‘The Last Of Us’ Episode 4: Recap And Ending, Explained: Who Points The Gun On Ellie And Joel In The End?

While it unquestionably lacks the charming melancholy and the dramatic flair of the first three episodes, the fourth episode of “The Last of Us” catches up on the most anticipated intrigue—the wholesome growth of Joel and Ellie’s connection. “Please Hold to My Hand” isn’t without its set of unforeseen and frankly, discouraging problems. But it will only come off as a setback for you if you, like yours truly, don’t find Melanie Lynskey to be quite the right fit for a character that necessitates a frightening quality (not even in “Yellowjackets”). Sue me!). Aside from the problem, which I sincerely hope is not just a “me” thing, this week’s episode comes as reassurance that flashiness isn’t an absolute necessity for Mazin and Druckmann to create something gratifyingly poignant. How can it not be thoroughly delightful to see a severe man’s walls disintegrating slowly for a feisty youngster he has reluctantly taken on?

Advertisement

Spoilers Ahead


Is The Wall Between Joel And Ellie Finally Coming Down?

Taking advantage of Joel’s preoccupation with gathering up the supplies, Ellie admires the gun she had swiped from Bill and Frank’s place. As was visible on her face when her curious eyes watched the zombie die from her stab, Ellie’s fascination with the gun communicates the intrigue she feels having a weapon in her hands. She walks out to find Joel siphoning gas for the truck. In an adorable parallel with the way fathers talk to their kids, Joel reminisces the days when a full tank would last half a day. He knows surface-level information about myriad means of survival, but he doesn’t particularly have in-depth knowledge about anything. Ellie whips out her “no pun intended.” Volume Too” and cracks a joke for the unenthused Joel. I can just about hear the cheering fans during the game. But even for a fan of puns who has waited all this while for Ellie to start off her expected “punny” banter, her first joke came as an amusing relief. Following “Long Long Time” with a Hank Williams cassette, the duo sets out for Wyoming, where Joel may find Tommy and Ellie may be able to beat the fungus once and for all. Swearing like a sailor, the wisecracking teenager accompanies the brooding man behind the wheel. The bubbly Ellie grabs the gay porn magazine, and after she makes a lewd joke about the pages sticking together, she tosses it out the window.

Advertisement

Stopping in the woods for a necessary time out, the two share a meal of 20-year-old canned pasta, which they both savor. They are to spend the night in the thick, dark woods and can’t light a fire. When asked if the fire would attract the zombies, Joel mentions the often-dismissed group of enemies. We are reminded of the threat that humans themselves pose to their own kind in an upside-down world where they are meant to fight the common enemy. To stay safe from the people who would do far worse than just rob them if they were discovered, Ellie and Joel spend the night in the darkness. Thanks to another joke that Ellie cracks, we see a heart-warming smile on Joel’s ever-stern face for the first time. Little Ellie isn’t without the understandable anxiety of being found by harmful people. And while Joel comforts her with the assurance that they are safe to make sure that she gets some sleep, he stays up to stand guard against any danger that may befall them.


Is Tommy A War Veteran?

Ellie takes up the job of keeping an eye on the map as they start off their journey in the morning. She asks Joel about Tommy, and while he is apprehensive about opening up at first, they both need something to fill up the tedious, day-long trip. In Joel’s words, Tommy was a “joiner.” He was a befuddled man, haphazardly looking for a glorious purpose. Joining the army and serving in Operation Desert Storm didn’t bring him a sense of heroism. When the fungal outbreak took over the world, Tommy pleaded with Joel to join a group of brave survivors, and that is where Joel met Tess. Tommy himself ended up deserting the group when he found Marlene and got charmed by the even grander purpose that drove the Fireflies. But that wasn’t impactful enough to hold the attention of the unruly man either.

Advertisement

Joel’s general cynicism is questioned by Ellie, who clearly hasn’t seen enough of the world to know just how ugly it can get. All Joel has ever cared about is protecting the ones he considers family. Setting her notion straight with the thorny reminder that she is the “cargo” that he is delivering, as he gave his word to Tess, who was “like family,” Joel shuts down her questionnaire. But the very next moment of him asking her to take a nap comes off as an endearing realization that he cares about her more than he is letting on. Ellie’s hilarious dozed-off state with a gaping mouth right after she revolted against the suggestion of a nap proves that the hardened world hasn’t completely robbed her of her childlike innocence.


How Do Joel And Ellie Escape Death In Kansas?

Driving through the seemingly deserted city of Kansas City, Joel, and Ellie run up on a congestion of cars and trucks with forgotten human remains inside. They drive past the ghost of a FEDRA QZ as Ellie struggles to figure out the map. They are stopped by a wounded man begging for help in the middle of the road. Promptly commanding Ellie to fasten the seatbelt, Joel speeds the truck through the road. Massive cinderblock crashes into their windshield, and incessant bullets fired their way deliver the message that they are under attack. They ram the truck through a building, and Joel asks the panicked Ellie to go through a hole in the wall fit for someone her size and hide in the other room. He takes out one of the attackers and gasps in relief, thinking that he has eliminated the threat. Proving him wrong, a man holds him down and brings him dangerously close to passing out.

