“Endure and Survive” finishes up the filler stuff from the previous episode but the events will have bit more of a lasting effect on Joel and Ellie. We get different versions of Henry and Sam than what was in the videogame. We learn what Henry did to draw the ire of Kathleen.
The episode actually opens ten weeks before last episode when the Kansas City QZ was overthrown. We see how violent it was, and how brutal Kathleen was when just getting started. When this episode catches up to the events of the previous episode, Henry pitches a plan of escape to Joel and Ellie. The two pairs team up and make their way out of the city, bonding while doing so. After they make it out of the city they’re spotted and pinned down by a sniper. All hell breaks loose when the resistance makes their way to where the quartet are. Sam is injured in the chaos and Ellie tries to use her blood to cure him. The next morning, Sam attacks Ellie and is shot by Henry. Henry turns the gun on himself in shock of what he had done. Joel and Ellie bury the brothers and leave to continue their way to Wyoming.
Melanie Lynskey continued her terrifying performance from the previous episode. She might actually be more terrifying in this episode because you see that Kathleen is single-minded in her pursuit of her goals. Lamar Johnson and Keivonn Woodard are heartbreaking as Henry and Sam. They make you feel their relationship and Keivonn Woodard has great chemistry with Bella Ramsey, making their character’s friendship feel real. Johnson has great moments with Pedro Pascal, where their characters bond over the things they’ve done to protect the ones they love.
The moment where all hell breaks loose is a highlight. The moments leading up to and then the reveal of the Bloater makes it feel like a boss. The effects for the moment are amazing. The different kinds of infected look amazing. Just everything in the chaos of the moment gives it such an interesting feel.
“Endure and Survive” is an emotional journey that doesn’t feel like it has much meaning on the overarching story. The effects that Henry and Sam will have on Joel and Ellie will seem to be major. Ellie’s bond with Sam and how she feels like she failed him will have an unknown effect on Ellie. Joel is starting to realize that he’s starting to care for Ellie, and isn’t sure if he’s ready for such a bond. I give “Endure and Survive” 7 comic books out of 10.