The apocalypse, as it turns out, would be pretty damn awful. I know that Episode Three of The Last of Us showed us a beautiful love story, strawberries and all—but you can call that wonderful moment an exception. Because if a world infected by dangerous, cordyceps-infected monsters wasn’t scary enough, people haven’t stopped killing each other, either.
In Episode Five, a rebellious army led by a rebel leader, Kathleen, is out to kill an informant named Henry (played by Lamar Johnson from The Hate U Give), and his younger brother, Sam. Their story is the bleakest we’ve seen yet in The Last of Us—and one of the hardest to adapt from the original video game. Changing the location from Pittsburgh to Kansas City for the HBO series, showrunner Craig Mazin worked the story of the two supporting characters into a two-episode arc, which sees them assist Joel and Ellie as they make their way across the country.
Along with a larger backstory for Henry, HBO also tweaked Sam’s background so that he is younger and deaf. The crew travels through the city’s underground tunnels until iis fateful encounter with Kathleen and the monstrous fungus beast known as a “bloater,” but the scene plays out a little differently in the game. After reaching a bridge that will take them out of Pittsburgh, the group comes under gunfire. Joel and Eillie jump off the bridge into the water to escape, catching up with Henry and Sam after washing up on a beach. Eventually, they reach the sewer tunnels, fight off some infected, and arrive at the scene in Episode Five with the sniper. Just like in the show, Joel goes around the back, kills the sniper, and takes his rifle. He picks off the infected as they arrive to terrorize Ellie and Henry—and the four of them eventually escape.
In the morning, Sam attacks Ellie—turns out, he was infected during their getaway. Henry shoots him before taking his own life. The moment in the game is just as devastating as it is in Episode Five. “I understood the pressure and the importance of that moment, but also I didn’t want to do a carbon copy,” actor Lamar Johnson told Esquire. “I didn’t want to completely just emulate everything the actor did in the game. I wanted to interpret it the way that I felt I would—and my processes and how I would get there… and it’s shocking for him. I think if there’s one word that I can describe that entire moment, it’s just shock.”
Readers, I have to tell you: after losing Tess, Bill, Frank, Henry, and Sam, I just want Joel and Ellie to make some friends without fatal consequences. Is that too much to ask?
This content is imported from youTube. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.
Josh Rosenberg is an entertainment writer living in Brooklyn, keeping a steady diet of one movie a day; his past work can be found at CBR, Spin, Insider, and on his personal blog at Roseandblog.com.