Linda Ronstadt’s beautiful song “Long Long Time” contains a poignant verse that goes, “I think I’m gonna love you for a long, long time,” but it’s more than that! It also serves as the beginning of Bill and Frank’s lasting love story on HBO’s The Last of Us.’
In the 75-minute-long third episode from the live-action video game adaptation, appropriately titled “Long, Long Time,” Joel and Ellie took a break from their post-apocalyptic road trip to recount a love tale that spanned decades.
The episode concluded with a bitter-sweet ending, with newlyweds Bill and Frank taking their own lives after a lifetime of domestic bliss, otherwise unimaginable in the zombie apocalypse.
Craig Mazin, one of the show’s creators, wrote in an intro to his Episode 3 script that “The Last of Us is a love story, and that’s not always good news. Love can blind us, move us to violence, harden our hearts to strangers, or paralyze us with grief. But in the world Neil Druckmann and I built for this show, it was just as important to show how love could still flourish in a positive way. I wanted to explore how two really different kinds of love— the nurturing, generous and beautifying, as well as the protective and possessive— could exist in balance. Bill and Frank embodied these two kinds of love.
He goes on to say that “for me, as somebody who’s been married for over 25 years, it was just as important to portray that kind of love… the lasting, well-worn love that is a product not merely of attraction or chemistry, but of commitment. My hope was that people would see in Bill and Frank’s relationship the victory of honest, achievable, realistic love… even in Bill and Frank’s ending. After all, each of us will end. That’s not failure for any life well-lived, or for any love we share. It’s simply the final act of what was hopefully a beautiful play. And if we’re lucky, as Bill is, we leave behind a lesson that inspires others to live as we did. Frank changes Bill for the better. Bill changes Joel for the better. Joel changes Ellie for the better. This is what love can do.”
You may read the “Long, Long Time” script by Mazin online, if you are interested.
Finally, The Last of Us is available to view in its entirety on HBO Max, if you are yet to check it out.