The Last of Us Episode 3 Easter Eggs
The first two episodes of The Last of Us have been incredibly faithful to the source material. The video game and HBO series have hit the same character beats and even kept the same dialogue in specific moments. That all changes this week with episode three. Here, we have our first significant departure from The Last of Us Part I, with the show charting its own path.
That’s not to say that this episode is devoid of Easter eggs, there are still plenty of moments that will make gaming fans happy, but there’s significantly less this week than last, so keep that in mind as we break down the nerdy stuff. Here are our favorite Easter eggs in episode three, “Long, Long Time”.
Bill and Frank
“Long, Long Time” shifts the focus from Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) to two new characters named Bill (Nick Offerman) and Frank. Bill is an essential supporting character in The Last of Us Part I, and he helps Joel get a car, so they can continue their journey. Now, Bill himself is not necessarily an Easter egg, but his relationship with Frank is a nod to the game.
Frank is never seen in The Last of Us Part I, having died when Joel and Ellie go to Bill’s home (the game’s events differ from the show). Bill refers to Frank as his former partner, and that’s basically the end of it. The HBO series took that small reference and turned it into one of the best episodes thus far.
Throughout the episode, we see Bill building incredible traps to protect his neighborhood from the infected and potential thieves. In the game, Joel, Ellie, and a hoard of Clickers end up triggering these traps and alerting Bill. Leaving him and Joel to defeat a Bloater (a super-sized Clicker). These devices are on full display as Bill and Frank get attacked by a group of travelers in this episode.
With Joel and Ellie getting trapped in the video game, it’s funny to see that Joel has the passcode to disarm the booby traps once he arrives. It makes life so much easier for him and Ellie. Unfortunately, fans will have to wait to see the Bloater in all his mushroom glory.
Frank’s Final Letter to Bill
In The Last of Us Part I, Bill discovers a suicide note left by his ex-partner, Frank. In the note, Frank reveals his true feelings for Bill and how much he ended up hating him. It’s a dark and crushing moment in the game. HBO’s version of this moment is turned completely on its head. Instead of Frank leaving a hate-filled note for Bill. It’s Bill who leaves a heartfelt message for Joel, and both end up serving a similar purpose. Frank’s note to Bill highlighted how this cruel world can break people down to their lowest point. Those relationships will eventually get someone killed. However, Bill’s note just highlights why love should be a person’s motivation, to protect those you care about. To save those you can save. A message that Joel appears to take to heart, and it echoes what Tess said in the previous episode. Both letters effect Joel and his actions moving forward, even though they’re completely different messages.
Joel Crafts a Battery
As Joel and Ellie arrive to Bill’s house, they finally find the car and battery that Joel has been desperately searching for. Because nothing in life is ever easy for Joel, the battery doesn’t work, and he must find a way to fix it. This is a subtle homage to Joel constantly crafting in The Last of Us games. Players are constantly seeking out a crafting table, so they can upgrade their gun, shiv, or make new health packs. While this is a trope often found in video games, real people aren’t crafting weapons very often. By having Joel build a battery, the showrunner still highlights Joel’s creativity.
Joel and Ellie’s Clothes Match Their Game Counterparts
We’ve referenced the clothing seen in the show multiple times during our Easter egg hunts, but did you notice that in this week’s episode, Joel and Ellie are wearing the same outfits they do on the original video game cover? After the two get a change of clothes, we see them sporting their outfits from the game. It’s not the first time they’ve done this. We pointed out Sarah’s Halican Drops T-shirt in Episode 1, and costume designer Cynthia Ann Summers continues her game references here in Episode 3.