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Home » «A Frightening New Enemy Emerges in ‘The Last of Us’ Episode 4»

«A Frightening New Enemy Emerges in ‘The Last of Us’ Episode 4»

06 February 2023, Monday
The fourth episode in the HBO and HBO Max series adaptation of The Last of Us arrived on Sunday, rejoining the characters of Ellie (Bella Ramsey) and Joel (Pedro Pascal) on their journey. In the aftermath of last week's devastating turn of events, their travels have been aimed towards connecting Ellie with the Fireflies, a rebel faction intent on researching her immunity to the deadly fungal infection that has transformed billions into unrelenting monsters.

In episode 4, the marauders come across as just as menacing as in the PlayStation game. Although Bill is alive in the game and departs from Joel and Ellie beforehand, it is in Kansas City that the climactic confrontation occurs instead of Pittsburgh in the game. Therefore, viewers can expect to be captivated by this major deviation from the source material, introducing a brand new terrifying villain.

The HBO adaptation gives these marauders a leader, the mysterious and menacing Kathleen (Melanie Lynskey from Showtime's Yellowjackets). Driven by a desire for vengeance after her brother was murdered by the FEDRA (Federal Disaster Response Agency) in one of its quarantine zones, Kathleen sets off on a bloody path of retribution. Although the FEDRA still hold some power in certain cities, guerilla forces like Kathleen's have managed to seize control in some areas.

Kathleen has been tasked with searching for Henry and Sam, two individuals who had been previously working with Fedra. Upon her investigation, she uncovers a loft filled with Superman artwork - a reminder of the work of DC Comics, the subsidiary of HBO's parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery. The mission, set by the same group that previously dealt with Fedra, is to hunt down and bring those who had collaborated with her to justice.

The presence of vengeance and its consequences are familiar to anyone who experienced The Last of Us games, especially in Part 2. This is reinforced by the inclusion of the Kathleen storyline in the show. Jeffrey Pierce, who voiced Joel's brother Tommy in the game (played by Gabriel Luna on the show), plays Perry, the bearded goon of Kathleen. In one scene, he warns her about a sinkhole created by the infected under a building, but instead of addressing it, she just orders him to seal it off. This highlights how Kathleen's grudge is preventing her from dealing with a more urgent matter.

Joel is filled with remorse over the necessity of Ellie shooting Bryan, but she reveals it was not her first time doing so. Joel realizes that there is no hope of restoring the innocence of his adolescent sidekick in this wretched world and therefore, he resolves to teach her the correct way of using a gun. This mirrors a scene in the game where Joel gives Ellie a handgun after she demonstrates her mastery of a firearm by providing cover to Joel as he kills a number of bandits. This moment marks a turning point in their story in the game, and it will be no different in the show.

On their road trip, they experience some classic pop culture in the form of a Hank Williams cassette tape. The 1955 song 'Alone and Forsaken' is played similarly in the game. As they drive through the streets of Kansas City, they come across an abandoned movie theater that was screening two films from 2003: Underworld (starring Kate Beckinsale) and Matchstick Men (starring Nicholas Cage) when the outbreak happened.

I stayed up all night pondering where the sun had gone. It then occurred to me.
Why did the scarecrow win a prize? Because he was exceptional in his field.
Do you realized that diarrhea is hereditary? It transpires in your trousers.

After Joel and his "cargo" evade Kathleen's group, they settle in for the night in a room on the 33rd floor of a building. Although Joel takes precautions, they soon find themselves waking up with guns pointing at them, discovered by Henry and Sam (Lamar Johnson and Keivonn Woodard). Meanwhile, Joel and his companion are beginning to bond, as he is able to answer the scarecrow's riddle and is amused by the diarrhea one. However, Joel should be wary of getting too fond of his companion, as they will be facing danger in the upcoming episode of The Last of Us, premiering on HBO Max next Friday, Feb. 10.
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