The Last of Us Episode 4 ending explained

Joel and Ellie in The Last of Us Episode 4HBO

By the end of The Last of Us Episode 4, Joel and Ellie run into two major characters as they hide from Kathleen in Kansas City – so, let’s get into what happens.

In our review, we said Episode 4 is a “flawless in-between installment, embodying the game’s road-trip DNA with humor, brutal thrills, and setting up an arc that should be dreaded by the most hardened of viewers.”

Now equipped with a pickup truck full of stuff, Joel and Ellie make their way to Wyoming to find Tommy. It’s a journey full of jokes, “burnt sh*t” coffee, ravioli, and the pair getting to know each other through laughs and violence.

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A detour through Kansas City leads to them being stuck in a skyscraper to avoid the wrath of Kathleen, a fearsome leader of an unknown revolutionary group – so, here’s what happens by the end.

Spoilers for The Last of Us Episode 4 to follow…

The Last of Us Episode 4 ending explained

As they’re trying to sleep, Joel and Ellie are awoken by Henry and Sam, who are hiding out in the same building. They’re armed with guns, and Sam gestures to Joel that he should remain quiet.

Earlier in the episode, we met Kathleen, believed to be the leader of the city’s Hunters, a revolutionary group unconnected to FEDRA and the Fireflies. Between her interrogation of a doctor over her brother’s death and finding dead troops in the street, she’s convinced it’s “Henry’s work”, and she orders her soldiers to find him.

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They come across an abandoned building, and in the loft, they find Sam’s superhero drawings and countless empty tins. “They’re out of food, Henry won’t let Sam starve,” she says – but her officer’s face is tripping him, so there must be something else.

In the basement, there’s a crater that starts rippling. Something is underneath there, but what? The likely answer: a Bloater, essentially a super-infected, but we’ll surely find out next week.

A still from The Last of Us Episode 4HBO

When Joel and Ellie finally make it to the room they decide to sleep in, Joel asks about who Ellie hurt in the past, after she revealed she’d shot someone with a gun before. She doesn’t want to talk about it, and he says that’s okay.

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Who was Ellie talking about? Well, the likely answer is Riley, whose story comes from the Left Behind DLC in the original game. We won’t get into that just yet, as we don’t want to spoil it for those who haven’t played the game.

As for Henry and Sam, they’re two major characters from the game who Joel and Ellie originally met in Pittsburgh. In the show, Henry is much younger, but it’s likely we’ll see them working together in the next episode to evade Kathleen – especially if that Bloater gets out of the basement.

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The Last of Us Episode 5 will be available to watch early on February 10 in the US and February 11 in the UK. You can check out the rest of our coverage here, and the trailer for the weeks ahead here.