The Last of Us, HBO's latest hit drama, leaves a lot to the imagination as viewers dip their toes into the enticing waters of the popular video game adaptation. Only two episodes have been released so far, but TikTok researchers were already quick to uncover a crucial clue. Namely, how the fungal virus that's now invaded the fictional world first spread.
The densely-packed premiere episode, which aired on January 15, not only painted a haunting picture of the world's pre- and post-outbreak, but also revealed that there were more than a few breadcrumbs scattered throughout the episode, according to series co-creator Craig Mazin. That's intentional.
On TikTok, viewers are reciting Mazin's quotation in several instances in which Sarah Miller (Nico Parker) and Joel Miller (Pedro Pascal) repeatedly wiggle their way out of consuming wheat flour, which, depending on the type of flour used, contains yeast.
We all assumed it was just a funny joke when Joel refused Mr. Adler's biscuits because he was on an Atkins diet. When Sarah can't make Joel pancakes for breakfast because he forgot to buy the flour mix at the grocery store, we thought it was just a kid's aversion to anything healthy. When Joel forgets to bring home a cake to his birthday, we're learning that all of these minor things weren't really minor at all.
Any enjoyment one might get from eating something as delectable as a cookie was almost completely eradicated.
This flour-based speculation was not directly confirmed in the second episode, although it was indirectly verified by a Jakartan mycologist Dr. Ibu Ratna (Christine Hakim) at the start of the episode. When the officer explained that the outbreak occurred at a flour factory on the west side of the city, our assumptions were nearly confirmed.
Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann, who co-created them, finally issued an official confirmation in an interview with Variety. Mazin called the flour-based breadcrumbs they'd dropped "pretty explicit," and Druckmann said, "Yeah, we pretty much said yes."
When The Last of Us premieres all-new episodes on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT on HBO, dedicate fans and TikTok sleuths are left to read between the lines, spot the clues, and put the puzzle pieces together.