'The Last of Us' Episode 5 recap: Two heartbreaking deaths as we learn more about Kathleen, Henry

We find out about Kathleen’s life and backstory, while also confirming how Henry became her Number 1 enemy

Keivonn Woodard, Lamar Johnson in HBO's The Last of Us Episode 5 (Liane Hentscher/HBO)
Keivonn Woodard, Lamar Johnson in HBO's The Last of Us Episode 5 (Liane Hentscher/HBO)

HBO’s The Last of Us gives us yet another heartbreaking storyline in Episode 5 of the hit series, starring Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey, with this episode also featuring Melanie Lynskey, Canadian Lamar Johnson and Keivonn Woodard.

If you’ve been following the social media commentary around Lynskey, after Adrianne Curry, the Season 1 winner of America's Next Top Model, wrote in now-deleted tweets that “her body says life of luxury … not post apocalyptic [sic] warlord.” Episode 5 of The Last of Us just reinforces phenomenal Lynskey is in the role.

“I’m playing a person who meticulously planned & executed an overthrow of FEDRA. I am supposed to be SMART, ma’am,” Lynskey tweeted in response. “I don’t need to be muscly. That’s what henchmen are for.”

In the just-released episode of The Last of Us, we find out more about Kathleen’s life and backstory, and how she got to be the leader of the revolutionary movement in Kansas City, Missouri.

We also find out that the man and boy who have Ellie (Ramsey) and Joel (Pascal) at gunpoint are in fact brothers Henry (Johnson) and Sam (Woodard). It’s their storyline that is particularly heart wrenching.

Here's everything you need to know from Episode 5 of HBO's The Last of Us (spoilers ahead):

The episode takes us back to the Kansas City QZ, with civilian revolutionaries chanting, “f-ck you FEDRA.”

Kathleen and Perry (Jeffrey Pierce) walk into an ex-FEDRA detention cell with a group of people they rounded up, all informants that were working with FEDRA.

“You know Perry, I used to be so scared of these people. Now look at them,” Kathleen says. “Did it feel good, betraying your neighbours to FEDRA? … Watching us hang so that you could get medicine, alcohol, f-cking apples. Did it make you feel better? Did it make you feel safe?”

“Well I’m not FEDRA, lucky for you. No one here has to die. We could put you on trial ... and you’ll do some time, easy.”

Kathleen asks them where Henry is. When no one answers, she instructs Perry to kill them, but then someone speaks up and says he’s with Edelstein (Kathleen's doctor that we met in Episode 4). They had a place in the open city, but he doesn’t know exactly where it is.

As Kathleen and Perry leave, she confirms that these informants will in fact be killed.

“When you’re done, burn the bodies. It’s faster,” she says to Perry.

Keivonn Woodard in The Last of Us (Liane Hentscher/HBO)
Keivonn Woodard in The Last of Us (Liane Hentscher/HBO)

The episode takes us slightly back in time to that attic area Kathleen and Perry found in Episode 4. But just before they arrived, Harry had been there with Sam and Edelstein. They have supplies to survive for about 11 days. Seeing that Sam (who is deaf) is scared, Henry goes over to him and signs that they’re OK and no one is going to find him, before handing Sam crayons to draw and decorate the space. Henry also painted on a superhero-type mask over Sam’s eyes.

Just then, Henry looks out the window and sees Joel’s altercation with the hunters at the laundromat. That's when Henry and Sam start following Joel and Ellie.

Bella Ramsey, Pedro Pascal in The Last of Us (Liane Hentscher/HBO)
Bella Ramsey, Pedro Pascal in The Last of Us (Liane Hentscher/HBO)

Why Kathleen is on the hunt for Henry

Now we’re back where we left off at the end of Episode 4. Henry tells Joel and Ellie that they want to help them, not hurt them, and he's never hurt anyone before. Henry and Sam introduce themselves and the foursome start talking.

Henry explains that he was a FEDRA collaborator, which initially concerns Joel, who doesn’t work with “rats.” Henry stresses that Joel needs him. Henry knows the city and knows how to help them out, but he needs Joel’s fighting power.

Henry explains that many of the buildings in the city were built by the same developer and share a series of interconnected maintenance tunnels underground. That will lead to an embankment and eventually a pedestrian bridge over a river to leave the area. Clarifying why, seemingly, there aren't any infected in Kansas City, Henry says FEDRA drove the infected underground, so Kathleen won’t go there, but he was told that all the Clickers cleared out three years ago.

“OK, maybe there’s one or two, but you handle them,” Henry says to Joel.

With everyone accepting that this "dicey as f-ck" plan is their best shot to get out, Joel, Henry, Ellie and Sam all head underground.

