Original air date: February 20, 2023
Three months after Henry and Sam’s deaths, Joel and Ellie reach a small, thriving community in Jackson, Wyoming, where Joel is reunited with Tommy, whose wife Maria is pregnant. Ellie learns about Sarah’s fate from Maria. Joel confides in Tommy about Ellie’s immunity and his own declining mental state. Joel asks Tommy to take Ellie to the Fireflies, as he is afraid he cannot keep her safe. Ellie overhears them and confronts Joel, who insists they will part ways. In the morning, Joel changes his mind after remembering his daughter, and the two of them travel to Colorado on horseback. They find the Fireflies have vacated their base, possibly relocating to a hospital in Utah. Joel and Ellie attempt to escape a group of raiders. When one of them attacks Joel, Joel kills him but is stabbed during the struggle. Joel and Ellie escape the others, but Joel soon collapses and falls off their horse, leaving Ellie unsure how to proceed.
* * *
(pensive theme music plays)
(Henry breathing heavily)
Joel: Henry, give me the gun.
Come on, give me the gun.
What did I do?
Gimme the gun.
Gimme the gun, Henry.
Gimme the gun. Shh.
(shouts) Henry, no!
Joel: And the gun.
Who the hell are you?
Just someone passin’ through.
Take the gun out, two fingers only, put it outta reach.
Why didn’t you shoot him?
The gun’s all the way over there.
He didn’t hurt me, by the way.
Yeah, I got eyes.
You made him soup?
Yeah, I did.
It’s cold out.
I’m lookin’ for my brother.
Well, I ain’t seen him.
I haven’t told you what he looks like.
He look anything like you?
Then I ain’t seen him.
He’s got a girl with him.
Ellie: Can I come down?
What did I just say?
Joel, come on. They’re, like, a thousand.
Who’s this little psycho?
Never mind her.
I need you to tell us where we are.
If you got a map, why you lost?
Ellie: Must’ve missed all the street signs in the enormous fucking forest.
Joel: We’re somewhere here. Exactly where?
And your answer better be the same as your wife’s.
Did you tell him the truth?
Are you tellin’ me the truth?
Well, you found a great place to hide, I guess.
Came here before you were born, sonny.
Get the hell away from everybody.
I didn’t want to.
Listen, I didn’t mean to upset you about your brother, but if you’ve come this far, then you know what’s out there.
You seen Cody?
Ellie: Yeah, got close enough.
It’s crawling with Infected.
Marlon: Yeah, Laramie and Wind River Reservation.
Anywhere people used to be, you can’t go there no more.
So you haven’t heard the name Tommy?
Ellie: What about the Fireflies?
We get those in the summer.
Not the bugs, the people.
There are firefly people?
You got any advice on the best way west?
But you never go past the river here.
What’s past the river?
We never seen who’s out there, but we see the bodies they leave behind.
Some Infected, some not.
If your brother’s west of the river, he’s gone.
(solemn music playing)
You’re not gonna scare us.
You don’t seriously believe them.
They’ve lived here a long time.
Put that back.
They don’t know anything.
Never heard of the Fireflies.
Ellie: (muffled, echoes) Joel? Joel?
Joel, are you okay?
Holy shit, are you dying? (echoes)
(softly) I’m okay.
Ellie: Okay, are you okay?
No, no, but are you? Because just a reminder that if you’re dead, I’m fucked.
I said I’m fine.
It’s just the… cold air all of a sudden.
All right, uh… so let’s go and find Tommy and, and the Fireflies.
It’s gonna be easy.
All we have to do is cross the River of Death.
(light guitar playing)
(sarcastically) The River of Death. Scary.
(sighs) It’s too close to dark.
There’s some caves along the river.
We’ll set up camp there, cross in the mornin’.
Good. I’m starving.
Should’ve stolen two rabbits.
We can get our own rabbits.
You gonna teach me how?
Just keep movin’.
Come down from there. You’re gonna break your neck.
