By her own admission, Kathleen’s not a nice lady. She sends in the death squad after she’s promised people a fair trial. In her mind, she’s out for justice, but the way she goes about it is all wrong. Even when it becomes clear she’s led her people into a death trap, with the underground clickers she deprioritized — in favor of Henry — ready to massacre them all, Kathleen is still bent on personal revenge.
Her trigger man, Perry (Jeffrey Pierce), gives her the chance to escape, sacrificing himself for her in a gruesome fashion. But in the face of certain death, Kathleen has the quality of Captain Ahab in “Moby Dick.” “[Perry] told her to run,” Craig Mazin said. “And she couldn’t help but chase the white whale to the very end.”
Mazin concluded by discussing the poetic justice of Kathleen’s death by child clicker:
“It was important for me, also, that Kathleen is killed by a child because what she says — it’s one of my favorite lines in the series — is when she’s saying that Henry has to die, and so does Sam. And Henry says, ‘He’s just a f***ing kid.’ And she says, ‘Well, kids die, Henry. They die all the time.’ And she’s not wrong. The thing is, a lot of what we talk about when we’re talking about the moral conundrum of ‘The Last of Us’ is, ‘Why does my kid’s life matter more than yours? Does my kid’s life matter more than your mother’s? Does my kid’s life matter more than an old man’s life?’ And so, the idea that she ultimately is killed by a kid felt sort of like a circular completion of that story.”
New episodes of “The Last of Us” air Sundays on HBO.