Original air date: January 23, 2023
On the day of the outbreak, in Jakarta, Indonesia, a mycologist learns of the oncoming pandemic and advises the government to bomb the city to slow the spread. In the present, Ellie explains she is being transported west in hopes of her being used to find a cure. Discovering the path to their meetup is swarmed with infected, they cut through a museum and are attacked by two blind variants of infected, one of whom bites Ellie before Joel and Tess kill them. They arrive at the Old State House to find the Fireflies slaughtered by Infected. Tess reveals she was bitten while Ellie’s bite is healing, proving her immunity. Joel shoots an infected, alerting the others to their location, Tess convinces him to escape with Ellie as she stays behind and blows up the building, killing herself and the horde.
* * *
SEPTEMBER 24TH, 2003
(ambient street noise)
(speaking Indonesian) I apologize about your lunch.
(speaking Indonesian) No need. I was just finishing. Excuse me sir. Have I committed a crime?
No, of course not.
Do you have the right person?
You are Ibu Ratna, Professor of Mycology, University of Indonesia. We have the right person.
(tense music playing)
(speaking Indonesian) Ibu Ratna, would you examine the prepared specimen?
You may notice–
She will draw her own conclusions.
This is ophiocordyceps. Why did you use chlorazol to prepare the slide?
Because that is the preparation used for samples taken from a human.
Cordyceps cannot survive in humans.
If you feel sick please exit quickly.
The bottom of her left leg.
(Ibu Ratne speaking Indonesian) Is this bite from a human?
(speaking Indonesian) When did this happen?
Approximately 30 hours ago.
A flour and grain factory on the west side of the city.
A perfect substrate. And then?
A normal woman, then suddenly violent. Attacked four coworkers, bit three of them. They locked her in a bathroom, the police came, she tried to attack them, and they shot her.
What happened to the people she bit?
They were taken for observation. A few hours later… it became necessary according to procedure to execute them.
Who bit her?
We don’t know.
So they’re still out there. Are any other workers missing?
Ibu Ratna, brought you here to help us keep this from spreading. We need a vaccine or a medicine.
(speaking Indonesian) I have spent my life studying these things. So please listen carefully. There is no medicine. There is no vaccine.
So what do we do?
Bomb. Start bombing. Bomb this city… and everyone in it.
Excuse me, if someone could please drive me home? I would like to be with my family.
(pensive theme music plays)
Do I look like I’m infected?
Show us your arm.
Yeah, it’s not getting any worse, is it? If we’re out in the open city, why aren’t we getting swarmed?
Joel: Don’t worry about that.
Well, I’m gonna.
What was Marlene doing with an infected kid?
I’m not infected. She found me after I was bitten.
And she didn’t shoot you.
Ellie: Clearly not.
She locked me up and had her guys test me every day to see if I was getting sick.
Test you how?
I have to pee.
Test you… how?
They’d make me count to 10 and hold out my hand and then keep it steady. But, you know, I think what really impressed them was the fact that I didn’t turn into a fucking monster.
Now can I please?
Fine. Back there. You can find a spot.
And here. Tear out a few pages.
There’s not gonna be anything bad in here?
Maybe a hairline. It’ll heal fast.
She made it through the fuckin’ night, Joel.
It doesn’t matter.
It’s gonna happen sooner or later.
All right? We’re still close to the wall.
We sneak her back into the QZ.
We find a different way to get the battery.
This is our best shot.
We take her back to the QZ, someone’s gonna notice her arm, they’re gonna scan her… then they’ll kill her.
Well, better them then us.
You need to stop talkin’ about this kid like she’s got some kinda life in front of her.
Tess: You hungry? You can share some of ours.
Thanks. Marlene sent me with my own.
Is that chicken?
Yeah. Marlene said they get it from smugglers.
Guess not you guys.
Why… why are you so important to Marlene? And don’t lie to me or we’ll take you back.
You take me back, you don’t get your battery.
(scoffs) You heard that?
Then you must’ve heard that he wants to shoot you.
I’m gonna talk to you like you’re an adult.
Joel and I aren’t good people. We’re doin’ this for us because, apparently, you’re worth something. But we don’t know what you’re worth if we don’t know what we have.
