The Last Of Us’ latest installment this week was a clear departure from its first two episodes. Rather than show more of what the world has become or the dangers Joel and Ellie must face, the most recent chapter instead devoted its time to telling the lives of Bill and Frank. But unlike the Naughty Dog video game it was derived from, the HBO hit series took a chance by drastically changing their parts in the overall story. We take a look at how this twist in The Last Of Us episode 3 came to be and how it differs from the game.

How The Last Of Us episode 3 told Bill and Frank’s story

The Last Of Us, HBO, Entertainment

The most recent episode of The Last Of Us starts with Joel and Ellie journeying away from the Massachusetts State House, the same location Tess sacrificed herself to buy the pair some time. After stopping by an old store to retrieve some stuff, Joel and Ellie head off to Bill’s location. At this point, the episode shifts to a series of flashbacks that detail the lives of Bill and Frank in the show.

Bill and Frank’s part in the story begins with a flashback to 2003, the period when the Cordyceps outbreak started. We see the military gave out a mandatory evacuation order to most towns in the United States, a directive Bill didn’t follow. Instead, he began to fortify his abandoned town and transformed it into a self-sustaining location dedicated solely to his survival.

Four years into his solitude, Frank comes along and gets caught up in one of Bill’s traps. After giving in to his request to rest and eat inside his property, Bill gives in and spends the night with Frank. Their first meeting would then flash forward another three years to reveal that they’re already a couple residing within the town Bill fortified for his survival. At this point in time, the pair are introduced to Joel and Ellie. As they’re having a meal, Joel offers Bill a steady stream of supplies to help reinforce his property and make it stronger against both raiders and the infected.

Three years after the couple first spoke to Joel and Tess, Bill confesses to Frank that he has never been afraid until he met him. This revelation comes after Frank shows a strawberry patch he personally takes care of and gives Bill a fruit from it. The heartfelt admission would later give way to a nighttime attack by several raiders, a development that leads to Bill getting shot in the stomach. The scene is then abruptly cut, leading viewers to believe that Bill will pass away from his wound.

The surprise here is that not only did Bill survive, but their relationship also lasts for another 10 years as the episode flashes forward to the series’ current year – 2023. It’s shown that Bill outlives his gunshot wound and is taking care of Frank, who is suffering from a terminal disease. Now older and wearier than ever, Frank decides that he has had enough and wants to commit suicide. But before that, though, he wants to spend one more happy day with Bill, culminating with the two marrying each other.

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After making their vows and having their final meal together, Bill prepares a glass of wine laced with a powder that’s meant to kill Frank. He drinks it up and notices something strange about Bill. The survivalist then admits that he also mixed the powder into the wine he drank. This meant that instead of living alone in his abandoned town, Bill is going to join his lover in death.

A couple of weeks later, Joel and Ellie arrive to discover the lovers have already passed away. They also find a letter Bill addressed to Joel, bidding him to take whatever he needs from his property. After stocking up on important supplies, including a working pickup truck, the pair drive off to Wyoming in search of Tommy there.

How Bill and Frank’s story is told in The Last Of Us video game

Bill and Frank’s story greatly differs in the game from what was shown in the HBO series. The first time Joel and Ellie meet the survivalist was when he saved the pair from a horde of infected chasing them. After a tense first meeting with Ellie, Bill decides to help them locate a working vehicle within the town he was residing in.

Along the way, Bill mentions having a relationship with someone that fell apart. Although he doesn’t reveal too much about it, Joel and Ellie would later find out that this person was Frank after they find him hanging from the ceiling. It’s shown that rather than turning into an infected, he killed himself instead. The sight puts Bill off, leading him to cut his former lover’s corpse down.

Just a few seconds later, Joel sees a letter Frank left behind. He says that Bill’s set-in-his-ways attitude caused him to run away. Bill then calls his former lover an idiot for doing so. The game then proceeds with the trio moving on with their mission.

As can be seen above, the HBO series’ version of Bill and Frank differs from what was shown in the game. The former humanizes the relationship between the two, showing viewers that even with the end of the world weighing down on them, their love can still be a power that can rise above everything else. In contrast, the video game presents a bleak and depressing story between the two men which clearly reflects the world they’re lived in. In any case, both versions are strong enough to resonate with gamers and viewers of the show. With six more episodes to go, there’s certainly more to see from the series to determine if it stacks up to the hit video game.