HBO’s The Last of Us Episode 2 Shocks Fans with Disgusting and Controversial Clicker Kiss Scene – Gross fungal monsters appear in The Last of Us, strutting around naked, coated in spores, drooling from the remains of their lips, and bleeding as puss and other bodily fluids flow out of them. The most recent episode of the HBO series has surpassed it though.
Spoilers ahead for The Last of Us, Season 2, Episode 2. Clicker Kiss Scene
Joel and Ellie flee to safety as Tess dies in a brilliant blaze of glory, taking out all the clickers. Knowing how she dies in the game, it’s what we expected, but before she offers herself up, a clicker places its lips on hers and some fungus spreads inside her mouth. Others have criticised it as an offensive and superfluous addition to the clicker mythology that undercuts Tess’ end, while some have praised it as a lyrical conclusion, with her embracing the clickers she is about to join as her humanity clings to the lighter.
— zoë begins 🪴 (@filmsbyzoe) January 23, 2023
One criticism of this scene is that it feels gendered because a male infected individual wouldn’t likely be placed in the same situation. Tess in the game avoids this issue because she makes a far more valiant last stand and passes away in dignity. She freezes and grudgingly accepts what is happening in the show before dropping the lighter and detonating everything.
It was entirely unnecessary and there’s something about changing Tess’s death from a “last stand” to basically an assault that feels very… gendered? I understand the switch to infected to show the tendrils but… I don’t think they’d have thought of the kiss if Tess was a dude.
— Katie 🏳️🌈 Abolish the Police (@schmeisto) January 23, 2023
Beyond the kiss, a lot of people see this as confirmation that switching spores for tendrils was a mistake. In the video games, the illness is airborne and some regions are more polluted than others, necessitating the use of gas masks. However, tendrils have been used in place of gas masks, perhaps to better display the actors’ features. This new idea was expanded upon during the kiss, and it is already dividing people.
im sad about tess in TlOU. I know it’s meant to be transformative, but it was smarter and subtler for her dialogue to be “there’s enough here that you have to feel some obligation” rather than some line about unrequited love. and that kiss of death was corny ass male fantasy ☠️
— k (@varicose2) January 23, 2023
Others, on the other hand, interpreted it as a metaphor for the kiss of death, with Tess joining the clicker hive as a single clicker began the kiss while a swarm awaited behind them.
to me it symbolized a kiss of death and that tess was becoming apart of them. but also the fight btwn her own humanity and the infection over her mind. she didnt have to open her mouth or stand there. i think that was the infection. her humanity won when she dropped the lighter https://t.co/3cPjGCZMuy
— crow 🪴 (@cowpokedd) January 23, 2023
Regardless of whatever side of the argument you take, I’m sure we can all agree that even a clicker peck on the cheek would be repulsive, let alone what actually happened.
The Last of Us, Season 2, Episode 2. Clicker Kiss Scene FAQS
Q: What is the new episode of HBO's The Last of Us about?
A: The newest episode of the HBO show features a scene where a character named Tess meets her end in a fiery blaze of glory, taking out all the clickers as Joel and Ellie scurry to safety. Before she sacrifices herself, a clicker plants its lips on hers and some fungal tendrils sprawl into her mouth.
Q: What are some of the reactions to this scene?
A: Reactions to this scene are mixed, with some calling it a poetic end to the character's story, while others have labeled it as disgusting and unnecessary.
Q: Is there a complaint about the scene being gendered?
A: One of the complaints levied at this scene is how it feels gendered, in that it's unlikely an infected male character would be put in the same position. Tess in the game doesn't have this problem as she has a much more heroic last stand, dying with dignity.
Q: What is the reason for the change in infection from spores to tendrils in the show?
A: The change in the infection from spores to tendrils in the show is likely to show the actors' faces more clearly. This change is being viewed as a mistake by some, as it deviates from the original game.
Q: What is the representation of the kiss of death in the show?
A: Some people interpret the kiss as representation of the kiss of death, with Tess becoming part of the clicker hive, as a lone clicker initiated the kiss while a swarm waited behind them.