The Last of Us

How The Last of Us Episode 4’s Ending Sets Up a Tragic Subplot — With a Twist

Meet Kathleen, Henry, and Sam.

The Last of Us was the talk of the internet last week when Episode 3, “Long Long Time,” introduced the world to a new and improved version of Bill and Frank and re-introduced Linda Ronstadt. But in Episode 4, the action is brought back to the classic game story with one big addition. Here’s everything you need to know about Episode 4’s Infected-less plot, including a thorough explanation of that shocking cliffhanger.

Episode 4 follows Joel and Ellie on their road trip west to find Tommy in Wyoming. After a massive pileup on the highway full of abandoned vehicles from Outbreak Day, the two find their way through Kansas City, a city that once began as a QZ but FEDRA was chased out by a revolutionary leader named Kathleen and her forces.

Kathleen’s character has long been anticipated by fans not just because she’s played by Melanie Lynskey from Yellowjackets. It’s not even because of her history in the Last of Us fandom. It’s because of her lack of one.

Kathleen rules over the overthrown Kansas City QZ with an iron fist, even if that means mercilessly shooting the man who delivered her.


Kathleen is a character created entirely for the series, and she fills the cynical heartless killer role many fans had complained was eliminated by turning Bill from a killing machine into a tender romantic lead. She holds her family doctor, the man who delivered her, in a cell for ratting on other revolutionaries to Fedra.

Meanwhile, Joel and Ellie are climbing up a high rise but stop a few floors below to rest for the night. They settle down for the night after Ellie tells Joel a barnburner of a terrible dad joke, but are awoken suddenly when two strangers hold them at gunpoint — a boy and his grown-up caretaker. But just who are these characters?

Henry and Sam in the original The Last of Us game. In the series, they are portrayed by Lamar Johnson and Keivonn Woodard.

Naughty Dog

Game fans know exactly who they are: Henry and Sam, two major characters from the original game. Henry and his little brother Sam (who is deaf in the show but not in the game) encounter Joel and Ellie in Pittsburgh. Henry assumes that Joel is a hunter, but they reluctantly work together to get out of the city alive.

Unfortunately, things don’t go exactly according to plan, but that may reveal a spoiler for the show so we won’t bring it up here. However, with the addition of Kathleen into the mix, it’s possible the action may take a huge turn from the original story. In the game, Henry’s main foe was the mysterious horde of raiders out in the city.

But in the show, it looks like Kathleen has an extremely intense and personal vendetta against Henry and Sam gets wrapped up in the drama as well. Hopefully, Joel and Ellie will convince the two they’re on the same side, and may even help each other defeat Kathleen and get out of the city alive.

The Last of Us is now streaming on HBO Max.

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