No, Joel and Tess are not a couple in The Last of Us TV show. While they share a lot of intimate moments, they are never officially confirmed to be a couple.
This is also the case in The Last of Us video game, which treats their relationship as an inseparable bond with some light flirtation thrown into the mix.
Of course, with Tess’ fate up in the air in The Last of Us TV show, we may never truly find out what could have happened between her and Joel.
Joel and Tess’ relationship is too complex to be labeled a romantic couple. The two act more as co-dependents in an apocalyptic environment than people in love.
One of the clearest indications of this intricated affinity happens in Episode 2. When questioned by Ellie about their relationship, Joel replies, “Pass, “indicating that the topic is too complex to talk about with her.
They met when they were younger in the Boston QZ, introduced in episode one. From there, they joined forces and became smugglers, witnessing the horrors of their newfound environment together.
There are several intimate moments in the show, such as Joel cuddling her in bed in episode 1. However, neither character ever confirms they’re a couple, both vocally or physically.
Furthermore, toward the end of episode 2, Joel leaves Tess to fight against the Infected without too much hesitation.
Of course, their relationship is expanded upon even more when Bill is introduced. Fans may recognize the actor playing Bill as he was in a critically acclaimed sitcom.
If you’re wondering who plays Tess in The Last of Us TV show, you may be surprised to know it’s someone connected to both Cate Blanchett and one of the richest people in the world!