Ahh… Can I have some?
What? Just to warm up.
Yep… still gross.
So, I’ve been thinking.
Let’s say we find the Fireflies, it all works, they draw my blood and put it through some of their fancy machines and make a cure.
Like, what do we do?
Oh, it’s “we”?
Okay, fine. Whatever. You.
You can do anything you want.
Where are you going? What are you doing?
It’s never been an option. (clears throat)
Maybe… an old farmhouse, some land… a ranch.
Cool. What kind?
I would raise sheep.
They’re quiet… do what they’re told.
Yeah, yeah. Okay.
So, just you and a buncha sheep.
And what about you? Where are you gonna go?
It’s probably because I grew up in the QZ.
Behind you, there’s ocean, and ahead of you, there’s a wall.
Nowhere else to look but up.
I read everything I could in the school library.
Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Jim Lovell.
But you know who my favorite is?
Sally fuckin’ Ride!
Best astronaut name ever.
(solemn music playing)
It’ll work, right?
It’s a little late to start wonderin’.
I tried, with Sam.
I knew he was infected.
I rubbed some of my blood into his bite.
I know, I know, it was stupid.
But I… I wanted to save him.
Well, I reckon it’s a lot more complicated than that.
Marlene, she’s a lotta things, but… she’s no fool.
If she says they can do it, they can do it.
You wanna take first watch or second?
(sighs) I’ll do both.
Get some sleep.
Dream of… sheep ranches on the moon.
Still mumbling in your sleep.
I woke up early.
You were passed out, so I took second watch.
You gotta wake me up if that happens.
You can’t do things like this.
But I can… ’cause I just did.
I’m responsible for you, okay?
Then don’t fall asleep.
I was quiet, I checked my six, I looked for tracks, I found the high ground, and I kept watch.
Like you taught me to.
What can I say, man? I’m a natural.
You wake me up next time.
Ellie: The River of Death. Still no people.
(tense music playing)
(muffled) I’m learning how to whistle.
You don’t know how to whistle?
Does it sound like I know how to whistle?
Ellie: Seriously, though, how the fuck do you do that?
You should teach me how to hunt.
(deep voice) “She’s a girl. She can’t handle it.”
You can handle the shootin’.
Not so sure about the dressin’.
(sighs) What’s the dressin’?
The part where you take the guts out.
Why do they call it dressing?
It’s like, you should call it undressing ’cause it is. It’s like… undressing from the inside.
Still interested, though.
You’re no Will Livingston.
Yeah, yeah, but who is?
So that made electricity?
Don’t ask me. I don’t have a clue.
You know, you could’ve just made something up.
I would’ve believed you.
Look at that river. It’s crazy blue.
Hey, Joel… what if this is the River of Death?
(tense music playing)
Get behind me.
We ain’t lookin’ for any trouble.
We’re just passin’ through.
Man: Drop the gun.
You… take five steps back.
How ’bout we just talk this through?
How ’bout you shut the fuck up?
You’ll be okay.
Man: You been near Infected?
Joel: There’s no Infected out here.
Man: The hell there ain’t.
Last chance for a bullet.
If you’ve been infected, he will smell it, and he will rip you up.
Like I said… we’ll just move on.
Ellie: (giggling) Hi.
You just bought yourself 10 more seconds.
What are you doin’ out here?
I’m just lookin’ for my brother.
That’s all, nothin’ more.
What’s your name?
What the fuck you doin’ here?
I came here to save you.
There’s more if you need it.
Thank you, ma’am.
It’s been a while since we’ve had a proper meal.
Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever had a proper meal.
This is fuckin’ amazing.
Ellie… let’s mind our manners.
Joel: What’s wrong with you?
What about her manners?
She was just curious.
Kids around here don’t usually look or talk like you.
Right… well, maybe I’ll teach them.
And I want my gun back.
They also aren’t armed.
You know what? Uh…
I think maybe y’all got a little off on the wrong foot.
