The Last of Us season 1 episode 6 recap & review: Kin

In the sixth episode of The Last of Us, Joel reunites with his brother, Tommy, and with that, he might now part ways with Ellie. The episode is now streaming on HBO Max.


It’s been three months since Henry and Sam’s deaths. It’s snowing. A man returns to his home after hunting for rabbits and finds his wife held at gunpoint by Joel.

Joel and Ellie are lost, and they are looking for a way to the west. Joel interrogates the man and asks him about Tommy and the Fireflies.

The couple has been staying here, away from the world, for a very long time. They don’t even know what the Fireflies are, and they certainly don’t know who Tommy is.

Joel then requests advice for going west. The man then directs him to go east because, to the west, after crossing the river, there is only death.

In all the years they have lived here, they have never seen anyone living past west. The place is only filled with dead bodies of some living and some infected.

The revelation scares Joel, but not Ellie. They both head out and safely find their way to the west. During the journey, they get along, talk about their dreams, and where they will go once Joel’s job of escorting Ellie to the doctors of the Fireflies is done.

Soon, the duo arrives near the River of Death and is surrounded by a group of people on horses. A dog smells Joel and Ellie to check if they are infected. Luckily, the dog doesn’t catch anything on Ellie, who has been bitten twice before.

A woman among these people recognizes Joel. The group takes them to Jackson, a community that has managed to survive the outbreak and has lived as the normal world would. They are preparing for Christmas; there are shops, cattle, and a lot more.

At Jackson, Joel reunites with his brother, Tommy. Joel and Ellie eat a nice meal after a very long time. Ellie loses her manners when it comes to food. Joel does the same when Tommy reveals that the woman who has brought them here is his wife, Maria.

Joel and Tommy talk alone, and the latter tells Joel about a base of the Fireflies, which is at the University of Eastern Colorado. Joel doesn’t tell Tommy everything about Ellie, but he asks him to help him escort her.

Tommy claims that he can’t. The two indulge in an argument as Tommy stopped responding to Joel on the radio. Tommy then reveals that he doesn’t want to come because Maria is pregnant, and he thinks that he is going to be a good father.

When Joel comments on Tommy being a good father, Tommy gives it back by saying that life doesn’t have to stop for him just because it stopped for Joel.

Ellie, on the other hand, receives new clothes and a new haircut from Maria. At Maria’s house, she also comes across a blackboard with the names Kevin and Sarah on it; it’s a little memorial made by Tommy.

Ellie learns that Kevin is Maria’s kid and Sarah is Joel’s. For the very first time, she starts understanding why Joel is the way he is. After that, Maria takes Ellie to the movies.

Joel and Tommy get to have another conversation alone in a shop, where Tommy apologizes for earlier. Joel asks Tommy if going to that university is a suicide mission. It is, but there is nothing Joel can’t handle.

Joel then tells Tommy the truth and everything that has happened so far: Ellie being immune, Tess dying, and then Henry killing his own younger brother.

Joel confesses that he is no longer capable of protecting Ellie. He is still not over the event where Ellie shot a kid to save Joel, just because he was too slow and deaf.

At times, Joel feels like his heart is going to stop beating, he has dreams at night that he forgets, and even in his sleep, he is failing. Joel believes Ellie will only get killed if she is with him.

Tommy agrees to take Ellie to the university at dawn and promises not to tell anyone about Ellie’s bitemark because they may kill her right away.

Back at the house they are given, Joel realizes that Ellie is still awake, reading a journal. She is surprised to read that girls her age before the outbreak only cared about boys and what to wear.

She overheard some of Joel and Tommy’s conversation and isn’t happy about Joel ditching her. Ellie brings Joel’s daughter into the conversation. She claims that she has lost people too.

Everyone Ellie has cared for has either died or abandoned her, except for Joel. So she doesn’t want Joel to tell her that she would be safe with someone else; she would only be more scared.

Joel says that he is now sure that she is not like his daughter, and he is definitely not her father. Joel sits alone and remembers how he spent Christmas with Sarah.

The next day, Ellie prepares to leave with Tommy. They meet Joel in a stable, stealing a horse. Ellie wonders if he is here to say goodbye to her. Joel believes that Ellie has a choice and asks who she wants to go with.

Ellie, without even thinking about it, chooses Joel. Tommy assures them that they both have a place here in Jackson. Joel and Ellie head out. Along the way, Ellie learns that Joel used to be a contractor before the outbreak.

They reach the University of Eastern Colorado, where monkeys reside now. There is a lot of medical stuff here, suggesting that doctors were here. Joel comes across a list on which these people, who were here, have written what they should take before leaving.

These people have marked Salt Lake City on their maps. Joel and Ellie plan to go there as well, but before they could leave, they see raiders coming for them.

Joel and Ellie attempt to escape sneakily, but one of the raiders comes at them. Joel takes care of him. In the process, Joel gets stabbed too. Before the other raiders could reach them, the duo escapes on their horse.

After leaving the raiders behind, Joel passes out and falls from the horse. Ellie comforts him and begs him not to die. If he dies, she will have no one to rely on.


  • At this point, The Last of Us has established itself as a show for every other person. The horror of the infection aside, the show provides enough drama and emotions to have the mainstream audience tune in.
  • The sixth episode once again moves away from most of the action and comments on how deep the relationship between Ellie and Joel has become.
  • One fails to notice that Joel is in fact struggling to protect her, and this episode gives us a side of Joel that the viewers haven’t seen before. The conversations involving Joel, Ellie, and Tommy are indeed heartbreaking.
  • The community of Jackson in the show gives viewers a sense of relief. It’s a sign that normal life is possible in the world of the infected if proper precautions are taken.
  • Lastly, amidst all the emotional scenes, the show, especially with the character of Ellie, continues to add some hilarious scenes one can have a laugh at. For example, when Joel and Ellie take shots at each other while talking about manners.
The Last of Us season 1 episode 6
The Last of Us season 1 episode 6 recap & review: Kin 1

Director: Jasmila Žbanić

Date Created: 2023-02-20 08:30

Editor's Rating:

Also Read: The Last of Us season 1 episode 5 recap & review: Endure and Survive

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