9 of the most relatable reactions to the heartbreaking third episode of The Last Of Us

The Last Of Us’ third episode was truly something else – and these reactions prove just how hard it hit viewers.

Warning: this article contains spoilers for episode three of The Last Of Us, so only read on if you’re all caught up. 

We always knew The Last Of Us was going to be a rollercoaster, but nothing could have prepared us for the pure emotional destruction that was episode three.

What we expected to be an episode following Joel and Ellie on a journey to pick up a car from Joel’s old friend Bill turned out to be 80 minutes of tender, beautiful and gut-wrenchingly sad television.

In a change from the game’s original narrative, episode three followed Bill from the pandemic’s outbreak, when he first set up his fenced compound in his former town.

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Three years later – after Bill has set up a self-sustaining system – he’s joined by Frank, a lone traveller who pleads Bill to give him a meal before he continues on his journey. Before long the pair fall in love, and we watch as their relationship develops over the years.

But all good things don’t last forever – and as those of us who have watched the episode will know, things end up taking a turn for the worse. Instead of Frank fighting with Bill and ending up infected after running off – as happens in the game – the pair grow old together, with Frank eventually falling ill from what seems like some form of cancer.

In the end, Frank asks Bill to help him die by crushing up a load of pills and putting them in his wine after they have one perfect final day together. They get married (a big moment considering gay marriage wasn’t legal in America when the pandemic broke out), eat dinner and drink good wine, before Bill pours the pills into Frank’s glass.  

The Last Of Us episode 3 gave us a closer look at Bill and Frank’s relationship.

However, it’s only when Frank has drunk from his glass that he realises Bill has put crushed pills in his own wine too, and the pair head off to bed together where they drift away in each other’s arms. 

As if that wasn’t emotional enough, we mustn’t forget the heartwarming relationship the pair formed with Joel and Tess (including their radio code), or the emotional letter Bill leaves for Joel to discover when he arrives at the compound. 

While such a big change from the game could have proved controversial with fans, the Bill and Frank storyline has proven a hit online. Indeed, social media has been awash with memes and reactions to the emotional rollercoaster that was episode three. Here are just a few of the most relatable ones we’ve seen so far. 

  • A brief subplot? Of course not!

    If one thing’s for sure, The Last Of Us writers aren’t afraid to go deep.

  • A subtle (but heartbreaking) link

    Just when you think you’re going to be OK, realisations like this bring it all back.

  • The quotes were a lot

    The beautiful on-screen chemistry between Murray Bartlett and Nick Offerman aside, the writing in episode three made it even more emotional. 

  • Game over

    They should teach this episode in film school. Seriously.

  • The change in tone was a big surprise

    In the game, Bill is a hardened man who encourages Joel not to help Ellie before relenting and giving the pair a car. In the show, however? We don’t want to talk about it.

  • Thought a zombie drama couldn’t be emotional? Think again

    We didn’t quite expect that.

  • Again with the writing thing

    Let’s not talk about that strawberry moment either.

  • It feels like a personal attack TBH

    Can we please have a spin-off series dedicated to Bill and Frank’s cottagecore life?

  • Moving on to the rest of the series is going to be hard

    Seriously, you need time to process this kind of stuff.

Images: Sky Atlantic

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