The Last of Us Episode 5 gave us nerve-wracking action sequences but not without another heartbreaking story at its core. This time, we met Henry and Sam in Kansas City, for a brief amount of time Ellie did make a friend in Sam, someone who could look up to her. In the survival drama, co-creators, Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann have used children to symbolize a dystopian future. First, Joel’s daughter Sara was used to show how the world collapsed around him, in the same episode we see Joel putting a child’s body in the fire without remorse, a symbol of him hardening in this post-apocalyptic world.

Then Ellie was introduced as the hope he didn’t want to believe in but eventually takes responsibility for. In the latest episode, we see Henry and Sam as sort of mirror images of Joel and Ellie. The episode pulls its title and theme directly from the in-universe Savage Starlight comic that Ellie is collecting, where the central character gives the mantra ‘Endure and survive.’ While avid fans of the games know what the phrase stands for Troy Baker, the host of The Last of Us podcast explains what it means for the series.

“In the show Craig [Mazin], in the writing, allows us to be able to reexamine ‘Endure and Survive,’” he stated. Adding “It’s become this mantra for people who have played The Last of Us. And Joel and Henry have this wonderful moment where he goes ‘Endure and Survive.’ And Henry’s like “I don’t get it.” And Joel says, “Yeah it’s not that great of a line anyway.” We see this exchange between Henry and Joel in the tunnel where Sam and Ellie find the comic while everyone is biding their time.

Image via Naughty Dog

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What does "Endure and Survive" Stand For?

Baker says, “It’s a comic book line. And that’s the point, is that it represents this innocence that has been lost.” Further elaborating, “Sometimes we do just need a good popcorn movie. Sometimes we do need just a good superhero story. And that moment reminds us of that, and we also get the incredible way to build upon what we’ve already known, which is ‘Endure and Survive.’” So while Joel and Henry feel that it’s a pretty redundant line, from Ellie and Sam’s point of view, kids who have known nothing but a post-apocalyptic world enduring and surviving with the help of little moments like these makes it more bearable.

The Last of Us Episode 6 will drop on February 19. You can check out Barker’s comments below: