Many shows take a stab at getting to viewers’ hearts with emotional scenes and episodes, but they usually fall short. Sunday night, I witnessed what may be the most emotional episode of any series I have ever watched. Of course, I’m talking about episode three of “The Last of Us.” And I’m sure many of the 6.4 million viewers that tuned in would agree.
I am a die-hard horror fan and rarely ever cry in real life, but episode three had me crying, ugly crying, snot dripping, and all. Don’t get it twisted; it wasn’t all heartaches and sadness; instead, the episode was about love, which was beautiful.
Warning! Spoilers! In what may be considered a controversial move (get over it already), the episode centers on Bill, played by Nick Offerman (“Parks and Recreation”), a prepper who is fantastic at building traps and surviving alone. One day a traveler named Frank (Murray Bartlet) stumbles into one of Bill’s traps. Bill fights his instinct to kill him and invites him to eat and rest. Throughout the episode, we watch Bill and Frank build a beautiful life and love together over time while the world crumbles around them.
The way the episode approached the subject of their love was tactful and sweet. Seeing these two men’s relationship unfold the way it did not only tugged at my heartstrings, it had me very invested. I was cheering for them. In a world full of suffering and death, their love was hope. Even the end itself was romantic and touching.
The episode is one of the few deviations from the original “The Last of Us” game. In the game, we are only introduced to Bill through his interactions with Joel, and Frank is never really explored. Series writer Neil Druckman, who felt strongly about expanding the two’s backstory, did an absolutely incredible job with the episode and bringing the love story to life.
“[In the game], you meet Bill, and he’s this hardcore survivalist, this conservative guy, and then you find out he’s had this partner named Frank that he loved very much, but he lost because he was too focused on survival, and didn’t love his partner back in the way that his partner wanted to be loved, which is appreciating life, and art, and all these other aspects that make us human,” Writer Neil Druckmann states.
Watch episode 3 now on HBO Max. If you haven’t begun watching the series, what are you waiting for? It’s already being called “the best game adaptation ever.”