Endure and Survive on HBO Max

Joel and Ellie make some new pals on this week’s The Final of Us.
Picture: HBO

Anybody complaining that The Last of Us doesn’t have sufficient zombies in it should shut up with the discharge of the season’s fifth episode, “Endure and Survive.” After an exhilarating, tension-filled escape from Kansas City, Joel, Ellie, and a few pals discovered themselves up once more a whole lot of zombies of all styles and sizes. And even so, that was removed from the scariest a part of one other glorious episode.

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Episode 5 of The Final of Us, “Endure and Survive,” started up to now. It takes a couple of minutes to comprehend however the scenes of carnage we’re witnessing are the individuals of Kansas Metropolis rising up and taking energy away from FEDRA. However they’re not simply taking again energy, they’re beating and torturing the troopers. We see a few of this by way of the eyes of a person and a baby who chances are you’ll recognize from the end of the previous episode. They’re the individuals holding up Ellie and Joel at gunpoint and we’ll quickly come to know them as Henry (Lamar Johnson) and Sam (Keivonn Woodard), the individuals Kathleen (Melanie Lynskey) has been looking for. They communicate primarily in ASL as Sam is unable to listen to.

Kathleen hasn’t discovered them but although and questions a room of individuals she calls “informers” about them. These are individuals who Kathleen claims would rat on fellow residents to FEDRA to get sure luxuries. She’s about to kill all of them when one in all them says he is aware of the place Henry and Sam are. They’re with a health care provider named Edelstein, however he doesn’t know the place. Happy, Kathleen leaves the prisoners and tells her military that discovering Henry and Sam is the primary precedence so they need to begin searching for them and Edelstein. As for these informers? Kathleen orders them to all be executed, which occurs in a chilling offscreen method.

Henry and Sam are about to go on quite the journey.

Henry and Sam are about to go on fairly the journey.
Picture: HBO

Henry and Sam sneak across the metropolis and make it to a secret house protected by the physician we noticed Kathleen questioning in the previous episode. His title, you guessed it, is Edelstein (John Getz). He brings Henry and Sam into his hidden attic house and figures out that with the meals they’ve out there, they’ll’t final greater than 11 days. Within the subsequent 11 days, they should discover a means out of Kansas Metropolis. To try to guarantee his youthful brother—they’re siblings, because it seems—Henry lies and says he’s not scared, so Sam shouldn’t be both, and offers him some crayons to embellish the in any other case drab house.

Let’s take a fast pause right here. If you remember in last week’s recap, I discussed that that episode can be made much more rewarding after seeing this one. Effectively, in final week’s episode, we discovered that Kathleen captured and killed Edelstein for not saying the place Henry and Sam are (although we didn’t understand it was Edelstein then) after which we noticed that she really finds his hidden attic house which has already been all embellished. So The Final of Us is filling in some tiny holes from the earlier episode in a extremely elegant means.

Ten days move and Edelstein is gone. (We all know he’s not coming again however the characters don’t know but.) Sam is hungry however Henry is holding out hope for the physician’s return with some meals. When he’s not again the following morning (day 11) Henry tells Sam that Edelstein might be lifeless (good guess) and they need to depart (good instincts). However, as a result of they’re each scared, and Sam paints an orange masks on all of the superheroes he attracts, Henry paints an orange masks on his brother too.

The attic Kathleen found last week, explained.

The attic Kathleen discovered final week, defined.
Picture: HBO

They’re about to exit the entrance door when Henry hears a bunch of capturing and screaming exterior. He peeks out and sees a blue truck crashed right into a constructing and a devilishly good-looking man with a mustache and a flannel killing the attackers. After all, it’s Joel, and we’re seeing the events of the previous episode from one other viewpoint. After seeing what Joel is able to, Henry tells Sam their plan to flee has modified.

It’s night and Sam and Henry are climbing the identical steps we noticed Joel and Ellie climb within the earlier episode. We all know what’s about to occur—they’re about to carry up Joel and Ellie and gunpoint—however now figuring out their backstory, and figuring out they don’t have any bullets, any worry we could have felt for Joel and Ellie shifts. We all know it is a big bluff by Henry and Sam and so our worry transfers to them. Once more, simply actually good, fascinating storytelling that connects us to every essential character.

Lastly, we’re again on the finish of the earlier episode, and after a tense second the place Joel’s asshole voice nearly ruins the whole lot, a reluctant truce is made. Henry explains that he’s essentially the most wished man in Kansas Metropolis however he thinks Joel could now be the second and thinks they need to work collectively.

