The Last of Us (Season 1), Episode 6: Recap & Ending Explained

The Last of Us (Season 1) Episode 6 Recap Ending

The Last of Us (Season 1), Episode 6: After two episodes that reminded us of the dangers that lurk in the world of ‘The Last Of Us,’ ‘Kin’ is a welcome breather. It’s also a reminder of the fact that at the heart of it, the show is about finding love, friendship, and community in the midst of a ravaged world.

Although pretty much entirely unchanged, one of the most powerful scenes from the game is presented in this episode, with just as much emotional potency, as Joel and Ellie finally recognize how much they mean to each other. Santaollala’s finest track from the game, ‘The Path,” is also heard for the first time in this episode. A touching and warm episode. However, Joel and Ellie are not immune to the dangers of the larger world that are constantly looming over them.

The Last of Us (Season 1), Episode 6 Recap:


Three months have passed since the incident with Henry and Sam. It’s winter now, and Joel and Ellie have reached Wyoming. The snow-covered, similar-looking landscapes have made them lose their way through. The two invade the house of an aging indigenous couple who have been living on their own, away from the rest of the world, since long before Outbreak Day.

Joel plays a game with them in which he makes two people with information about something give it to him separately to see if what he’s getting from them is correct. The couple accurately points out where they are on the map but have no information on Tommy. They do warn the two of them not to go west of the river as it’s a mysterious and dangerous territory full of violent people. After leaving the house, Joel’s heart seems to give him some trouble, but he recovers soon.

The two make it to the river and camp in a cave along it. That night, Joel tells Ellie that if her blood creates a vaccine and normalcy starts to get restored in the world, he’ll retire to a ranch where he’ll rear sheep. Subsequently, Ellie talks about her fascination with astronauts, about whom she’s read as much as was available in her school library. Ellie is skeptical about her blood being a cure since it didn’t work on Sam, which she admits to Joel. Obviously, Joel is to stand guard that night, but he falls asleep. The following morning Joel wakes up to find Ellie standing guard with his rifle. Ellie points out that she did everything he taught her to do when standing guard overnight. Soon, they cross the ‘River of Death’ without running into any danger and reach another river that has a dam on it.

As they’re wondering whether this second one is the river the couple warned them about, a group of armed people on horseback surround them. They have a dog who can detect if someone’s infected, and Joel is petrified at the thought of Ellie getting torn apart if the animal detects that she has been bitten multiple times. The dog, thankfully, can’t detect her infection. Joel tells the armed people his name and that he’s looking for his brother, Tommy. On hearing this, the woman who’s with them takes them with her.

Joel and Ellie are brought to the settlement of these people, a walled town called Jackson which is bustling with life and akin to that in pre-outbreak times. Most importantly, the town has electricity that is harvested from the dam along with a working sewage system, plumbing, heaters, clean houses, a house of worship, and a bar – the works. Tommy is living there, and the two brothers reunite. The two have a nice, warm meal, and Tommy tells Joel that the woman who brought them there is his wife, Maria.

The stories about them being dangerous people, as the old couple told Joel and Ellie, are due to the fact that they keep people away with the use of force—particularly from those who can possibly invade their settlement or publicize their benefits to the larger world. Tommy and Maria give the two of them a tour of the place and enumerate everything they have. The couple also tells them how Jackson was born from the expansion of a gated community. Moreover, how the wall is meant to keep Raiders and Infected away, scarce as the latter is. And finally, they talk about the socialist fashion in which everyone lives there, collectively owning and sharing their resources. They do not have any radio connection to protect the settlement from potential invasion or flocking of people from other parts of the country.

The Last of Us (Season 1) Episode 6 Recap Ending

When Joel is alone with his brother, he lies to Tommy about Tess being alive, Ellie being the daughter of a Firefly honcho, and him chaperoning her back to her parents for a price. Tommy tells Joel that the Fireflies have a base at the University of Eastern Colorado. The place isn’t too far, but the way is littered with danger. Tommy confesses that Maria’s crew picked him up after he left the Fireflies and was taken in by them.

