HBO's The Last of Us Ep. 5 | Crooked Media
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February 11, 2023
X-Ray Vision
HBO's The Last of Us Ep. 5

In This Episode

On this episode of X-Ray Vision, Jason Concepcion and Rosie Knight meet Henry and Sam! In the Airlock (1:15), they dive deep (deeep) into episode 5 of HBO’s The Last of Us, recapping and discussing the action of the episode, the power of the superhero fantasy, and mirror images. Then in Nerd Out (1:07:32) they read and discuss a listener theory on the seeding possibility of Marvel video games in the MCU.


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Send a short pitch and 2-3 minute voice memo recording to that answers the following questions: 1) How did you get into/discover your ‘Nerd Out?’ (2) Why should we get into it too? (3) What’s coming soon in this world that we can look forward to or where can we find it? If you’re sending a theory, feel free to send only a summary of your theory (no audio needed) for Jason and Rosie to react to on air.


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World War Z – written by Max Brooks.






Jason Concepcion Warning This podcast contains spoilers for the Last of US Episode five. Yeah. Hello, my name is Jason Concepcion.


Rosie Knight And I’m Rosie Knight.


Jason Concepcion And welcome to X-ray Vision, the Crooked Media podcast, where we are diving deep all the way down to the sinkhole beneath Kansas City. We talk about your favorite shows, movies, comics and pop culture.


Rosie Knight In this episode, we’re digging into episode five of The Last of US, ain the Airlock. Just..woof.. Going to make you cry again. Sorry. And in Nerd Out, we’ve got a really brilliant theory about the importance of Marvel video games in the MCU, which feels particularly relevant right now with the way DC is trying to cross those things over.


Jason Concepcion And of course, if you want to jump around, check out the show notes for timestamps. Let’s go to the airlock. We’re stepping out of the airlock and into the remnants of Kansas City’s QZ for episode five of The Last of US on HBO and HBO Max titled Endure and Survive. This episode was written by Craig Mazin and directed by Jeremy Webb. And boy, for all the folks who are like this needs to be more this show needs to be more like a video game. The last two episodes have given us the more like the video game part of this story and this execution.


Rosie Knight Yeah, and I think that a lot of people who played the game after seeing episode three were wondering at the end of episode four if we when we saw Henry in Samurai, as if that would be a kind of bill and frank reconsideration. There is in a tiny kind of nuanced moments. But if you’re ready to get your heart broken because you saw them, it’s going to happen this episode, it’s just brutal.


Jason Concepcion We open in a flashback of what we learn is about ten days before the arrival of Joel and Ellie in Kansas City, and it is the fall of FEDRA in the Kansas City QZ. The rebels, Kathleen’s rebels, we are soon to learn, are celebrating their victory with fireworks and flares and chants of freedom and torture and the summary execution of various FEDRA soldiers and and citizen collaborators we are soon to meet. Trucks are circling the streets, making the pretty unconvincing announcement that collaborators who surrender will receive a fair drop. I’m pretty sure that if you just look out in the street.


Rosie Knight It’s not happening for you. It’s not happening.


Jason Concepcion You got that fair trial statement is not really ringing true. I mean, they’re like straight up hanging people out here.


Yeah. And I also I want to give you a shout out because I do I do feel like even though it was like, you know, Druckmann and Mazin had said, oh, there’s this kind of revolutionary aspect. I feel like a lot of people, including myself, the first time I watched it in episode four, it was kind of like the Kathleen stuff kind of felt very quick and we didn’t really get a lot of insight into her motivations. But you were absolutely right about kind of the space that she takes up in this world. This was a anti-FEDRA revolution that was led by Kathleen, who, as we going to learn and as you pointed out last week, sees Henry as the reason for like a great loss in her life. And it was kind of crazy to see that just come directly to life here. And it’s such a good this episode is so good at expanding on this kind of moral gray area that the show is really trafficking in compared to the kind of good in the game. You know, the hunters, they’re just evil. But here we learn a lot about the lengths people will go to survive. That’s kind of how I feel like this episode is.


Jason Concepcion I, I agree with you that some like the overthrowing FEDRA, I guess you could argue, is like certainly it was just. Listen, we find out where.


Rosie Knight We know they were hanging people.


Jason Concepcion Then we find out that FEDRA here had a reputation for cruelty and that they had a 20 year reign of rape, murder and torture. I’m all for overthrowing them. I also think like. It’s not 30 seconds into the revolution before the thing goes off the rails and completely indefensible hit.


Rosie Knight Yeah, we we learn we learn pretty quickly that there’s two visions of what this revolution could be. And it’s because it is Kathleen who’s leading it that it goes this way.


Jason Concepcion It is a it is a vehicle for her vengeance. We are soon to learn. So hiding in the streets as this chaos is unfolding is Henry and a young deaf boy, Sam. Henry tells Sam what they’re going to do. You know what the plan is to get out of here using sign language. And it’s basically, hey, stay close to me. Don’t worry. Everything’s going to be fine. We’re going to get out of here. Elsewhere, we see Kathleen lauding in her victory over FEDRA. She’s got a bunch of FEDRA prisoners, not even actual FEDRA prisoners. They’re.


Rosie Knight They’re just collaborators.


Jason Concepcion They’re citizen collaborators who informed.


Rosie Knight People who were doing what they needed to do to survive. There is a moral grayness there, but that is the the question is some of these people were doing it for unbelievable reasons. And some of them, like she points out, were doing it to, like, get fresh fruit.


Jason Concepcion Yeah.


Rosie Knight So it’s kind of like there’s there’s a very strange system that was put in place by this fascistic FEDRA, who were leading  the QZ.


Jason Concepcion And, you know, FEDRA clearly created its antagonist because Kathleen, she says we learned that he learned that her lieutenant’s name is Perry. She says, You know, Perry, I used to be so scared of these people and now look at them and she’s talking about the thing you were saying, which was that apparently these collaborators. Did what they did in order for access to medicine, to fresh food, to, you know, whatever counts as a luxury. In the Kansas City QZ and the rest of the population received oppression and torture and probably murder. And she says, Did you did it make you feel better? Did it make you feel safe? How do you make you feel now in this way that you understand that you’re not going to get any kind of fair shake with her? She insists that there will be trials, although she then says right afterwards, But you’re all guilty. So we know how that will go. And then she says, and you’ll do some time. But first you’re going to have to basically give up the information on other collaborators, specifically the one that Kathleen wants above all others is Henry. Where is Henry? There’s no answers. So Kathleen’s like, Okay, Perry, kill them all. And then some guy’s like, Oh, really? He’s with Edelstein. This is we are soon to learn the doctor from the previous episode. And apparently it is a shock to Kathleen that Edelstein was a collaborator. She is she is very surprised to learn this. And the man tells Kathleen that. Edelstein has he had a safe house somewhere out in the city in case, quote, things went bad, but he doesn’t know where. So, Kathleen, orders for people to go door to door until Henry is found. And Perry’s like, I think pretty wisely is like, wait, hold on. We just like literally just had a revolution. Maybe we need to stabilize things. Like we could use people in different places doing different things, not just like hunting for one guy. And Kathleen is like, excuse me, what?


Rosie Knight She’s like, He’s not my seventh priority. Like he is my number one priority.


Jason Concepcion Is he not your number one priority? And it is very clear from this interaction that whatever whatever the reason is that people follow. Kathleen, a significant ingredient to that reason is fear. They are both entranced, but also afraid of her, afraid to cross her in any kind of way. And then he’s like, Perry’s like, Hey, are we really putting him on trial?  And Kathleen is like nah, nah.


Rosie Knight Perry, nah, nah


Jason Concepcion No babe. What do you think?


Rosie Knight Not happening.


Rosie Knight Absolutely not. Just why did you have to ask? If you have to ask, you know the answer.


Jason Concepcion Yeah, come on. We got we got people, like, smashing broken bottles into people’s jugulars outside, you know, like there’s. .