She was gonna have her guys kill us.
Well, we gotta be real careful about who we let in this place.
But it’s all bark. We’re just tryna scare off those who might wanna try us is all.
Well, you got a couple of 90-year-olds shitting themselves out there.
They say that you leave dead bodies around?
Those are the people who tried us.
A bad reputation doesn’t mean you’re bad.
Not always, at least.
Ma’am… we’re grateful for your hospitality and all.
But it’d be nice to have a moment here, maybe just for family.
Well, um… Maria is family, actually.
Oh, shit! Congrats.
(softly) Joel, say congrats.
How ’bout a tour?
Maria: We settled here about seven years ago.
Just a handful of us back then.
That section was already a gated community, so we built the rest of the wall out from there.
Stopped most of the raiding parties, but we still find pockets of them.
And you said Infected?
Tommy: Yeah, but usually smaller colonies, wandered off from the cities.
All this open country out here… it’s a turkey shoot.
I still got my 700, but I found a variable power scope.
Can headshot those fuckers from a half mile out.
Can you teach me how?
No, he can’t.
How do you keep this place quiet?
Being in the middle of nowhere helps.
Not advertising what we have, staying off the radio.
House of worship, multifaith.
Old bank works as the jail, not that we’ve needed it.
Joel: And you draw power from the dam?
Got that workin’ a couple years ago.
After that, sewage, plumbing, water heaters… lights.
This place actually fuckin’ works.
Hey, Joel, check it. Baa. (chuckles)
So are you, like, in charge?
No one person’s in charge.
I’m on the council.
Democratically elected, serving 300 people, including children.
Everyone pitches in. We rotate patrols, food prep, repairs, hunting, harvesting.
Everything you see in our town… greenhouses, livestock, all shared.
So, uh, communism.
(scoffs) Nah. Nah, it ain’t like that.
Maria: It is that. Literally.
This is a commune. We’re communists.
Ellie: No way!
Maria: That’s our newest one.
Couple months old. You wanna pet her?
Yeah, what’s her name?
Shimmer. You’re so beautiful.
Maria: Well, I’m sure they’d like a shower, some new clothes.
We can put them in the empty house across the street from us.
It’s a decent place.
Pretty much untouched since ’03, but it’s got the heat goin’ in it.
Could do worse.
Oh, trust me, we have been.
We’ve been doin’ fine.
Well, I’ll take Ellie over there if you two wanna catch up?
You’ll be fine.
Maria: Shall we?
Been a long time. (chuckles)
Doesn’t seem like you aged much.
You, on the other hand.
Thanks for still givin’ a shit about me.
Workin’ on raisin’ some hogs, too.
Once we get bacon, I mean, what’s even left?
Christmas trees and bacon?
Pretty decent setup.
So, how’s Tess?
And the kid?
She’s the daughter of some Firefly muckety-muck.
Tryna find her family somewhere out here.
I was headin’ in this direction, so…
Goodness of your heart?
There’s a payment.
So you know where they might be? These Fireflies?
Well, they got a base down at the University of Eastern Colorado.
It’s, uh, a week’s ride south.
But it is severely fucked up between here and there.
It’s not exactly an easy trip.
It’ll be easy for us, seeing as how you can headshot Infected from half a mile away, which is a bunch of bullshit, by the way.
Yeah, I can’t go.
Oh, come on. (chuckles)
I made it across the country.
The two of us can make it from here to Colorado.
What, ’cause your wife won’t let you?
She the one who kept you off the radio?
Is that why you stopped messaging me back?
After I ditched the Fireflies, Maria and her crew found me.
They’re good people.
They didn’t have to take me in, but they did.
And all they ask is that I follow their rules.
I’m your brother.
Yeah, I’m aware.
They’re very protective of this place, and for good fuckin’ reason.
I mean, folks find out we’re up here…
No, I heard.
Wrong people might show up.
So is that what I am? Am I the wrong people?