So answer my question.
She told me not to tell anybody, and now I’m telling the first people that I…
There’s a Firefly base camp somewhere out west… with doctors.
They’re working on a cure.
I’ve heard this before.
And whatever happened to me…
Ellie/Joel: …is the key to finding the vaccine.
That’s what this is?
We’ve heard this a million times.
Vaccines, miracle cures. None of it works.
Fuck you, man. I didn’t ask for this.
You and me both.
This isn’t gonna end well, Tess.
We need to go back.
Let’s just finish it.
It doesn’t matter if she is or she isn’t what the Fireflies say.
If they believe that she is then… we get what we want.
If she so much as twitches.
(Ellie clears throat)
Can I have a gun?
Okay, Jesus. Fine. I’ll have to throw a fuckin’ sandwich at them.
Joel: It’s clear.
(light music playing)
Yeah, looks different in the daylight, huh?
We should get movin’.
It’s like a fucked-up moon.
Is this where they bombed?
They hit most of the big cities like this.
They had to slow the spread somehow.
Worked here, but it… didn’t in most places.
(tense music playing)
So, the State House is across there.
It’s about a 10-minute walk if you could go straight.
Long way or short way?
I mean, it’s the long way or the “we’re fuckin’ dead” way.
Well, I vote long way just based on that limited information.
We have to check it from the hotel first.
Where the fuck are they already?
You’ll know it when they’re close.
I didn’t know last time.
Tess: How did you get bit?
Ellie: You know the old mall in the QZ?
Tess: The one that’s sealed off and boarded up, and no one’s supposed to go in… ever?
Whatever. I snuck in.
Wanted to see what it was like.
Didn’t think there was gonna be anything in there, and then one just came at me outta nowhere.
Thought I got away, but.
So it was just you in there, alone?
How old are you?
Well, I mean, you got some balls on you, sister.
Nobody’s gonna be comin’ after you, right?
Like, Mom, Dad… boyfriend?
I’m an orphan, and, uh, no.
Everyone said the open city was crazy.
Like, swarms of Infected running around everywhere.
Not exactly like that.
You know, people like to tell stories.
So, there aren’t Super-Infected that explode fungus spores on you?
Shit, I hope not.
Or ones with split-open heads that see in the dark like bats?
(loud, distant yell)
What was that?
Let’s keep movin’.
(piano notes playing)
You’ve gotta be kidding me!
Ya ever stay in a place like this?
Uh, no, a little out of our league.
How do you even know what this is?
Have you heard of books?
Wait, are we going in there?
Yeah, we gotta get to the stairwell on the other side.
Well, I, I don’t know how to swim.
Do you think we have pools in the QZ?
Joel: No, smart ass.
I don’t know how I was supposed to know that.
This is so gross.
Oh, check it out!
Yes, sir. I would like your finest suite, please.
(deep voice): Yes, ma’am. Would you like me to take your luggage?
Yes, ma’am. Right away, ma’am…
You’re a weird kid.
You’re a weird kid.
Ellie: Oh fuck!
(bangs on piano)
Oh, my God. (breathing heavily)
(pushes piano keys)
Tess: You okay?
Ellie: Yep. Fucking fabulous.
Fuck… Holy shit.
Come on, it wasn’t that bad.
You try climbing ten fuckin’ floors with our knees.
See how ya feel.
Tess: Well, when the fuck did that happen?
Maybe that one.
All right, well, I mean, maybe I could climb up there, work my way around, and open it from the inside?
Uh, no, well, I’m the smallest, so it’d be easier for me to get through.
Mm-hm, but you die and we get nothing. You stay.
Can you give me a hand?
You good up there?
Yeah, uh, it’s a bit of a mess, so I’m gonna need a few minutes.
Where’d you learn to do that?
Where are you from?
What about Tess?
Detroit. It’s in Michigan.
I go to school. I know where Detroit is.
So, uh, you two like a…
How’d you end up in Boston?
No more questions about me.
How long do Infected live?
Oh, I thought you went to school.
It’s a really shitty one.
Well, some last about a month or two.
But there’s others been walkin’ around ’bout 20 years.
Ever kill one?
Yeah, I killed lots of ’em.
Was it hard?
Like, knowing they were people once?
