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‘The Last Of Us’ Season 1 Episode 5 ‘Endure And Survive’ – A Collective Fear

Fear is no stranger to us when we watch “The Last of Us.” But the fifth episode has given us a collective take on fear, which has the potential to keep you awake at night for a long time. So far, we’ve been scared, trembling at the sight of the clickers, mourning the deaths of loved ones, and hating the authorities and the rebels as well. This episode will make you weep for the losses, the fear, and the helplessness in an apocalyptic world. A lot of thoughts will keep bugging you. The very existence of the characters would seem like a facade in the face of the dangers, but you would still hope they will survive. The desperate attempts to stay alive and the cries for help to break the barriers of right and wrong that we live by. Let’s see how fear creeps in, making us cry and finally leaving us in despair.

Spoilers Ahead

New Threat Or A New Bond?

The show begins with Henry and Sam pointing a gun at Ellie and Joel. However, Ellie talks them out of the violence, and we see the true characters of the duo (Henry and Sam). Sam is Henry’s young brother, who is deaf and dumb. Henry is now the “most wanted” man in Kansas City, for he was a collaborator for FEDRA and the man responsible for the murder of Kathleen’s brother. Henry wants to keep his brother safe and says he knows Joel and Ellie are their safe bait, for he saw them in action before.

In the dead of the night, Henry and Sam felt like the new trouble that Ellie and Joel had to fight against. However, soon we see Sam and Ellie getting together. The visuals of the two getting along together are bound to make you happy (you might just cry a little too). So far, we have seen the horrors that Ellie has faced. Finally, she met someone closer to her age, and we see the instant connection between Sam and Ellie. The four plan their course of escape. They decided to run through the tunnels to reach the other end, from where they would escape the wrath of “The People”.

Trusting two complete strangers at this point might not seem like a great decision on Joel’s part. But he knew they posed no threat, as both Joel and Henry were trying to protect two young children who should not have faced such atrocities at such a young age. We see Joel and Henry opening up about things that they did for survival. Being a collaborator for FEDRA seems like a crime, but he did it for Sam, who suffered from leukemia. Similarly, Joel did what he had to do to survive. As they talk, the two young souls bond over comic books and laugh like there is no fear outside. The purity of this scene momentarily drops the veils of fear and sadness the series has been showcasing since the first episode.

Revolution Or Revenge?

Kathleen is the rebel leader of “The People.” However, her methods and actions will make you think harder about how you see the character. Do you tag her as a villain or a victim? We know how FEDRA failed to provide any concrete solution to the fungal outbreak. Post this, they had been killing people at random to supress the infection from spreading and had a lot of other restrictions imposed on those who lived. History bears witness to the fact that whenever, in a democracy, the governing body fails to help people, a revolution begins. “The People’s” revolution is no exception. But, in a world that is broken into pieces for multiple reasons, people lose the purpose of fighting. Kathleen, too, has lost the bigger sight. The fight was predominantly to stay alive and not get infected. But right now, her main motive is to avenge her brother’s death and kill every collaborator and associates of FEDRA. The zeal for revenge had blinded her so much that she was hell-bent on finding Henry and killing him and Sam as well. In the turn of events, Kathleen and her gang are successful in finding the four of them. But fate had other plans.

The Return Of The Dead

When “The People” finally caught hold of Sam, Henry, and Ellie while Joel was stuck in a house with rifles to protect them from afar, the army of cordyceps-infected zombies broke free from the underground. Previously, they were locked in an underground chamber. Kathleen knew this was coming but wasn’t sure it would come so soon. The army attacks everyone, and the situation quickly goes out of hand. Ellie fearlessly tries to protect Sam and Henry, and from afar, Joel is constantly shooting zombies to keep the three safe. So far in the series, we have been introduced to the different stages of the infection: the runners, the clickers, and now finally, the bloater (the final stage of the infection). The bloater has lost the entire identity of a human. It is humongous in size, and the fungus has not just taken away his brain but his entire body. The bloater doesn’t jump on you; it approaches and rips you apart. Lucky for the three, they could combat the ambush, and while they were about to unite with Joel, Kathleen came from behind, pointing a gun. Unfortunately for her, before she could avenge the death of her brother, she was bitten by a clicker.

Despair And Destruction

Finally, the four reached a safe house for the night. Joel asks Henry and Sam to come along with them in search of his brother. That night, everything was calm yet very uneasy. Combatting the army of dead and witnessing a bloater in action was not easy. Furthermore, any amount of hatred for Kathleen does not soften the horrific death she received. Amongst all these amalgamations of heightened emotions, Sam finds another person who would stay with him. In a heartfelt conversation with Ellie, Sam admits he was bitten. Young Ellie, so far, knew her blood was the cure. Thus, she slits her palm and rubs her blood on the bitten area of Sam’s leg, assuring him that he will not turn into a monster. The next morning, unfortunately, Sam turns into a zombie and attacks Ellie. In order to save Ellie, Joel takes out the gun; Henry stops him but ends up shooting his brother.

Feeling immensely guilty and miserable, Henry shoots himself in the head. This particular scene is the most emotional of the entire season so far. Both Joel and Ellie were not prepared to deal with such trauma. Later, we find them burning the bodies. Ellie displays no emotion but rather asks Joel to prepare the car. Ellie’s face becomes firm in the last moment before she turns her back to the camera. Will this affect Ellie now that she knows what she believed was not true? Will it change the equation between Ellie and Joel? Only time can tell.

“The Last of Us” episode 5 is by far the most emotionally damaging one. Pain, fear, separation, and hopelessness follow the duo at each step, assuring them their journey is never going to be an easy one. The aspects of fear that the series has been delivering are commendable. The series has prepared the audience to be shocked and scared at every nook and cranny, starting from the destructive visuals of demolished buildings, burned cars, skeletons lying around, infected people, and finally, the fear of the living. The series gets more intense with each passing episode, and the audience just cannot imagine what awaits them next.


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