HBO's adaptation of The Last of Us had a lot of ground to cover – and we're not just talking about the physical distance Pedro Pascal's Joel and Bella Ramsey's Ellie travel throughout its nine episodes.
There was the outbreak, the different stages of the Cordyceps virus, new characters, and, of course, the main duo's slow-burn bond to explore. It's understandable, then, that episode 2's surprise reveal that the infected actually share a hive mind, a detail not present in the game, didn't really factor into the subsequent seven installments. Now, though, co-creator Craig Mazin has assured fans that the curious connection will be "brought forward" in The Last of Us season 2.
"Something that I think we will be exploring further in the next season. I think this first time around, we were learning so much about how to create the Infected and how to televise them in a way that was exciting and didn't seem goofy or weird or artificial," he explained on HBO's The Last of Us Podcast (opens in new tab). "I think we figured out that. I think this next season, the interconnectivity of them, and the risk of stepping on the wrong thing, that stuff is going to be brought forward more for sure."
While the show's pilot established that the Cordyceps brain infection was spread via tendrils, not spores as it is in the game, episode 2, saw Tess (Anna Torv) tell Ellie (Bella Ramsey) – and in turn, us as viewers – about the infected's connection.
"The fungus also grows underground. Long fibers like wires; some of them stretching over a mile. You step on a patch of Cordyceps in one place, you can wake a dozen infected from somewhere else. Now they know where you are, now they come. You're not immune from being ripped apart," she ominously tells the bitten youngster. We're excited to see the repercussions of that in the future...
The Last of Us airs on HBO and HBO Max in the US, and Sky Atlantic and NOW the following day in the UK. Make sure you're up to date with our The Last of Us release schedule or our breakdown of how many episodes are in The Last of Us.
For more from the series, check out our guide to the major Last of Us episode 9 changes from the games and a terrifying look at the Cordyceps fungus.