It's very difficult to cram in a 20 year period in just over an hour of TV, but they manage to do it while giving these characters time to bed into the world.
WRITTEN BY ELLIOT LINES / FEBRUARY 2, 2023
Up till this point, HBO's The Last of Us has been building out this well known gaming world, whilst also bringing these characters to life. Episode 3 goes one length further in it's character building, bringing forward two new characters and maximising their own story, whilst linking them to Joel and Ellie (and of course Tess).
Leading off after Tess' death at the end of the last episode, we join Joel and Ellie for a short period of time. However within this time we do get a smaller understanding of the survivors thoughts behind what may have caused the outbreak. Joel also reveals to Ellie about the horrors of what came shortly after, with the killings of many innocent people that were told to come to the "exclusion zones".
This leads into our main plot of the episode, Bill and Frank. Now to the gaming fans these two names will be highly recognisable, however non-gamers will have no clue. So who are they? Well, Bill is a survivalist who over a short space of time builds basically what is a fort around his village (which he is the only remaining member), one day he stumbles across a man that has been caught in one of his traps, Frank. From here on they create a relationship and life together, away from the troubles of the world.
The whole episode tells the 20 year story of these two men who have found each other in the strangest of situations. It's very difficult to cram in a 20 year period in just over an hour of TV, but they manage to do it while giving these characters time to bed into the world. This sounds like and odd thing to say, but their world feels lived in from the minute they are put together. All credit to Nick Offerman (Bill) and Murray Bartlett (Frank), who embrace these characters situation and elevate it to a whole unexpected emotional level.
With Frank connecting with Tess previously, this "village" is Joel and Ellie's destination. But once they get there, the realisation through a note and quietness reveals that the two have both decided to pass on, due to illness and love. I believe this differs from the game, but that being said makes for one hell of an emotional episode.