Daily Blog #422 – My thoughts on The Last of Us, Episode Three

Greetings and salutations, blog readers!

Today we are discussing The Last of Us, episode three. Like with episode two, I want to be clear from the start. It is hard to discuss the changes from the game (source material) to the show, much less my thoughts on what happened in the show, without some spoilers. So, while I try to have no spoilers, while I try to offer spoiler free blog posts, in the case of many of these blog posts covering The Last of Us, there will be spoilers.

I am saying all of this to give you plenty of time to NOT have the show spoiled by my blog, and to avoid anyone being made about spoilers.

There are spoilers.

I will be discussing things that spoil the show. The show’s episodes are still great and worth watching with spoilers, hell, I plan on rewatching most episodes, and certainly episode three, but, if you can’t stand spoilers…


If you keep reading, you will have things spoiled.


So, this episode has definitely been talked about online, so chances are if you are reading this, you probably know, at very least, that the story was devastating and it made many people cry. I am still deeply unwell. I SOBBED. Brilliant writing. A major departure from the game content we had of Bill and Frank – and it was done beautifully.

In the game, we meet a highly paranoid survivalist named Bill who has booby trapped most of his small town to protect himself from raiders and infected alike, and he owes Joel a few favors. We don’t know much about their history, but we know when Joel and Ellie show up, after some chatting, Bill is willing to help.

In the game, Bill leads Joel and Ellie across his boobytrapped town, to get to a battery in a crashed vehicle. The battery has been stolen from someone, and they hide out in a house, where they find someone who has hung themselves.

This someone is Frank, who was bitten when trying to get a battery and escape this town. He left a suicide note to Bill, basically explaining, harshly, that he didn’t want to be stuck in the town with Bill, but he was bitten and ended it. You can tell Bill and Frank had a relationship, but nothing much is said about it, and Frank is already dead. Bill lives on, alone, in his boobytrapped town. Joel and Ellie rode off in the truck Frank had put the battery into.

In the TV show, however, we get one of the most beautiful, tender, and heartbreaking episodes to grace any zombie/infected show.

And you all know, I have seen plenty of shows. I love the game, but the deviation they made from the source material was fantastically well done.

The internet was buzzing with how beautiful and painful the episode was, and with good reason.

The episode begins with Joel and Ellie walking, after a little exposition of Joel finding cached supplies, including Ellie finding tampons, and then they begin their five hour hike to get to Bill and Frank. Joel mentions, Frank is nice.

They stumble upon a pit of bones, and Joel, after explaining the timeline of the collapse, shares that the military rounded everyone up to go into camps, only to end up shooting most of the people they rounded up, since they didn’t actually have room for people, and dead people couldn’t be infected and make the problem worse.

Fairly typical, and largely what is expected of the government and military in such a situation.

So, in the flashback, we see Bill, who has hidden in the basement hidden below what appears to be his main basement. He is alone, he is clearly a survivalist, and he is deeply untrusting of the military and government. My kind of dude, and well represented by the Bill we met in the game.

We see Bill go about his life, alone, for a couple of years, gathering supplies, fortifying his street, not town like he did in the game, growing food, and just living his life. Alone.

Then, one day, a trap sprung. Frank.

It takes a little convincing, but Bill can tell Frank is a pure, genuine person, and he allows him in, lets him shower, and feeds him. The meal is the first of many, and after a beautiful moment of first Frank playing piano poorly, followed by a beautiful and haunting display of Bill playing it, Bill showers and Bill and Frank…Ahem…start their relationship.

We see, over the course of about 20 years, the relationship grows. We see ups and downs. We see Frank convince Bill to let him fix things up, make things beautiful, Frank urging Bill to “let me love things the way I love.”

We see Joel and Tess come visit, and a tense, but pleasant lunch ensues. Joel and Bill bond as much as the two could with Bill deeply untrusting of the two, and Joel firmly telling Bill to keep the gun out of his face. Tess and Frank bond, the create the radio code, and Joel warns Bill that raiders will come, and that they will try to kill the two of them. Joel had also managed to convince Bill that while Bill may not need the things Joel and Tess could smuggle, Frank would.

We flash forward again and see said raiders coming. Bill defends the property but is shot. Frank gets him to safety, the booby traps handle the rest, and as Bill drifts out of consciousness, he urges Frank to “call Joel” knowing that Joel is like Bill, and Joel will make sure Frank is protected and taken care of.

In the next scene, we see someone in a wheelchair, and think for a moment it is a recovering Bill.

Instead, it is several years in the future, Bill is fully healed, and Frank is in the wheelchair.

Frank is suffering from a neurological disorder, it is not named, but one can assume a degenerative neurological disorder. Frank mentions there was no cure for it before everything fell apart, and we see he has trouble with most of his body cooperating. We see the two go about their day, Bill taking care of Frank, carrying him as needed, giving him his medicines, making sure he gets to bed.

The next morning, Frank worked all night to get himself out of bed into his chair. Bill insists he lay back down, insisting Frank will fall asleep and lose circulation in his feet.

Frank assures him he won’t, since today is his last day.

Frank is done. Frank wants one more good day with Bill. One more day. One day of going around down, dressing up, having a nice meal, and even getting married, before having a bag of pills crushed into his wine so he can drift off to sleep in Bills arms one more time.

Bill is crushed, but follows the instructions, and the two have one last beautiful day. By this point, both myself and Travis, and likely everyone else who is watching, is crying.

Bill serves Frank a beautiful meal, the same as their first, mirroring that first night, echoing back to the little details, everything that started their relationship. The two have a wonderful meal, and at the end, Bill brings a bottle of wine and pours a glass for them both, pouring the crushed-up drugs into the glass for Frank. Frank drinks it, and Bill drinks his, chugging it down the same way Frank had taken his.

Frank looks at him, knowing his partner, and says “You drugged the bottle of wine?”

“Enough to kill a horse.” And goes on to explain that Frank has been his reason. They have had a beautiful life, and he is ready to join Frank. Frank says he should be angry, but ultimately, it is Bill’s choice as much as it is Franks, and they both deserve to go out if they wish. “and it’s terribly romantic.” The two go to bed.

Joel and Ellie arrive, and see the note from Bill, who knows it would be Joel who finds them since “Anyone else would have been blown up by my traps, hehehehehe” and tells Joel to take anything he wants and use it to protect Tess, which is a sad moment, since Tess is gone. Ellie and Joel each shower, change, and gear up.

The whole episode, when Ellie and Joel have been seen, Ellie has asked for a gun. Joel tells her no. In a change from the game, we see Ellie steal a gun from the house, the same one Frank had grabbed when the raiders arrived.

The two find the truck, with all the materials to build a battery, and after loading up on supplies, drive out of Bill and Franks, heading on in their grate adventure.

The episode closes with a shot from the window. And the audience sobbing at one of the most gut punching and beautiful love stories: Bill and Frank.

Overall? Best episode yet. I don’t know how the next few will compete. I do know that everyone I have talked to has been deeply touched by it, and lots of people want to see more of just that story. Beautifully well done.

I look forward to watching episode four, which I will watch the Monday after it airs, the day before this blog goes live, and hopefully the next episode I will be able to cover on Thursday, and by next week, be caught up on my The Last of Us episode reviews. I hope you are watching along and love it as much as I do.

Thanks for reading,



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