Advertisement

Defying Joel’s order, Ellie comes out of the hole with her gun pointed at the man and pulls the trigger. The bullet saves Joel and leaves the attacker paralyzed from the leg down and begging for his life. He resorts to giving up his knife, hoping to convince Joel to have mercy. Joel asks Ellie to wait in the other room and finishes up the job with the same knife that was supposed to save the man’s life. Catching up after eliminating the immediate danger, Joel shows unfeigned remorse for putting Ellie in the outrageous situation of having to shoot someone. Joel may be distressed over the idea of someone that young having to use a firearm, but as Ellie says, this wasn’t her first time.


Who Is Kathleen?

Kathleen, the leader of a group that has overthrown the local FEDRA QZ, questions a man in a FEDRA lockup. He is the doctor who was there at her birth and is now being interrogated for information regarding Henry. The captive has been an informant working for FEDRA, and Kathleen believes that he was behind the brutal murder of her brother. The man repeatedly tries to absolve himself of the crime he hasn’t committed and urges Kathleen to put an end to the cycle of monstrosity. But Kathleen isn’t about to be convinced by the desperate words of a man who is only choosing mercy when he is the one being held at gunpoint. He happens to be a doctor, and that is the only valid case he can make against being shot to death. Hearing a truck pull up outside, Kathleen rushes out to address the commotion and stumbles on the two associates who had the misfortune of running into Joel and Ellie. It is almost as though she bargains against her own appetite for blood when she asks if there is hope for them to be saved by the doctor. And as she learns that they’ve gone too far beyond help, she walks up to the edge of the room and shoots the doctor in cold blood.

Advertisement

Riling up the fellow members of her vicious group with inflammatory words of revenge, Kathleen assembles a band of hunters with the help of Perry. They are now neck-deep in the hawk-eyed search for Henry and Sam, whom they believe are working together with whoever has killed their comrades. As the squad rips through the city, Joel and Ellie hide out until the ruckus dies out. He makes use of the opportunity to teach Ellie a few more gun-wielding skills to add to the ones she was already taught by the FEDRA school. The violent group of Kansas survivors is considerably more menacing than the likes of the Fireflies. Moreover, their ruthless endeavors aren’t tethered to an idealistic agenda. Not very much unlike Joel, who has also done his share of brutalizing for the sole purpose of survival, Kathleen and Perry’s group will do just about anything to enhance their own safety, and God help anyone who is unfortunate enough to fall on their barbarous path!


‘The Last Of Us’ Episode 4: Ending Explained – Who Points The Gun On Ellie And Joel In The End?

Looking through the ruins of what was once a lively city, Perry comes across traces of life that point toward the people they are seeking out. He guides Kathleen to a deserted building, where she climbs the dangerous stairs to find superhero drawings clearly made by a kid. The cans of food rolling on the floor make them think that Henry and Sam were there. From here on, there are undeniable suggestions elevating the speculation that Henry and Sam may be brothers, running from the group that is hunting them. Perry and Kathleen spot an unnerving space in the building where the ground is throbbing as though it is about to erupt. Whether it is a horde or the Cordyceps itself, Kathleen doesn’t have the time to focus on anything other than locating Henry and Sam. Meanwhile, Joel has spotted an apparently safe but painfully tall building.

Advertisement

Climbing up the endless stairs with as much perseverance as his 56-year-old physique allows (a very unconvincing Pedro Pascal. But we can look past it.) Joel stops at the 33rd floor, only to be met with Ellie’s snarky remarks. Taking shelter on that very floor, Joel and Ellie tend to their belongings and prepare to call it a night. Peppering the floor with shards of glass so that he can be alert, Joel guards himself against danger to the best of his abilities. Ellie wonders what good the crunching noises of the glass would do when he doesn’t hear all that well in his right ear. This happens to be the beginning of Joel being emotionally vulnerable with Ellie.

Instead of dodging her questions, he goes so far as to dig deep within himself to give the answers that help her get to know him better. The side of her that doesn’t particularly shy away from the gory bits of the post-apocalyptic mess provides an understanding ear for Joel, who owes the loss of some of his hearing ability to the number of bullets he has shot ever since the pandemic. Ellie’s disinterest in delving into her early experience with violence stands as a parallel to Joel’s discreet nature. If anything, it only brings the two closer together as they form a deeper alliance over their mutual eccentricities. The somber man is seen letting out a laugh when Ellie subjects him to another hysterical pun. But it wouldn’t be a post-apocalyptic world if the good times were to last.

Advertisement

As it turns out, Ellie’s fear was true. She wakes up to see that she is being held at gunpoint by Sam. Groggy Joel is awakened to find out that he indeed missed the crunching sounds of the glass shards. From the looks of it, Joel and Ellie have been found by Henry and Sam, whose natures are as inscrutable as their very identities. If Joel and Ellie team up with the brothers, they are likely to be stronger as they face Kathleen’s squad together. On the other hand, joining hands with the enemy of the enemy will inevitably result in Kathleen’s misunderstanding becoming more rigid. As the credits follow “True Faith,” another 80s classic, clouds of trouble darken the horizon toward which Joel and Ellie are headed.


See more: The Bond Between Joel & Ellie, Explained: Has Joel Really Started Caring For Ellie In ‘The Last Of Us’ Episode 4?


Subscribe
Notify of
guest

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Lopamudra Mukherjee
Lopamudra Mukherjeehttps://muckrack.com/lopamudra-mukherjee
Lopamudra nerds out about baking whenever she’s not busy looking for new additions to the horror genre. Nothing makes her happier than finding a long-running show with characters that embrace her as their own. Writing has become the perfect mode of communicating all that she feels for the loving world of motion pictures.

Latest articles

Advertisement

Featured