Those things I did, Tommy, those things that you judge me for, I did those things to keep us alive.
We did those things.
And they weren’t “things.”
We murdered people.
And I don’t judge you for it.
We survived the only way we knew how.
But there were other ways.
We just weren’t any good at ’em.
If you knew the shit that I’ve been through,
Tommy, tryin’ to find you these last few months…
I’m gonna be a father.
Maria’s a few months along now.
So I just gotta be more careful.
To be honest, I’m scared to death.
But I don’t know. Uh… I feel like I’d be a good dad.
Guess we’ll find out.
(Joel pours drink)
“I guess we’ll find out”?
That’s all you got?
What else am I supposed to say?
Just because life stopped for you… doesn’t mean it has to stop for me.
We’ll grab some supplies and be outta your hair in the mornin’.
♪ Up on the house top, click, click, click ♪
♪ Down through the chimney with good St. Nick ♪
♪ Up on the housetop reindeer paws ♪
♪ Out jumps good old Santa Claus ♪
♪ Down through the chimney with lots of toys ♪
♪ All for the little ones, Christmas joys ♪
♪ Ho, ho, ho, who wouldn’t go ♪
(voices fading) ♪ Ho, ho, ho, who wouldn’t go, oh ♪
♪ Up on the house top, click, click, click ♪
♪ Down through the chimney with good St. Nick ♪
(sentimental music playing)
Maria: Oh, good.
Just traded for this. Go ahead, try it on.
It’s, uh, super fuckin’ purple.
Eggplant. It fits?
Shoes aren’t too big?
Where’s my other stuff?
Did you get the thing I left you?
Weirdest gift ever.
Who’s been cutting your hair?
Uh, world-class salons.
(chuckles) Let me get my scissors.
Oh, whoa, no. I’m…
Trim. That’s all.
Just the ends, I promise.
So, this was, like, your job back then or something?
No, I was an Assistant District Attorney out of Omaha, Nebraska.
I put bad guys in jail.
Oh… Cool, I guess.
I always liked doing hair, though.
Maybe it was a mom thing.
You were looking at the little memorial Tommy made?
I’m-I’m sorry about your kids.
And kid. Just Kevin.
Sarah was Joel’s daughter.
Oh, maybe I shouldn’t have said anything.
No, it’s okay.
I guess that explains him a little.
Look, I’m not gonna ask you what you’re doing with him.
But there are clearly things you don’t know about Joel.
Oh, like how he used to kill people? I know about that.
So then you understand my concern.
He doesn’t do that anymore.
He stopped killing people?
And Tommy did it, too. Are you worried about him?
Tommy was following Joel.
The way you are now.
Well, maybe I’m smarter than Tommy.
You are definitely smart.
Would’ve made a hell of a lawyer.
There’s a whole lot you’re not telling me.
Therein lies the point.
Be careful who you put your faith in.
The only people who can betray us… are the ones we trust.
Now, come on.
Grab your super fuckin’ eggplant coat.
Where are we going?
Elliot Garfield. I’m moving into the other room.
Yeah. I’m a friend of, uh, Tony’s, you know, Tony DeForrest.
Lucy: That’s nice.
Elliot: I’m an actor, too.
Elliot: Well, your mother knows.
Lucy: I see.
Elliot: Well… guess I’ll be seeing you around.
Lucy: I guess so.
Just met Lucy.
Paula: What did you tell her?
Elliot: That I was moving into the other room.
She seemed to take it in stride.
The guys said I might find you here.
Figured I’d save you the trouble.
I shouldn’t have said what I said.
I don’t even believe it.
I know you’re happy for me. It just…
It’s complicated for you… and I’m sorry.
So you gonna let me off the hook, or what?
This ride to the University, is it a suicide mission?
It’s dangerous, but it’s nothin’ you can’t handle.
Just prepare and do what you do.
You’ve had people go that way and come back?
All of ’em.
What is this?
