The Last of Us Episode 5: What happened to the underground children?

ellie and sam in the classroom the last of usHBO Max

The Last of Us Episode 5 features an underground classroom, but what happened to all the children there? The game explains it all.

In our The Last of Us review, we said Episode 5 is “emotional and action-packed, speaking to the bluntness of mankind’s fury and desperation in the face of tragedy – even if you didn’t know what to expect, it’ll shatter you.”

The episode follows Joel and Ellie as they team up with Henry and Sam, two brothers on the run from Kathleen’s Freedom Fighters, in a bid to escape Kansas City. As they navigate the city’s underground sewer tunnels, they stumble into a bunker transformed into a classroom, but it’s completely empty.

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So you might be wondering, what happened to the children that once inhabited that classroom? Well the game is actually able to explain that, so strap in.

What happened in the underground classroom in The Last of Us?

In The Last of Us game, the underground classroom was part of a community that lived under the city, which was formed by survivors. They lived there happily, until an infected horde managed to get in, and caused devastating havoc.

For those who have never played the game – or have just sped run through it without exploring – you likely won’t know about the story of Ish, which is told through a series of discarded notes around the underground sewers, which you can pick up while travelling with Henry and Sam.

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You can read more about Ish specifically here, but basically Ish was a sailor that managed to avoid the initial outbreak, and after returning to land and running into a family, comprised of Susan, Kyle, and their children, Ish set up an underground bunker in the sewers that grew into a real community once more people joined.

The sewers almost became a mini city, with lounge areas, a classroom – which is the room we see in the episode – and of course, plenty of rules and security in order to keep the infected out. Ish and another man Danny were the community’s protectors, hence the drawing you see of them in the classroom in both the show and the game.

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The Danny and Ish drawing in The Last of Us gameSony

However, in this world, good things don’t last forever. One day, someone didn’t follow the rules, and left a door open. Because of this, a horde of infected was able to get in, and they began terrorising the sewer community, pushing everyone to flee.

Did the underground children survive the infected attack?

Some children did, but sadly, many didn’t.

In a horrifying series of events, Kyle, the father of the family that Ish ran into, found himself locked in a room with a group of children, with the infected clawing to get in on the other side of the door.

It’s implied that Kyle then shot all of the children he was with, in order to spare them the fate of being torn apart by infected, before he turned the gun on himself. When exploring the sewers, you find the body of a man in a locked room, and next to him, underneath a large covering, are the obscured bodies of multiple children.

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If your heart can handle it, you can view said scene below:

Thankfully, not all of the children suffered the same fate.

Ish and Kyle’s wife Susan managed to escape into the nearby suburbs, along with as many children as they could carry. It seems like they remained there for the rest of their days. In his last note, Ish writes: “One open door. That’s all it took. One of us forgot to close a door and a horde of those monsters entered our camp. We shut them in there and wrote a warning on the outside.

“Susan and a couple of the kids are with me. As far as I know, we’re the only survivors. I had to hold Susan so she wouldn’t run back in there – go back for the bodies. It’s just too dangerous. She lost her children, and I have no clue what to say to her.”

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The Last of Us is an unforgiving world, even for children, and perhaps these children and Kyle were foreshadowing for what fate was about to befall poor Henry and Sam.

The Last of Us Episode 6 will be available to stream on February 19 in the US and February 20 in the UK. You can check out the rest of our coverage here and check out the trailer for the weeks ahead here.