‘The Last Of Us’ Episode 5: Recap And Ending, Explained: Is Sam Dead? What Happens To Henry?

The good thing about a faithful TV adaptation of a savage video game is that if you loathe a character, they will die. The bad thing about a vicious apocalyptic tale is that the characters you end up getting soft for will also face the same fate. Our hearts are but chew toys for the rabid, villainous narrative that seems to have set its sights on the complete obliteration of everything and everyone we have come to love. The hard-to-top emotional devastation of episode 3 of “The Last Of Us” was followed by a slow-burn stream of vile progression that did come off a tad deadpan initially. But it appears to have served as an invested set-up for the terrorizing wreckage of “Endure and Survive,” the much-anticipated bloody escalation that we’ve all been waiting for. Also, can I get a hell yeah for the impeccable timing the “heroic” bloater chooses for its grand ascension?


Spoilers Ahead

Meet The Resistance Group That Needs Resisting

“Endure and Survive” makes the chic choice of not picking up where episode 4 left off. Instead, we are being led a short span of time back to see what had transpired before Ellie ended up facing the gun wielded by little Sam. We see a brutalized Kansas City and the far worse conditions of its FEDRA brethren. The corpse of a soldier with at least a couple dozen knives sticking out of him is being dragged through the bloodied road that has been taken over by the resistance group led by the vicious Kathleen. FEDRA rule has been violently overturned by the group that has risen up with all the might fueled by the brutalization they have been subjected to. The sight of any soldier is met with the same savagery that FEDRA had inflicted on the people of the city. And the informers who worked for them are said to receive a fair trial that may or may not (but usually does) lead to capital punishment.


In her hawk-eyed search for Henry, Kathleen has made her loyal followers accumulate a horde of collaborators, who are now asked about the whereabouts of the brothers and if they want to live to see another sunrise, they should come clean. They are lured by the false promise of receiving a fair trial but seeing straight through the lies, none of them are willing to speak up. Kathleen harbors the volatile magma of a grudge against the selfish people who exchanged the lives of their “neighbors” for supplies that she deems trivial. When threatened with mass eradication, one of them feels compelled to open his mouth about Edelstein, the doctor whose death we witnessed in the previous episode. He is said to be the one who provides a safe house for Henry and Sam. Hoping to be pardoned for giving up the information she was looking for, the collaborator places too much faith in Kathleen’s non-existent benignity. All she sees in the man is a rat with no redeemable qualities to save. When asked about the future of the group of collaborators by her faithful right-hand man, Perry, Kathleen orders a mass murder that is to be followed by a massive cremation of the bodies. Kathleen’s ruthless followers begin scouring the ruins of the city to track down Henry and Sam.

Brothers Through Thick And Thin

Edelstein shows Henry and Sam around the safe house he has learned about from FEDRA. Henry is asked to lay low for a few days with his little brother Sam, who happens to be deaf. According to Henry’s assessment, the food they have will last them about 11 days. Leaving them with a dangerous lack of ammunition, Edelstein leaves for what we know will be his inevitable demise. Henry attempts to put a smile on Sam’s face by distracting him with the suggestion of sprucing up their bleak home. Brimming with excitement and holding up a bag of crayons, Sam adorns the walls with drawings of a superhero, whom Henry names Super Sam. The big brother toils to guard Sam’s childlike innocence in a world that will snatch it in a matter of seconds.


With the last standing can of food before his eyes, Sam’s pleadings for satiating his hunger break Henry’s heart. As he keeps an eye out for Kathleen and her people, he is also burdened with Sam’s questions about Edelstein. Henry doesn’t want to comfort him with a lie. The bleak possibility of the benevolent doctor being dead weighs heavily on Sam’s feelings of dread. Henry paints an orange streak over Sam’s eyes to transform him into Super Sam, a superhero who he hopes will persevere through the gritty realities of a devastated world. Looking through the glass pane, Henry spectates a valiant stranger (who we know to be Joel) being ambushed by Kathleen’s army and emerging victorious. He plans to track down and join hands with the only people he has ever seen tackling the vicious followers of the resistance group.

United In Terror

We see Henry attempting to avoid stepping on the shards of glass Joel speckled the ground with and asking Sam to do the same. Ellie wakes up with Sam’s gun in her face and alerts Joel of the presence of intruders. Groggy Joel is offered a truce and a chance to join hands with the other two people being hunted by Kathleen and Co. His tepid grunts of agreement get taken with a grain of salt by Henry, who isn’t familiar with Joel’s nature. Henry begins to have faith in their camaraderie as they get a portion of the snacks that Joel has been saving for Ellie and himself. Sam gets to be a little kid again in the presence of Ellie, who is giddy to be sharing a blithe moment of tenderness in the middle of a dangerous journey. Joel would rather have them go their own way, but Henry promises to guide them through the city when dawn breaks.


