The Last of Us “Endure and Survive” Photo-Recap: Bonjour and Goodbye

You guys, big news: HBO is changing the title of The Last of Us because they don’t feel the original title gives enough information about what the show is really about. And in weirder news they’ve asked ME to come up with a new one. I have a few drafts:

Don’t Get Attached And Pee Before You Watch; The Joel and Ellie Story 

Or maybe:

Everyone You Love Will Die Except You; the story of a grumpy body-guard dad and his sassy not-daughter


How The West Was Fun

That one may have some copyright issues, I don’t know, we’ll figure it out.

So, how are you doinggggggg??? Did you fall in love with Sam and Henry? Did you know the moment Henry agreed to travel with them that something terrible would happen? Are you excited for the next episode and wondering what in the actual eff is wrong with your psyche that you keep coming back to this show for more and more beautiful punishment? HEY ME TOO, what a fun psychological study. 

The episode brought us back in time to right after the rebel extravaganza overthrew the evil regime and then accidentally became them. Kathleen gathered up the collaborators (people who snitched on their neighbours for hotdogs and gameboys and stuff), and interrogated them for the whereabouts of Henry. One dude gave up the doctor, and then Kathleen killed them all, as she is wont to do. 

Hello Doctor Collaborator! You may recall this fellow as the man from the cell whom Kathleen taunted and then shot in the head. I love it when shows give us a different perspective of a story that already happened, which gives us insight into the upcoming events. WE knew this fellow wasn’t making it out of the episode, but Henry and Sam didn’t, so they waited until their food ran out to admit their grandpa-friend was probably dead and that they should skedaddle. 

They were on their way out of their hidey-attic when a skidding truck of destiny crashed into a laundromat and changed their lives forever. For yes, t’was Joel and Ellie engaging in a rootin-tutin shootout that peaked Henry’s interest. The moment he saw Joel he knew he had to seek him out because HONESTLY WHO WOULDN’T??? 

Even at gunpoint, Joel couldn’t control his ‘asshole voice’. This show gives us honest-to-goodness laughs in between the horror and devastation. After some delightful banter where they all promised not to kill each other, they sat down for a proper getting-to-know-you brunch (Joel loves brunch so much, you guys).

And so a deal was struck! Henry knew how to get them out of the shitstorm, and Joel knew how to kill anyone who tried to stop them. A win-win!! 

Henry did that thing where he uses visual aides to take the characters and audience through The Plan, which usually signals that The Plan will somehow fail and they’ll have to improvise, but in this case it actually sorta worked (until it didn’t, I don’t want to talk about it). So they descended into some pipes tunnels, where they found the ghosts of an underground civilization lost to violence. Oh, and comic books!

How awesome would Ellie be at big-sister-ing? Imagine a world where the four of them escaped, found lasting safety, and could build a life: Ellie fostering Sam’s imagination, the two of them building worlds together, giving their brother-bodyguard-dads grief about being curmudgeons… 

I think I need a minute.


Moving on.

We already knew Henry turned in Kathleen’s brother, but hearing him talk about what an awesome guy her brother was, how he always crossed the street when walking behind women, or how he adopted abandoned dogs, and how he never talked during movies, even when he thought he knew the twist… it really sold the severity of what Henry did. BUUUUUUT, it was to save Sam, something every single person in the audience could relate to, because Sam is awesome (oh, and I guess we asked ourselves what we would do if it was our loved ones).

Kathleen went to her old bedroom to wax nostalgic about how great her brother was, and how he was murdered by FEDRA after Henry turned him in. Apparently he was such a good dude that he asked his sister to forgive Henry, buuuuuuuut Kathleen did not get the ‘good person’ gene, and thus she wanted to violently obliterate him and everyone he ever loved. As one does.

As they were congratulating themselves on executing such a flawless plan, shots started firing from one of the quaint lil’ houses. 

Joel casually popped in on the old fellow shooting at them and asked him SO POLITELY to knock it off, but the geriatric assassin was set in his ways, and so Joel had to put him down. But whoospie-doodles, the guy was an informant for Kathleen, and she, along with her closest friends, were on their way!

Henry said he’d sacrifice himself if she let the kids go, which 😍, but also, he instantly gave up their position, so Kathleen didn’t really have to do shit for him. She made a big speech about how kids suck and people who try to save them are dumb, and everyone who ever wronged her needs to die, including that guy last week who told her she’d be prettier if she smiled more (which, fair enough). Her intentions were to kill them all, but then a sinkhole full of Black Friday shoppers opened up and in the chaos, our scrappy team of misfits ran away.

HAHAHHAHAHAHAHHA magnificent. This portly fellow (I shall call him Herbert) ripped Perry’s head off and then we never saw him again. 

