The Last of Us episode 5 recap: Joel and Ellie find new allies

Ellie (Bella Ramsey) and Joel (Pedro Pascal) lit by a camp lantern in The Last Of Us episode 5
Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal in The Last of Us (Image credit: Liane Hentscher/HBO)

NOTE: this article contains spoilers for The Last of Us episode 5. 

In The Last of Us fifth episode, we learn who Henry is and what he did to draw the full attention of Kathleen, Perry and the rest of the resistance movement in Kansas City, leading up to when they crossed paths with our two leads in that shocking ending to The Last Of Us episode 4.

Following a fraught confrontation, Joel and Ellie (Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey) form an uneasy alliance with Henry (Lamar Johnson) and Sam (Keivonn Woodard). Both have attracted the unwanted attention of Kathleen's (Melanie Lynskey) forces, but Henry's got a cunning plan to escape the city undetected and he's hoping Joel will ensure they can make it out of Kansas City without running across more survivors or succumbing to the cordyceps infection.

Here's what went down in The Last Of Us episode 5.

Escaping Kansas City 

Henry (Lamar Johnson) and Sam (Keivonn Woodard) take cover in The LAst Of Us episode 5

Keivonn Woodard and Lamar Johnson in The Last of Us (Image credit: Liane Hentscher/HBO)

The episode opens with scenes of Kathleen's troops staging their violent revolt and overthrowing FEDRA rule. As this happens, Henry and Sam plan to escape the city. Kathleen speaks to a group of people she claims are FEDRA informants and demands info about Henry's whereabouts. Under pressure, one of the group finally relents and tells her she can find him with Dr. Edelstein (the very same person Kathleen interrogated and shot in The Last Of Us episode 4). Kathleen has her men execute the entire group regardless.

Henry and Sam meet up with Eldelstein in an attic; together, they've saved roughly 11 days' worth of provisions. We then skip 10 days forward; Eldelstein had gone out to find food, but he's been missing for more than a day now, so Henry decides they're need to leave this hideout behind. 

While looking out for troops, he witnesses Joel and Ellie being ambushed and sees Joel killing one of Kathleen's men. We skip forward again to where they cross paths with Joel and Ellie. Holding them at gunpoint leads to a tense confrontation, but the two duos thankfully resolve it without any bloodshed.

Going underground

Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Henry (Lamar Johnson) in The Last Of Us

Pedro Pascal and Lamar Johnson in The Last of Us (Image credit: Liane Hentscher/HBO)

Joel doesn't want to work with Henry, who he claims is "a rat" as he's been a FEDRA informant. Joel eventually relents once Henry explains he's got a plan to get outside the city without crossing paths with Kathleen's group. 

With Joel's protection, he wants to use the maintenance tunnels to get under Kansas City and emerge in the suburbs. He claims FEDRA drove the infected in the local area underground, though the tunnels are thought to be empty. Henry thinks Joel's the man to help keep them safe if this rumor turns out not to be true.

In the tunnels, the group finds an abandoned settlement of some sort where they take a load off to wait for it to get light out above ground. Joel wonders why Kathleen sent her whole force after Henry. Henry opens up to him about his past and what he's done to draw her ire. Henry reveals Sam developed leukemia at one point. In order to get his hands on a drug for treatment, he had to give "something big" — meaning info about Kathleen's brother, the original leader of the Kansas City resistance movement — to FEDRA. 

After his confession, the four of them prepare to return to the surface. Meanwhile, Kathleen mulls over life without her brother with Perry (Jeffrey Pierce).

Pinned down

Perry (Jeffrey Pierce) and Kathleen (Melanie Lynskey) in The Last Of Us episode 5

Jeffrey Piece and Melanie Lynskey in The Last of Us (Image credit: Liane Hentscher/HBO)

Henry, Sam, Joel and Ellie reach the Kansas City suburbs and discuss where they're going to go next. They don't get to make plans for long, though, as they come under sniper fire. While the rest of the group takes cover, Joel sneaks around the abandoned cars sitting on the highway and works his way up to the building so he can take out the shooter. 

From the sniper point, Joel hears about reinforcements on the man's radio and screams for his friends to start running as Kathleen's crew come barreling down the highway in an armored convoy of vehicles.

Joel provides covering fire with the rifle and shoots the driver of a truck. Kathleen calls for Henry to reveal himself and the two begin to bargain for Ellie and Sam's survival. Their tense discussion is cut short by the sight of the truck disappearing into a sinkhole… allowing a horde of infected creatures, including a bloater, the final (and most dangerous) stage of the infection to rush out and attack the crowd. 

Chaos ensues as the Hunters open fire on the infected, whilst Joel does his best to protect his friends. He successfully provides covering fire for Ellie, allowing her to save Henry and Sam as they scramble away from the infected. Before they can escape, Kathleen turns her gun on Henry, but an infected blindsides her, and the group flees as she's attacked. 

 Alone again 

Joel (Pedro Pascal) looking sad in his green shirt in The Last Of Us episode 5

Pedro Pascal in the Last of Us (Image credit: Liane Hentscher/HBO)

Having escaped the battle, Joel, Ellie, Henry and Sam post up in a house for some rest and make plans to continue on to meet the Fireflies together. Joel and Henry discuss things, while Sam and Ellie bond a little more. He asks her why she's never scared and what happens if you become one of the monsters; he shows her that he was infected during their escape.

Ellie tries to explain that she's immune to the virus and cuts herself to try and use her blood to cure him. The next morning, Ellie wakes up to find Sam staring out the window. When she approaches him, he leaps at her and begins trying to attack, having turned in the night. When Joel tries to intervene, Henry fires a round at him, before shooting Sam to stop him from hurting Ellie.

Grappling with what he's just done, he takes his own life. Sometime later, Joel and Ellie bury their companions, before heading off for the next part of their journey.

New episodes of The Last of Us premiere every Sunday on HBO/HBO Max in the US; Mondays on Sky TV's Sky Atlantic and NOW in the UK.

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Martin Shore
Staff Writer at

Martin is a Staff Writer with, where he produces a variety of articles focused on the latest and greatest films and TV shows. 

Some of his favorite shows are What We Do In The Shadows, Bridgerton, Gangs of London, The Witcher, Doctor Who, and Ghosts. When he’s not watching TV or at the movies, Martin’s probably still in front of a screen playing the latest video games, reading, or watching the NFL.