Does Bill Die In ‘The Last Of Us?’

(Spoilers for The Last Of Us will be found below.)

Whether you’re a gamer or not, episode three of HBO’s The Last of Us likely put you through the emotional wringer. That’s because, unlike its console-hosted predecessor, the show dived into the moving and poignant backstory of two background characters who just didn’t get enough screen time in the game.

In “Long Long Time,” showrunner Craig Mazin and creator Neil Druckmann devoted an entire hour to telling a surprisingly touching love story between a lone-wolf survivalist named Bill (Nick Offerman) and an outgoing drifter named Frank (Murray Bartlett.) In Druckmann’s original creation, Bill and Frank were assumed to be business partners who lived together in a cordoned-off town somewhere outside of Boston. By the time the game pays Bill a visit, Frank is dead, having left his “friend” over a disagreement before getting bit by an Infected and choosing to hang himself rather than turn into one. When Joel and Ellie arrive, seeking help from Bill, he reluctantly gives it, revealing Frank’s fate in the process before sending them on their way with supplies and a vehicle. We never learn what happens to Frank, but it’s assumed he continues to survive in that same small town since, well, he’s good at it.

But the show basically tosses that timeline out the window in favor of a more memorable, moving story, one that starts with Bill meeting Frank — after the drifter lands in one of his traps — and ends with the two living happily ever after. Or, at least as “happily” as one can live in a post-apocalyptic world, and as long as one can live while still being human. Unlike in the game, “Long Long Time” gives the couple a definitive ending. After suffering for years with a mystery illness that’s never defined but is likely some version of MS or ALS, Frank decides to end his own life by muddling up a bag full of pills in his evening wine. He asks Bill for his help in doing so, requesting “one more good day” before he can fall asleep forever in his partner’s arms. Bill reluctantly agrees but, when it comes time for Frank to drink his wine, Bill also chugs back a glass, leading his husband to realize he too has decided to die.

It’s terribly romantic, especially when Frank attempts to argue with Bill before Bill explains that caring for him was his purpose and that he’s satisfied with his life. The pair eventually go off to bed and though we never see them again, Bill does leave a letter for Joel explaining his decision and expressing his hope that Joel will also find someone who becomes his “purpose.”

(Excuse us while we go cry into a soft pillow.)