The Last of Us Episode 5, “Endure and Survive” came out a little earlier than expected as HBO didn’t want to clash with the Super Bowl this weekend. This means great news for us as we got to see perhaps the strongest outing of the series so far. The episode saw Joel, Ellie, Henry, and Sam team up to make their way out of Kansas City while being hunted down by Kathleen and the full weight of her militia.
“Endure and Survive” left no stones unturned as it delivered massively emotionally potent moments and a masterfully-executed action set-piece at the end. Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin have repeatedly emphasized their careful use of violence in the show and how it is used sparingly in the series compared to the game. However, this week’s episode kicked off with some rather gnarly visuals and didn’t let up for the entirety of its 59-minute runtime. Here, we take a look at some of the most important moments from The Last of Us Episode 5, “Endure and Survive” and recap perhaps one of the series’ strongest episodes so far.
FEDRA, a fascist regime overthrown
The episode kicks off with one of its gnarliest openings as we see a flashback of the militia led by Kathleen overthrowing FEDRA. It was revealed in previous episodes that FEDRA had been committing atrocities all over the QZ, leading to a lot of resentment and anger. This incited a full-on rebellion that saw FEDRA being murdered and even hanged on the streets. While these were implied to be extremely horrible people, the scene was quite difficult to stomach and truly sold the brutality of the world of The Last of Us.
It is here that it was revealed that Henry had been a collaborator of FEDRA’s. Collaborators were people who had essentially ratted on their fellow QZ resistance members and sold them out to FEDRA. We see Sam and Henry scurry away from the violence, hopefully in search of refuge. They eventually make their way over to Edelstein, a character we’ve already seen bite the bullet.
Joel has an “a**hole tone”
After Henry sees Joel in action, mowing down members of the militia, he makes the executive decision to enlist Joel’s help in getting him and his brother outside the city. We are then quickly brought to the present timeline as we see Henry and Sam hold Ellie and Joel at gunpoint. It is here that Henry reveals his intentions of actually helping out Joel and Ellie while essentially helping out himself and his brother. During the tense negotiation, Henry asks Joel if he can trust him as he lowers his gun, and Joel being Joel, refuses to show any signs of weakness and gives him absolutely no assurance. This prompts Ellie to jump in the middle and tell Henry that this is simply just how Joel sounds all the time and that he can actually trust him.
From here on out, we see Ellie and Joel become more of a team as Ellie seems much more relaxed around him knowing Joel will always be around to protect her. The ice has definitely thawed out and while Joel still seems a bit hesitant about his new role, he is much more comfortable now than he was at the start of the journey.
Henry is a bad guy?
The group of Joel, Henry, Sam, and Ellie make their way to the tunnels, which they find miraculously devoid of any Infected. It is here they find an abandoned colony underground replete with a small school for the children. Fans of the game know this as Ish’s underground colony that he built alongside fellow survivors, but ultimately, met a gruesome death at the hands of the infected. We see Joel and Henry engage in a riveting conversation wherein he explains why Kathleen is hunting him down, making him the most wanted man in the Kansas QZ. He reveals that sold out Kathleen’s brother, who was then at the time, the leader of the Kansas QZ.
Henry explains that he had to go to such lengths to get his hands on medicine to treat Sam’s leukaemia. While Joel was initially on the fence about “working with rats”, he seems to have come around to it and sees it as something Henry had to do. We see Joel still wrestling with the idea of being Ellie’s protector and somewhat of a father figure as he does feel incredibly protective of her by this point in the journey.
Kathleen, a necessary evil?
We then see Kathleen in the room that she shared with her brother as she is interrupted by Perry, her right-hand man. It is here that Kathleen’s rise to the top of the resistance leadership is revealed as to why she inspires such loyalty from the militia. It is revealed that even though her brother was a ‘great man’ and inspired a lot of loyalty from the people, it was ultimately Kathleen and her brand of brutality that got the job done as they overthrew FEDRA.
It is here that we see the extent of Kathleen’s unrelenting brutality and vengeance as he says that even her brother wanted her to forgive Henry and Sam. However, Kathleen does not seem to be anywhere close to forgiveness as she is willing to throw her entire militia at Henry and Sam.
The hoard and the Bloater
The episode ends with one of the tensest action set-pieces seen on TV as Ellie, Joel, Sam, and Henry are first hunted down by the militia. The militia clears the way by ramming cars off the road with their giant trucks as Kathleen makes her way to the front to draw out Henry. It seems like an unwinnable situation for the group as there is no way they can fight off the full weight of Kathleen’s militia. As a rather grim moment of ex machina, a hole in the ground populated swallows a burning truck whole as a massive hoard of infected come bursting out of it.
The militia try and fight them off as Joel tries to pick them off one by one with his new-found sniper rifle. But they are then quickly overwhelmed by the giant Bloater that crawls his way out of the crater. The Bloater is one of the most evolved forms of the Infected and has massive chunks of fungal plating that essentially makes them bulletproof. The Bloater then chomps his way through the militia and rips Perry in half.
Sam get infected
In the aftermath of the hoard attack, Ellie and Sam find comfort in reading the “Savage Starlight” comic books. Sam then reveals that he has been bitten and Ellie tries to help him by giving her some of her blood, as she is immune. The next morning, however, Ellie wakes up to Sam driven rabid by the infection as he attacks her. It is during this scuffle that Henry ultimately shoots Sam dead and watches in horror the consequence of his action.
In an absolutely tragic and horrifying moment, Henry turns the gun on himself and shoots. Ellie and Joel are naturally horrified by what just went down and we see Ellie leave an “I’m Sorry” note on Sam’s grave.
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