An early The Last of Us episode?! Thank you, Super Bowl. Folks, it’s finally time to find out if Henry is a good guy or a bad guy. Introduced by name nearly over a dozen times as rebel leader Kathleen (played by Yellowjackets’s Melanie Lynskey) kicked off her quest for blood, Henry ended the last episode by capturing our main duo at gunpoint. To learn more about what makes this guy so important? We start Episode Five by going back in time.
Dropped in the middle of a protest that turns violent, we see Henry hiding with his younger brother, Sam, who is deaf. Kathleen resents him for selling out their secrets to FEDRA—and she blames him for the death of her brother. More on that later. Right now, she’s questioning a group of captured potential informants. “Where is Henry?” she asks. It’s her number-one line, like when Batman interrogates the Joker in The Dark Knight. Someone mentions that he’s with a man named Edelstein. I’m going to guess is that he’s doctor Kathleen killed last episode.
Kathleen wants to send out her troops to find Henry, but her henchman, Perry, isn’t so sure that going on a vengeance quest is the best use of their time. Fun fact: the actor who plays Perry is the voice actor for Joel’s brother, Tommy, in the video game. “[Henry] is not my seventh priority, Perry,” she tells him. “Is that what he is to you?” Kathleen, we get it. You hate Henry. Then, she makes Perry kill all the prisoners—and light their bodies on fire. I’m starting to think Henry might be the good guy here! Well, that’s all but confirmed following a heartwarming scene between Henry and his brother, Sam. Scared and hiding from the bloodthirsty Kathleen, Henry helps Sam color the walls with crayons to fix the “ugly” place where they’re both holed up. Jumping forward in time to their ambush of Joel and Ellie, Henry informs them, “We don’t want to hurt you, we want to help you.” Classic good guy talk.
In a tense scene, the four of them get acquainted and share food. Henry says that he can help them get out of the city in the morning, and later shares his story with Joel. He wasn’t one of those evil FEDRA government soldiers, But Henry says he was “worse,” adding, “I was a collaborator.” Joel almost backs out because he “doesn’t work with rats,” but Henry convinces him that they need each other if they’re going to get out of Kansas City alive. “I’ve never killed anyone,” Henry says. “And pointing a gun at you was the closest I’ve ever been to getting violent.”
Explaining his plan to Joel, Henry has Sam write “tunnels” on his little dry-erase board, instead of Henry just saying it out loud. I guess he has a flair for the dramatic, as if he’s in Ocean’s Eleven. So, the group sets off down the tunnels, even though it sounds like a death trap. On their travels, Joel apologizes for calling him a rat, saying that he doesn’t know his situation. Henry reveals that he only snitched only Kathleen’s brother so that FEDRA would give him medicine for Sam, who has leukemia. Kathleen, it seems, either doesn’t know this—or is too blind with rage. After learning the whole story, I feel like Henry isn’t worth all the effort. I’m sure the hunter have more important things to worry about like finding food, or killing the mushroom zombies.
Joel and the gang come upon a sniper, which is a great stealth level. (Hold L2 to crouch behind cars. Try to make your way closer when the shooter reloads. Joel goes around through the back of the house and takes out the sniper. He gives him a chance to live, but the sniper makes a move. One successful quick-time event later and Joel kills the sniper. A big snowplow comes after Ellie, Henry, and Sam, but Joel uses the sniper’s gun to take out the driver from afar. Then, Kathleen and her Firefly brigade pull up.
“I’ll come out, just let the kids go!” Henry pleads. But Kathleen is hearing none of it. “No, because the girl is with the man who killed Brian,” she says. Dang, these rebels are not good people. At all. “I know why you did what you did,” she reveals to Henry, “but did you ever stop to think that maybe [Sam] was supposed to die?” Whoa! OK Kathleen, too far. There isn’t enough death in this world already? “Do you think this whole world revolves around him? That he’s worth everything?” she asks. It’s the classic case of a villain not realizing that they’re doing the exact same thing they’re rallying against.
The standoff comes to a halt when a hundred or so infected people storm the area, and we get our first glimpse of this show’s mini-boss. Roaring as he climbs up from the tunnel—likely the same monster that Kathleen tried to quarantine into oblivion last episode—the massive beast tears into the army like it’s made of paper people. It slams one guy down and then rips Perry’s head off. Unlike the infected, it seems more inclined to kill, rather than spread the disease.
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As Ellie runs around to try and help Henry, Joel snipes the infected from his window. a A terrifying little infected girl kills Kathleen, while our four heroes somehow escape with their lives. Well, sort of. Sam secretly reveals to Ellie that an infected scratched his leg—and the infection is clear as day. “If you turn into a monster, is it still you inside?” he asks her. Ellie breaks Joel’s rule and tells him about her condition. “My blood is medicine,” she says. (Oh? Is that how it works? I mean, I know she has some biological reason as to why she’s immune to the infection, but it’s because of her blood?) Ellie cuts her hand with a knife—and then puts the blood on Sam’s wound. Sadly, when they wake up in the morning, Sam attacks Ellie. After hesitating for a moment, Henry shoots his brother in the head. Shocked and distraught, he turns the gun on himself and fires. Ellie writes “I’m sorry” on Sam’s board after burying their bodies, and the two continue their journey west. Heartbreaking.
I already figured that any third party that entered Joel and Ellie’s life probably wouldn’t make it out alive. It would change their never-ending Lone Wolf and Cub dynamic. But damn! That was bleak. Part of what made Episode Three so perfect was that it didn’t focus on the misery that permeates this cruel, post-apocalyptic world. Episode Five went, “Nope. Welcome to Misery Town.” The Last of Us? All of these heartbreaking scenes might mark The Last of Me.
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.