The Last Of Us Season 2 Needs To Remember A Terrifying Threat Season 1 Totally Forgot About

The Last of Us season 1 introduced something brilliant that quickly fell by the wayside, but season 2 could bring it back and use it better.

The Last Of Us Season 2 Needs To Remember A Terrifying Threat Season 1 Totally Forgot About

The Last of Us season 2 could be even scarier than the first installment if it capitalizes on something it’s already touched upon but then cast aside. If so, then The Last of Us season 2 cast could be up against an even more challenging fight for survival in the post-apocalyptic wasteland. The addition to the show’s lore didn’t appear for long, but it needs to come back for the second season of the live-action adaptation of the bestselling game series. Not only would its return be brilliant for the story, but it also makes in-universe sense to return with a vengeance due to a variety of plot factors.

As well as finally having all zombie types in The Last of Us games make the jump to live-action, the upcoming season could also improve the show in other ways. There have already been various changes between the games and the TV show, and most have been to accommodate the change in medium or to flesh out the world of The Last of Us even further. However, certain additions to the TV show have been original ideas that never existed in the games, and one in particular was drastically underused in The Last of Us season 1.

 

The Last Of Us Season 1 Quickly Forgot About The Underground Cordyceps Network

Tess’ explanation made it seem like the network would be a big part of The Last of Us season 1

Anna Torv as Tess standing behind Bella Ramsey as Ellie in The Last of Us

In The Last of Us season 1, episode 2, “Infected,” the show introduces an underground network of interconnected fungi that, if stood on, can alert nearby Infected to a human’s presence. Speaking of the network, Tess tells Ellie: “The fungus also grows underground. Long fibers like wires, some of them stretching over a mile.” The concept is brilliantly described and a well-thought-out part of the show’s lore. However, the issue is that the Cordyceps network is only referenced and shown in the early episodes of The Last of Us season 1. After that, it never rears its head again.

The omission of the network beyond season 1’s early stages is a huge shame. One of The Last of Us season 1’s biggest criticisms was that the number of Infected in the show was a little on the low side. Although the story is undeniably a character-led affair, it’d be ridiculous to claim that the presence of the Infected wasn’t also a huge part of the franchise’s appeal.

The Cordyceps network is only referenced and shown in the early episodes of The Last of Us season 1. After that, it never rears its head again.

Even if The Last of Us season 1 zombie count remained the same, having the underground Cordyceps network remaining as a notable part of the equation would have increased the tension and made it seem as if Joel and Ellie could be swarmed at any moment. So, The Last of Us season 2 needs to correct the mistakes of its predecessor by paying the excellent plot device more attention.

The Underground Cordyceps Network Helped Set The Last Of Us TV Show Apart From The Game

The network doesn’t appear in either of the two The Last of Us games

A close-up of an Infected's face in The Last of Us

The story in The Last of Us season 1 episodes remains almost identical to the narrative from the game. That being said, there are still several moments, episodes, and additions made to the live-action adaptations that can make the experience just as fulfilling for those who have already played the game and are therefore aware of what happens. The underground Cordyceps network had the potential to be one of the biggest additions to the TV show, as it didn’t appear in the game at all.

The Infected look and act the same in the games and the TV show, but some of the surrounding canon was altered during the adaptation process. For instance, how the Cordyceps infection started in The Last of Show TV show is explained by a tainted food supply, whereas the game makes use of airborne spores to spread the infection. Regardless of the variation of the Infected’s origin, the network added a new level of fear to the undead obstacles while also keeping things fresh for existing fans of the franchise – even if the attention it was paid was only brief.

It Makes Sense For The Network To Have Become More Widespread In The Last Of Us Season 2

The time jump between The Last of Us seasons 1 & 2 makes the Cordyceps network more of a threat

Pedro Pascal as Joel Miller pointing a rifle and looking angry in The Last Of Us season 1 finale

What’s interesting about The Last Of Us‘ fungal approach to the end of the world is that the passage of time has a huge impact on various aspects of its worldbuilding. For instance, the Infected themselves go through various stages depending on how long they’ve been at the mercy of the Cordyceps. So, logically, the network from The Last of Us season 1 will also have spread and evolved by the time The Last of Us season 2 begins.

The development makes even more sense when it’s considered that the second The Last of Us game is set five years after the first. So, if the Max adaptation were to follow this framework, and there’s no reason it shouldn’t, then the underground Cordyceps network could have become even more widespread and developed than it was during Tess’ explanation. As such, the world of The Last of Us season 2 could come with even more reasons to stay safe if the Cordyceps network returns.

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