The first season of The Last of Us — based on the popular video game of the same name — presented a variety of profound and tear-inducing moments in each episode. However, out of the show’s nine episodes, Episode 3 is arguably one of the post-apocalyptic drama’s most heartfelt and emotional. Apparently, it did not intend to “make the world cry uncontrollably,” according to episode director Peter Hoar.
Episode 3 Stands Alone as a Remarkable, Intimate Tale
The third episode, titled “Long, Long Time,” introduced Bill (Nick Offerman) and Frank’s (played by Murray Bartlett) love story, which only grew stronger as time went by, despite the fungus-infected world they’re living in. Although the episode was an intense and emotional viewing experience, Hoar explained that they did not set out to chronicle a tear-jerking story. But they did.
“I didn’t certainly set out to tell a story that would make the world cry uncontrollably, but I did. There was one note that I gave Murray. I said, maybe this is the scene where we don’t cry. It was impossible because Bill was so passionate and in the moment saying to his love Frank, that he was his purpose. And Murray was like, ‘I can’t do it. Look at him, I can’t do it. He’s just so beautiful and human. I just can’t hold it in.’ So, that note was redundant,” Hoar told Deadline.
A genuine and authentic gay love story, as Hoar put it himself, Episode 3 was “there to make people feel something.” He added: “The simple answer is it can become too tear-jerky. There’s a straightness to this gay love story. It’s not flamboyant. It’s genuine and it’s authentic. We all talk about Nick and Murray, but there are some great performances from Pedro and Bella, particularly the scene where Ellie reads a letter from Bill. That’s just a beautiful scene. The way she reads that letter is hilarious, but yet heartbreaking. And the way that Pedro reacts is just beautiful.”
Bill and Frank, as fans already know, both died at the end of the episode. On deciding not to show their dead bodies, Hoar said that the world of The Last of Us is already brutal in and of itself. And the creatives behind the show think that showing their dead bodies would be unnecessary.
“That was always on the page, never to show the dead bodies. It’s also something we discussed as a group at the very beginning,” Hoar also told Deadline. “(The) world of ‘The Last of Us’ is a very brutal one. And in brutal world, people are gonna get hurt and people are gonna experience horrendous trauma to their bodies and their minds. I think (series creator Craig Mazin) thought we just didn’t need it. It wasn’t necessary.”
HBO has previously renewed the breakout hit series for Season 2, though it is expected to arrive sometime in 2025. Additionally, due to the ongoing writers and actors strike, the release date could be pushed back even further. You can watch the Season 1 trailer below.