Infected is the Episode 2 of Season 1 of HBO’s new Zombie Apocalypse series.
There are spoilers in the review below.
Jakarta, Indonesia 2003
Infected opens on a diner. Ibu Ratna is eating her lunch. Two uniformed men enter. Ibu Ratner has no choice but to go with them. The soldiers driver her to a base and show her a pathology slide taken from a human subject.
Ibu Ratna calmly explains that what she is seeing does not make any sense. Cordyceps cannot survive in humans. After questioning the three star general Ibu gives the soldiers some chilling advice. If they want to control the infect that is about to be unleashed they should start bombing.
Boston, Current Day
Ellie wakes up in a square of sunlight. Joel and Tess are sitting nearby watching her. Ellie’s positive test has Joel spooked.
Tess interrogates Ellie, forcing the girl to tell them her secret. The Fireflies are convinced that Ellie has the cure to the infection. Joel doesn’t believe it but Tess doesn’t care. She is more pragmatic. If the Fireflies are willing to pay for transporting Ellie, Tess is willing to do whatever needs to get done in order to get paid.
Tess forces Joel to think of the payday. It is time to head west. The first challenge is getting through Boston. The original route has been damaged by collapsing buildings, forcing the small group to cut through a hotel.
This gives us one of the first really cool visuals of the episode. Once they make it onto a terrace they see that the infected have swarmed out into the open. Ellie notices how the infected move in unison and Tess uses it as a chance to educate the young lady on how the Cordyceps can communicate across large distances.
With their original plan blocked by infected, they fall back to take a route through The Museum.
The Museum, Current Day
Joel examines the Cordyceps veins outside The Museum, hopeful that the dried up tendrils mean the building is clear of the infected. At first all seems well. At least until Ellie finds a fresh body. Joel and Tess are anxious. Clearly they know that they are in danger. With little options, they continue through The Museum.
They make it up a few flights of stairs before the way behind them caves in, drawing the attention of the infected. In the distance we hear clicks and cries. The infected are coming. The three travels hide as the infected stumble into the room. The infected can’t see them, but it can hear them if they make any noise. Joel cautions her to be quiet but she can’t help but gasp in fear.
The survivors are separated briefly as the infected attack.
This leads to some awesome combat scenes. The Cordyceps are hard to kill, although head shots seem to be the most effective.
Ellie ends up bitten again while Tess has rolled her ankle. The trio makes it to the roof and then down through the collapsed buildings to the street.
The Street, Current Day
Once through The Museum the trio reaches a large transport vehicle. Whoever Joel was expecting to be there isn’t. There is however a body on the ground and a blood trail leading inside a nearby building.
Tess rushes in. The band of survivors they were hoping to find has been destroyed. Joel looks at the bodies. One of the band must have been bitten, which resulted in a battle that destroyed the group. Joel wants to keep moving but Tess tells them they are going to need to leave her behind.
Tess has been bitten. As the new reality sits in, one of the bodies on the floor moves and Joel quickly dispatches it with a head shot.
Tess shows Joel Ellie’s wound. Tess is going to turn, but Ellie isn’t. Joel has to get Ellie to Bill and Frank’s. They can take Ellie west if he can get her to them. As Tess is begging Joel to agree we see the hand near the infected Joel just killed. There is a tendril of Cordyceps nearby.
The infected are coming.
Tess grabs a rifle and uses it to spill barrels of fuel. She is going to keep the Cordyceps from following Joel and Ellie at all costs. As the door breaks down Tess is flicking her lighter, struggling to get a spark as hordes of infected run up the stairs.
One of the infected pauses in front of Tess, giving her a Cordyceps kiss as she desperately tries to flick her lighter. Just as she is being fully taken the lighter ignites and first floor of the building goes up.
Joel and Ellie hear the explosion and turn to see fire envelop the building.
There were so many things I love about Infected. Ellie is sassy, funny, and adds a bit of humor to what could otherwise become too heavy. On the other side, Joel and Tess exude anxiety and fear when they are moving through the infected territory, making me sit on the edge of my seat with tension.
Infected earned every point of its perfect 100/100 score.
|1||1||When You’re Lost in the Darkness||100|
|1||3||Long Long Time||95|