Joel and Ellie are unsure about trusting Sam and Henry.

Joel and Ellie are uncertain about trusting Sam and Henry.
Picture: HBO

Joel and Ellie give Henry and Sam some meals and you may see that whereas Joel remains to be very cautious in regards to the scenario, Ellie is anxious to have one other child to be a child with. She nearly immediately begins joking round with Sam and shortly, the pair are laughing collectively, which warms each Joel and Henry’s hearts.

Henry reveals that he has Joel and Ellie found out. They have been looking for a excessive level to see a means out of the town. He tells Joel that he is aware of the best way out of the town and has devised a plan to make use of underground tunnels to flee with out Kathleen or her military discovering them. Joel is reluctant once more as a result of a) Henry reveals he was an informer and Joel doesn’t like that, and b) those tunnels are the place all the town’s contaminated are. Nevertheless, Henry doesn’t consider that to be true anymore. A FEDRA supply of his stated the tunnels have been cleared. However, in case they aren’t, he is aware of Joel is a way more succesful man than he’s when it comes to safety. “I present the best way, you clear the best way,” Henry proposes, and Joel agrees.

As the 2 males and two youngsters head into the constructing, The Final of Us had a stress and power it hasn’t but. That’s as a result of for the primary time, the viewers is aware of that the characters even have a plan and we’re going to observe them execute it. Are there contaminated within the tunnels? Will Joel must kill them? Does Henry know what he’s speaking about? Will Kathleen discover them? All of this circles in our minds because the 4 of them head down under the town.

Into the tunnels.

Into the tunnels.
Picture: HBO

Henry was proper. The tunnels appear to be clear and, quickly, they arrive up upon a room that’s sort of like a daycare, embellished with every kind of drawings and child’s toys. Ellie and Sam instantly dive in and the group decides perhaps it’s not such a nasty concept to take a break to allow them to emerge from the tunnel somewhat nearer to dusk.

Sam and Ellie play soccer and browse comics as Henry explains to Joel precisely why he’s not simply wished, however on the run. He explains that Sam was recognized with leukemia and the one drugs that would assist him was managed by FEDRA. With a view to get the drugs to save lots of Sam, Henry needed to commerce them one thing large. And so he traded the whereabouts of the chief of the resistance motion in Kansas Metropolis, a terrific man that he admired who simply occurs to be Kathleen’s brother.

Henry feels responsible about this however Joel, and the viewers, aren’t so certain. Sure, he needed to principally sentence a pal, a person he admired, to loss of life. Which is terrible. However the flip aspect is that his little brother, the one individual relying on him on this world, would die if he didn’t. Is Henry the dangerous man? He appears to suppose so, however we’re not sure we agree.

Super Sam.

Tremendous Sam.
Picture: HBO

In the meantime, Kathleen goes dwelling. She’s standing in her childhood bed room when her second in command Perry (Jeffrey Pierce, who voiced Tommy within the authentic video games, do you know that? I didn’t) strolls in. She tells him in regards to the ways in which her brother, Michael, would make her really feel protected and cherished. Michael was such an incredible individual, the truth is, that earlier than he was killed by FEDRA, he informed Kathleen to spare Henry. To indicate him mercy. So, Kathleen believes, her brother wouldn’t approve of the whole lot she’s finished. Perry, who has been taking all this in, says that whereas everybody cherished Michael, his kindness didn’t get something finished. It was Kathleen that took Kansas Metropolis again, and so they’re there for her.

This scene, whereas small in stature, was big in thematic ramifications. To see Kathleen—like Henry, like Joel—battle together with her personal morality is actually what this complete part of the present has been about. There’s good and dangerous in all of us and we select which aspect to set free.

That scene was additionally the right dose of calm to arrange what was about to occur. Joel, Ellie, Henry, and Sam make it by way of the tunnels unscathed and emerge into the residential space on the outskirts of city. A number of extra blocks and Henry thinks they’re dwelling free. Everyone seems to be chatting and joyful when bullets begin whizzing by their heads. There’s a sniper on the finish of the highway and Joel leaves his pals behind cowl in order that he can maintain it.

Joel makes it to the home and finds a comparatively older man behind the rifle. Joel pleads with him to only give him the gun and wait—he’ll be spared—however the man doesn’t pay attention and turns to shoot, so Joel is pressured to kill him. For a second, it looks as if all is properly as soon as once more, besides Kathleen is on the radio. The sniper informed her the individuals have been there and he or she’s on the best way.

