The Last of Us Episode 5: Who is Kathleen’s brother?

Kathleen in The Last of UsHBO

Who is Kathleen’s brother in The Last of Us? In Episode 5, we learn a bit more about the character’s backstory, so who is her brother?

Melanie Lynskey plays Kathleen, the leader of the “resistance” in Kansas City. It may not be said outright, but for players of the game, it’s clear she’s the head of the Hunters, a brutal rebel group.

We were introduced to her in Episode 4, where she murdered the doctor who delivered her and ordered her troops to find Henry and “any collaborators… and kill them all.”

While we’d picked up a few details, Episode 5 clears up her thirst for vengeance against Henry – and her brother is a big part of it.

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Spoilers for The Last of Us to follow…

Who is Kathleen’s brother in The Last of Us?

Kathleen’s brother was Michael, the leader of the Kansas City resistance. He was revered and loved by everyone, but he was killed by FEDRA after Henry gave him up so he could get medicine for Sam.

In Episode 5, Henry explains to Joel that Sam has leukemia and needed medicine held under lock and key by FEDRA. Supplies were scarce, so he had to give them something substantial – who carries more weight than the top dog of the rebels?

Kathleen later reminisces with Perry (Jeffrey Pierce) about how protected she felt with her brother when they were kids, and how he’d want her to forgive Henry. “Where’s the justice in that?” she asks.

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“He would be horrified by the things I’ve done,” she tells Perry. “Your brother was a great man, we all loved him. But he didn’t change anything – you did,” he responds.

Kathleen and Perry in The Last of Us Episode 5HBO

In an interview with Variety, Lynskey recalled what co-showrunner Craig Mazin pitched her when offering her the role. “Imagine if you were Jesus’ sister,” he said.

“Your brother was the greatest man, who was just so wonderful to everybody, who you loved and revered, and then he was brutally murdered. And you’re just this ordinary person who knows that they’re not that great of a person, who has to then step into this role and is sort of consumed with wanting to adventure.”

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Kathleen is a character created just for the game, so her brother doesn’t have any connection to the source material.

There are two characters called Michael. Firstly, there’s Michael Kiper, whose Firefly pendant can be found as a collective in The Outskirts chapter. He was named after a fan who won a competition to get his name on a pendant in the game.

Then there’s Mike, a minor antagonist who’s a member of the Washington Liberation Front in The Last of Us Part II. Neither character have inspired Michael or are connected to Kathleen.

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.

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