February 3, 2023

[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers for The Last of Us, Season 1 Episode 2, “Infected.”]

Within the opening scene of HBO’s new sequence The Final of Us, it’s established fungus shall be accountable for a extremely transmissible outbreak that sparks a world pandemic. Nevertheless, the present doesn’t go into express element about how the an infection really spreads, resulting in fan hypothesis culminating within the flour idea.

An Episode 2 flashback to an incident at a flour manufacturing unit in Jakarta, Indonesia lends robust credence to the idea, particularly when trying again at “little bits of breadcrumbs” sprinkled all through the primary episode. Learn on to be taught extra in regards to the flour idea.

Remember to additionally learn our overview of the primary season, and be taught the importance of Depeche Mode’s “By no means Let Me Down Once more” in Episode 1 right here. You can even sustain with all of the music performed on The Final of Us right here.

What Are the Fundamentals of the Flour Concept?

The Final of Us (HBO)

Based on the idea (by way of Reddit), the outbreak spreads from contaminated flour. The start of Episode 2 takes place in Jakarta, Indonesia on September twenty fourth, 2003, when mycologist Dr. Ratna Pertiwi (Christine Hakim) is escorted by authorities to a authorities laboratory to examine and make sure {that a} ready specimen is a fungus known as Ophiocordyceps.

When Pertiwi is instructed it got here from a human, she is skeptical as a result of Ophiocordyceps shouldn’t be capable of develop in a human physique. She is then dropped at an airlocked laboratory to try the contaminated girl. Throughout Pertiwi’s inspection, she’s horrified to extract a fungal tendril from the girl’s mouth.

Pertiwi is then knowledgeable of the incident at a flour mill through which the contaminated girl started attacking her coworkers and prompted a number of of them to go “lacking.” Realizing the gravity of the state of affairs, Pertiwi gravely suggests the one resolution is to bomb your entire metropolis to stop the fungal outbreak from spreading additional.

This all ties again to the opening scene of The Final of Us, through which scientist Dr. Neuman (John Hannah) shares his fears of a fungal pandemic by describing how Ophiocordyceps unilateralis can take management of an ant’s mind, substitute the ant’s flesh with its personal, after which maintain it from decomposing. His colleague factors out any such fungus shouldn’t be recognized to have an effect on people, however Neuman responds by saying world warming might pressure fungi to adapt to greater temperatures.

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