The Last Of Us: Kathleen, Henry & what’s a collaborator?

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Episode 5 of The Last Of Us focuses on a crucial part of the plot from the video game: the moment Joel and Ellie meet Henry and Sam, and they all try to escape the city, where they are all hunted by the group of people that controls it. This part of the TV series is similar to the video game except for some differences we explained here, but the main questions viewers had watching Episode 5 are: why does Kathleen hate and want Henry? And what really is a collaborator? Let’s have everything explained in this article.

You can watch HBO’s “inside the episode 5” video here on Youtube.

The Last of Us: why does Kathleen hate and want Henry? What is a collaborator?

First, it’s important to note that Kathleen doesn’t exist in the video game The Last Of Us: she’s a character created on purpose by the HBO TV series to give a recognizable face to the hate the Hunters have for collaborators. And that’s, indeed, the reason why Kathleen hates Henry so much and wants him dead: Henry was a collaborator who helped the FEDRA kill the leader of the Kansas City resistance, Kathleen’s brother Michael.

What is a collaborator? It’s a person who voluntarily decides to collaborate with FEDRA and help them find people who are resisting, planning to take control through an armed rebellion. FEDRA are the last government agency remaining in the world, trying to control the cities and keep the world in order. They used brute force and violence against whoever was against them, so naturally, every city developed a group of resistance. FEDRA asked citizens to help them find people of the opposition: who offered their help, revealing precious information to help FEDRA find members of the resistance, was a collaborator.

As he explained in the HBO TV series, Henry decided to be a collaborator to save his little brother Sam: Sam has leukemia, and he needed a rare medicine owned by FEDRA. FEDRA proposed an agreement: the medicine in exchange for crucial information about where to find Michael, the leader of the resistance, and Kathleen’s brother. Although Henry had great esteem for Michael, he gave him up to get the medicine for Sam. FEDRA found and killed Michael, and Henry lived the rest of his days feeling guilty for what he did.

After Michael dies, Kathleen takes over as the new leader of the Kansas City resistance and manages to overthrow FEDRA’s authority in the city. Therefore, Kansas City is set free by the resistance, led by Kathleen, who cruelly kills all who were collaborators for FEDRA. She’s seeking revenge for his brother’s death and is desperately looking for Henry. She wants to kill him, establishing a sort of justice after he gave up her brother.

When Joel and Ellie enter Kansas City, the resistance group still controls the city. They are considered Hunters, looking for all those who previously collaborated with FEDRA. They still haven’t found Henry and Sam. Joel and Ellie are considered enemies who entered the city, but the hunters don’t believe they are with FEDRA: they suppose they are mercenaries. Still, they consider Joel and Ellie a threat and want to kill them. That’s why Henry proposed to team up with Joel and Ellie. They all have a common goal: escape the city. Henry knows how to leave the city, but he needs Joel’s help in case they are attacked by the hunters or by the clickers (the infected people).

As we see in Episode 5 of the HBO TV series The Last Of Us, the group actually manages to escape Kansas City, but Sam is bitten by a clicker. By the morning after, he’s a clicker too, and tries to attack Ellie. In a convulsive moment, Henry shoots Sam and them kills himself, feeling he no longer has reasons to live. This part of the story is very similar to what happens in the video game.

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