In what turned into a VERY STRESSFUL block party, the Infected started killing everyone, Joel sniped away anyone looking to pick on Ellie, and she hid in a car until this girl showed up and made everything awkward. So instead Ellie ran to help Henry and Sam, who were under a car, also dealing with some people who didn’t understand that no means no. They grabbed at Sam (it’s fine, everything is fine), but Ellie killed them, so everything’s fine!

Again – HAHAHAHHAHAHAH WHAT. Kathleen was about to kill our heroes, but then this young lady went straight for her as if she stole the last Fruit Roll-up or something, then she PUNCH-KILLED HER. There was so much punching! WHY??? Did she hear Kathleen talking shit about kids?? I do NOT understand the rules for Clickers and I don’t even care, this is fun.

Everything is FINE, you guys!! Joel invited Henry and Sam to adventure with them, and Henry said yes because it’ll be nice for Sam to have a friend, WHICH IS FINE!

Sam was bit, which he revealed in a heart-crushing conversation with Ellie where he asked if he’ll still be human. She, with no working knowledge of science, believed rubbing her blood on his wound could cure him, and didn’t tell anybody. It… did not work. 

Henry shot Sam in a spit-second reflex to save Ellie, and then in a brilliant performance by Lamar Johnson, decided that was his cue to exeunt stage left. 

It says a lot about both Joel and Ellie that they chose to stick around long enough to bury Henry and Sam. Then Ellie left a note on his grave saying she was sorry and that is when the last of my emotions leaked all the way out of my body. 

I looked up to see if Sam was deaf in the game, and (if you’re curious) he was not. I love this change for a few reasons. The obvious one being that I love seeing representation of any disabled characters in media (that doesn’t revolve around that as their main character trait). Representation for representation sake is totally fine with this girl (the world is populated with a lot of different people!) but I do think it added to this particular story. Giving someone a dependant makes the audience automatically care about them, that is SCIENCE. Giving someone a dependant who needs them and only them?? Look, Sam would have survived with Joel and Ellie if Henry had died, but he wouldn’t have been able to communicate as effectively as he did with Henry. Henry knew sign language, and that’s a huge tie to his worth as a guardian. So we DOUBLY cared. 

What I’m saying is, I’M UPSET someone help me.

What did you guys think??? I’m a bit mixed on the Kathleen storyline, if only because of the neat and convenient way it ended. I loved the backstory, the way it unfolded, and all the performances. I loved how it built the world and presented us with other situations people may face. I loved that it forced our heroes to work together with new people to escape the situation. The ending was… *shrug*? “And then everyone died” is a bit Hamlet, no? And it wasn’t due to our heroes, it was just something that’d been brewing. No one got any real comeuppance because everyone died at once. 

EDIT: I’ve had a day to think on it, and I’m changing my mind. I actually think it’s a great ending, considering Kathleen put her need for revenge over the safety of her people, and it ended with EVERYONE DYING. She knew the Infected were underground and chose to ignore it. So, you know… never mind, mixed feelings rescinded, this was awesome.

Your thoughts?


  • “Your dad’s kind of a Pessimistic.”
  • No, I will never stop making jokes about how this show is based on a video game.
  • I love Ellie at all times, but especially when Joel tells her to get out her gun and she looks SMUG AS SHIT. 
  • It is embarrassingly easy for me to throw in these dumb references. I don’t even have to look them up. This is not a brag. 
  • “He didn’t change anything. You did. We’re with you.” Damn, if ever there was a commentary on the nature of goodness vs. effective activism, and if the two are exclusive, this is it! Someone smarter than me analyze it please! 
  • It’s not one my recaps if I don’t get an annoying song stuck in your head.
  • Melanie Lynskey brought some real Type-A Helicopter Mom Who Thinks She’s A Cool Mom energy to the role of Kathleen, and I shall miss her (for real, she was so great).
  • Now that Herbert is out of his underground clubhouse, what do you think he’s up to?
  • Speaking of Herbert, genuine question: why did he behead Perry? Isn’t infecting people their whole deal? Why wouldn’t he infect him instead of kill him? Or do the portly fellows get more aggressive? 
  • Ellie needs to work on her decision-making skills, FOR REAL. Putting aside the Sam of it all, was shooting at the blade of a BULLDOZER the best use for her few bullets? Man, teens gonna teen, amiright?
  • On a scale of one to DON’T TALK TO ME FOR THE NEXT THREE BUSINESS DAYS how devastated are you this week? 



8 thoughts on “The Last of Us “Endure and Survive” Photo-Recap: Bonjour and Goodbye

  1. > Speaking of Herbert, genuine question: why did he behead Perry? Isn’t infecting people their whole deal? Why wouldn’t he infect him instead of kill him? Or do the portly fellows get more aggressive?

    VIdeo-game logic. Gotta have enemies to fight, so they’ll lean more towards violent.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I mean, there are definitely more arguments that could be made, such as the Bloaters are more the protectors of the runners (and their job isn’t to infect). I feel like I was a bit reductive with my statement of “video game logic”, actually. But I do think it is fair for this to be a question.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s