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‘The Last of Us’ Just Keeps Raising the Stakes Every Week

Closeup of a clicker from The Last of Us. The person's mouth is visible under a plume of yellow and blue mushrooms.

The Last of Us Episode 5, “Survive and Endure”, premiered early on HBO this Friday and featured fan favorites from the video games, brothers Henry (Lamar Johnson) and Sam (Keivonn Montreal Woodard). The pair discover Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) hiding out in their apartment deep in Kansas City. While they initially pull a gun on Joel and Ellie, the four manage to work out a shaky alliance. This is because both pairs are in the same situation—they are being hunted by revolutionary Kathleen Coghlan (Melanie Lynskey) and desperately need to get out of the city.

Henry knows the way out of the city via some underground tunnels. He agrees to show Joel and Ellie the way as long as Joel provides the muscle and protects them if they run into Kathleen and her Hunters or infected. They are able to make their way through the tunnels without incident before running into a large group of Hunters right outside the tunnels. Viewers will likely notice that throughout both episodes 4 and 5, there aren’t many infected around. The Hunters seem to be the biggest threat to Joel, Ellie, Sam, and Henry in Kansas City.

However, the show couldn’t go too long without coming back to the infected. The episode’s climax sees Joel, Ellie, Henry, and Sam in an intense standoff with the Hunters after Kathleen manages to corner them with dozens of armed men and military-style vehicles. From the second-story window of a home, Joel provides cover while the three children try to flee. When one military truck heads directly for Ellie, Joel takes out the driver, causing the vehicle to crash into a home and catch on fire. This causes a sinkhole to open up, swallowing the vehicle entirely. However, it’s what comes out of the hole that really catches the Hunters’ attention: an enormous horde of infected, including one monstrous, gigantic, and terrifying bloater. After a brief period of reprise from the infected, where did this massive horde suddenly come from?

Here’s why the horde was underground

A huge bloater climbs out of hole in The Last of Us

Henry is the one who actually explained where the horde came from early on in Episode 5. As said above, he was useful to Joel and Ellie because he knew the city better than them, including the underground tunnels. However, considering the four of them are fugitives, wouldn’t underground tunnels leading out of the city be the first place the Hunters would check? This is a concern Joel expresses, but Sam assures him that there likely won’t be any Hunters down there because, years ago, they drove all of the infected underground as a survival strategy. He also explains that he found out the infected were all gone from the tunnels, but the Hunters don’t know that.

However, he also sheepishly admitted that it had been three years since the tunnels had been checked, so there might be an infected one or two down there. Joel didn’t seem convinced, but Sam proved he was right as they made it through the tunnels without incident. Ellie and Sam were even able to play ball loudly without attracting any attention. As the ending showed, though, the infected definitely were not all gone. After all, we’ve learned that some of the infected have been alive since the outbreak first started 20 years ago. Since they couldn’t have all been dead, it only made sense they’d still be somewhere underground.

It seems the tunnels were pretty expansive and, after being barren for many years, the infected could’ve been anywhere underground. That’s why the group of four manged to through the tunnels unbothered. However, with gunfire and massive explosions taking place during the standoff between the Hunters and Joel, Ellie, Sam, and Henry, wherever the infected were underground, they were likely attracted by the noise and all flocked to the location. All it took from there was an opening in the ground—and the full horde was unleashed.

(feature image: HBO)

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Rachel Ulatowski is a Freelance Writer, blogger, and aspiring author. As a Freelancer Writer she hopes to give readers the same comfort and enjoyment that she finds in all things nerdy and noteworthy, as a blogger she enjoys snarking on YouTubers and reality stars, and as a future novelist she hopes to raise awareness for child abuse through literature.