What about that guy last night?
Tess: You can put the gun down, Joel.
Joel: What now?
There’s so many.
The last time we were here, they were still deep inside the buildings.
Then I guess enough people came through looking for the QZ, they went inside seeking shelter… and that’s how they get more and more of the city bit by bit, year after year.
More than you know.
The fungus also grows underground.
Long fibers like wires, some of them stretching over a mile.
Now, you step on a patch of cordyceps in one place, and you can wake a dozen Infected from somewhere else.
Now they know where you are, now they come.
You’re not immune from being ripped apart.
I’m tryin’ to keep you alive.
So, we’re not goin’ that way.
What do we do then?
Ellie: You’ve gotta be fucking kidding me.
Well, there’s a way across from the top floor.
Well, then I guess it’s fine.
We used to take it all the time.
Tess: Look, it was fine.
It’s bone dry.
It could mean they’re all finally dead in there.
Marlene pack you one of these or just sandwiches?
Okay, so… more ground rules.
We’re gonna go slowly.
If we come up against anything, you get behind us and ya stay there, okay?
I have a spare hand.
(eerie music playing)
Oh, finally, some fuckin’ luck.
Joel: I guess we should’ve gone this way in the first place.
What the fuck did that?
(softly): Maybe… maybe he was attacked outside, and crawled through the doors.
The door was open. Could’ve been him.
I don’t hear anything.
Who would you hear?
(whispers): Who would you hear?
Are you saying an Infected did that?
Because I’ve been attacked by one and it wasn’t like that.
(whispers): Okay, from this point forward, we are silent.
Not quiet. Silent.
No. No questions. Just do it.
(tense music playing)
(mouths): They can’t see, but they can hear.
(Joel grunts, shouts): Run!
Tess: Ah! (grunts)
(Ellie yelling, grunting)
(all breathing heavily)
You all right?
Twisted ankle, but… yeah.
You all right?
Well, I didn’t shit my pants, so.
You fucking kidding me?
(sighs) I mean, if it was gonna happen to one of us.
Hey… let’s get the fuck outta here.
Joel: Put this around your arm.
Yeah, I know. It looks scary.
That was scary. This is wood.
Just wait there. Give us a minute.
There’s probably more ahead.
So, we’ll deal with it then.
I got it. I got it.
What about the kid?
I mean, maybe the first bite didn’t take, but what about the second?
How ’bout you just take the good news?
Can you do that?
Like to think, for once, maybe we could actually win?
Just go, go and watch her.
(melancholy music playing)
Is it everything you hoped for?
Jury’s still out.
But, man, you can’t deny that view.
C’mon, let’s get there before it’s dark.
(pensive music playing)
(foreboding music playing)
Tess (softly): Where the fuck are they?
(softly): Stay back.
What the fuck is going on?
I don’t know.
Ellie: They went inside.
Ellie: Holy shit.
I mean, there’s gotta be a, a fuckin’ radio or somethin’, right?
Who killed them? FEDRA?
One of them got bit.
The healthy ones fought the sick ones. Everyone lost.
Tess? What’re you doin’?
Where did Marlene say that she was taking you?
Uh, I don’t know. Just west.
Just west. Fuck. Okay.
Well, I mean, one of them’s gotta have a map on them, right?
Joel, can ya help me?
Tess… it’s over.
We are going home.
That’s not my fucking home!
I mean… our luck had to run out sooner or later.
Take your bandage off.
This is real.
Joel, she’s fucking real.
I need you to get her to Bill and Frank’s.
They’ll take her off your hands.
They’ll handle it from here.
No, no, no, I can’t. They won’t take her.
They’re not gonna take her.
They will. They will ’cause you’ll convince them.
Yes, you will.
I, I never ask you for anything, not to feel the way I felt.
Not to… Shut the fuck up ’cause I don’t have time.
This is your chance.
You get her there… you keep her alive… and you set everything right.
All the shit we did.
Please say yes, Joel, please.
All of them.
Maybe a minute.
What are you doing?
Making sure that they don’t follow you.
Joel… save who you can save.
We’re not leaving her!
Get off me, you fucker!
I’m not going with you!
(Tess breathing heavily)
(melancholy music playing)