The Last of Us might be all about Joel and Ellie but Episode 2 gave Tess some long-deserved attention for a change. Although there is still much to learn about the character, it looks like Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann took the time to create her tragic backstory that was not explored in both the video game or the HBO series.
In The Last of Us Episode 2, Joel confirmed that Tess is from Michigan and he refused to elaborate on their relationship. Those are pretty much the only things we know about his smuggling partner but as it turns out, we were supposed to see Tess' backstory in the TV show.
"We wrote it, but we never shot it: it was a little bit of a backstory for Tess," Craig Mazin confirmed during the HBO show’s latest official podcast. He then revealed what he and co-showrunner Neil Druckmann had planned for Anna Torv's character.
"Tess had a kid. She had a husband and she had a son, and they were infected. She had to kill them. She killed her husband, but she could not kill her son. She couldn’t do it. She locked him in the basement, where theoretically he’s still a clicker," Mazin continued.
Druckmann, who also directed The Last of Us Episode 2, shared more details about their original plan.
"We had a cold open where the camera pushed on this door and you hear the pounding coming from this basement. Later, Tess would tell the story of how she couldn’t kill her son," he said.
It's unfortunate that we never got to see Tess' backstory but it might be for the best considering that Episode 2 is already traumatizing enough, thanks to THAT scene. Hopefully, we'll still get to learn a bit more about Tess in the next episodes.
The Last of Us Episode 2 is titled Infected and is now streaming on HBO Max.
Related: The Last of Us Showrunners Explain THAT Clicker Kiss