‘The Last of Us’ Presents an Achingly Beautiful Gay Love Story – Rolling Stone

This post contains spoiler for this week’s episode of Last of Us“a very long time.”

The latest chapter of the story is booked with a sequence featuring only two characters currently in the series.When Tess is gone — She appears in a flashback later in this episode — The series leans harder than ever lone wolf and child The dynamic between Joel and Ellie Pedro Pascal already has some familiarity from his work mandalorianEllie is much more verbal than Grog (Like Joel is much more expressive than Mando.) But it’s a similar contrast between taciturn combat readiness and childlike wonder. is basically an overzealous, quickly-excited kid looking at things we take for granted. Talk about annoying, but all Ellie can think about is how awesome it would be to be up in the sky. At the end of the episode, they climb into a battered old Chevrolet pickup that doesn’t impress Joel while he compares it to being in a spaceship.

Joel and Ellie’s interaction is given something of a funhouse mirror reflection in a segment that takes up most of the episode’s extended running time. A man who can’t help but feel sad for everything he’s lost.

Meet Bill and Frank. It’s the subject of an incredibly unlikely post-apocalyptic love story.

There are many episodes, but they are all great.But perhaps first, like the casting of Pascal himself as Joel, there’s nothing wrong with typecasting if both the part and the typecast actor are good enough. If it was a character created from the entire fabric of the series instead of libertarian survivalist and lonely Bill as “ Nick Offerman type “Sociable and cultured Frank” Murray Bartlett type. “Instead, the show gets the actual Offerman and Bartlett. And so on.” mandalorian I was able to escape with a cast Timothy Olyphant Like Jetpack Raylan Givens Last of Us For example, invite Offerman to do a slightly less cartoonish, infinitely damaged version ofRon Swanson

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My understanding is that Frank is already dead when Joel and Ellie run into Bill, and Bill is played by the great character actor W. Earl Brown. Who I imagine would have been great to play a role in live action as well.

Nick Offerman as Bill in “The Last of Us.”

HBO We meet Bill shortly after Joel explains to Ellie about the pile of human remains he just discovered. Resources were so scarce in the early days of Cordyceps that FEDRA soldiers would slaughter those who couldn’t afford a quarantine zone to prevent infection. The dead don’t rise from the grave.) Cut to a scene that gives a glimpse of the tattered scraps of a healthy, living version of a woman’s dress and her baby who board a FEDRA truck on September 30th. , 2003, days after the end of the world, terrified of her current situation but unaware of the impending government-sanctioned murder. They believe so, because Bill is sort of a hardcore doomsday prepper hiding a bunker under the basement for this eventuality. .

that is

When no one is around, Bill is like a kid in a candy store, taking whatever he needs or wants from his neighbor’s house, the local hardware store, or the liquor store, because no one is guarding New Bedford. , even manages to restore power to a natural gas plant. Soon, he had vegetables to grow in his garden, chickens to provide eggs and other forms of protein, and a heavily guarded compound with no one to disturb him. Related But Bill still seems to enjoy himself — as he watches on the security monitor as one of his traps eliminates zombies approaching the premises, he sneakily says the sight never gets old. I can’t help but think how lonely loneliness is. It must be this existence. No matter how hard it’s been for Joel to keep the memory of his daughter alive over the last 20 years, at least he’s been around other people. Ellie was indoctrinated in FEDRA schools, but at least around other children.At some point, even the most sociopathic of creation must crave some kind of human contact. must be

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmS7aL9ThkE But not until Bill finds a helpless Frank trapped in a hole in his backyard – Bill dug to catch it. zombie And/or the Raiders—we realize how lonely Bill was even before he was the only one miles away. Bill at first appears sympathetic by inviting Frank to dinner, but it soon becomes clear that he enjoys both the company and the opportunity to showcase his skills as a host. started tickling the ivory of Bill’s old piano,