The next morning, Joel gets a little more familiar with the man he is in a mutual arrangement with. He wonders how the infamous Kansas City FEDRA could be overthrown by a group of rebels. Henry paints a harrowing picture of a rebellion that not only took down the vicious militants but resolved to treat them with the same maliciousness that they were abused with. Joel is apprehensive about teaming up with a “rat.” But at the same time, he can’t turn down help from someone who actually knows his way out of the city. But why don’t they escape alone?

Seeing Joel’s impressive win against the members of the resistance, Henry has begun hatching a sturdy plan. Joel is to contribute his combat skills for the group’s protection while Henry leads the way out of Kansas City. Waving his gun with an unloaded magazine, Henry has given Joel the idea that he is capable of protecting himself and Sam against minor attacks. In fact, Henry has never been able to take a life. To flee from the city safely, Henry will need Joel’s expertise in fighting off the enemies, dead or alive. And without Henry’s command over the cityscape, Joel and Ellie don’t stand a chance.


How Does Henry Plan To Flee From Kansas? 

Henry weaves his plan around his knowledge of the labyrinthine tunnels that run under Kansas City. When Joel voices his concern about the possibility of the resistance group following them underground, Henry assures him that they would never scout the space where FEDRA had reportedly hoarded the zombies. Besides, fighting off an infected or two should be simple enough for Joel and Ellie, who already survived a clicker attack. When asked about the source of his knowledge regarding the happenings underground, Henry says that it was a FEDRA official, someone who Joel evidently wouldn’t trust to be a reliable fount.

The four make their way down under the grounds of the silent city. Ellie has already proven her dexterity with a firearm and is allowed a gun by Joel. As they walk the tunnels that they expected to be peppered with signs of rot and death, they come across a space with lively traces of life instead. Through the door that looks as though it opens to a children’s theme park, they enter an area that is adorned with drawings made by kids, comic books, and a makeshift goalpost. Ellie squeals to find a copy of “Savage Starlight,” a comic book series she used to collect loyally. She shows Sam the happy pages of the book and reads aloud, “Endure and survive.”


As we see them bonding over Sam, teaching her how to say it in sign language, we are to brace ourselves, worrying about what horror may befall the two. In tune with Joel mentioning that he has heard of places like this, we see a drawing that reads “our protectors” and displays the figures of two men. Although the show doesn’t delve into exploring the expeditions of these two men, who we know to be Ish and Danny, in the game, they receive a thorough setting for their journeys to unfold. Ish happens to be the man who practically founded the underground settlement zone (which, in the game, was based in Pittsburgh) after rescuing a family.

When a man named Danny showed up and built a bond of reliability and camaraderie with Ish, the two found a purpose in providing a sanctuary for the community they had put together. The room, which is meant to serve as a sweet testament to how life used to be before it all fell apart, offers Sam and Ellie a breath of fresh air and a much-needed break from the world outside. What it offers Joel is a chance to show Henry that he understands the plight of having to protect a kid and that he doesn’t hold his actions as a FEDRA informant against him. Henry opens up about his overwhelming predicament of having had to give up Kathleen’s brother Michael to FEDRA in exchange for the medication that Sam needed for his leukemia. We now know that Michael was a man of honor and benevolence. He was a man, and his vicious sister now mourns in their childhood room. She is admittedly devoid of the kindness that Michael possesses, and all she is filled with is vengeful bloodthirst. Perry recognizes and candidly admires Kathleen’s hard-handed approach, as it was her brutality that got them free from FEDRA’s abuse. Henry and Joel plan to wait out the daylight and take advantage of the darkness of the night to venture forth. Ellie has already invited them to join them on their journey further west, but Joel isn’t too happy about that.


How Does Kathleen Locate The Four?

We again get our hopes up for the group’s safety as we see that all they have left to do is to cross a bridge to the other side. The liberating escape from the dreadful city being almost within arm’s reach makes them lower their guard and take a relatively calm walk through the abandoned roads. That is, until shots are fired at them from a house nearby, and they’re made to huddle behind the ruins of a car. Seeing that whoever is taking a shot at them isn’t going to stop until he is through, Joel makes up his mind about eliminating the man himself. With an endearing promise to come back, he traipses through the incessant sniper fire and sneaks into the house of the attacker. He finds a frail man clenching a rifle.