She got infected, but she didn’t get sick.
Tommy, I saw her get bit myself.
That was months ago. Months.
From the beginning.
Joel: It was Marlene.
She hired us to smuggle her to some Fireflies.
It went bad.
Tess got bit.
She made me swear to take the kid.
It was her dyin’ wish.
What the hell was I supposed to do?
We made it as far as K.C., and then…
You know, she saved my life there… from another kid.
Five years ago, I would’ve destroyed him.
But she had to shoot him to save me.
14 years old.
Because I was too slow and too fuckin’ deaf to hear him comin’.
And I saw… I saw a man kill his own brother… to save her, while I just watched.
And today, I thought that dog was gonna tear her apart because it smelled somethin’ on her.
And all I did was stand there.
I couldn’t… move.
I couldn’t think of anything to say. I just… I was so afraid.
You think I can still handle things, but… I’m not who I was.
Lately, there are these moments where the fear comes up outta nowhere, and… my heart… feels like it’s stopped.
And I have dreams.
What kinda dreams?
I don’t know. I can’t remember.
I just know that when I wake up… I’ve lost somethin’.
(cries) I’m failin’ in my sleep.
That’s all I do.
It’s all I’ve ever done is fail her again and again.
You want me to take her.
I’m just gonna get her killed.
I know it.
I have to leave her.
I mean, it’s why you took off on me, right?
To make up for the things we did?
Well, here’s your chance to bring your kid into a better world.
You’re younger than me. You’re still strong.
You said it yourself, you’ll come back.
You have to take her.
(pensive music playing)
And you can’t tell anyone, not even Maria.
Tommy, you’re the only one I trust.
If anyone else sees those bites on her, what’s under her skin… they’ll shoot her.
It’s the last thing I’ll ever ask of you.
I’ll take her out at dawn.
We got you in 38. It’s left, left, right.
Paula (in movie): I have a feeling you’d rather be alone, Luce.
Lucy (in movie): He’ll know we thought it was lousy if we don’t say hello.
Paula: All right. But try and be tactful.
Lucy: What’s tactful?
Mr. Garfield? It’s Lucy and me.
We, uh, we just came back to tell you how much we enjoyed it.
Lucy: I had the best time.
At first, I thought it was gonna be boring.
Ellie: Is this really all they had to worry about?
Deciding which shirt goes with which skirt.
Why are you here?
I came here to talk to you.
No, why are you still here?
If you’re gonna ditch me, ditch me.
What exactly did you hear?
“I have to leave her. You have to take her.”
You know, I stood up for you today because I thought… I made this decision for your own good.
You’ll be way better off with Tommy.
He knows the area better than I do…
Do you give a shit about me or not?
Of course, I do.
Then what are you so afraid of?
I’m not her, you know?
Maria told me about Sarah and…
Don’t say another word.
I-I’m sorry about your daughter, Joel.
But I have lost people, too.
You have no idea what loss is.
Everybody I have cared for has either died or left me.
Everybody, fucking except for you!
So don’t tell me that I’d be safer with somebody else because the truth is
I would just be more scared.
You’re not my daughter.
And I sure as hell ain’t your dad.
Now, come dawn… we’re goin’ our separate ways.
(knocks on door)
(farm animals chattering)
You came here to say goodbye or something?
I came here to steal one of these horses and go.
I woulda gave you one.
(sniffles) Anyway… that was 30 minutes ago, and I guess… you deserve a choice.
I still think you’d be better off with Tommy…
Hold onto both.
Head southeast till you hit I-25.
It’s right off the interstate. Shouldn’t be hard to miss.
(light music playing)
There’s a place for you here… Both of you.
Joel: Countin’ on it.
Can I borrow that?
‘Cause Maria took mine, you know?
I already said yes, Joel.
Adios, big brother.
Close it up.
Joel: Wide right.
The target’s too small.
I made it bigger than I should’ve. Eject the cartridge.
