The Last of Us episode 5 “Endure and Survive” review

Bloater coming out in episode 5 of TLoU

The Last of Us episode 5 “Endure and Survive” was the best one yet. It had some strange moments but overall it was super fun and entertaining. The source material from the game was adapted to the highest standards possible and I don’t have any complaints on that side. The side story with Kathleen (Melanie Lynskey) was the weakest part of the episode as it didn’t lead up to anything. However, the parts with Joel and Ellie as well as brothers Henry (Lamar Johnson) and Sam (Keivonn Montreal Woodard) were magnificently done. Without further ado, let’s see what happened in “Endure and Survive” TLoU episode 5.

A flashback from Kansas City QZ

In case you forgot, in episode 4 of the Last of Us we saw that citizens have taken over the control of Kansas City QZ. Joel and Ellie have managed to escape the patrols and as they were sleeping Henry and Sam snuck up and pointed guns at their heads. Episode 5 doesn’t pick up there but starts with events that happened before the fourth episode.

Kathleen executes the informants

The Last of Us episode 5 opens up with a flashback of what happened in Kansas City before Joel and Ellie arrived. We see vengeful people brutally taking down FEDRA officers and executing them on the streets. The rioting lasted for some time until we cut to Kathleen as she interrogates a group of prisoners. She is looking for Henry who is hiding with his deaf brother Sam in the city. Kathleen seeks revenge since Henry is the informant who gave her brother to FEDRA. Finally, one of the informants says that Henry is with Edelstein (the doctor from episode 4) and after extracting all the information that she could, Kathleen orders prisoners to be executed and their bodies to be burned afterward.

Kathleen interrogates informants in TLoU episode 5
Printscreen: HBO 

If this scene was supposed to be intense, I didn’t feel that. The thing is, we already know that Henry has escaped – we saw that in episode 4. We also know that a lot of people were killed in the citizen revolution against FEDRA so basically we just saw what we have already known. Some may argue that the scene is here so that Kathleen can achieve her character arc and so that we can have some background on her but I don’t see why that is important as we all know that this will be her last episode in the show. Also, she was not in the game so I am a bit baffled why this sequence was included in the story as it didn’t contribute anything to the overall plot.

Henry and super Sam run

As Kathleen is killing people, Henry and his brother Sam slip away to a secluded location in the city. Doctor Edelstein goes to gather supplies and in the next 10 minutes, we see the events that lead to them sneaking up on Joel and Ellie. We get some interesting background on Sam as he draws paintings of a superhero on walls. Henry is torn because he wants to get him to safety but knows that the best course of action is to wait for Edelstein to come back. However, he paints the superhero mask on Sam’s face in order to make him feel better before they move out of their hideout, now realizing the doctor is not coming back. Henry saw how Joel fought off the soldiers in the street and decides to follow him. That’s when Sam and Henry catch up on Joel and Ellie.

Henry paints Sam's face in "Endure and Survie" TLoU
Printscreen: HBO 

I like how the bond between brothers Henry and Sam is shown. The fact that Sam is deaf makes the whole situation even more excruciating, especially knowing what will happen to him in the end. The small comfort that he gets as Henry paints him the superhero mask felt like a relief for the viewer in that sense. Although the scene is rather long, it provided an interesting background on these characters and I really like that.

Escaping Kanzas City through the tunnels

The following part of the show opens up with a very interesting dialog between Henry and Joel. Henry and Sam are having their guns pointed at Joel and Ellie and trying to reason with them – they tell them how they are wanted and that they need to escape the city. Ellie’s lines are somewhere between panic and comedy and that works in this scene nicely. Although I knew what was going to happen I still felt the tension of the scene. After a while, they strike an agreement; Henry will show them the way through the tunnels and Joel will get them through. The trick is, the infected might be there as well so that’s why Henry needs Joel. Although the plan is not perfect they agree that it’s their only shot at getting out of Kanzas.

Joel and Henry make a plan on how to escape
Printscreen: HBO 

The quartet moves through the tunnels and gets to a secure location in them. It’s a room that was once used by survivors and they decided to rest there. The scene is really touching as Ellie and Sam find the “Savage Starlight” comic book and hype over it together. As the bond between the two of them grows, so does Joel start to soften up a bit and has an honest talk with Henry. Our gang concludes their stay in the room by reflecting on the quote from “Savage Starlight – To the edge of the universe and back, endure and survive” which describes their situation the best. This is basically a calm-before-the-storm type of scene it has been handled marvelously.

The big shoot-out in The Last of Us episode 5 “Endure and Survive”

Joel, Ellie, Sam, and Henry leave the tunnels as they are relieved by the fact that there are no infected in sight. However, their situation is going to go from bad to worse really quickly. The sniper shot is heard as they take cover behind a car. Joel sees the shooter on the roof and decides to flank him. As Joel moves towards the shooter we see that Kathleen has found out their location as she rushes towards them with a whole bunch of soldiers. Although Joel manages to take down the shooter he can’t relax since he sees that Kathleen has arrived and has Ellie, Henry and Sam surrounded. After a forgettable dialog, just before Kahlneen kills them all, the infected emerge from the hole in the ground and a battle takes place. Joel has the sniper and the high ground so he provides the cover. Ellie, Sam, and Henry try to run in the mayhem that follows. Soldiers are handling the infected to a certain degree but then a Bloater appears and they are overrun. Kathleen gets killed by a child clicker as the rest of the gang manages to run away.

Joel looks through the window and sees Kathleen searching for Henry
Printscreen: HBO 

This is by far, the best part of the series. The Last of Us episode 5 “Endure and Survive” really lived up to its name. The fight scene was so intense that the beginning reminded me of Massacre at Hardhome from GoT. The way the infected moved and how Joel provided covering fire was just pure art. And when the Bloater appears you can almost hear boss music playing in the background. I know that some fans are saying that it didn’t really behave like a Bloater from the game but for me, it was fine – although it did look more like a Tank from Left 4 Dead. Be it as it may, the scene was great and I enjoyed it a lot.

Battle with infected
Printscreen: HBO 

A bitter ending

All good things have to come to an end – and so does The Last of Us episode 5. Before the ending, we see a series of heartbreaking events. Sam was infected in the fight and Ellie tries to cure him with her blood. That doesn’t work so the next morning Sam attacks Ellie as he completely turns. Henry sees what happened and shoots Sam – and realizing what he has done kills himself immediately after. The bitter ending that we got made this episode feel like a short movie. It was produced, acted, and written almost perfectly. Besides the side story with Kathleen, I can say that this was a perfect adaptation of a video game on TV. HBO has done a good job with this one and I am eager to see what happens in The Last of Us episode 6 “Kin”.


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