Time for Perry and Kathleen to meet their fate.

Time for Perry and Kathleen to satisfy their destiny.
Picture: HBO

Now solely is Kathleen on the best way, she’s bringing her military. Lead by what can solely be described as a snow plow for vehicles, Kathleen and her staff arrive in actually bombastic style. Ellie, Henry, and Sam run for it as Joel shoots with the sniper rifle. Ultimately, he hits the driving force of the plow, which crashes right into a home after which explodes.

Kathleen yells to a hiding Henry to come back out, which he says he’ll if she lets the youngsters go. She says no and tells him that perhaps Sam was alleged to die. That he’s not value risking the whole lot for. However earlier than the dialog can finish, that burning truck collapses into the bottom. Keep in mind final week when Kathleen and Perry have been scared about the bottom transferring? And bear in mind earlier on this episode when Henry defined FEDRA moved the contaminated underground? Is all of it coming collectively for you?

Quickly, an avalanche of contaminated come pouring out of the bottom and for the following 5 minutes, The Final of Us grew to become the full-fledged zombie present individuals in all probability anticipated it to be. Ellie, Henry, and Sam try and run as Joel covers them by way of sniper rifle from down the highway. However Kathleen’s military is getting eaten up. Actually. We even get our first have a look at one of many fan-favorite characters from the online game, a Bloater. It’s large, it’s gross, it’s robust, and although Perry efficiently saves Kathleen from him, he’s not so fortunate. RIP Bearded Will Forte.

Ellie hides in a automobile however is adopted by a clicker who strikes like one thing out of The Ring. Joel continues to cowl her. Lastly, simply when Henry, Sam, and Ellie suppose it’s protected, Kathleen catches up with them. She’s about to shoot when that very same clicker who was after Ellie jumps on her again. RIP Kathleen and RIP Kansas Metropolis—as the contaminated, pondering they’ve killed everybody on the town, run again in direction of the town.

Things are about to get very dark.

Issues are about to get very darkish.
Picture: HBO

Determined for relaxation, Joel, Henry, and the youngsters discover an outdated resort. Ellie and Sam act like the whole lot is okay, which Henry and Joel suppose is among the finest components of being a child. What they don’t see although is Ellie and Sam speaking about their fears and, finally, Sam revealing to Ellie he’s been bitten. She reveals him her wound and explains that her blood could also be drugs, so she cuts herself and wipes it on him. Ellie guarantees to remain up all evening to observe over Sam.

Ellie falls asleep although, and when she will get up, finds Sam already awake. She walks over to him however he’s gone. He’s contaminated. Sam assaults Ellie and so they smash by way of the door into Joel and Henry’s room. Henry grabs the gun however hesitates to do something as Ellie is being attacked. Shortly although he shoots Sam within the head, killing him. “What did I do?” he retains saying by way of worry and tears. Joel asks him for the gun again however Henry places it to his head and pulls the set off. The guilt of not simply dropping his brother, however having to do it himself was an excessive amount of.

It’s a strong, heartbreaking, scary second all rolled into one and it performs out in a really purposeful means. As an alternative of us seeing Henry commit suicide, we watch Ellie’s response to it. By means of that, we see her worry, her horror, and precisely what this world is doing to her innocence. It’s an enormous second for Ellie, to so rapidly lose one thing you have been starting to like.

Joel knows Ellie will never be the same.

Joel is aware of Ellie won’t ever be the identical.
Picture: HBO

Exterior, Joel and Ellie bury their pals and Ellie leaves a observe on Sam’s grave: “I’m sorry.” She actually thought perhaps her blood might assist him. Or that she ought to have been a greater protector when the contaminated rushed them. However, Ellie in the present day will not be the Ellie of the day earlier than. She’s tougher, extra jaded, and issues are simply getting began.

“Endure and Survive” (named after the catchphrase of the comedian guide Ellie and Sam learn all through the episode, which I’m now realizing I didn’t point out up thus far) was phenomenal. The best way Henry and Sam’s story crammed in gaps from the earlier episodes and recontextualized feelings, the philosophical conversations highlighting the present’s central themes, and, after all, the large, badass motion sequence crammed with contaminated. As nice as The Final of Us has been, this felt just like the episode the place issues lastly got here all collectively, and there’s nonetheless nearly half a season to go.

Watch episodes of The Final of Us, together with the most recent one, right here.

Need extra io9 information? Try when to count on the most recent Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s subsequent for the DC Universe on film and TV, and the whole lot you want to find out about the way forward for Doctor Who.

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