This Easter Egg in The Last of Us Episode 3 pays homage to the game
This scene is both an Easter egg and the love theme of the episode.
Editor's Note: The following contains spoilers for The Last of Us Episode 3.
^ The Last of Us reaches new heights in its third episode, "Long Long Time". Not only does the series shift from a narrative that takes place almost entirely in the past, but it also breaks out of the tense horror/survival mode to tell the story of the emotionally charged relationship between survivalists Bill (Nick Offerman) and Frank (Murray Bartlett). A deep love story. It was funny and touching, but ended up with a tragic end - and it even has a surprising connection to the present, as Joel (Pedro Pascal) has seen The couple, and have a good relationship with Bill (to some extent).
As the episode progresses, it loops through Bill and Frank's lives before revealing that Frank is slowly dying and asking Bill to euthanize him. However, Bill also poisoned himself, unwilling to continue living without the people he loved. Joel and Ellie find their bedroom window open, and the episode ends with a lingering shot of said window as they drive into the sunset. Said window does double duty: it's an Easter egg that harkens back to the first game and doubles down on the episode's theme.
Eagle-eyed fans of The Last of Us may have Note that the last shot of So Long, My Son is a direct replica of the first game's loading screen. It has it all, from the bright sunshine to the wide open windows. The serene, almost angelic imagery contrasts sharply with the horrors Joel and Ellie experience throughout the game, and eagle-eyed viewers will notice a rotting corpse on the ground. Said corpse happens to be Frank, which is where the game and show diverge.
The Open Window Is A Direct Homage To The Loading Screen
In the game, the player encounters Bill and learns that he is grieving for Frank. The town where they lived was attacked by swarms of Cordyceps-infected humans, and Frank was bitten during the fight. Rather than wait for the inevitable infection, he decided to hang himself. By changing the circumstances of Frank's death, the show was able to expand on his relationship with Bill and give new meaning to the window that was opened. It's a symbol of the life they've lived and a beautiful reminder of how they managed to escape the chaos that Cordyceps has brought to the world.
The way the scene is framed also recalls a key moment in the episode. Halfway through, we find Frank and Bill arguing. What is the argument? painting. Frank wants to paint and fix up their house, while Bill is adamantly against it. At first glance, this is a refreshing scene. Relationships have their ups and downs, and that won't change even if a mutating fungus turns people into zombies. But that's exactly what Frank told Bill to hit the nail on the head: "Focus on things—that's how we show love."
The Scene Reminds You to Pay Attention
That simple sentence echoes throughout the rest of "Once Upon a Time," from the duo trying to play Linda Lang Stater's theme song goes to Frank planting a garden in their backyard. Even their final moments together are all about the details; Bill cooks the same bunny meal as he did when he first met Frank, and they even lie in bed like they did the first time they made love. Likewise, the final shots linger, allowing viewers to focus on the minutiae of their lives. These details include a drawing of Frank, and a shot of Bill's truck driving away with Joel and Ellie. In a way it symbolizes the small The moments of calm the two had in a rapidly collapsing world—and how they should stop and take time to savor them.
"The Last of Us" airs new episodes every Sunday on HBO.