Who Is FEDRA in “The Last of Us” Show? Unraveling the Mystery of FEDRA In The Show
The world created in “The Last of Us” on HBO is quite complex. Based on the video game of the same name, the series follows Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) as they traverse a post-apocalyptic landscape following a global fungal infection.
In the first three episodes, viewers learn a little about what happened to the US government. Still, the fourth episode, which premiered on February 12, reveals more about the country’s current political reality — and what happened to the government. It is all connected to an organization called FEDRA (the Federal Disaster Response Agency). Its name is reminiscent of our own FEMA, but its function in their fungus-ravaged world is complex.
What does FEDRA mean in “The Last of Us”?
“When You’re Lost in the Darkness” begins in 2003, just before the pandemic that would bring humanity to the verge of extinction. When cordyceps fungi begin infecting humans and transforming them into beast-like creatures, the US military is tasked with stopping the infection at all costs. Therefore, on the evening of the outbreak, soldiers are ordered to execute civilians who cordyceps-infected individuals may have bitten. Sarah (Nico Parker), the daughter of Joel, is shot down as she attempts to flee the chaos. It is a gut-wrenching scene that promises future episodes will break our hearts multiple times. In addition, it reveals the limitations of pragmatic military reasoning.
The Federal Disaster Response Agency (FEDRA) is the primary authority in the United States following the outbreak of the Cordyceps fungus; a military branch of the government has replaced it.
The buildings in The Last of Us are littered with FEDRA warning signs denoting quarantine zones, rules, and regulations for managing the fungal pandemic. The phrase “Safety begins with you” appears on a FEDRA sign that lists the symptoms of Cordyceps infection. “Report Cordyceps to authorities immediately,” reads another with a diagram illustrating the time to complete the condition. FEDRA operates ammunition and pharmaceutical factories, as the FEDRA officer tells Joel in episode 1 regarding a factory in the Atlanta QZ that allegedly only produces both.
Twenty years later, the remnants of humanity reside in walled cities governed by FEDRA, a military organization tasked with preserving life. And according to Episode 1, FEDRA does not care about morality or fundamental human rights. The only thing that matters is keeping infected individuals outside the walls.
As depicted in “When You’re Lost in the Darkness,” FEDRA has armed men patrolling the streets, enforces a strict curfew, and publicly executes lawbreakers. FEDRA also uses specialized tools to detect infected individuals, killing them before they manifest symptoms, including children. FEDRA’s process for disposing of life is so well-organized that they employ citizens to burn corpses. FEDRA does not refrain from massacring its people for ostensible safety, as evidenced by the sheer number of corpses that Joel helps to throw into bonfires.
Fear is a powerful motivator for violating fundamental human rights, and under FEDRA’s authoritarian surveillance, the surviving humans have no hope for a fulfilling existence. However, they can at least continue to live. Twenty years after the initial outbreak, we still do not know what is occurring throughout the United States. Nevertheless, as much as it pains us to admit it, FEDRA’s brutal tactics have kept cities safe for the past two decades. So far, this has been the beauty of The Last of Us’s setting. There is no absolute good or evil; only individuals struggle to survive. Occasionally, this requires putting tyrants in power.