The Last of Us episode 2 ending broke the hearts of gamers and new fans alike

(L to R) Bella Ramsey as Ellie and Anna Torv as Tess in The Last of Us episode 2 on HBO
(Image credit: Liane Hentscher/HBO)

The Last of Us episode 2's ending left new fans puzzled as to how gamers could have endured these events before. This past Sunday's episode, which tracked the path of Joel (Pedro Pascal), Tess (Anna Torv) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) as they moved out of the Quarantine Zone, though, gave all a big sign that says "trauma will continue, and morale will probably never improve."

And, as someone who watched the first four episodes of the series for our The Last of Us review, I can confidently say that this reflects one of The Last of Us' skills. While some may have thought the genre of zombie-like dramas was long since past its prime, the TLOU is still able to wring emotions out on a regular basis. 

But, as we'll talk about below, you're gonna want to tune into HBO Max next week. Trust me on that.

Of course, this story will have some The Last of Us spoilers in it, though Twitter users did a good job of not spoiling the series for others online. This story will go over the details of the second episode of the series, which have been covered in our The Last of Us episode 2 recap.

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The Last of Us episode 2's ending inspires more teary-eyed reactions

As gamers knew going into The Last of Us on HBO, Tess was not long for this world. She died in episode 2, sacrificing herself to destroy a horde of infected and throw them all off Joel and Ellie's tracks. But the way Anna Torv delivered the distressed, angry and bleak dialogue to Joel, when she's made up her mind, was simply fantastic.

The best reaction came from user @psychedamygdala, who asked how people could have played such a heart-breaking game. The question as to whether or not this will happen in every episode is likely on the minds of many.

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Tweeter @spugettycity (opens in new tab) is loving The Last of Us, which somehow manages to emotionally destroy her despite her pre-existing knowledge from the game, writing "tlou is too f**king good im so happy (i’m devastated by each episode even though i already know what’s going to happen)"

Gamer Alejandra, @alesunflowers (opens in new tab), was saddened even though she knew what was coming, writing "I knew that was coming in ep 2 of tlou but it still left me sobbing ugh another 10/10 episode."

And then we come to Chrissy, aka @mochilord (opens in new tab), who tweeted "that line in the tlou episode i’m——," and it's hard to think of which line Chrissy is referring to. My guess is  "Save who you can save," but it could have been any of the lines Anna Torv delivered in that scene about how she's not leaving. 

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User Jordan Gibbs, aka @SiberiaMachines, found some humor in the sadness. Gibbs shared a video of Danny Devito's It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia character Frank reacting emotionally and angrily, with the caption "Me at the end of Episode 2 of #TheLastOfUs when I had to relieve Tess’ fate once again…"

Analysis: Get ready for more in The Last of Us episode 3

The Last of Us, as those who played the games know, is filled with emotional moments that will leave your eyes teary and jaws on the floor.

I can't explain why The Last of Us episode 3 is going to cause a lot of chatter, but I can say that it forced me to do something I've always wanted to: start a list of the best episodes of TV of the year. I've already watched it twice, and it didn't get less impactful the second time around.

Read next: Let’s talk about THAT game-changing moment in The Last of Us.

Henry T. Casey
Senior Editor

Henry is a senior editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.