Joel is reluctant to kill the man if he doesn’t have to, and he practically pleads for a chance to spare his life as he urges him to hand over the gun. But he ends up having to kill the man anyway in self-defense. Hearing the frightening gunshot and not knowing if Joel is okay flusters Ellie. What births a grander bout of panic in Joel is the voice of Kathleen on the dead man’s walkie-talkie. Before he can join Ellie and the brothers, fleets of enemies, led by Kathleen and Perry, have crossed the threshold with their trucks. On Joel’s cue, the three make a frantic run toward the house. Joel misses a few shots as he targets the driver of the truck, but he continues to go at it and hits the bull’s eye. The truck crashes into a house nearby, and Ellie and the brothers are given a meager chance at creating a little more distance between themselves and Kathleen’s troops.


Who Kills Kathleen?

Despite their best efforts, the three fail to find a spot safe from Kathleen’s terror. Knowing that there’s no place for them to run, Kathleen threatens Henry into coming out from behind the car. His heartbreaking desperation to be spared does nothing to a woman who doesn’t find the idea of dead children disturbing in the least. Just as she points her gun at Henry, her eyes are commanded to look at the truck that is sinking into the ground. Before anyone can wrap their head around the looming danger, the ground caves in, and a diabolical convoy of zombies and clickers climb out of the hell underground. Ellie gets chased by a little girl-turned-clicker and is separated from the two brothers. Joel’s frantic attempts at making it easier for Ellie to escape help her climb into a car, but she is soon forced to run out when the clicker follows her inside.

Henry and Sam are stuck under a car and are struggling to fight off the zombies with their kicking feet. Ellie ferociously stabs the zombies and rescues Sam and Henry from their inevitable deaths. Scaring the “bejeesus” out of everyone with a bloodcurdling roar, emerges a beastly bloater. The giant warrior of Cordyceps is as immune to bullets as he is unharmed by any other modes of attack the living can think up. He tosses around people as if they weigh nothing and violently decapitates Terry, marking the coolest death in the show yet (what’s wrong with us?). The resilient lunatic that is Kathleen finds a way to walk ahead unscratched and again finds a way to point her gun at Henry. What she doesn’t see coming is the clicker that throws herself at Kathleen and basically does to her what a canine does to prey. Goodbye and good riddance, Kathleen! You will not be missed.


‘The Last Of Us’ Episode 5: Ending Explained – Why Did Henry Shoot Himself After Sam’s Death?

Having their backs saved by the zombies definitely isn’t something the quartet expected. But they’re sure glad to make their way into another safe refuge for a relaxing interlude. Escaping certain death thanks to their united strength makes Joel ask Henry to join them on their Wyoming-bound path. Whether he bluntly expresses it or not, Joel has grown to care for the two brothers. Keeping away from the depressing pragmatism of the grown-ups, Ellie and Sam intend to hold on to their charming adolescence in their room.

The bitterness of the wretched condition of the world infiltrates their light-hearted exchanges when Sam writes down a question for Ellie on his magic slate. What does Ellie fear the most? “A scorpion,” Ellie tries to cling to the insouciance. But soon, she is implored to reveal her real intrusive thoughts. It is loneliness that little Ellie fears the most in a forsaken world. Sounds relatable. But we certainly can’t imagine just how scary it must be for Ellie, who is facing the constant threat of losing everyone around her. Sam’s fear is more personal to him. He wonders if any speck of the real person is left behind when they get infected and are forced to turn. The real reason behind his distressing question comes as an even more dispiriting revelation. Sam has been bitten. We know that it won’t work when heartbroken Ellie rubs her blood, which she believes is “medicine,” on Sam’s wound. They keep it to themselves and go to sleep, hoping that Sam will wake up cured.


In the morning, Ellie wakes to the back of a motionless Sam sitting upright on the bed. When she proceeds to check on him, Sam, who is now a ruthless zombie, attacks Ellie, and the two rush out of their room. Awakened by the commotion, Joel plunges to save Ellie from being eviscerated by Sam. When he reaches for his gun, he is stopped by Henry. Losing his mind trying to grasp the devastating truth of the situation, Henry instinctively shoots Sam in the head. He comes back to his senses as he sees the blood that is pouring out on the floor. The only purpose that has essentially determined all of his choices has always been the protection of Sam. Killing his little brother with his very hands doesn’t even seem to be real life to Henry. Seeing him spaz out holding the gun, Joel can anticipate what is about to happen. But before Joel can stop him, Henry shoots himself in the head and ends his own life. With Sam gone, Henry saw no reason to stick around, only to be in unimaginable pain forever. Joel and Ellie bury their deceased friends. With aggrieved gloom in her voice, Ellie asks Joel to point out the west. Joel looks down on Sam’s grave and sees the magic slate that Ellie has placed on it. The slate reads, “I’m sorry.”

Notify of

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