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The Last Of Us Episode 5's Terrifying Climactic Scene Took Four Weeks To Shoot

This article contains spoilers for "The Last of Us" Episode 5, titled "Endure and Survive."

HBO's live-action adaptation of the hit PlayStation video game franchise is continuing to impress and terrify audiences. The latest episode peels back the layers on Henry (Lamar Johnson), his younger brother Sam (Keivonn Montreal Woodard), and Kathleen (Melanie Lynskey), the latter being a brand new character for the adaptation. While the episode's final harrowing moments are sure to be etched into the minds of viewers for years to come, the crown jewel of "Endure and Survive" is its impressive climactic battle.

As Joel (Pedro Pascal), Ellie (Bella Ramsey), Henry, and Sam make their way out of Kansas City's tunnels, they're confronted by a sniper. Shortly after, Kathleen shows up with her armed officers. Before Kathleen can end her saga of revenge against Henry, the "Bloater" teased at the end of Episode 4 emerges from underground after a truck falls. This leads to one of the most chaotic action sequences shown in the series so far. As the Bloater, alongside several other infected, begin to wreak havoc, Joel protects Ellie, Henry, and Sam.

In an interview with IndieWire, production designer John Paino opened up about how the intricate and action-heavy sequence took four weeks to shoot. "I think [director Jeremy Webb] spent a good four weeks shooting [that sequence]," Paino said. While the episode took a month to film, cameras rolled on the series for 200 days. In an interview with The Washington Post, series co-creator Craig Mazin revealed that, on average, an episode took 18-19 days to film.

The episode's anxiety-inducing set piece can largely be attributed to the amount of planning and effort that went into making the sequence as effective as possible.

Preparing the set for the action sequence was no small task

The Emmy-nominated production designer confirmed that the complex sequence was one of the few in the series to actually be storyboarded and mapped out in advance because of all the various complications at play, such as pyrotechnic effects, VFX, and "all of the danger involved..." 

Continuing his conversation with IndieWire, Paino discussed how the truck crash, which kicks off the scene, was brought to life. "When the truck went into the pit, [first] we had to pull it out, dig the pit out a bit so that people could get inside it," Paino said. "There's just so much happening in that scene."The intricacies didn't end there. Fans of the video game will know just how authentic the HBO series is when it comes to emulating the original version's aesthetic and vibe. 

While the sequence seen on screen isn't part of the game, it still felt genuinely part of the universe, likely because what was shown was real. "But the great thing was we had it all built there," Paino continued. The production designer revealed that the intricate set was built in an abandoned area because a real neighbourhood wouldn't allow such chaos. Once an area was chosen, concept art was created for the major sections of the sequence. Only after everything was finalized was the actual set built. "We actually built a three-story house that Joel is in, shooting down at them. We were able to build it all and plan it all."