The Last of Us viewers in bits after 'saddest episode' in TV history
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The Last of Us viewers have been left in ABSOLUTE BITS after tuning in to what’s being called the ‘saddest episode’ in TV history, with even the biggest fans of the original video game totally unprepared for the heartbreak in store.
WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS REFERENCES TO SUICIDE
IT SHOULD BE PRETTY OBVIOUS, BUT THIS ARTICLE ALSO CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS ABOUT EPISODE THREE OF THE LAST OF US, AKA THE SADDEST THING THAT’S EVER BEEN MADE
After Tess’ dramatic self-sacrifice at the end of last week’s instalment, fans of the HBO series - based on the video game of the same name - will already know not to get too attached to anyone.
But I think it’s fair to say no one could have been ready for the emotional onslaught that was episode three, which introduces us to survivalist Bill (Nick Offerman) and his eventual lover Frank (Murray Bartlett).
Armed with a trusty underground bunker of guns and an elaborate CCTV network, Bill manages to turn his deserted neighbourhood into a fortress of high fences and booby traps - one of which Frank ends up falling into... before falling into his captor’s bed not too long after.
But Frank doesn’t shuffle off to do the walk of the shame the next day: he stays, and the two fall in love, living out the pandemic in the comfort of one another’s companionship. This bit of the programme is very, very nice.
However, after decades of picking fresh strawberries in dappled sunlight and guzzling posh wine, Frank’s health is struck down by a degenerative neuromuscular disorder, and he is left wheelchair-bound.
This period marks the end of their fairytale, as the two lovers decide to end things together, on their own terms, rather than waiting for death to creep up on their ageing bodies - grabbing their favourite bottle of red and lacing it with lethal quantities of an unspecified white powder, before popping off to bed to lie in each other’s arms.
This has proven to be one of the most devastating moments many viewers have ever seen, with some comparing it to the beginning of Disney Pixar's Up.
One tweeted: “The third episode of The Last Of Us was potentially the saddest episode of anything I have ever watched in my life.”
Someone else said: “The Last of Us was just about the saddest thing I’ve ever seen and I think it’ll haunt me forever.”
A third wrote: “The Last of Us episode 3 was one of the saddest pieces of entertainment I have ever watched holy s**t.”
A fourth added: “That last of us episode was the saddest thing I have ever seen in my entire life.”
In the original video game, Bill is only a minor character, while Frank we don’t meet at all, unless you include his lifeless, dead body - a tragic fate he met after being bitten by an Infected, and choosing to hang himself to keep his partner from harm.
“Imagine being smug thinking you know everything that’s going to happen on The Last of Us show already bc you played the game and then they show you a gay version of Up,” another viewer tweeted.
Speaking about the episode on the official The Last of Us podcast, Neil Druckmann - co-president of Naughty Dog and creator, writer and executive producer of the TV adaptation - said it had been ‘interesting’ to take the themes of the game and approach them with a ‘totally different story’.
He said: “The thing I get nervous the most about changes is changing the fate of a character, and here we have a very different fate for Bill than we do in the game.
"And then I tried to do the math of weighing it, like, how much do we gain? Because to me, when you deviate that much, there’s a certain cost to it.
“And it was such a beautiful story, that explores the themes of love and the complexity that comes with love, and the happiness and pain.
"And even though this Bill dies in a way that Bill doesn’t die in the game, it’s a happier ending, because he lived a full life.”
HAPPIER ENDING? I'm still on the verge of tears here, just thinking about it.
Druckmann added: “There’s a demonstration of here’s what you stand to lose when you love someone - you could feel this immense loss - but here’s what you gain.
"And the contrast of those two things in this episode, I feel really elevate Joel and Ellie’s journey.”
Featured Image Credit: HBO/Sky
Topics: TV and Film