Actor Nick Offerman, who starred in episode 3 of HBO’s The Last of Us, “Long, Long Time, ” responded to haters who criticized the episode for expanding upon a storyline from the 2013 game of the same name. (Spoilers below for The Last of Us TV series and games.)
In the episode, Bill meets Frank (Murray Bartlett), and they fall in love. Spanning multiple decades through an extended flashback, most of the episode is about Bill and Frank’s meeting, budding romance, and life together in an apocalyptic Boston suburb. Unfortunately, this backstory was only hinted at in the 2013 video game, not shown. Ultimately, as Frank nears his end due to a degenerative disease, he and Bill choose to die by suicide together and pass away in bed side by side.
Love And LGBTQ+ Representation In The Last of Us
The episode has garnered immense praise from critics and regular audiences, but not everyone liked it, due in part to the episode’s gay romance storyline. After a Twitter user tagged Offerman’s account, saying that they liked the show until episode 3 “ruined” it for them, Offerman tweeted back: “Buddy, your brand of ignorance and hate is exactly why we make stories like this.” As a result, the episode has been “review-bombed” on IMDb, with tens of thousands of one-star reviews counterposed against over twice as many nine- and ten-star reviews — with only 10% of reviews falling in between.
Reviews of the game have elsewhere noted — and “Long, Long Time” directly implies — that Bill and Frank’s loving relationship amidst apocalyptic circumstances mirrors the familial bond that Joel and Ellie, the main characters, forge over the course of the story. In both the 2013 game and its 2020 sequel, Ellie has gay relationships that directly and significantly influence her personality and choices and (particularly in The Last of Us Part 2) the overall storylines.
New episodes of The Last of Us air Sunday nights on HBO; the season 1 finale is scheduled for March 12. HBO recently confirmed that another season is in the works; some fans believe season 2 will follow the events of The Last of Us Part 2.
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