t aware yet of how in fact this happens, but we are now thanks to a BBC audio review of the episode. Not only does it show us exactly what started the outbreak, but you can hear in Joel’s words and his speech delay that he realizes just how close he came himself to being infected.
** SPOILERS BELOW FOR THE LAST OF US **
Ok, so the upcoming second episode features a scene between Joel and Ellie, with Joel answering Ellie’s question of how he thinks it started. She thinks it’s a monkey and someone was bitten, but she asks how it first started. Joel, as you can hear here beginning at the 2 minute mark, states the following
"“There were certain brands of food that were sold everywhere, all across the country, across the world – bread, cereal… pancake mix. You eat enough of it, it’ll get you infected. So the tainted food all hits the store shelves around the same time, Thursday. People bought it. Eat some Thursday night or a Friday morning. The day goes on, they started to get sick. Afternoon, evening, they got worse. And they started biting.”"
Now, as you hear in Joel’s voice he pauses when describing how it started before saying the words “pancake mix”. Remember, in episode 1, Joel couldn’t have pancakes for his birthday breakfast from Sarah because they ran out. Instead, Joel had coffee and eggs. In addition, he forgot about his birthday cake and they didn’t eat any of their neighbors biscuits either – all contaminated with the flour and sugar.
It’s pretty captivating to see just how simple a change this is overall, yet so dramatic to the overall plot of the game as the entire series is based around spores. In addition, something so simple as little easter eggs of food in the first episode are tied into this overall story change. Episode two of The Last of Us debuts this Sunday, January 22 on HBO and HBO Max.