And I am not flinching.
The rifle just sucks.
Okay, give it.
(sighs) It doesn’t aim right.
(grunts) A deep breath in, slow breath out.
You squeeze the trigger like you love it.
Gentle… steady… nice and slow.
You gonna shoot this thing or get it pregnant?
It isn’t gonna work. It doesn’t aim right.
Ellie: So the way they ran stuff in Jackson, was how things used to be?
The country was too big for that.
Back then, there were basically two main ways of lookin’ at things.
Some people wanted to own everything.
And some people didn’t want anyone to own anything at all.
Which one were you?
Neither. I just did my job.
Which was… building?
Houses, stores, that kinda thing.
We were called “contractors.”
(deep voice) “The Contractor.”
That’s pretty cool.
Yeah. We were cool.
Everybody loved contractors.
Ellie: Okay, so if you mess up your fourth down, then you give the ball to the other team?
Joel: Right. It’s called a “turnover.”
But if you make it to 10 yards, then you’re back to first down?
So, basically just moving in one direction.
Basically… but violent.
Oh, well. There’s that.
Joel: Well, how ’bout that? Made it in five days.
Easy days. I don’t know what Tommy was so afraid of.
Still time to find out.
(mimics Joel) “Still time to find out.”
(creepy whisper) “The Contractorrrr.”
Home of the Big Horns. What does that mean?
Joel: Team mascot.
It’s a kind of sheep.
One step closer to your dream.
Don’t see any Fireflies, though.
Joel: They’re probably in the middle.
Ellie: So these places… people would live here and, like, what?
Go to classes and stuff?
Even though they were adults.
Sort of adults.
I think it was just as much about partying and findin’ themselves as anythin’ else.
Figuring out what they wanted to do with their lives.
What they wanted to do with their lives. (chuckles)
So I’ve been thinkin’.
I don’t want a sheep ranch, actually.
I mean, if the deal is I can do anything?
That’s the deal.
Well… when I was a kid, I wanted to be a singer.
(laughs) Shut up.
Why is that funny?
You gotta sing something now.
Come on, man. I’m not gonna laugh.
You’re already laughin’.
Yeah, okay, true.
Well, you’re singin’ for me later.
I’m gonna save the fuckin’ world, man.
It’s the least you can do for me.
Are those monkeys?
Joel: Must be from the old labs.
Ellie: (laughs) Look at them go.
First time seein’ a monkey?
First time seein’ a monkey.
Here we go.
Ellie: Guard stations.
Joel: Mm. No guards.
(tense music playing)
There were definitely doctors here.
This is a packing list.
Somethin’ you make before moving.
Ellie: They just left?
Maybe not all of them.
Well… at least it ain’t Clickers.
Yeah, no Fireflies either.
Maybe in all that research, they turned into fuckin’ monkeys.
That’s where they went?
Joel: All the pins lead there.
Maybe gettin’ ahead of the weather… better facilities? I don’t know.
Raider 1: This way.
Raider 2: Shut the fuck up.
Out the back.
(softly) Come here. Come here. Come here. I got ya.
Joel! Get on the horse!
Get on the horse.
Raider: Get him!
Ellie: Get back!
Raider: You motherfucker!
They’re not following us. I think we’re safe.
Joel, no, no, no! Shit!
Joel, open your eyes.
Open your eyes. Joel, you gotta get up.
I can’t fuckin’ do this without you.
I don’t know where the fuck I’m going, what the fuck I’m gonna do.
(rendition of “Never Let Me Down Again” by Depeche Mode playing)
♪ I’m taking a ride with my best friend ♪
♪ I hope he never lets me down again ♪
♪ He knows where he’s taking me ♪
♪ Taking me where I want to be ♪
♪ And I’m taking a ride with my best friend ♪
♪ We’re flying high ♪
♪ We’re watching the world pass us by ♪
♪ Never wanna come down ♪
♪ Never wanna put my feet back down on the ground ♪