Rosie Knight There’s no trial.


Jason Concepcion There’s no trials going on. Henry. And we see Henry and Sam enter a building and there’s gunshots ringing out in the streets behind them. They meet Edelstein climb up to the attic that we also saw in the previous episode. And this is the safe house that the man was talking about. And Edelstein is telling Henry and Sam, hey, this is safe. There’s water, there’s toilets. You can stay here for a while. And we also learn important information coming off of the end of the previous episode that Henry’s Gun is empty. He’s bluffing. Flat out bluffing. So Henry’s plan is to sneak out through the tunnels, which Edelstein thinks. Why don’t you just hang yourself here in this?


Rosie Knight He literally says that. It’s very dramatic.He’s like, he’s like just kill yourself as tagline. We will find out why later.


Jason Concepcion Yes, we will. Edelstein then asks if Sam, the boy, is scared. And Henry’s like, Yeah, I mean, he saw 25 murders.


Rosie Knight Yeah, I see. You know, many, many murders.


Jason Concepcion Yeah. And then Edelstein says he’s scared because you’re scared. So Henry takes the hint and goes to ease the boy’s mind, basically saying, Hey, look, look at how brave I’m being. I’m not scared of this. I’m not scared of what’s going on. And he gives Sam a big bag of crayons and the boy starts to decorate the area. We see the drawings, of course, at the end of the previous episode, but I think there’s something really affecting. Like, it really got me this. Like it just shows you. So he’s drawing illustrations of this superhero called Savage Starlight. He wears a red mask in his costume, much like Superman. And he just kind of shows you like the power of the superhero fantasy, of the idea that there is a powerful person who’s not going to misuse their strength and who’s going to do the right thing and who’s going to come and save people. And it must feel Henry must feel so powerless in this moment, just a flesh and blood person doing his best, surrounded by these pictures that are like the embodiment of this fantasy that Sam has, that someone, some hero can just put a stop to this.


Rosie Knight Yeah. And I think something that’s really interesting, too, is like, I love that because it is this this idea of this comic book superhero kind of becomes really important this episode. But also I think something that’s very interesting is. The pictures that Sam is drawing and painting. They include the superhero like killing FEDRA. Like, this is like it’s it’s it’s both sides. Like he is seeing violence from both sides. But a lot of his dream was like this superhero would come and kind of get rid of FEDRA and get rid of this fascistic force. And it’s this really heartbreaking reality of what that ended up looking like and the fact that now the person that Sam wanted to save them, somebody stopping FEDRA, is now the person who’s hunting them down. And yeah, the visuals, the visualization of this drawing and the drawing that I’m assuming the act takes, we see him doing them all like they’re.


Jason Concepcion Beautiful.


Rosie Knight So beautiful and really moving. And they also remind you that this is just a kid like this is an eight year old kid, you know, And it’s Oh, yeah, just really, really powerful stuff. And these two actors who portray these characters are just such good casting, like it’s Lamar Johnson as Henry and Keivonn Woodard as Sam. And it’s just like it’s just like Bill and Frank. You want to see more of them.


Jason Concepcion You want to see more.


Rosie Knight You want to see more.


Jason Concepcion X-ray Vision. We’ll be back.




Jason Concepcion And we’re back. We fast forward ten days. The pair are down to their last can of food. Henry looks outside and the roundup of collaborators even ten days later is continuing.


Rosie Knight And it’s this very like there’s like, tanks driving down the street. On timing. This is like become a military as much of a military operation as FEDRA, you can tell. Like they’re ready to keep this town.


Jason Concepcion Oh yeah.


Rosie Knight No matter what.


Jason Concepcion I said it before, and it’s a thing that I’ve talked about another pods, but it’s like you don’t. You don’t think about an enemy as a person or a group that you have a relationship with. But it but the relationship between antagonists is a very real one. And in this case, just like in many cases, the enemy created the mirror image of itself that is now taken over, like for whatever whatever the. The high flown ideals of freedom and a return to safety and security that that sparked this revolution were they’ve become FEDRA. They are, for all intents and purposes, the things that they overthrew. Sam, meanwhile, ten days later, continues to draw. He’s passing time with his art. And all the while, Kathleen’s people are getting close, getting closer, getting closer. And Edelstein hasn’t been back in a while.


Rosie Knight He went out to get food and it doesn’t look like  he’s not coming back.


Jason Concepcion May not return. Sam, flat out, is like he’s dead, isn’t he? And Henry’s like, probably, Yeah. He’s probably dead. Sometime after this Henry is like, Sam, we got to leave. We have to leave. And I know that’s scary, But here again, Henry, trying to be that superhero is like, don’t work. Because I’ve analyzed almost like almost like in a video game, you know, like I’ve analyzed the patterns.


Rosie Knight That I’ve watched them every day. Like, I know we can make it on foot.


Jason Concepcion We can yeah, we can do it. We can get past them because I’ve watched their patterns and you trust me, I can, you know, don’t worry, I can do it. And again, they embrace, they hug, and they’re surrounded by these drawings and they’re again, you get this feeling of of. How small and weak Henry has to feel with this incredibly. Heavy burden that he has surrounded by these images of what that the person he’s sworn to protect, you know, dreams about, which is just like a person who would come and protect them.


Rosie Knight Yeah. And it’s this really heartbreaking kind of evolution as we get through the episode, too, because. We come to see that and learn that Henry in no way sees himself as a hero. He sees himself as the bad guy. So to constantly have his brother, like dreaming of this heroic figure or seeing Henry as this figure is like really a heart breaking thing.


Jason Concepcion So they’re getting ready to leave their safe house when they hear a screech of tires and gunshots. And this is the sound of the ambush of Joel and Lee. And Henry watches all this unfold through the window. And he turns to Sam as he watches Joel that, you know, in Henry’s mind, easily dispatch like two of Kathleen’s militia. He turns to Sam he says, New plan. So now we’re back where we left off in the previous episode. Henry and Sam, they get the drop on Ali. Henry has his gun on Ellie. Sam has his gun on Joel. And. Henry immediately feels that Joel is the danger. So he’s like, Hey, look at me. Listen, we’re not here to hurt you. We can help each other. We haven’t hurt you at all like we didn’t shoot you. I’m going to put my gun down, and then, you know, we can have a truce, right? We can just, you know. Is that okay? And it’s very obvious that Henry has not done shit like this before. He doesn’t know what to do in a situation like this. And it’s also obvious just by Jules demeanor, that he’s a hard ass.


Rosie Knight You know?


Jason Concepcion Yeah. I mean, he has seen him kill guys, like, just the other day.


Rosie Knight Yeah, but it’s also just like, in the moment. He is not scared. Like, if Joel wanted to disarm these kids, he could disarm them.


Jason Concepcion So. When Joel is like to Henry’s query of like, Hey, so I’m going to put my gun down. It’s cool, right? When Joel says, like, okay, like the undertaker or something, Henry gets really and rightfully nervous and is like, Hey, it’s really weird the way you said, okay? And he’s like, No, no, no. He’s just got like, resting asshole voice.


Rosie Knight Yeah, yeah. He can’t help it.


Jason Concepcion He can’t help being like that, Joel, right? So Henry’s like, Okay, fine, I’m going to trust you, But if you try anything, like, I’m going to shoot Ellie. Of course. Now, again, Henry’s gun is empty. Henry then tells Joel that he and Sam are brothers and that he is the most wanted man in Kansas City. The militia out there, they’re searching. They’re looking for him. Although right now, Joel and Ali are probably, you know, number two, you’re running a close second, he says later. They eat off Joel and Ellie supplies, and Ellie introduces herself and makes really effective small talk. The way that kids just can know like these are they immediately fall in together as people, as peers, people at broadly in the same age group. And you can tell that Ellie just like delights in being around Sam.


Rosie Knight And she’s so happy to see Sam and just yeah, for the power them kind of to have somebody who’s more on her level, who also gives her someone’s kind of like look after and also is not Joel who is like really cranky all the fucking time.


Jason Concepcion So they’re having this dinner and Ellie’s introduced herself to Henry and Sam. She’s asked Sam how old he is. There’s this nice little rapport building, and then Ellie hits Joel on the leg, like, Are you going to introduce yourself? And then  Joel is like I’m Joel. Listen, we didn’t kill each other. Let’s call this a win win and get out of here. Yeah, To which Henry is like, No, I have an offer. Clearly, You two, Henry says, came up here to find a way out of the city. I know the way. I know the way out of the city. And I promise tomorrow I will tell you what it is. So the next day, it’s like we see that they’re in, like, a conference room of what was formerly like a business office. And they’re looking out at the streets of Kansas City. There are Humvees going up and down Kathleen’s people. And, you know, Henry’s like, welcome to what do you call it? Welcome to Killer City.


Rosie Knight KC. Killer City.


Jason Concepcion KC. And apparently. KC FEDRA was the worst of the world. It’s unclear like how much coordination and command and control there is in FEDRA.


Rosie Knight Yeah. It seems pretty clear that got dropped in and then it was just like, survive.


Jason Concepcion Yeah. And it seems pretty clear that each FEDRA that controlled whatever QZ was just kind of doing its own thing without any kind of oversight, you know.


Rosie Knight And the baseline was terrible. Like if we look at the Boston QZ, they were just hanging people for leaving the QZ. And it seems like in spite of how bad that was.


Jason Concepcion This is worse.


Rosie Knight This is worse.


Jason Concepcion This is worse. So Henry talks about it. He says, you know, this was the worst of the worst. The FEDRA here were rapists, murderers. The reign of terror went into effect like the moment basically the QZ was built. And he says something I think very important here. He says, What happens when you do that to people the moment they get a chance, they do it right back. And that’s what’s going on now. Henry then tells Joel that listen,  I’m not FEDRA, I’m kind of worse. I’m a collaborator and Joel is like, I don’t work with rats. Today you do, Henry says, because I know the city. And he goes about proving it.


Rosie Knight Can I just say? Joel is a hypocrite. Yeah. Because I know that I saw that bitch doing deals with FEDRA. Like I know he didn’t. I know he like, I get it. He’s not a snitch. He’s not a.


Jason Concepcion He hasn’t informed on people.


Rosie Knight He hasn’t informed on people. But I might giving FEDRA drugs, gettig ration cards.


Jason Concepcion Well.


Rosie Knight It’s it’s the levels of what you have to do to survive. And we learned that Henry is weighed this this is weighed heavily on him what he had.


Jason Concepcion He did very, very recently admit that he ambushed and murdered innocent people.


Rosie Knight Exactly. SO who is he?


Jason Concepcion Joel.


Rosie Knight High and mighty on his high horse.


Jason Concepcion Joel riding the smallest high horse ever witnessed.


Rosie Knight Yeah, Although this guy is like a teenager as well. Like, that’s the other thing. I’m like, Joe, you’re like 56, bro. Like, you probably ratted on people when you were a teenager, though, you know, not to defend collaborators, I think there’s I think this one of the most interesting thing about this episode is like it’s all about this horrifically, morally gray area of, like what you do for survival. And at no point are they like, this is the right thing or this is their own thing other than like Kathleen’s vengeance is obviously like consumed her. But there is this really interesting pull and push in this episode about.


Jason Concepcion I agree.


Rosie Knight That the the lengths people will go to survive and how that can be like weaponized.


Jason Concepcion Yeah, you’re absolutely right on the kind of scale of immoral behavior.


Rosie Knight Mhm.


Jason Concepcion For some reason we, we Joel ambushing innocent people to take their clothes and food and guns and whatever else they had somehow feels, maybe because it’s more active in the, in the, you know, within the context of we did what we had to do feels more like more actively doing what you had to do, that feels somehow more honorable if that’s the right word.


Rosie Knight Because you’re doing it yourself.


Jason Concepcion You did what you had to do by informing on people who will then go out and do the thing that you were too weak or unarmed to do yourself.


Rosie Knight Informing on people to survive when those people were probably just doing what they had to survive. It’s this it’s this really horrible kind of a robberies cycle. But yeah, I think they do a really interesting job as we’ll learn a bit further in steps out of really expanding on that space with Henry’s story and making he he essentially becomes like the person with the un, the unchooseable tasks, that like they they do a great job of building it into empathy. He is not one of these people who was, you know, informing on his neighbors to get an apple. Like there’s so much more to it. But I love the way that they kind of have that reaction from Joel. But then we get to see, just like in the game, Henry is really the first person that it feels like Joel kind of opens up to even more than like Ellie. Like there’s this kind of unexpected connection there, probably because of these caretaker roles.


Jason Concepcion Yeah, very clear parallels. Joel asks a really important question, which is, Why are you doing this? If you know the way out and just fucking go. And Henry is like, because you’re good at fighting and I’m not. And the way we’re going to go is really dangerous. So now I’m going to tell you what it is. And also, my gun is not loaded, so.


Rosie Knight I’ve never. I’ve never physically killed anyone. So I need you.


Jason Concepcion Yeah, I need you because like you, you’re good at this. And then Ellie is like, Yeah, we killed two clickers on the way out here. He’s like, see, like you kill two, clicker. That’s incredible.


Rosie Knight He like you saw a  clicker and you survived?.


Jason Concepcion Like, that is such a great it’s such a small thing, but a really important moment to let you know how. That really, really fierce, Joel is in his fighting. And, of course, we’re going to see it at the end of this episode. So then Henry tells them how they’re going to get out. He draws a map, basically a box of four highways in which they are the middle. They are inside that box in the former QZ, which is now controlled by Kathleen’s forces. What they need to do is get across one of these highways out to the river, cross the river to safety. But they can’t do it aboveground the way they’re going to have to go. Is below ground. These maintenance tunnels that were built to connect various properties that were once owned by the same real estate developer. And so then Joel again, he’s like, So why? What do you need me for?


Rosie Knight It sounds good.


Jason Concepcion Like, Yeah, go ahead and do it. And then yeah, and then Henry gives him the bad news. Okay, so there’s no infected here. As you noticed, FEDRA, he says, drove them underground 15 years ago and haven’t let them up since. Only good things those fascist motherfuckers did. But good news, Henry says, the tunnels are empty. How do I know? Someone told me. Even if it.


Rosie Knight Someone told me like, three years ago. This is. I actually love this because there’s two things I really love about this. One, it’s a really cool explanation for. Yeah, the evolution of the in fact that it’s like such a cool idea. And if you’ve ever read Max Brooks, World War Z, which I think is like one of the best sci fi horror books I’ve written, there is a whole plot line about how a certain country, when the zombie apocalypse happened, basically they hid all that. They they all moved underground. But then the rumor has it that basically the reason no one ever heard from them again, even after other places started to recover, was because a zombie had gotten in. And it’s this idea of all these people living underground who’ve been infected. It’s it’s such a scary vision. And something else that I found that was really cool after I watched this episode is that Kansas City actually does have like real ancient underground maintenance tunnels. So I thought that was a really cool addition. But yeah, I love that. Like the idea that Fedora, this Phaedra was so brutal that they actually managed to essentially like read that see of in fact did. That’s like unheard of. It sounds absolutely bonkers but it tells you something about them. And of course, you know, Henry’s like, oh, it’s all good now. Like three years ago, they cleared it out. Sure. It’s too good to be true, my friend.