In their journey, they reach an area that looks like a kids' classroom or daycare. On a whiteboard is a set of rules that read: “Make sure doors are locked. Ask for the password if you don’t know the visitor. No shouting or noisy play. Run to the hiding spot when you hear the alarm.”

“People went underground after outbreak day, built settlements,” Joel explains as they enter this space.

When Ellie asks what happened to them, Joel responds, “Maybe they didn’t follow the rules and they all got infected.”

Ellie and Sam start playing together with some abandoned items in this underground area, Sam picks up a “Savage Starlight” comic, something the two kids have in common, as they share which editions they owned, by writing on a paper attached to a clipboard. "Endure and survive" is the slogan from the comics.

While Henry and Joel are together, Henry reveals that he wasn’t telling the truth about not hurting anyone before. He talks about a “great man” that was “the kind of man you would follow anywhere, and explains that when Sam was sick, with leukemia, there was one drug that worked well but there wasn’t much of it, and what was left belonged to FEDRA. In order to get that drug, he gave FEDRA something “big,” that “great man,” who was Kathleen’s brother Michael, the then-leader of the resistance in Kansas City.

“I am the bad guy because I did a bad guy thing,” Henry says to Joel. “You get it though, you may not be her father, but you’re someone’s … I could tell.”

Jeffrey Pierce, Melanie Lynskey in
Jeffrey Pierce, Melanie Lynskey in "The Last of Us" (Liane Hentscher/HBO)

A glimpse into Kathleen's past life

Getting back to Kathleen, we find her in her childhood bedroom, just as Perry walks in to talk to her.

“When Michael and I were little, this room seemed so big,” Kathleen says. “I was really scared of thunder so when there was a storm Michael told me that this wasn’t a room at all, that this was actually just a big wooden box.”

“He said as long as we were together, in our perfect box, we would be safe. He did that for me. He did stuff like that all the time, he was so beautiful. I’m not. I never was. He would be horrified by the things I’ve done and if you’ve come to tell me that Michael wouldn’t want me to hurt Henry, that he would want me to forgive, I know that too. He told me. The last time I saw him alive, in jail, he told me to forgive. And what did he get for that? Where is the justice in that?"

Perry responds by saying that her brother was a “great man” but “he didn’t change anything.”

“You did,” Perry says. “We’re with you.”

Keivonn Woodard, Lamar Johnson in HBO's The Last of Us Episode 5 (Liane Hentscher/HBO)
Keivonn Woodard, Lamar Johnson in HBO's The Last of Us Episode 5 (Liane Hentscher/HBO)

Two of the most heartbreaking deaths in 'The Last of Us'

This is where the major action in the episode begins, including an adrenaline-filled scene of attacks.

When we see Henry, Sam, Joel and Ellie get out of the tunnel, they all hide behind an abandoned car as they are being attacked by hunters, led by Kathleen. Joel runs towards a nearby house, telling the other three to not move.

Kathleen urges Henry to come out. He eventually agrees but wants Kathleen to let the kids go free. Kathleen doesn’t agree.

“Kids die Henry. They die all the time,” she says.

Just as Kathleen pulls out her gun, pointing it at Henry a tank falls through the ground. Suddenly, a swarm of Clickers appear and start attacking everyone in the area, including a Bloater, the biggest and most dangerous ford of infected that take years to develop.

As Ellie, Henry and Sam start to run, Joel is shooting the monsters to try to clear their path. They get separated, Ellie alone and Henry and Sam together. Henry and Sam are being attacked but Ellie is able to stab the Clickers, freeing the brothers.

Eventually Kathleen catches up to them but just as she’s about to shoot, a Clicker jumps on her, taking the resistance leader down.

Ellie, Henry and Sam make it to Joel and start running away from the area, getting to a motel room. With this friendship now established, Joel invites Henry and Sam to come with them to Wyoming.

Meanwhile, Ellie discovers that Sam has been bitten, with a mark on his leg. Ellie, knowing that she may be the key to a cure, cuts her hand and puts her blood on his bite mark.

“My blood is medicine,” she says, promising to stay up with Sam because he’s scared.

The next morning, having fallen asleep at some point, Ellie goes to put her hand on Sam’s shoulder, who’s sitting up on a bed facing away from her, and he starts to attack.

As Ellie is chased into the main room, where Joel and Henry slept, Henry tells Joel to put his gun down, but he ends up shooting Sam himself.

“What did I do?” Henry keeps repeating at the end of the episode.

He then points the gun to his own head and shoots himself, as we see Ellie’s shocked and terrified reaction.

Ellie and Joel bury their bodies, and Ellie leaves the clipboard with the words “I’m Sorry” written on the paper.