Episode 3 of the series The Last Of Us brought a story that was not explored deeply in the original series. It is the love story between Bill and Frank, Joel’s two friends and business partners outside of Boston. Much of the latest episode’s run has focused on this couple, from the time they met at the beginning of the pandemic, to their last day together as a real family.
Although it is a creative story exclusively for the TV version, episode 3 of The Last Of Us still contains a lot of interesting details (easter eggs) that only fans of the original series will realize.
The third episode opens with a scene where Joel mourns for Tess. He even built a small stone tomb for his partner, close friend. In the original game series, Joel’s feelings for Tess are not portrayed too clearly, and he is also alone in gnawing sadness in silence after her death. The TV version took this detail to a new level and helped the audience understand Joel’s inner self better than the original.
The opening segment of episode 3 was also adapted quite closely to the original, especially through the character Ellie. Stepping out of the Boston quarantine area for the first time, Ellie clearly had both confusion and excitement about the outside world. “I’ve never been to the forest, there are more insects than I thought“, this is the line taken from the original game series and clearly shows the innocence of Ellie – a little girl born after the outbreak of the Cordyceps pandemic.
After crossing the forest, Joel and Ellie stop at an abandoned building to retrieve more supplies that Joel had hidden years ago. Here, Ellie found an arcade machine with the Mortal Kombat II game – details related to Riley, her close friend while in the Boston quarantine. In a scene from the original series, when Riley wakes Ellie, we can see a poster of Mortal Kombat II on the wall of her room. Based on the released trailers of The Last Of Usthe audience will learn more deeply about the story between Riley and Ellie in the upcoming episodes.
When explaining the origin of the pandemic to Ellie, Joel suggested that the parasitic fungus Cordyceps can be transmitted through familiar food ingredients such as sugar or flour. That is what has caused the disease to spread at a dizzying speed around the world. This explanation is based on the original game series, in a newspaper article that the player can find at Joel and Sarah’s house. The only difference is that the TV version decided to change the place of origin of the pandemic to Jakarta, Indonesia instead of South America.
Bill’s home town in the TV version remains the same as in the original, with the name Lincoln. In the original series, the player can find a sign at this place titled Lincoln High School. In addition, based on the exterior design, it can be confirmed that the television series built this place based on the town of Lincoln, in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA.
The first time Bill stepped out of the basement after the military had completed the evacuation of people in Lincoln, Bill was wearing a gas mask. This is considered the most important item in the original game series, as it can help people prevent Cordyceps fungus spores – the airborne infection method of this parasitic fungus. However, the HBO series has changed the role of spores with the tentacles, so the gas mask is no longer as necessary as the original.
Similar to the game, Bill also set up many unique and creative traps around the town of Lincoln to protect himself from zombies and strangers. These traps are very diverse and can even kill anyone who accidentally activates them.
Bill’s paranoid personality is also a detail related to the original series, when Bill is always annoyed and does not trust anyone. This was clearly shown in the first scene of Bill, when he doubted the ability of the FedRA organization to save humanity, and decided to stay at home instead of evacuating. In addition, Bill was especially vigilant when he first met and helped Frank.
In the scene where Bill and Frank play the piano, these two characters take turns performing Linda Ronstadt’s song Long Long Time, a song that has emotional meaning for both of them. It depicts Bill’s loneliness when living alone in the town of Lincoln, and also the mental difficulties when same-sex marriage was not legal at that time. It was Ronstadt’s lyrics that touched the hearts of Frank and Bill and brought the audience the most moving love story in the world. The Last Of Us.
HBO spent an entire episode telling the story of Frank and Bill. Meanwhile, this story is told only through a letter, an item collected in the original series. In the game The Last Of Us, Frank passed away before Joel and Ellie got to Lincoln, but Bill was still alive. Joel even found Frank’s body hanged in a house in this town, along with a letter about Frank’s previous relationship with Bill.
During their time living in Lincoln, Frank and Bill had to face many different threats, including aggressive bandits. This detail is an easter egg related to the original game series and also the first episode of The Last Of Us, when Joel was warned that there are many individuals and forces that are more terrifying than the infected outside the Boston quarantine area, such as bandits, barbaric thieves. This detail also “teases” the dangers from humans that await Joel and Ellie in future episodes as they make their way to Kansas City.
As mentioned above, in the original game series, Frank committed suicide by hanging when he could not stand the boring life at Lincoln with Bill. HBO completely changed this detail when letting Frank go with Bill after drinking poisoned wine, closing the deep and beautiful love story between the two. But no matter what, Frank’s fate and outcome did not change.
The last meal Bill prepared for Frank was the same as the first meal the two enjoyed together 20 years ago. This is an interesting and romantic easter egg that brings a perfect ending to the love between these two characters.
After leaving, Bill left his entire fortune in the town of Lincoln to Joel, including transportation, weapons and even clothes. This has helped the duo Joel and Ellie get new costumes – costumes that are similar to the original and have made the brand for these two characters.
After Bill’s death, Joel realizes his mission is to protect Ellie and fulfill his contract with the Fireflies. He decided to ignore the disagreements, inner conflicts and volunteered to protect the girl. However, he also set some rules for Ellie to follow, including not talking about the past, not letting others know about Cordyceps immunity, and absolutely obeying orders. by Joel. All these rules are taken from the original game and are accurate to every word.
In the final scene of episode 3, Joel took Bill’s truck to take Ellie to Kansas City. This car has the same model, the same color as the car in the original series. In addition, the part where two uncles and grandchildren enjoy and argue about Linda Ronstadt’s ballad is also based on the original, although the game version The Last Of Us Use a different track.