The Last of Us Episode 3 Ending Explained: Love in the Time of Cordyceps

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Arguably the most wholesome episode we’ve seen in The Last of Us, episode 3 focused more on the story surrounding the duo of Bill and Frank, who might not be the most important characters in the series but are very much integral to the story. Of course, this part of the series was one that was given more focus compared to the games because of how it allowed us to see the overall relationship and dynamic surrounding Bill and Frank.

The thing about this episode is that it tends to be different from the usual themes surrounding The Last of Us. That’s because the episode focuses more on the story of the duo and how they were able to cling to their love despite all of the things that they went through together during the outbreak. So, with that said, let’s look at what happens to Bill and Frank in episode 3 of The Last of Us.

Who Are Bill And Frank?

The first two episodes of The Last of Us focused on the story of Joel, Ellie, and Tess, who were on their way to meet the Fireflies that were supposedly waiting for them in the Boston Capitol Building. Of course, we all know that things didn’t work out the way they should have because Tess got infected and ended up sacrificing herself for the betterment of Joel and Ellie. But before Tess died, she mentioned two important characters.

Tess told Joel to bring Ellie to Bill and Frank because how she thought that they would know what to do with her. In that regard, it goes without saying that Joel and Ellie are now on their way to Bill and Frank. But who are Bill and Frank in The Last of Us?

The first guy in this duo is Bill, who was introduced as a middle-aged man that had suspicions about the government and had a deep distrust of people way before the Cordyceps Brain Infection (CBI) outbreak. In that regard, he had already prepared himself for an apocalyptic scenario by stocking up on food and making sure that he had weapons. He also fortified his settlement well enough.

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When the pandemic broke out, Bill was more than ready to face it because he had the food, supplies, and weapons to handle it. He had also isolated himself from the rest of society, and that allowed him to stay away from people that would have infected him. And because of his isolation, he was able to live a pretty good life during the early part of the outbreak and was even able to take control of an entire small town called Lincoln, which didn’t have any person other than Bill.

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A few years into the pandemic, however, a man named Frank found himself getting caught by one of Bill’s traps. Frank said that he was on his way to the Boston Quarantine Zone (QZ) after the previous QZ he lived in had fallen. He asked Bill if he could stay a while so that he could eat and freshen up before leaving for the Boston QZ.

However, while sharing a good meal together and bonding with their common love for music, Bill and Frank showed a clear attraction for one another as they spent the night together. Frank said that he wanted to stay a few more days because he didn’t want to be a simple one-night stand for Bill. But he ended up staying for years.

It became clear that Bill and Frank were now together after spending years in Lincoln. Of course, while Frank knew that Bill still had the final say in the things happening in Lincoln, it was clear that he had a voice in it because he was able to convince him to actually change a few things up in the town as Frank wasn’t entirely fond of how Bill was running the place.

Frank also became a ray of sunshine in Bill’s colorless life. On top of the fact that he helped improve the aesthetic appeal of the town, he also gave Bill more things to do as he got into fitness and even ended up enjoying gardening. However, the duo was still quite protective of Lincoln as Bill and Frank made sure that they protected it from rogue people who attempted to invade the town.

What Happened To Bill And Frank?

The entire episode was actually dedicated to the story of Bill and Frank, as we were able to see what happened to them from the start all the way to the end of their relationship. Having spent almost 20 years together in Lincoln, they grew old together in the settlement. And it was clear that they were contented with the fact that they only had each other.

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By the start of the main storyline of the series, which takes place in 2023, Bill and Frank are already old and weary. On top of that, Frank was clearly suffering from a fatal disease that was going to take him anytime soon. It was implied that he had been suffering from this disease since before the CBI outbreak, and that meant that he knew that he didn’t have long to live.

One morning, Frank decided that it was time for him to go as he told Bill that this was going to be his final day. Bill tried to convince him to fight, but Frank knew that it was already his time. As such, he wanted to spend another fine day with Bill as he planned on taking suicide pills after their final dinner together.

However, during dinner, Bill revealed that he wanted to go with Frank because he knew that his only reason for living was to be with him. Despite the fact that he lived a steady life before Frank, it was Frank who gave meaning to the dull life that he lived. It was through Frank that Bill was able to trust people a bit more than he wanted to. As such, both Bill and Frank decided to take the pills in bed as they died together

What Is The Role Of Bill And Frank?

In the original game, Bill and Frank had a relationship that was kind of rough. That’s because Frank ended up leaving Bill due to an argument that they had about the way Bill was running things in Lincoln. Frank died after getting infected as he left the world hating Bill. Meanwhile, Bill is a reluctant ally to Joel and Ellie throughout the events of the game.

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Things changed in the series because the roles of Bill and Frank were altered to make the story more heartwarming. Instead of the somewhat hateful way that they left things in the game, they ended up enduring the hardships of the pandemic together up to the end in the live-action HBO series. This gave viewers hope that love can still endure in one of the hardest situations a person could ever be in.

Of course, Bill and Frank also had roles that affected Joel, Tess, and even Ellie. A few years into the pandemic, Frank invited Joel and Tess to Lincoln after meeting Tess through the radio. That was when they started a mutual relationship that focused on trust and trade. Joel and Tess got some of their weapons and supplies from Bill and Frank, who benefited from them by getting supplies for their garden and defenses as well.

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Right before dying, Bill left a note where he told Joel that he was leaving the entire town of Lincoln to him because he wanted him to use whatever was in there to protect Tess. Bill said that he didn’t like or trust Joel but understood that they both had people that they wanted to protect. That was the reason why he was willing to give everything to Joel. Of course, Tess was already dead when Joel read that. 

As such, instead of using Bill’s supplies and weapons to protect Tess, he decided to take Bill’s truck and some supplies and weapons so that he and Ellie could travel west to find the Fireflies and Joel’s brother, Tommy.

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