Linda Ronstadt

The song that gives the episode its title, Bill insists on playing and singing it himself. Their faces and body language tell the whole story of who these men were and are now, and a painfully melancholy Bill quietly answers. “No girls.” In that exchange, he understands that this is part of who he is. Bill used to say he was afraid to show the world. Perhaps his closed and lonely life led to his survival spirit. After all, a man hiding alone in a bunker needn’t worry about being rejected by homophobes or other people.

gay men

who are simply not interested. Or maybe he was hiding from that part of himself because he couldn’t reconcile himself with the rest of the image he adopted.no matter the reason It’s just his utter isolation and his fear that this beautiful man in front of him doesn’t find him desirable. Frank, who has been obsessed with Bill since before he even wants him, actually wants him, and not just because he knows life in this house is so sweet. says: No sex for an extra lunch. ’ At that point, you could say he meant it. If anything, it could be that Bill found the courage to reveal this part of himself to Frank because no one else was around.

From there, the episode continues to jump years forward every few scenes. We see how Joel’s relationship with Tess began. Because after a while, Frank longed to be around people in addition to Frank. And we see Bill take out an entire party of Raiders through years of preparation and borderline superhuman, Swanson-esque abilities. Because of that, you may be a normal human being.

The final jump takes us to 2023. Bill appears to have successfully recovered from his gunshot wound, but Frank is in a wheelchair rather than injured and is ill that cannot be properly treated even with the help of pills. Joel’s network is smuggling to and from the East Coast. In a very beautiful and heartbreaking sequence from Max Richter’s On the Nature of Daylight, an aging partner travels around the neighborhood and Frank thinks it will be his last day on Earth. Bill already knows, happy ending for both of us. After the private wedding, when he revealed his suicide plan, he said, “This is not the tragic suicide at the end of the play. was the purpose.

Bella Ramsey


Pedro Pascal

In “The Last of Us”.

LeAnn Hencher/HBO Knowing the year this is happening and the year Joel and Ellie set off on their journey, it’s not hard to imagine the idea of ​​the two heroes arriving just in time. Or perhaps to convince Bill that he might have a purpose beyond his one true love. After all, it would be fun to have Bill travel with you for a while, or just show one scene of him between the four of you. It’s clear that Frank would have loved Ellie, and it’s not hard to imagine Bill rushing to pay Ellie her flimsy respect. But most of this episode isn’t about Joel and Ellie. It’s Bill and Frank’s. Bill chose a life away from this world and gratefully allowed Frank to do so. No one should stay by your side until the end. But in a way, it’s a story about our two central characters. I found a note asking for He composed an eloquent note to Joel containing this passage.

“I hated the world and I was happy when everyone died. But I was wrong, because there was one person worth saving. That’s what I did. I saved him.” And then I protected him, that’s why men like you and me are here, we have work to do, and God help those bastards who stand in our way Please.” Trendbill thought he was writing about Tess, but it turns out he was actually writing about Ellie. Joel notes that she didn’t feel as close to Ellie as quickly as Bill did to her Frank, but that his stoic face cracks every time she asks a question, every time she tells a joke. is clear. Joel wasn’t happy when the world ended. Because that day brought Sarah’s death. But if he’s been around other people physically over the last few years, he’s been emotionally alone most of the time other than Tess. All the emotions are so palpable and I usually discuss them with her as soon as she feels them. And it turns out that she has already begun to break through to him. As they drive away in Bill’s truck (loaded with some supplies, but far from the entire armory), she puts the now-familiar Ronstadt song on the cassette deck, and Ronstadt’s voice says, “What? Better than nothing.” What a wonderful, wonderful television experience, right down to the last image of Bill leaving his bedroom window open so that the house he built with Frank would not be stained with the smell of the afterlife. It was an episode. There are some zombies, but they only appear briefly, first Ellie (Cumberland finds her trapped under the rubble in her farm opening sequence), then Immediately dispatched by Bill. This is by far the most compelling argument. The Last of Us is a show about humans first, and then about very distant creatures. And this was a wonderfully powerful, painfully human story.

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