Jason Concepcion But here’s the upside. Here’s the actual upside. Henry tells them Kathleen’s people won’t be there. They’re not going to look at the tunnels. No wonder everybody’s just scared to go down there. And you guys are really good. You kill two clickers, you can handle it. So they head out down through the lobby of an office building into the basement and down again into the tunnels. Joel and Ellie, after what they’ve already been through in their short time together, are already on edge. Henry is just like, Hey, hey, look, it’s empty down here. And they’re going, right? Should don’t go. Joel, of course, is not convinced. He just tells them, Hey, be ready to run. So they move through these tunnels quite a long ways until they get quite surprisingly to this area. It’s like a concrete box with a door on the other side. And the concrete walls are painted with scenes as if from a kindergarten or grade school, you know, happy children, giant flowers, a golden castle. There’s a door. They go through the door and it’s the remnants of an elementary school that was built underground, Joel says. I read about places like this. People went underground after Outbreak Day, and very interesting to read the white board. Behind them, there’s a whiteboard with a message to the rules of the school still up. One, Make sure the doors are locked.  Two, ask for the password. If you don’t know the visitor three No shouting or noisy play for run to the hiding spot. When you hear the alarm and Joel thinks, Well, in fact it must have.


Rosie Knight Somebody didn’t follow the rules. And yeah, I thought that was a great moment when they first see this like, beautiful, painted kind of mural. Sam is so excited as an artist and he kind of runs ahead and you get this great moment from Joel where you know that Joel of like four days ago would have just that kid would have been the canary in the coal mine. But he stops him and he pushes him back and he goes back in front and he’s getting a little bit more of that caring. There’s something about the idea of looking after these kids in a way he couldn’t look after Sarah. That is really changing who he is. And I thought this was such a cool, spooky addition, this kind of empty grade school that feels like it’s going to be this creepy resident evil type space, but actually ends up being almost like a sanctuary for them for a little bit. It’s really smart inversion of kind of what we get what we expected.


Jason Concepcion Sam in L.A., Find a savage Starlight comic and then just bond over it. She tells him that she has issues four or five, six and 11. He has issues five, six and eight. They, you know, kind of reference the the tagline of the series, which is endure and survive. And at Ellie’s urging, really with Henry agreeing it’s a good idea, they decide to stay there until dark when they can move around aboveground more safely. Ellie and Sam pass the time playing together. And Joel and Henry, as you mentioned, start kind of like opening them. Up to each other. And Joel, already a different guy, I think, than he was a few days ago, basically apologizes, like, hey, I didn’t know your situation. If you collaborated to help him. I get it. Like, we’ve all done things.


Rosie Knight Yeah, He’s like, I shouldn’t have judged you.


Jason Concepcion Yeah, I shouldn’t have judge you. And then Henry is like, Oh, yeah. What do you think about this? I didn’t just collaborate and just inform. I informed. On a great man, a great and charismatic leader. Sam got sick. Leukemia. The only drug that could save him was, of course, controlled by FEDRA. And so to get it, I informed on this person and this person, the leader and I guess figurehead of the KC resistance movement was Kathleen’s brother, which is we learn now why she’s after him. And he says, Still think you should take it easy on me or am I the bad guy? And he says, and he says, I’m sure I’m the bad guy because I did bad guy stuff. And Joel doesn’t say it. But you can also tell there’s a bunch of different emotions going across Pedro Pascal face here. But you can definitely tell that one is disgust at what happened. And also you did what you had to do.


Rosie Knight Yeah, he’s, he’s accepting of this kind of horrible story that he has to tell. And there’s something you know, Henry explains that this guy, like, always forgave. He was always kind to he had been leading this movement and had this kind of this love for all the people in his community. But, you know, as we’re going to find out, he led the revolution, but he didn’t lead them to revolt. That was Kathleen. So it’s like, you know, this sad Henry unintentionally kind of inspires the actual revolution by by informing on on this man who, you know, meant so much. But he did it for like like we were saying earlier, like, this is a choice you would never want to have to make. What you’re a, you know, child a child die because the government is withholding their medication. And you can get that medication if you just make one choice. It’s all about this idea of you have to sacrifice one life for another. You know, and it’s it’s such a heartbreaking kind of expansion. But like you said, Joel, Joel isn’t judging him. There’s no judgment.


Jason Concepcion You know, honestly, it would have been. You can’t make any excuses for what it’s clear that FEDRA did, but the actions of Kathleen’s forces in their victory also show that, like Cahill, kind of what’s the difference? Like this story, this episode really made me think about how whether someone’s a hero or a villain really depends on when you meet them. You know, when when in your when in their story do you arrive? Because you know, where we arrive with Joel is he’s a hero because we never saw him ambushing and killing untold numbers of innocent people. We see Henry as a hero because though he did something horrific and and indefensible, he’s also a completely powerless person trying to protect his brother on the run from maniacs with guns. Kathleen, maybe if you’d met her two weeks ago, we would’ve been like, what an inspiring.


Rosie Knight Supporting her brother.


Jason Concepcion Inspiring leader. Yeah, like, and now it’s like she’s power mad and vengeful and, like, not doing the thing that will actually help her community. Like, this is a personal grievance You should be rebuilding. Why are you doing this? There’s also an important moment here in this exchange where Henry can just immediately tell that Joel was once a father because of the way he’s protecting Allie, even though he knows that they’re not related. We go back to Kathleen, who is hanging out in the FEDRA orphanage where her and her brother were raised. Perry finds her there. He has no information for her, no idea where Henry is, no idea where Joel is, no nothing. And he says that he asked, you know, people have been looking for her. They nobody had any idea where she was. And they had to talk to her mom to figure out that she’d be here. And then Kathleen starts reminiscing about her brother and how and he really did seem like a great guy. You know, he acted as her protector. He did you know, he begged her to forgive her enemies.


Rosie Knight He even told her.


Jason Concepcion That was basically the last thing that he said to her.


Rosie Knight When he was in prison. He said, forgive Henry.


Jason Concepcion Yeah.


Rosie Knight Like he did what he had to do. Just forgive him. But she know. And she knows that like her brutality and her violence and all these terrible things, she’s done a things he would hate. Like if he was here, he would be so disappointed in her. And she assumes that Perry is there to basically say to, like your brother would say, Henry alone. Like, let’s just build, let’s make things better. But nha, Perry’s in. He’s he’s all in on the Kathleen train.


Jason Concepcion And this is the this is the danger of violence is like, again, like no one can. It must have felt good and just and right. And indeed, it probably was to rebel against Feda and take them down at the same time. The people who are called to violence are often like the least stable and worst people, you know. And and Kathleen is definitely not the person who you want to be following in a post-revolutionary like. Yeah, just apocalyptic.


Rosie Knight She took the following her brother had and utilized because her brother died ten days ago, you know, and then the revolution happened like it was within that timeframe. That is the reason Kathleen is the leader. What did your brother do? He was great, but he didn’t overthrow Fattah. You have been defeated, but you are so violent and angry and consumed by this vengeance that you could and you enlisted the people around you who had followed your brother to do it. It’s a it’s a very interesting character study. And obviously Melanie Lynskey is like, incredible.


Jason Concepcion She brings a an almost like. She brings a pettiness to what is a very important, clearly like, you know, existential matter. And I think it says so much about her character. She’s just like aggrieved. She’s like, really hurt and angry and also is just in charge of like of what is a very, very dangerous, like mob of armed people.


Rosie Knight Yeah, it’s such clever casting, too, because it’s like and this is what Melanie’s always been great at from Heavenly Creatures, The Yellow Jackets. Like people see her and you’re like, Oh, that’s someone who’s like, a mom. That’s like, my mom, like. So to see her in this midst of this rage, it’s not like some tattooed zombie survivor with one arm like this is just a woman who looks like a really normal white woman in a and she’s just been absolutely consumed by this fury. And like you said, that pettiness, that aggressiveness. So when you see her, you know, I saw a few people who were like, I don’t know if I buy it, like did it it. And I’m like, that’s your own conception of what somebody like that can be like in this. Yeah. The whole point of this character in this story is like, how would this affect normal people and make them behave. And in Kathleen’s case, it’s this kind of nightmarish vengeance which will eventually destroy her entire community.


Jason Concepcion X-ray vision will be back.


Speaker 5 <AD>


Jason Concepcion And we’re back. Finally, Henry and the group emerged from the school, and they come out on the other side of the highway through a parking garage. They’re in a suburb now. It’s night. No one around. Henry is extremely proud of himself. And he should be.


