The Last of Us’ best episode just got an extended version

The Last of Us’ best episode just got an extended version
Images via HBO

Written by 

Tom Chapman

Published 

25th May 2023 16:10

We'll never be able to listen to Linda Ronstadt's "Long, Long Time" the same way again, not after HBO's The Last of Us had us reaching for the tissues in its most heart-wrenching episode. If you want to blub all over again, you can check out the extended version of The Last of Us Episode 3 - although you can't watch it.

There was plenty of heartache in the first nine episodes of HBO's live-action adaptation of the 2013 video game, with highlights being the fleshed-out backstories of Riley (Storm Reid) and Anna (Ashley Johnson). However, that was nothing compared to the tragic tale of Bill (Nick Offerman) and Frank (Murray Bartlett).

The Last of Us Episode 3's extended version is available online

The Last of Us Episode 3 Extended Script
Click to enlarge

As reported by DeadlineThe Last of Us Episode 3 script can be read online. There's also a heartwarming introduction from showrunner Craig Mazin. The intro reads, "The Last of Us is a love story, and that's not always good news. Love can blind us, move us to violence, harden our hearts to strangers, or paralyze us with grief."

Explaining how the pair embody two different kinds of love, Mazin concluded, "My hope was that people would see in Bill and Frank's relationship the victory of honest, achievable, realistic love… even in Bill and Frank's ending. After all, each of us will end."

This puts a poetic spin on the poignant end of the pair, which was criticised by some for being different from the games. In the original game, Frank had died off-screen and Bill's fate was left unknown. In the series, they both took their own lives after many happy years together. 

Much like how Bill and Frank's relationship affected Ellie and Joel's father-daughter relationship, the hope is that the story could affect us in real life. Just when we thought we couldn't love the episode any more than we already did. 

The Last of Us Episode 3 was trolled by critics

Bill and Frank having dinner The Last of Us Episode 3
Click to enlarge

Despite the critical acclaim and hopes "Long, Long Time" will sweep the awards board at the likes of the Emmys, that hasn't stopped a worryingly large group of critics slamming it online. Thanks mainly to its LGBTQ+ themes, Episode 3 found itself boasting Season 1's worst scores.

Even now, the lauded episode has 8.0/10, with the only episode faring worse being the Riley-centric "Left Behind." As that contained a same-sex kiss between Ellie and Riley, we're sensing a theme here. For those few who hate The Last of Us' LGBTQ+ themes, Bella Ramsey has warned a lot more is on the way. So, stay mad.

Tom is Trending News Editor at GGRecon, with an NCTJ qualification in Broadcast Journalism and over seven years of experience writing about film, gaming, and television. With bylines at IGN, Digital Spy, Den of Geek, and more, Tom’s love of horror means he's well-versed in all things Resident Evil, with aspirations to be the next Chris Redfield.

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