The Last of Us Episode 2 Recap and Ending Explained

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Episode 2 of The Last of Us continues the story of one of the biggest HBO releases in recent memory, as this is quite arguably the best video game adaptation we’ve seen. Of course, episode 2 starts off from where episode 1 ended as the duo of Joel and Tess are in the middle of a problem regarding what they found out about Ellie. Nevertheless, they are still looking to complete their mission because they were given a job that they needed to finish.

Of course, episode 2 should be one of the most emotional episodes in The Last of Us because of the ending. In that regard, fans should be ready for what is about to come in this episode. Then again, those who played video games already know what’s about to happen here. Now, with that said, let’s talk about what happened in episode 2 of The Last of Us.

Joel And Tess Struggle With Ellie’s Revelation

The second episode of The Last of Us opened up with Joel and Tess showing how much they didn’t trust Ellie. Back at the end of episode 1, they learned that Ellie was infected by the Cordyceps Brain Infection, which obviously hasn’t taken over her for some odd reason that no one has been able to explain. Despite the fact that Ellie assured them that she was bitten three weeks ago but is still the same old person she always was, Joel and Tess were unsure of what to do with her.

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Ellie told them that Marlene ran a series of tests that allowed them to know that she was still human. Of course, at that point, Joel and Tess had no choice but to continue with their mission because that was the only thing they could do after the incident involving the FEDRA guard at the end of episode 1. Nevertheless, they kept their guard up as they still couldn’t trust Ellie, knowing full well that she carried the infection in her system.

The Journey Through Boston

When the duo of Joel and Tess finally decided that they needed to complete their task, they now decided to continue their journey through the city of Boston because their mission involved taking Ellie to the Boston Capitol Building, where a cell of Fireflies was waiting for them. Of course, as smugglers, both Joel and Tess were already quite familiar with the entire layout of Boston and where the infected could be waiting.

They knew a shortcut that would have taken them directly to the Capitol Building, but they needed to make their way up a ruined hotel first so that they could check the layout of the city. After making their way to the top of the hotel, they saw that there was a large group of infected that was lying dormant on the path that they were supposed to take. As such, the trio needed to take a detour that would take them to the Capitol Building.


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On their way to the detour, they learned more about Ellie, as she herself learned more about the city of Boston, which she knew nothing about because she was born during the 20-year gap between the start of the pandemic in 2003 and the events of the series in 2023. That was when Joel and Tess learned that she actually knew a lot about history because she liked reading books about what the world was like before the outbreak.

Encounter With A Clicker

The trio decided to take a detour through a museum because they could make their way through the roof of the building and go through several other roofs to get to the Capitol Building. However, while they were in the museum, they saw a corpse that had been seemingly killed by an infected, and Joel and Tess were forced to keep their guard up.


That was when they found out that a clicker was in the museum and that it was responsible for the death of the person they saw there. In that regard, Joel and Tess had to fend off the powerful clicker, which proved to be a handful for the experienced smuggling duo. Nevertheless, they were able to successfully kill the clicker and make their way through the museum.

Dead Fireflies

After the encounter with the clicker in the Boston museum, Joel and Tess were finally able to take Ellie to the Boston Capitol Building, where a group of Fireflies was supposedly waiting for them so that they could take Ellie with them. In that regard, it was supposed to be a successful mission already, but it wasn’t exactly as easy as they thought it was. That’s because they found out that everyone in the Capitol Building was dead.


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They were frantically searching for any surviving Firefly, as Tess asked Joel if he actually knew what the Fireflies were. That was when they found another infected, which they were able to quickly kill. But because the Cordyceps Brain Infection had the ability to communicate in a hive-like manner through the use of the network of fungi found throughout the city, the dormant runners that they found earlier were alerted about the presence of the trio in the Capitol Building.

Tess’s Noble Sacrifice

When they found out that the infected were on their way to the Capitol Building, Tess revealed that she was bitten by the clicker that they encountered in the museum. In that regard, her time was already up, and she was about to become one of them. But because she didn’t want to end up like the infected, she wanted to go out with a bang by using the barrel of gasoline found throughout the capitol building as a way to kill the infected.

Tess told Joel to run and take Ellie with him so that they could fulfill their mission. She also told him that this was the only way for them to make up for all of the things that they did during the 20-year span of the outbreak, as it was implied that Joel and Tess did some horrible things to survive the apocalyptic world that they were living in.


With that, the duo of Joel and Ellie made their way out of the Capitol Building, as Tess was left behind with a lighter that she was trying to light up to ignite the gasoline in the building. The infected seemingly ignored Tess until one of them arrived and “kissed” her so that her infection would spread faster. However, before Tess could turn into one of them, she successfully ignited the gas with the lighter, and the building went up in smoke.

While it is possible that there were still survivors among the infected that were in the Capitol Building when it exploded, the fact is that Tess was able to buy Joel and Ellie time to escape and make their way out of Boston unscathed.

Of course, the way Tess died is different from the games. In the video game version, Tess bought Joel and Ellie time by distracting FEDRA soldiers that were on their way to the Capitol Building. Tess was shot dead by the soldiers but was able to buy Joel and Ellie time to escape.

This is where the journey of the duo of Joel and Ellie starts, as Tess is now gone. It is now a journey involving an unlikely duo of characters that will eventually form a deep father-daughter bond throughout the storyline of The Last of Us.

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