Rosie Knight He actually should be. I have to say this supremely great fake out by the show, too. Like, I’m like, Oh, this is it. Like they’re going to be underground. It’s going to be like the subways in the game. They’re going to have to be killing the zombies. No, this actually legit like, was a great plan.


Jason Concepcion Great plan. It worked. What can you say? Joel, of course, would like everybody to shut the fuck up because they turn to the river. They’re close to the river, but they’re not there yet. And then Lee surprising Joel invites Henry and Sam to come with them to Wyoming. Joel you just tell is. And he’s like, Nah, no, on that. But before they can really discuss it. Shots rang out. A sniper in a house at the end of the street and they’re hiding behind a car kind of pinned down. Joel tells Zoe, Okay, you guys stay here. I’m going to go around, sneak on top and, you know, sneak up to that house and take the sniper out. This guy is bad aim. And also he’s wasting, like, a ton. This guy’s like.


Rosie Knight Yeah, yeah, yeah.


Jason Concepcion He’s spraying bullets all over the place.


Rosie Knight This was a very interesting part of that. Like the reality of how this would happen. Like, sure, Kathleen has this petty vengeance kind of fueling her. And Perry seems to have some kind of military training. But not everybody in Kansas City in this community would have that. Like, she knew the doctor. These are people they’ve known their whole lives. And some people aren’t going to be trained to be a sniper. This man is just wasting the bullets he’s shooting. Honestly, I’m not going to lie. I do believe that I like Joel’s idea. And also, I guess, isn’t this really great position of like enacting one of the the really, like, intense parts of the game? But also I don’t necessarily think Henry and Sam are wrong. If they had just done a zigzag run, they all could have probably gotten away from it. Right? He really was no good shot.


Jason Concepcion Make a run for it.


Rosie Knight And hide behind the cars, but just great to murder someone. It’s been a while.


Jason Concepcion He does. And there’s and also, like, there’s an important moment here where as Joel is leaving, Ellie is like, no, don’t do this. It’s stupid. And he’s like, Do you trust me? And she does.


Rosie Knight And there’s like a moment. But then she nods and it’s just like, there’s something there. And she does want him to go. She doesn’t want to be alone. She doesn’t want to not have Joel at her side. It’s it’s a big moment.


Jason Concepcion It was a big and very, very touching moment. You know, as you know, from playing the game, you got to get that’s sniper out.


Rosie Knight Yeah. You got to have.


Jason Concepcion You got to acquire it.


Rosie Knight So I actually found it really interesting because there’s so much of this episode narratively, especially with Sam and Henry, that’s so directly taken from the game. But there’s also quite a lot of Divergent with Kathleen and with Kansas City instead of Pittsburgh. And then you end up in this situation where as soon as they get to that street, of course I was waiting for the sniper because I knew that it was going to I knew that Joel was going to. And that’s when my heart started to sink, because it meant I knew the way the episode was ending. And but yeah, you got to get in there. And I love this because this, this moment as well. Like, you know, when Joel gets into the house, it is just it’s a really great telling character moment of the kind of Joel that we have in this job is tired in the game, but he’s not really tired emotionally or soulfully of killing people. It doesn’t feel like it’s more just like, Oh, this sucks. I wish I didn’t have to live in the zombie apocalypse.


Jason Concepcion Yeah.


Rosie Knight But in this moment when we see him and he sees that there’s this old man with bad aim and he says to him, he’s like, Just give me the gun and stay in your position. And just don’t tell anyone that I was here. And the guy turns to him and I was like, Don’t try and shoot me. Joel doesn’t actually, you want to kill someone in that moment, I take it back. He actually is like, he is heartbroken. He doesn’t want to kill another person. He this is an old man. He’s like, Don’t do it, my friend. He’s like, Just don’t do it.


Jason Concepcion Joel sneaks over, as you mention, gets to drop on the old man. Gives him the opportunity, and he’s just like, Just give me the gun and sit in this room for an hour. That’s all you got to do, don’t do shit. And then he the guy doesn’t, so he kills him, and then everything seems like it’s going to be great. But then a radio tracks to life, and you hear Kathleen’s voice, and the guy called. Called it in.


Rosie Knight Already called Kathleen.


Jason Concepcion He already called it anyway. And so Kathleen’s forces are there, like, right here. So Joel yells out the window, Run. Kathleen has a convoy of trucks and then the lead truck is like this garbage truck with like a plow on the front. And it’s just like pile driving Rex out of the way. We had this great action sequence where Joel Snipes, the driver, just like and he really you’re just like in the.


Rosie Knight Game, like, you’re just in the game. And this time is like, there’s more of Kathleen’s people come in and you’re just thinking like one of the one of the infected going to show up because that’s the next people that you got to snipe. But this truck’s just pile driving. There’s a shoot. You think Ali’s going to get caught? She you know, she kind of she has this moment where she falls over when in front of the truck after Joel saves and you and you see someone grabbing her and you’re like, Oh, no, but it’s Henry. Henry goes out of his way to save her life, and he pulls up behind the truck. And I think in that moment when Joel sees Henry do that, there’s like a switch that flipped and he sees a different side of him.


Jason Concepcion Yeah. And he’s like, Okay, these. I have to go all out to save everyone. So the truck that was chasing them blows up and crashes into their front of the house. And as this is happening, all of Kathleen’s people are pouring out of their cars. There’s like there’s like 150, 200 people out in the street.


Rosie Knight So many people, this feels like it might be all of them.


Jason Concepcion Like it might be.


Rosie Knight It feels like we started the revolution. This is everyone. Like they’re so consumed. It’s the it’s the mob with the pitchforks.


Jason Concepcion Yeah. And they are angry casting calls to Henry. She’s like, Hey, just like, come out and let’s just deal with this. He doesn’t. He wants to some assurances that, like Sam and Ellie are going to be fine. Like, first of all, Elie’s not involved in this and second of all Sam’s a kid and she’s like, No, no, we’re going to kill him. Sorry. There’s. They’re definitely dead. Yeah. So that’s not even on the table, she tells her. And you realize, okay, Kathleen is if you needed any more, you know, proof, you now know that Kathleen is just way, way, way far. She’s a murderer.


Rosie Knight Unhinged, kind of final destination esque rant where she’s like, well, if.


Jason Concepcion Kids die all the time.


Rosie Knight Kids die all the time. What if what if Sam was supposed to die and this is you getting what your come up and says because you fucked around with faith, she thinks she’s death, The angel of death. It’s a, you know, kill Henry and avenge her brother, though it’s not going to make anything better or change anything other than add two more notches to her, her bloody belt.


Jason Concepcion Yeah. You can really hear. Get the sense that she is little fucking drunk on power. Yeah. Be Or at least getting drunk because, you know, when you start talking about fate and you messed with fate and kids just, you know, can die, who cares? They die all the time. That is just too much. And I’m like, Joel, can you just, like, shoot her right now? Like you shoot her?


Rosie Knight He was I guess you kind of get these shots of him looking and he’s trying to, like, kind of work out the lay of the land. Yeah. And like, obviously, if he shoots now, maybe people are going to know where the sniper is. Yeah. There’s this moment when. So Henry steps out because he’s brave and he’s like, he tells Ali, like, you’re going to take Sam, you’re going to run. And he steps out into the open. And I have to say, this is why Melanie Lynskey deserved that Emmy. This is why she’s so good in Yellow Jackets. Heavenly Creatures, like one of my favorite movies. But in this moment, when she looks at Sam with that gun, she looks upset, like she looks sad in know eye that she is going to kill him, but she’s still going to do it. But there is this moment. There’s like tears in her eye and you can’t tell if it’s because she’s like so happy she’s found them or she realizes that he’s just a scared kid with his hands up. But in that moment I was like, Oh yeah, I was like, Joel’s going to Sniper. He’s going to I really she can do it. But no, but they came into the play.


