*SPOILERS AHEAD / TW: Suicide
I’m not crying, you’re crying after watching last night’s episode of The Last of Us. HBO’s latest post-apocalyptic zombie thriller brought the waterworks with the episode “Long Long Time”.
The show focuses on Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) as they navigate the United States trying to reach the west coast from the east coast in order to deliver Ellie safely to an outpost. But the latest episode places Bill (Nick Offerman) and Frank (Murray Bartlett) at the center.
In a flashback we see Bill, a “survivalist” living in an evacuated small town in Massachusetts, meet Frank, a survivor from Baltimore, Maryland who falls into a ground trap created by Bill. After a nerve wrecking introduction, the two share a meal, thanks to “Chef” Bill, a Linda Ronstadt piano ballad, and then make love – which is the first time for Bill.
finished the last of us episode 3 pic.twitter.com/FJ48dWRrrV
— alex (@alex_abads) January 30, 2023
— Monica Castillo (@mcastimovies) January 30, 2023
The two form a loving, romantic relationship that the episode highlights beautifully. And while we see how Joel and his romantic partner Tess (Anna Torv) meet Bill and Frank, the episode is all about how Bill and Frank build a life together until the very end. Speaking of which, the two decide to live their lives together in this post-apocalyptic wasteland and ultimately end them together on their own terms.
I’m sorry, I’m sobbing uncontrollably right now and the rest of the internet is too.
the last of us writers were like “hey joel needs a car. what if we write the most touching and heartbreaking hour of television in the world”
— zach silberberg (@zachsilberberg) January 30, 2023
just finished episode 3 of the last of us pic.twitter.com/pLsAjHRrGD
— Dhanush (@Dhanush747) January 30, 2023
The Last of Us episode three randomly being a masterwork in telling a concise queer love story pic.twitter.com/WSFJZIA1rY
— coleman spilde (@colemanjspilde) January 30, 2023
The Last of Us is a TV series adaptation of the hit video game series from video game developer company Naughty Dog. The video game was lauded for its inclusion of LGBTQ+ characters and storylines and thankfully we see that within the TV show. While most of the video game storyline has been adapted for the show, certain changes were made for the TV adaptation. One example is the relationship between Bill and Frank.
While both characters exist within the game, we never get to engage with Frank, as he dies during the video game’s storyline before Joel and Ellie meet him. Additionally, Bill and Frank’s relationship is strained. With Bill and Frank as the first out queer characters we meet in the show, having this version of their relationship, and ultimately Frank’s death, would lean into more tragic queer stories. While the two characters ultimately die within the TV series, their relationship and the life they build together instead is a testament to finding joy in dark times.
We are only three episodes in and there are still more LGBTQ+ storylines to encounter within The Last of Us. Now, we dry our tears and patiently wait for the next episode.
Partners in everything.
— The Last of Us (@TheLastofUsHBO) January 30, 2023
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