‘The Last of Us’ season 1 episode 3 recap


Liane Hentscher for HBO I WarnerMedia

Isabella Roman

Hope you have tissues ready because episode three of HBO’s “The Last of Us” had fans wiping away tears. The third episode, titled, “Long, Long Time” took a departure from the show’s main characters to show us the life of a self-proclaimed survivalist and his journey from pre-outbreak living to post-outbreak survival.

Bill, portrayed by Nick Offerman, was ready for anything when the cordyceps outbreak took over the world. His walls were covered with guns, security systems, supplies and most importantly, the knowledge needed to sustain his life. He had power, hot water, chickens and a farm, but was all alone. That is until one day a man falls into one of his traps. Hungry and alone, Frank, played by Murray Bartlett, convinces Bill to give him a meal and a place to rest. Little did these men know, they both just met their future husband.

The show takes a massive detour from the plot of the video game with this episode, building upon the relationship between Bill and Frank. We see the importance of the episode title; “Long, Long Time,” which references a song by Linda Ronstadt. Frank plays the song on Bill’s antique piano, only for Bill to take over because he wasn’t playing it correctly. This shared moment of normalcy in an anything-but-normal world brings the men closer together as they share their first of many kisses together.

As the years go on, viewers see how Frank comforts Bill’s paranoia, which only seems to worsen because now he has someone in his life who he can lose. Nevertheless, Frank urges him to remain calm. He tells Bill that he wants to renovate the nearby furniture store and boutique because eventually, they will host friends. Bill vehemently disagrees but Frank tells him that he has been talking to a nice lady over the radio. One thing leads to another and Joel, Tess, Bill and Frank are having dinner together on the couple’s front lawn. Bill doesn’t take kindly to the strangers but receives an important warning from Joel: “Sooner or later, there will be raiders. And they’ll beat that fence and your tripwires. They’ll come at night, quiet and armed.” Bill responds with a simple, “We’ll be fine.”

Yet Joel’s warning does come to fruition and the couple is ambushed. Bill’s flame-throwing traps and fence protect them for the most part, but he is shot in the exchange. He survives the attack, but when viewers are thrust into the present-day, they find that Frank is now the one suffering. An illness has left him unable to walk or use his fine motor skills. The paint he asked Bill for so many years ago is nearly unusable in his hands.

Frank, defeated but in love, asks Bill for “one more good day” together before he takes enough medicine to kill him. Bill agrees and they dress up in the clothes from the boutique, take a stroll through the town, exchange rings and a kiss before settling down for the night. Bill cooks one last meal for Frank and pours him a glass of wine, making sure to include the powdered medication in it. They both drink but Frank realizes that Bill had also made a decision that day. The wine bottle had enough medication to kill a horse. The two men laugh before going to bed together.

Brought back into the present Joel and Ellie arrive at their home, finding the note that Bill left him. Along with the note, Bill left Joel the keys to his truck and the code to his bunker. The two shower and gather supplies before driving away to hopefully meet Joel’s brother.

The show did an incredible job displaying a queer romance in a post-apocalyptic world. The original plotline had Frank abandon Bill, leaving a note saying he “hated [Bill’s] guts.” The change to a genuine and honest love story was an exceptional choice. Not only was the representation spectacular, but the acting was truly immersive. Viewers can keep up with Joel and Ellie’s adventure on Feb. 6, streaming exclusively on HBO Max.