Jason Concepcion The truck that is on fire starts sinking into the ground and it falls to a massive hole.


Rosie Knight And everyone’s looking over it like, oh, like.


Jason Concepcion Oh, fuck. And you hear this roar of what you know can only been be infected and they come fucking pouring out of the hole and it’s everything is the runners.


Rosie Knight Clickers.


Jason Concepcion It’s clickers. It’s multiple clickers


Rosie Knight And also play games. So there’s like this even more exasperated, like even more like accentuated hive mind, like they come out of there like an explosion. It’s completely different to anything we’ve seen before. And it is so good and so scary. If you’ve been waiting for that horror movie Resident Evil The Night of the Living, this is it. You know, this is like death spewing everywhere. This is absurd. It’s all about light reflections. And we’ve been seeing that since really Episode three. But like they do this really interesting thing where we see the zombies killing all the people and it looks exactly the same as when they were killing the Fed, your collaboration began.


Jason Concepcion It’s a great.


Rosie Knight Like you have you had people holding on to the Fed, your collaborators and cutting their throats and you have the zombies and they’re at the infected and they’re eating. They’re kind of on people’s necks and it looks so similar and it’s just this horrible, kind of horrendous. Orgy of violence. And it’s really sad because Ellie and Sam and Henry are hiding behind this car together again. And there is a great moment for them to just run. But they’re so shocked and so scared that they don’t really know what to do.


Jason Concepcion Kathleen’s people open up on these infected. And I just want to say that, first of all, Kathleen’s folks were kind of in a horseshoe pattern, and we’re clearly shooting each other. Like there is a lot of friendly fire happening in this kitchen.


Rosie Knight It’s not, this is the thing they didn’t plan this. This was a this was driven by vengeance. They they don’t a lot of them don’t have training. This was a terrible idea. They shouldn’t have been there. And less we not forget, Kathleen knew that there were infected under the ground. She knew that there was something wrong.


Jason Concepcion And she didn’t say anything.


Rosie Knight And she didn’t say anything. And this is that the tunnel vision that she had for Henry.


Jason Concepcion No pun intended.


Rosie Knight No, no pun, no pun. And, you know, it led to this. And for it is just this is such a great action scene and it’s so scary and frantic and frenetic. And it just is just oh, it was just so effective. But the whole time in the back of my head, I’m like, I’ve played the game. I know where this episode is going and I don’t want to see it. I do not.


Jason Concepcion So there’s a there’s a nice little sequence where Joel is covering Ellie, zigzagging through the streets, and then you hear this bloated kind of burping roar. And if you played the game, you know what’s coming next. It’s a bloater which is the most the rarest of the super infected because it takes many, many years for an infected to develop into this. A bloater is basically a tank on legs, heavily armored.


Rosie Knight And the fungus is all over it. All over it. And it’s punishing people like and killing them. Like this is a whole different kind of thing. This is a nightmare monster.


Jason Concepcion There is a great I don’t know if this is purposeful, but I enjoyed it. So Perry is like, Kathleen, I’ll cover you, get out of here, and then he stays back. Meanwhile, Ellie is, you know, zigzagging through the streets.


Rosie Knight And like crawling on the floor.


Jason Concepcion Yeah.


Rosie Knight Through the dead bodies like.


Jason Concepcion And of course. And of course, Bella has been in an action scene like this before. The the the the the Battle of Winterfell episode of the last season of Game of Thrones. And she dies in that episode, torn apart by a zombie giant. And Perry dies in the exact same way.


Rosie Knight Getting killed by the audience by the giant chucker. And I feel like giant bloated. A lot of people were really excited to see the blow as they were like, We’re halfway through, like, how have we seen it? And they just delivered. This thing is terrifying. Gary It looks it looks so scary. But the funniest thing is, even amidst all of that, you are just like, Where is Kathleen? Where is Kathleen? Because you just know that she is the most imminent danger of all of these things. It’s her. She is the one who will kill Ellie and Henry and Sam. If anyone does.


Jason Concepcion So, Ellie manages to escape from a little girl clicker, which is one of the most horrific things I’ve seen on the show.


Rosie Knight Big, big contortionist style like weird.. Yeah, really,  creepy stuff.


Jason Concepcion Very, very much of like The Conjuring kind of feel the the.


Rosie Knight Yeah, malignant. We have.


Jason Concepcion The exorcism of Emily Rose kind of like feeling.


Rosie Knight Your body whatever is inside your body possessing it in this case the cordyceps mushroom. They don’t understand how a body is supposed to move. So they and this is a really great way that that’s brought to life. And Ellie is just like, woo, she’s scared, but she does it. She’s a survivor.


Jason Concepcion Ellie manages to get Henry and Sam, who are hiding under a car to safety, stabs a bunch of infected.


Rosie Knight She ships. IT’s her first ship


Jason Concepcion We we get to see it. It was such a cool moment. And they’re about to get away when Kathleen gets the drop on them. And it is a very, very. Just a moment when Kathleen, who moments ago was saying, well, maybe kids maybe let kids die sometimes, maybe kids that are sick deserve to die because kids die every day. That the person who said that is then killed by a child clicker infected who leaps on her and just savages her.


Rosie Knight It is everyone you don’t watching. And Joe, Ellie and Sam are also watching it because this is not like the bite. This is these have gone feral on the ground because she is just like pummeling her face like R.I.P. Melanie Lynskey, you were great. I’ll miss you. But, Kathleen, good, good.


Jason Concepcion Heroes. Our heroes managed to get out of there and the infected as a horde turned towards the city to we can only imagine, you know, rampaged through the streets and kill everyone there. It’s almost biblical like this. This community, this city that is defined by vengeance, by like bloodthirsty vengeance is then, like, completely wiped clean by this force of nature, the cordyceps like. It’s hard not to feel like they kind of deserved it. Yeah.


Rosie Knight Really horrific thing because I truly backed that they should have overthrown FEDRA.


Jason Concepcion 100%.


Rosie Knight But I’m like, the question is, sadly, because of the death of Kathleen’s brother, they didn’t have anyone that to be like, Well, now we’ve done that. Let’s try and transform our situation and not just end up in the same cycle that we were in again. I mean, you know, you said.


Jason Concepcion Something I think that was really that really resonated, which was how the violence of the infected that they were, you know, that they were utilizing against Kathleen’s people really mirrored that night when the resistance overthrew FEDRA. And you’re absolutely right. And I think what you know, we’ve been talking all series about how like what’s one of the core themes of any zombie show is like the people are the real enemy, the real danger. And what’s even as right as that is what really shocked me about that opening scene was like, it’s not just that. The first of all, the infected are doing what they’re doing because that’s what’s in their nature to do. There’s no malice. Yeah, they’re just they’re just a force of nature. But the way that the Kathleen’s people were going about like this execution and torture of people where they’re like stripping them of their clothes, like, you know, there’s a, there’s an element of, I’m not just killing you, I want to humiliate you and rub your face in it before you die. I want to make it as painful and as terrible as possible. It’s how it is. It was truly, truly horrifying. And it’s like, weirdly and again, we’ve said it all series. It’s worse than what the infected do in a Yeah, in a very real way.


Rosie Knight And it highlights again I love that thing you brought up about the nature of the infected, that idea of who gets to choose who lives and dies. The notion, of course, the infected are running rampant, killing everyone. You want to kill them so you can survive. But there are bigger questions afoot here. Is this evolution? Is this the next stage or is this something And how do humans behave when they then are not at the top of the food chain?


Jason Concepcion Right.


