The Last of Us Episode 1: Here's the cause and how the Cordyceps infection started
Here's the complete episode breakdown featuring that heartbreaking moment, fan theories about how the virus spread, easter eggs from the video game and more. Everything you'd like to know before episode 2 drops.
Naughty Dog's The Last of Us is now a live-action TV show. Pedro Pascal dished out a superior performance as Joel and we got introduced to Ellie in the first episode itself. Bella Ramsey is portraying Ellie and the duo holds the potential to truly bring The Last of Us experience to the big screen.
This article talks about The Last of Us Episode 1 in detail and contains spoilers. If you've not watched the first episode, you're advised to return to this article and future ones where I'll be breaking down each episode in store for us.
The Last of Us episode 1 started off with the world-building to set the ground. With a runtime of over 80 minutes, there was plenty of time for the showrunners to set things in motion before the eventual sucker-punch of a global pandemic.
What is the cause of infection in The Last of Us
Those who've played the game or watched the episode would know that it wasn't bacteria or a virus that went on to plague the world. Instead, it was fungi. The show's opening had two Epidemiologists on a talk show where one of them (Dr Neuman) explained how dangerous fungi can be compared to bacteria and virus.
The Cordyceps, a type of fungi, evolved and started infecting the humans, turning them into the monsters we know as Clickers. Episode 1 hasn't introduced the audience to them yet but the Weeks Ahead trailer that was released highlights what's coming next. It confirmed that Joel and Ellie will soon be running into Clickers. We did get to see a dead Infected during the first episode when Joel and Tess went looking for the car battery.
Here's how the infection in The Last of Us spread
The infection in The Last of Us was spread through flour, as per eagle-eyed fans who have reached this theory. Apparently, fans believe that the deadly cordyceps outbreak was spread through the production of flour. Reddit user anagnost came up with the theory after noticing a series of events where Joel, Tommy and Sarah did not, for one reason or the other, eat anything baked. There was no pancake mix, no cakes, and no cookies eaten by them, despite the number of opportunities that the show introduced.
Sarah, Joel's daughter, wanted pancake mix for Joel's birthday but Joel had forgotten to buy them. Then, the Adlers offered biscuits to them but the duo refused. Later, Sarah denied the chance to eat cookies because they had raisins in them. Furthermore, Joel also forgot to bring a cake for his birthday. That's too many instances and focus on food and a series of coincidences where the duo did not eat anything made out of flour.
When the Redditor pointed out their theory, other users pitched in. User RealSteamedHam said that The Last of Us episode's first mention of the outbreak on the radio was for Jakarta. They added that this lines up with the theory as well since the World's largest flour mill is in Jakarta. So yes, from the looks of it, The Last of Us outbreak spread through the flour.
There's plenty of world-building left and so far, the show looks dedicated to bringing Naughty Dog's game to life. Here's the complete The Last of Us schedule and where to watch the show.