Joel wants Tommy to come along with them, but Tommy refuses since he’s going to be a father soon. Joel doesn’t take this information too well, especially since Tommy points out that the end of Joel’s happiness years ago doesn’t mean the same for the rest of the world. A visibly enraged Joel decides to leave Jackson the next day. Joel’s heart again troubles him when he’s outside. Subsequently, in that vulnerable moment, he mistakes a young girl for his own daughter Sarah.

Ellie has a bath and discovers what a menstrual cup is, and Maria leaves for her instructions. She trims Ellie’s hair at her place. Maria also tells her that back in the day, she was the Assistant District Attorney of Omaha. Her son died just after Outbreak Day. It is from her that Ellie learns about Sarah. Maria warns Ellie about knowing who she’s placing her trust on. Then, she takes her to a movie theater they have put up in town.

Joel and Tommy have another conversation where the latter apologizes for his insensitivity earlier. Joel reveals to Tommy that Ellie is immune and informs him about the quest he is on. He also tells him about Tess’s death and that delivering Ellie was her dying wish, which is what he’s carrying out. Then, he bares to his brother how age is weakening him.

He has anxiety attacks and is no longer as ruthless as he once was, which is used to ensure their survival. This scares him for his own life; on top of it all, he has nightmares that trouble him. He wants Tommy to take Ellie to that Firefly base at the University of Eastern Colorado, as he’s the only person he trusts in the world. Joel further states that Ellie isn’t safe with him. Tommy agrees after realizing how much Ellie’s safe delivery means to his brother.

Back at the house, Ellie is dejected at Joel abandoning her. She has overheard his conversation with Tommy. Ellie tearfully tells Joel she also knows what loss is, as everyone she loved or cared for has abandoned or died, except for Joel. She doesn’t want to continue on her journey without Joel. But a comment about Sarah riles him up. Joel leaves the room, stating that he doesn’t have to bother with her safety because they’re not father and daughter. He spends a sleepless night after this while thinking about Ellie’s importance in his life.

The next morning, Tommy picks a reluctant Ellie to travel with him. At the stable, they come across Joel, who offers Ellie a choice. Of course, she doesn’t even flinch before choosing to go with Joel, unsafe as that may be. The two then proceed on their journey with a horse. Tommy reminds them that there’s a home for both of them in Jackson if they ever wish to stay there.

The Last of Us (Season 1), Episode 6, Ending, Explained:

On their way to the University, Joel teaches Ellie how to use a hunting rifle. He also tells her more about how the world used to be before the Cordyceps infection. Contrary to Tommy’s information, the two reach the University (after five days on the horse) without running into any Raiders or Infected. Nevertheless, the University campus is desolate, except for some monkeys running around who probably escaped from the labs. They come across a Firefly sign and an abandoned guard post.

Inside, the place is entirely deserted. The abandoned medical equipment and documents indicate that it indeed was a Firefly base. Joel finds a packing list, confirming that the Fireflies left this base. On a map left behind, they discover that they’ve relocated, in all possibility, to Salt Lake City. Their peace is soon interrupted by Raiders who are living there. As Joel and Ellie stealthily try to escape, a Raider assaults them. Joel kills the man. Alas, the man stabs him in the stomach, from which he starts bleeding profusely. Ellie gets him on the horse and shoots at the other Raiders to keep them away as they escape. After getting far enough, Joel falls off the horse, severely weakened from his injury. Ellie is devastated as she tries to figure out what to do.

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The Last of Us (Season 1) Episode 6 Cast: Pedro Pascal, Bella Ramsey
Where to watch The Last of Us
Shahim Sheikh

Shahim aims to be associated with films in some capacity all his life. To him, Welles, Cassevetes, Tarkovsky and Haneke embody why cinema is the greatest of all art forms.