Rosie Knight And suddenly it’s like they don’t just turn on the things that are above them, they turn on themselves and it kind of exasperates the worst. This is definitely one of the bleaker episodes of the season because quite bleak. It’s really about like. It’s about the horrors that we commit to ourselves and also about I think the really sad thing about Kathleen’s brother’s death is like there’s something so powerful. I think a lot of us are in a space where we think about this a lot now about like forgiveness and like what that means and whether it comes to the idea of like prison abolition or or forgiving somebody who has done you wrong in your personal life. Forgiveness can be like extremely powerful when it’s put into play in a way that is. It’s like going to make a change. It’s not a forgiveness. And you let somebody fuck you over again. It’s a forgiveness that makes everything better for everyone involved. And if Kathleen’s brother had survived, there is a chance that they could have built a different kind of city. And I think that that thread of forgiveness is so key, because as we see, it’s also about like, forgiving yourself, something that Henry never did before. And Henry still does not have the ability to do any most needs to. And well, it’s just it’s a really bleak episode, but I understand the gut punch storytelling that they’re going for.


Jason Concepcion So our friends get across the river and they’re posted up in an old motel. Joel and Henry. Still like high on adrenaline are bonding. Ellie and Sam are bonding in the other room they’re reading this Savage Starlight comic. Joel You know what a change we’ve seen in him invites Henry and Sam to accompany them to Wyoming. So you can come with us. We’re going on foot, but you can come with us. Alien Sam. Meanwhile, reading the comic and he asks her, Have you ever been scared? And she’s like, Yeah, like I’m terrified all the time. I’m scared all the time. What about you? And then Sam asks a absolutely crushing question, which is, if you turn into a monster, is it still you inside? And then he shows her as those who played the game were expecting that he has been bitten on a stop here and say that you got to do bite checks when you encounter infected.


Rosie Knight I feel like this is.


Jason Concepcion Like like after you.


Rosie Knight Beofre anyone goes to bed, that should have happened.


Jason Concepcion Yeah before anybody’s going to bed or anything. You get to a safe space, check for bites. Let’s just do that right now because you maybe you didn’t feel it because of the adrenaline. Let’s make sure we do that.


Rosie Knight And you going to have a conversation like, is this Walking Dead rules or.


Jason Concepcion What are we going to do?


Rosie Knight Should we chop off a leg? Like, should we see how’s it going to go. I will say I love I was really I wanted Sam and Henry to have a different fate than they did in the game. But I understand that’s one of the most affecting parts of the game. It’s very affecting. But they make little choices in the way that they tell the story that I love. Because in the game too, Sam and Allie kind of like Ellie, gives him a toy, and Sam kind of like throws the toy on the floor and Allie leaves. And in the morning he’s just. He is transformed. And and hire him. And Ali, he gets to share that fire with someone and Ellie gets to reassure him. And she.


Jason Concepcion And you see the goodness, the inherent goodness of Ellie, which is I have this immunity, first of all, showing her his bite as a weight. Hope, you know, do the thing that Henry has been trying to do this whole time, which is give him hope. Yeah, give him confidence.


Rosie Knight She’s like look. I’m okay.


Jason Concepcion Give him strength. And she says, you know, my blood’s medicine and she cuts her palm open and starts rubbing the blood into the wound. This really almost primal, you know, kind of attempt to heal him. And of course.


Rosie Knight Man, I wanted it to work so bad right away. I wanted it to work. I wanted it to be.


Jason Concepcion That you wanted it to work.


Rosie Knight And I also want to give them so much credit in there. So. So Keivonn, who plays Sam, is a deaf actor. And I love the way that throughout this episode we have Sam teaching Ali some signs, like they sign the title of the episode that Ali’s making an effort to communicate. And the other way that Sam communicates is through like a one of those Erasable White kids board. Yeah, And it’s like, hard to put into context how emotional and affecting it is for these two people, these two kids. They’re trying to communicate the most urgent thing. He’s he’s asking her about these fears, this existential idea of like, will I still be inside the zombie? And Ali’s like, scrawling, like, my blood is medicine. Like the way that they decided to communicate this. It just added a whole other layer of just emotion for me. And so, yeah, just. Yeah.


Jason Concepcion And also the importance of like. Kids having their own community. You know, there is something so special about like. They keep this secret. And of course, they can only keep it till morning, but they don’t. There is no Joel.


Rosie Knight No, Ellie doesn’t go in there.


Jason Concepcion No, there is no Henry, come. It’s just like, okay.


Rosie Knight He sleeps on the bed next to him. Like she wants him to know that she believes that this is going to work.


Jason Concepcion But in the morning, he’s sitting on the edge of the bed, and she goes and looks at him and he’s infected. He attacks her. Henry draws his gun to stop Joel from doing anything. He fires his gun at Joel’s feet, saying, Don’t do it. Don’t, you know, don’t attack Sam. But Sam is, you know, really threatening Ellie now. And Henry, almost without thinking, almost instinctively shoots Sam and kills him. And he’s inconsolable. He can’t believe what he’s done. He can’t come to grips with it. And he turns a gun on himself, and he. And he kills himself. Later, Joel and Ellie bury the brothers and Ellie places that scratch pad that she used to communicate with her with Sam on his grave. And it says, I’m sorry on it. And then. A measure of how Alia has changed in this, you know, few days of this journey that have occurred. She is just like a hardened person now. She’s just like, okay, which way are we going?


Rosie Knight Yeah, which way? I’m out. She’s taking in that I’m sorry like that when she lays down the board is almost like saying good bye to that, like, hopeful child who Short thought she could feel him. And now she’s Joel, which was. Well, yeah, she doesn’t want to hear it. She doesn’t. They’ve buried their friends. They. They felt like they were building this family. And yeah, I mean, this is this is one of the most absolute gut punch like moments of the game because you spend so much time with with Sam and Henry and you really in the game in different ways. But there’s like this conversation that Sam and Henry and Joel have about motorbikes and motorcycles, and Joel’s telling him the feeling of riding a Harley. And there’s this kind of human connection that Joel makes there that you assume will have to extend further than. Yeah, then where it does, because then, you know, the next morning, this whole kind of terrible thing plays out. Yeah, just so sad. And I was I was really bummed to see it go this way, but I understand like it was it’s truly great television this episode, and I think it’s going to leave a lot of people really heartbroken.


Jason Concepcion It felt, you know, this is an action episode, obviously with high drama, but it really makes you think like it really had me thinking about, like, revenge and how. It’s one of the most primal like feelings someone can have. I’ve been wronged. People I love have been wronged, and I want to do something about it. And you can you know, there’s a way to think about. Revenge is almost like the stone on which, like. Rules and laws and justice can be built because it’s that understanding that people will take revenge on you if you wronged them. That creates the impetus to create these rules so that, you know, people can live in a kind of ordered and peaceful society. But when you just give yourself over to this feeling that is righteous, you know, you’ve been wronged and tend to defend yourself against a wrongly, especially one that goes on for years is righteous. But when it turns into just like wanton killing, when you can’t step back for and say, let’s talk, let’s figure out who actually did the worst shit. You know like.


Rosie Knight Not about the system for.


Jason Concepcion Yeah.


Rosie Knight For Kathleen, FEDRA is almost irrelevant compared to the personal vendetta she has against Henry.


Jason Concepcion That’s what it is.


Rosie Knight And she actually says to Henry, she straight up says to him, she’s like, I know why you did it. She’s like, I don’t care. He should have died. I mean, I think something that is really scary about this episode, too, that kind of contradicts our expectations. And this is probably a good set up for. If you found this episode hard to watch or felt like it took a strange turn narratively that left you shocked. This is preparing you for where we’re going this season for sure, because something that I think that is really harsh and kind of hard to stomach, but real about this is Kathleen does kill Henry in the end. Like this is if she hadn’t have had this vengeful quest, if she hadn’t have taken 200 people there, if they hadn’t have taken the snowplow, some would have never got it and they would have been able to leave. And in that way, she actually creates this self-fulfilling prophecy of that fate still coming true. And I think so true. I think in that moment at the end, when Henry is so inconsolable, I actually found it to fit. I feel like it’s more. In in the game. It feels so shocking. And here I feel like it’s still as shocking and horrendous, but there’s a lot more weight to the burden that he carries because he has essentially torn apart this community and this betrayed this man that he respected who he clearly had love for in order to save Sam. And then he still couldn’t save him. And I think that is just.


