Surprise! The Last of Us episode 5 has dropped two days early which means we finally saw the resolution of that cliffhanger. And what a resolution it was. Titled ‘Endure and Survive’, the fifth episode of The Last of Us was a heavy one.
Let’s recap what happened and point out a few easter eggs that we noticed.
This article contains full spoilers for The Last of Us TV show. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can watch episodes 1-5 over on Binge now.
The Last of Us episode 5: Plot recap
The episode opens on a parade of people brutally murdering FEDRA soldiers in the streets of Kansas City as they celebrate their newfound liberation.
Henry (Lamar Johnson) watches from inside. He uses ASL to indicate to his deaf younger brother, Sam (Keivonn Woodard), that he should stay close as they hide from the patrolling rebels.
Elsewhere, Kathleen (Melanie Lynskey) visits a cage full of prisoners and berates them for betraying their neighbours, her people, to FEDRA. She offers them a choice: give up Henry or they’ll be killed. Eventually, someone talks, revealing that Henry is with Edelstein (the Doctor that Kathleen murdered in the last episode), who has a safe house in the city.
Kathleen orders the hunters to go door to door for Henry, but Perry (Jeffrey Pierce) thinks they’re better off waiting him out. Kathleen reminds Perry that Henry is her first priority. She then orders him to kill all the prisoners.
Henry and Sam creep into an empty building where they come across Doctor Edelstein. He hides them in an attic and they take stock of their limited supplies. Henry reassures Sam that they are safe and then surprises him with a packet of crayons, encouraging him to brighten up their new home with his artistry.
Ten days later and Sam’s artwork of superheroes adorns the walls. The brothers are still holed up in the attic and they’re out of food. Edelstein hasn’t come back.
Henry decides they need to make a move. He’s been studying the rebel’s patterns and thinks they’ll be able to make it on foot. To inspire Sam, Henry paints a superhero mask onto his brother’s face.
As they’re about to move onto the street, they witness the shooting match that occurred last episode between Joel and the hunters. Henry has a new plan.
We catch up to where the previous episode ends and watch as Henry and Sam sneak up on Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) while they’re asleep.
Henry proposes an alliance and Joel begrudgingly agrees.
They share their food and Henry explains how the people in Kansas City have overthrown FEDRA, who tortured and starved them for years.
Then Henry lays out his knowledge of Kathleen’s forces and reveals his master plan – they can escape through the tunnels. Joel is unsure why they need him and Henry reveals the one flaw in his plan, all the infected in the city were driven underground by FEDRA. Everyone thinks the tunnels are still swarming with monsters, but Henry got a tip that FEDRA has actually cleared them out. Maybe there’s one or two hanging around, but they should be clear.
It’s risky but it’s their only option.
The group make their way to the tunnel entrance. The way seems to be clear and Henry is pleased with himself, but Joel is less optimistic.
They move through the tunnels unobstructed, at one point passing through a room filled with beautiful children’s drawings. It’s set up like a school. Joel has heard of such underground settlements that kept people safe after the outbreak. The group decides to rest here for a moment.
Sam and Ellie find a Savage Starlight comic and bond over their shared love for the series. Then they play soccer at a makeshift goal.
The adults talk and Henry comments on the fatherly bond Joel has with Ellie. Joel then learns that Henry ratted out one of the resistance leaders to FEDRA in exchange for medicine to help Sam’s leukemia. That leader happened to be Kathleen’s brother, Michael.
Speaking of, we find Kathleen reminiscing in her childhood bedroom when Perry reports to her that they still haven’t found Henry. Kathleen reveals that her brother implored her to forgive before he died. He wouldn’t want her to pursue this vengeance. But, unfortunately, she’s not her brother and she wants justice.
Joel, Ellie, Henry and Sam make it out of the tunnels and into a suburban street. They’re talking about parting ways when the shooting starts.
A sniper has them pinned down. Joel decides to go ahead and flank the shooter while the others wait.
Joel manages to get the jump on the sniper and offers him a chance to walk away, but he fights back and Joel has to shoot him. The hunter’s radio reveals that Kathleen and her people are on the way.
The rebels arrive en masse with a giant battering truck clearing the way for an army of armed vehicles.
Joel attempts to use the sniper rifle to cover Sam, Henry and Ellie as they run away. He gets one good shot on the truck, killing the driver and causing it to crash into a nearby house and explode.
