Why did episode 3 change the “game”?

Humanity bubbles in full apocalypse! While the first two episodes of Last of us Having amazed the public and critics alike, the third episode of the cult video game adaptation of Naughty Dog entitled “Long Long Time”, posted online this Monday, in France on Amazon Prime Video, has now been qualified by many media outlets as one of the best episodes in television history. . Why did this episode change the “game” in video game adaptation history?

So far, the adaptation of Last of us by HBO generally follow the same path as games, sometimes using identical dialogue and scenes. The series by Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin has managed to free himself at the end of episode 2 by slightly changing Tess’ fate. Episode 3 is very different from the game, but still true to the spirit of the original.

If you haven’t seen episode 3 Last of usplease: this article contains a LOT of spoilers.

Bill and Frank, “partners” in video games

In the game, after Tess’ death, Joel decides to go to a man named Bill to take a vehicle to join his brother, Tommy. A chapter of The Last of Us Part I is located in Bill’s domain: the player must avoid the many traps that survivors have set around his domain to protect himself, before meeting him and going to his house.

We discovered that this man had not always lived alone and that he had a “partner” before, named Frank. Later, Joel, Bill and Ellie discover the latter’s corpse: Frank, infected by the bite, hanged himself so as not to transform or contaminate Bill.

The heartwarming love story of Bill and Frank

long time ago, directed by Peter Hoar, follows Ellie and Joel right after they escape the capitol and Tess dies. Along the way, while Joel gives Ellie some explanations about the origins of the pandemic, our two heroes discover the remains of Fedra’s mass grave. The episode then switches to flashback mode and takes us to September 30, 2003, four days after the Outbreak.

The audience finds Bill (Nick Offerman), who managed to escape Fedra’s massacre, and barricaded himself in his hometown. Electric barbed wire, mine booby traps, trenches, video surveillance, this survivor has turned his surroundings into an open bunker.

He lived cut off from the world for several years before one of his traps fell on an intruder, Frank (Murray Bartlett, who we’ve seen everywhere since then). White Lotus). Bill agrees to welcome him home for dinner.

After the first meal, it was at the piano, following the rhythm Old Long by Linda Ronstadt, that Bill would come out of his shell thanks to Frank’s disarming warmth, delivered by a hand on his shoulder and two simple, liberating words: “I know”. Bill and Frank realize they like each other and kiss.

A different story, but true to the spirit of the game

The episode then tells the story of Bill and Frank over their twenty years together: from their first sexual relationship to their last meal as a married couple, through their friendship with Joel and Tess… Every bit of life moves. , told with the grace and dignity it deserves. Their strange romance culminates in a universal and heartbreaking Shakespearean tragedy.

This series rewrites the story of Bill and Frank. In contrast to his game, Bill died with Frank and Ellie never saw him, but read the farewell letter he sent to Joel. The adaptation builds on the game, however, making for Bill and Frank’s romantic relationship, which the game only alludes to, a powerful and moving episode that fleshes out the characters organically.

A separate story that harmonizes with the main plot

HBO’s adaptation of the game Naughty Dog by Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann uses music skillfully: Never Let Me Down Again from Depeche Mode set an ominous tone in Episode 1.

Here, Linda Ronstadt’s 1970 Grammy-nominated ballad Old Long, taken from his second album Silk Wallet, was played by Bill and Frank on the piano the day they met, appearing on the mixtape Bill made for Joel at the end of the episode. This epilogue transfers all the emotional weight of the Bill and Frank ballad to the main plot. Bill’s letter to Joel reminds him that men like him and Joel “have a job to do” and that is protect those they love at all costs.

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