Jason Concepcion Yea. It’s, it’s heartbreaking. I mean, by that same token, Kathleen inherited this movement that her brother built and effectively destroyed it because she.


Rosie Knight Didn’t pursue it for years.


Jason Concepcion Yeah, she didn’t care about the movement. She didn’t care about building a better world for the people that followed her brother’s mission.


Rosie Knight She didn’t care about the people.


Jason Concepcion She didn’t care about she didn’t care about fulfilling the thing, the goals and the mission that all those people like believed in. All she cared about was taking revenge on the person that she felt was responsible for hurting her and her brother and and providing a vehicle for the bloodlust of her followers. Like in a in a really in a very real way, I think a part of the reason why the resistance decided to follow Kathleen was that. The thing that her brother didn’t give. His followers was an excuse to kill.


Rosie Knight Yes.


Jason Concepcion And she let them do it.


Rosie Knight Perry almost says that to her.


Jason Concepcion She gave them access.


Rosie Knight You know, it’s like it’s like, yes, she was the one who did the overthrowing. But we it’s it’s really what that means is like she gave them that space. Yeah.


Jason Concepcion You made it. Okay. You you are example said we can go out there and hang people in the street, strip them nude and drag them from the backs of.


Rosie Knight Cabbage, stabbed, covered in knives.


Jason Concepcion Covered in knife stabs, throat slit, tortured to death, set on fire. And you give us cover that. That’s fine. That that’s righteous and that’s good. And we can do that. It was really, really chilling, really chilling and impactful episode. Wow.


Rosie Knight R.I.P. Sam and Henry. I love you.


Jason Concepcion R.I.P Sam and Henry. That that was heartbreaking.


Rosie Knight Yeah.


Jason Concepcion And you’re absolutely right. This is going to get harder before it gets easier if it does ever get easier.


Rosie Knight It’s never going to be easy. It’s never.


Jason Concepcion Easy be. Up next, Nerd Out.


Rosie Knight In today’s Nerd Out, where you tell us what you love and why or like today, a theory that you are excited to share with us, which obviously we love both. But you know, I’m a theory lover, Reed explains. Now, this is really interesting because, you know, I’m a big one about, oh, the comic seed things to go in the movies. Reed has spotted an interesting pattern that you cannot deny. So here he’s going to explain why the video games may be another important source of how marvelous seeding things for the MCU. Jason, take it away. Okay.


Jason Concepcion Here it goes. Reed writes, I keep thinking of the video games we’ve seen from Marvel over the last five years and how many of the characters who appeared in those games later appeared or were reintroduced since the MCU, The Spider-Man video game introduced Taskmaster and Miles per Alice the Avengers, video game, Seated Abomination, Taskmaster, M.O.D.O.K and Kate Bishop, all of whom appeared or will appear in the MCU shortly. The Guardians of the Galaxy video seeded Adam Warlock. The Midnight Suns video game is likely seeding Blade, a new generation’s ghostwriter and Magic Magic with a K and there’s an upcoming Wolverine video game. Not a surprise at this point, but the X-Men are coming to the big screen based on the video game trend. My big takeaway. Paying close attention to which characters appear in the Marvel video games seems to generally point you in the direction the MCU is going. I think this is right.


Rosie Knight The facts are there, I’m like, It’s not deniable. When you read it, you’re just like.


Jason Concepcion Yes, I think the facts are there. And I think, you know, we’ve seen this in other places, the toys with Lego. You know, I think that this is a outgrowth of corporate, some form of corporate brand synergy. And I think that Reed is absolutely.


Rosie Knight Right.


Jason Concepcion Because this is how we can tell they want a broad direction of where the MCU is going.


Rosie Knight They want people, they want as many people as possible to know these characters. So when the trailers come out and the merchandise comes out, people are excited to see them. They want every movie to feel like no way home or Multiverse of Madness, where those trailers were getting people excited. And if you want people to be excited, they need to know who the characters are. And not everyone is out here reading Jim Starling comics. Knowing who Adam Warlock is. No, you should. Because like Adam Warlock, anything but like, introducing him in a very popular video game. Great. Because when Guardians of the Galaxy Volume three comes out, people are going to recognize him. It’s very smart. I think the taskmaster one is what really sold me because.


Jason Concepcion Yeah, me too.


Rosie Knight That is like a very much like, you know them or you don’t know them character. So yeah, yes.


Jason Concepcion Taskmaster is definitely not like it’s a I guess I would just say there are many villains that you would think would be introduced before.


Rosie Knight Taskmaster. I totally agree.


Jason Concepcion So the fact that Taskmaster appeared in the video games and then in the movies feels very notable to me as well.


Rosie Knight Yeah. Thank you. Reed. If you have theories or passions, which we know you do, but if you want to share them with us, hit us up An x ray at crooked dot com. Instructions are in the show notes, as always.


Jason Concepcion That’s it for our show today, Rosie. Plug, plug, plug.


Rosie Knight I will have a cool Last of Us coverage coming out at IGN. I wrote a fun piece at Primetimer about the Harlequin animated Valentine’s Day special, which is coming out this week. It’s really, really good. I reviewed it over there. It’s very saucy and raunchy. So if you like comedy, you’ll probably love it. Obviously, Ant-man’s coming out. So, you know, that’s going to be all over that. We’re going to be talking about it. And as usual, we can finally hear twice a week. And @RosieMarx on Instagram and Letterbox’d.


Jason Concepcion Catch the next episode, Wednesday, February 15th, where we’ll be talking about everything you’re going to see over the course of Super Bowl Sunday. All those trailers, plus a primer on Ant-Man ahead of Ant-Man and the WASP Quantumania. And of course, remember two episodes a week, every Wednesday and Friday in your ear noggins. Twice the deep dives, twice the everything. Wednesday and Friday.


Rosie Knight Yes. And if you want to hear us other places or see us other places, subscribe on YouTube. You can now watch full episodes of the show. Sometimes we’re on Zoom. Sometimes we are together. IRL. Shocking. Plus, follow @XRVpod on Twitter, where you see us retweeting cool stuff and interact with rad social media masters and check out the Discord to meet and hang out with a ton of amazing fans and listeners. Plus Jason and I. And that Discord would not exist without Heidi, who is our amazing moderator who also hooked up and a way for us to do really rad giveaways. And Jason is about to announce the winner of our first ever giveaway.


Jason Concepcion Speaking of that again, shout to Heidi for creating the bot that allowed us to randomly select the winner of the Last of US Activation pack, which includes a a Carhartt backpack and a Carhartt jacket and a bunch of cool branded stuff within their drum roll, please. The winner of the Last of US activation pack is Discord member, Nate. Shout out Nate. Congratulations. Email’s on the way and that pack will be heading to you next week. We’ll be doing more giveaways like that. So if you’re looking for a place to find a community and would like to join the discord on top of the fact that there’s really great people there and we’re there and the conversations are super fun and really informative, you get to you get to win stuff.


Rosie Knight Cool stuff.


Jason Concepcion We could be doing more of these.


Rosie Knight Cool stuff.


Jason Concepcion Five star reviews, five star ratings. We need them. We gotta have them. We love them. Here’s one from SoVeryKindDesigns. Loves the show, so excited we have two episodes a weeek, love all of Rosie’s comic knowledge. Yeah.


Rosie Knight Thank you. Blushing, blushing, blushing. Yeah. Five star reviews. We love them. Give them five star reviews. The more cool, weird comic book knowledge we will dig up.


Jason Concepcion See you next time.


Rosie Knight Bye.


Jason Concepcion X-ray vision is a Crooked Media production. The show is produced by Chris Lord and Saul Rubin. The show is executive produced by myself and Sandy Girard. Our editing and sound design is by Vasilis Fotopoulos. Delon Villanueva and Matt DeGroot provide video production support. Alex Reliford handles social media. Thank you Brian Vasquez for a theme music. See you next time. Bye bye.