Kathleen and her group converge on Henry’s position. Henry offers himself up in exchange for sparing Sam and Ellie, but Kathleen isn’t interested in negotiating. Henry comes forward in surrender and Kathleen prepares to shoot him. But as she does the nearby burning truck falls through a sinkhole in the ground.
Then we finally learn what was bubbling under the floor of the basement in the previous episode. Out of the sinkhole comes hundreds of infected.
The rebels fire on them but they’re very quickly overrun. Joel attempts to cover Ellie, Henry and Sam as they escape the battle.
Then crawling out of the sinkhole comes something worse. A bloater, aka a boss-level infected.
The bloater barrels through the fighters and rips Perry’s head clean off.
Ellie finds refuge in a car but she’s chased by a small clicker that crawls into the car with her. As she escapes out the other window, she sees Henry and Sam trapped under a car, surrounded by clickers. Ellie shivs one and Joel picks off the other with his rifle.
They’re close to escaping the area when Kathleen intercepts them and holds them at gunpoint. It turns out that was not a wise move because, in the next minute, she’s taken out by a clicker that rips her apart.
The group escape into the forest as the infected absolutely decimate the last of the rebel fighters. Guess FEDRA didn’t clear out all the tunnels after all.
The group finds a house to hide in and tends to their shared trauma. Joel decides to offer for Henry to come with them to Wyoming.
Ellie and Sam read their Savage Starlight comic before going to sleep. Communicating via an etch-a-sketch notepad, Sam wonders how Ellie never seems to be afraid and she reveals to him that she’s scared all the time, particularly of ending up alone.
Sam then reveals to Ellie that he was bitten in the attack. Ellie shows Sam her healed bite mark and, thinking that her blood will save him, she cuts her hand and places it over his bite. She then promises to stay awake with him through the night.
Unfortunately, Ellie drifts off at some point and when she wakes the next morning it’s to the realisation that Sam has turned.
He attacks her. Joel goes for a pistol to save Ellie but Henry reaches it first.
At first, he stops Joel from intervening. Then with Sam showing no signs of backing off, Henry shoots his brother.
In shock, Henry points the gun at Joel, as the realisation of what he’s just done sinks in. Then he turns the gun on himself and fires.
Joel and Ellie dig graves for Henry and Sam. Ellie leaves the notepad on Sam’s fresh mound. It reads “I’m sorry”.
Episode 5 of The Last of Us was chock full of Easter eggs for fans of the game. Here are a few we noticed:
- Fans have been wondering whether the iconic Ish storyline would make it into the series – and it did! In the game, while in the tunnels of Pittsburgh, Joel can collect a number of letters written by someone named Ish. Ish’s letters detail an interesting life and explain how he built a thriving community in the sewers, that even had a school for children. Ish became the protector of this community until one of the doors to their bunker was left open and the infected flooded in. Ish’s last letter reveals he and a few others escaped the sewers, but his fate after that is left unknown. In the show, Joel and Ellie come across the remains of Ish’s community.
- Unlike the show, the tunnels underneath Pittsburgh in the game are not, in fact, empty of infected.
- The TV series makes a notable change to the character of Sam, who is not deaf in the games. Keivonn Woodard, the actor who portrays Sam, is deaf in real life.
- Sam and Ellie bond over their love of Savage Starlight comics. In the game, these are collectible items that Joel can salvage and give to Ellie. ‘Endure and Survive’ is a catchphrase from the comics that becomes a recurring mantra throughout the games for Joel and Ellie.
- This episode gives audiences their first look at a Bloater – one of the most dangerous types of infected. In the game, players encounter their first bloater much earlier in the story, when they raid a high school with Bill.
- The series shows us for the first time what a child clicker would look like. The clicker that follows Ellie into the car is smaller and younger than the rest, whereas, up until this point in both the series and the games, only adults have been depicted as clickers.
The Last of Us Episode 5: Verdict
The Last of Us episode 5 pays off everything that was set up in episode 4, in spectacular style. The series deepened its characters’ relationships by welcoming Henry and Sam into the story, only to end the episode with a heartwrenching conclusion that rams home the dark reality of surviving in a world like this one.
The action-packed battle in the suburban streets was also well worth waiting for and made up for any lack of infected interaction in the past few episodes.
The Last of Us continues to be a smart adaptation of the source material, expanding on the world of the games whilst also faithfully recreating many key moments and scenes.
Stream The Last of Us on Binge.
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