The Last Of Us – Season 1 Episode 5 Recap & Review

Endure and Survive

Episode 5 of The Last of Us starts with us in the past, as Kansas City breaks down into chaos and rioting after the outbreak. They string up police officers by the necks, prompting the military to roll in with extra firepower. Among the survivors are Henry and Sam, who keep their heads down and try to survive.

With FEDRA eventually stopped, Kathleen rounds up the townsfolk and belittles them. She goes on to tell them all she’s not FEDRA but is basically going to be the defacto dictator here. She also wants Henry, but everyone is silent about his whereabouts until a guy speaks up and claims he’s outside, meeting with an informant where they have a safe area to hide out. This happens to be the attic we saw Kathleen head to last episode.

Henry and Sam get cosy and decide to ration their gear. Henry believes they’ll have 11 days but Sam is scared. Henry tries to calm him down, encouraging the little guy to draw up on the walls.

Perry believes they should wait as they have a perimeter already and should regroup but Kathleen belittles him and talks down to the military man, telling him to move now and to burn the bodies when they’re done as it’s “faster” than putting them on trial.

Fast forward 10 days and both Sam and Henry are down to their last can. With their informant gone and no food left, the pair decide to head out and make it on foot. The pair are about to leave when suddenly they hear gunshots raining down outside. It’s the tiny shootout inside the department store, the one with 3 guys that we saw last chapter.

Henry notices Joel inside and the pair change their plans. They head to the apartment complex and that catches us up to the end of episode 4. Henry tells the pair that he wants to join hands and believes they should help one another. Henry lowers his gun and decides to trust them, as the four work together.

Sam and Ellie strike up a friendship, as the four formulate a plan together to get out of “Killer City”. Henry wants to help Joel and Ellie get out as he too can benefit from this. Pointing an unloaded gun is the closest he’s come to violence, apparently, so he needs Joel’s ruthlessness to get them an exit.

That’s easier said than done though when Kathleen controls everything, including the four highways around the city. There’s also no infected either, as they’ve all been driven underground 15 years back. The same underground that Henry and Sam intend to go down into to sneak past the soldiers. The FEDRA guy Henry was trusting apparently cleared the whole place out with his guys 3 years back but it’s a tricky plan, relying on sketchy intel. Joel is not convinced.

The four make it down to the maintenance tunnels, complete with some lovely nods toward the first game. The area includes an old community that seems to have settled underground after Outbreak Day. Joel and Ellie find old comic books and end up talking together. Ellie and Henry believe it’s a good idea to stick around and play a bit, so Joel allows them to do just that.

While they do, Henry admits he wasn’t open about his killing earlier. It turns out Sam got sick with leukemia and the only drug that made him better was being held by FEDRA. So the leader of the Kansas City resistance – and Kathleen’s brother – ended up killed in the process of getting the medicine.

Kathleen is completely unhinged. After killing the city’s doctor last episode and belittling all her officers, she next goes missing and heads back to her childhood room, the one her brother occupied before he was killed. Despite her brother telling her not to seek justice and revenge, Kathleen intends to do just that.

Joel’s group make it out of the tunnels and through to the other side. Only… there’s a problem. There’s a sniper up in the building across the way and Joel is forced to try and get the jump on him and head round the back. It’s another great moment from the game, as Joel rushes round under the cover of darkness and sneaks inside the house. There, he finds an old man who happens to be working with Kathleen.

Unfortunately, Kathleen and her group show up in their masses. Joel uses the sniper to take out the truck driver, while Kathleen’s group stand outside the house. Kathleen is absolutely fine with killing kids too, and admits as such in front of her group. With Henry unable to reason with her, he decides to face her head-on, commanding Ellie to hit the killer shot.

Now, all this time we have Joel with his sniper rifle, but just before he fires, the ground suddenly caves in and guttural snarls result in masses of the infected heading out and charging at Kathleen’s group.

Most of the infected are stopped but there’s something much bigger that comes out from the fire. A bloater. It makes short work of Kathleen’s group, while Perry decides to buy them some time (I mean, he gets Kathleen about 3 seconds before he’s literally ripped apart) while Kathleen doesn’t make it far either, as she’s also killed. Ellie saves two of the infected and they manage to get away.

With the fighting over, the four manage to find a safe refuge away from the carnage. Joel encourages Sam and Henry to join them on their way to Wyoming…but there’s a problem. Sam is infected. He’s been bitten and his leg is not in a good way.

Ellie agrees to stay up with Sam but he ends up turning in the middle of the night. The infected Sam jumps on Ellie and tackles her to the ground, while Henry is forced to kill Sam in cold blood. He’s in a state of shock and unable to deal with the grief, so Henry turns the gun on himself and fires.

As Joel buries Henry and Sam outside, Ellie leaves a message for Sam on his whiteboard, reading “I’m sorry”.

The Episode Review

The Henry and Sam storyline is a personal favourite part of The Last Of Us, with the initial shock of the pair dying working to round out a very action-packed series of chapters and leaving a somber and bittersweet taste. The silence that follows, with winter rolling in, is so perfectly captured in the game that it’s crazy they’ve managed to capture this storyline so effectively in the TV show too.

The little changes with Kathleen’s group though are arguably the worst part of this, especially as we know from survival situations (not to mention the military) that a weak leader can doom an entire group and cause a mutiny. I’m not sure why she wasn’t the right hand woman to Perry, who cuts a much more intimidating figure. Plus, Kathleen’s actions were just erratic and crazed, especially going missing like that.

Away from this, the Henry and Sam storyline is perfectly played out in this series and marks a high-point in this series. For those unfamiliar with the games, they’re bound to be absolutely heartbroken with this revelation, and even re-watching this (after playing the game more times than I’d like to say!) it still hits hard.

Episode 5 is by far the best episode of the entire series. Hopefully the rest of the season can keep up this level of excellence.

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You can read our full season review for The Last Of Us here!

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2 thoughts on “The Last Of Us – Season 1 Episode 5 Recap & Review”

  1. My children and I were very sad not to mention upset that Henry and his Brother had to die!!!! Whyyyyyy?????

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