The Last of Us Episode 4: Who is Kathleen? Melanie Lynskey explained

Melanie Lynskey as Kathleen in The Last of UsHBO

Who is Kathleen in The Last of Us? In Episode 4, we’re introduced to a new, mysterious character played by Melanie Lynskey – but who is she, and is she connected to the Hunters?

In our review, we said Episode 4 is “flawless… 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.”

It picks up straight after the last episode, with Joel and Ellie on the road headed for Wyoming to find his brother Tommy, a former Firefly who’ll hopefully find the right people to help Ellie.

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However, their detour through Kansas City goes haywire when they’re ambushed by raiders, all of whom appear to be working under Kathleen – so, who is she?

Spoilers for The Last of Us Episode 4 to follow…

Who is Melanie Lynskey’s Kathleen in The Last of Us?

Kathleen, played by Melanie Lynskey, is “the ruthless leader of a revolutionary movement in Kansas City.” While unconfirmed, it’s believed she leads the city’s faction of Hunters.

In Episode 4, we meet her as she’s interrogating a doctor over the whereabouts of Henry Burrell, the older brother of Sam, two major characters from The Last of Us game.

From their conversation, we learn a few things: her brother was killed by FEDRA after somebody tipped off his location, and her group isn’t aligned with the Fireflies. “This has gone too far,” he says. “It has to stop now, you mean? Now you’re in the cell. But before, people dying was okay, when you were protected and ratting on your neighbors to FEDRA,” she says.

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We see her ordering her soldiers to raid buildings and find Henry and kill him along with any collaborators. One of her troops also shows her a crater in a basement that starts bloating – but we’ve yet to see what’s underneath.

Is Kathleen in The Last of Us game?

No, Kathleen doesn’t appear in The Last of Us game – but some believe she’s the unseen leader of the Hunters.

In the game, Hunters are an enemy faction made up of survivors who overthrew their quarantine zones from military control, but they aren’t aligned with the Fireflies in any form.

Similar to the Fireflies, they opposed FEDRA and martial law, especially amid food shortages and forced labor. In Pittsburgh, protests led to three people being executed in the street, which kicked off a brief alliance between the city’s residents and the Fireflies.

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When the military abandoned the city, people didn’t want to take orders from the Fireflies, so the Hunters were formed. Unlike the Fireflies, they employ exclusively brutal tactics to secure resources for their people, including murdering random tourists and passers-by,

In one incident, they attached a dead body to one of their vehicle’s hoods with a sign that read, “RUN.” In the show, one of the trucks has “RUN” painted on the front, further suggesting Kathleen to be the leader of the Hunters.

We will update this article next week when we learn more about Kathleen.

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.

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