The Last of Us viewers can’t decide how they feel about the lack of infected in season 1

A Bloater in The Last of Us episode 5
(Image credit: HBO)

The Last of Us season 1 has now come to an end with a blistering final episode of the game adaptation. While reviews as a whole have been overwhelmingly positive, some fans have been sharing their thoughts on the moments that didn’t make it in.

While the infected did make an appearance in the show in some truly terrifying sequences (we’re still thinking about that bloater), many of the moments they featured in were cut. For example, in The Last of Us episode 8, Ellie and David’s confrontation with them in Silver Lake wasn’t adapted. Then in the season finale, a whole section where Ellie and Joel battle through clickers, runners, and bloaters before reaching the hospital was cut.

Fans of the TV show have been very split on what to think about this following the finale airing, and it’s sparked quite a debate on Reddit (opens in new tab). "Kinda disappointed they didn’t put in the final confrontation with the infected in the tunnel before being picked up by the Fireflies like in the game,” wrote one. "Would have been nice to see them evade or fight a bloater, though they made the bloaters overpowered in the show."

"They removed half the series' atmosphere with this, I felt less fear for the characters overall, and I was fine with it but the 'it's about the people' to me, is an excuse for budgetary restraints," another pointed out. "[That’s the] only reason I can think we didn't see much of them. The next season will probably be no different."

"I get that some people say that they encountered them off-screen... but putting most of the infected encounters off-screen makes the audience forget the infected were ever the problem, making the cure less significant," a third argued.

I just realized that they didn’t put this in…. from r/thelastofus

However, others have been defending what the HBO show chose to adapt as well. "The hands-down best video game to film adaptation that's ever been made and people still complain," wrote one. "Goodness, is no one simply grateful that we have finally gotten to the point where this shit is done well?"

Another passionate user argued: "While I get the disappointment from an adaptation not including your favorite parts from the source material, but this is how adaptations work. Movies/shows that attempt to follow the source material beat for beat typically fail. What works in a video game or book isn’t always going to work on screen. Excluding certain things for the purposes of pacing, budget, suspension of disbelief, etc doesn’t mean the show did something wrong."

This isn’t the only The Last of Us debate that has been raging on either, with viewers split on whether Joel’s decision in the finale was right. Meanwhile, the cast and creators have already started discussing their plans for The Last of Us season 2, including how Bella Ramsey won’t be recast and when filming could kick off.

Fay Watson

I’m an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering TV and film for the Total Film and SFX sections online. I previously worked as a Senior Showbiz Reporter and SEO TV reporter at Express Online for three years. I've also written for The Resident magazines and Amateur Photographer, before specializing in entertainment.