What Took do on The Final of Us? Here is Our Recap of Episode 3.

The following story contains spoilers for The Final of Us Season 1 Episode 3.

Whew. Sorry, appropriate wiping away just a few tears left from the cease of “Long Long Time,” the third episode of HBO’s recent Sunday night time hit, The Final of Us. Via three episodes of varied views—starting up in 2003 with Joel’s leisurely daughter, taking us out to an Indonesian scientist for the Episode 2 chilly originate, and veering into a touching self-contained story for the majority of Episode 3— on top of the present-day storyline following Joel and Ellie, we now appear to non-public a genuine form of what co-creators Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann are attempting to manufacture. The Final of Us is no longer always basically appropriate a yarn about a deadly pandemic, or zombie-adjoining creatures; or no longer it’s in regards to the human relationships that came forward of and of us that emerged in the aftermath.

Written by Mazin and directed by TV feeble Peter Moar (who’s worked on Daredevil, The Umbrella Academy and did all of the underrated 2021 restricted series It’s a ways a Sin), “Long Long Time” opens with our leads in a precarious emotional field appropriate after Tess’ demise on the the cease of Episode 2. They’re continuing down the boulevard, unwilling to talk about about anything additional.

What seems to be one other episode of the duo hitting the boulevard then veers; when Joel and Ellie gain a do where two decades ago powerful blood modified into as soon as spilled, Mazin and Moar fetch the replacement to flash help to that procedure two decades ago, when the outbreak first started. From there, we meet up with gruff survivalist Invoice (Slash Offerman), who learns that every person his prepping and conspiracy theorizing has basically paid off. A pair of years later he meets the charismatic and charming Frank (Murray Bartlett), who rather literally stumbles into his life. Issues will never be the the same for both of them.

The episode sooner or later reverts help to Joel and Ellie, nonetheless there’ll not be any mistaking: this good-sized episode is a showcase for Invoice and Frank. In casting Offerman (who subverted his easiest-known Ron Swanson from Parks and Game persona in 2020’s Devs) and Bartlett (who’s viewed his have confidence profession cruise since an Emmy-profitable, for sure unbelievable flip in Season 1 of The White Lotus), the demonstrate locations its most tender story but in the hands of stars who non-public proven to be succesful and here direct emotionally-wrought work that completely builds both characters over the route of an hour or so.

Long Long Time” is structured in a plan that it can presumably presumably also in actuality be regarded as a instant film if you happen to so wanted it to. But the plan it additionally manages to tie into Joel and Ellie’s story is a testament to the sturdy address that Mazin and Druckmann non-public on their elevated story arc. And we’ll no longer wait to thought where it goes.

Let’s dive into the episode.


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The episode opens no longer prolonged after Tess’ sacrifice in the Whisper constructing, where Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Tess (Anna Torv) were supposed to direct Ellie (Bella Ramsey) to a crew of Fireflies forward of the grim actuality of life made that no longer that it’s good to presumably presumably imagine. Ten miles west of Boston, Joel and Ellie are re-evaluating what they desire to manufacture; Joel wants to rep to a Cumberland Farms where he’s bought provides; or no longer it’s a 5-hour hike to Invoice and Frank’s do, they most incessantly’ve bought to rep willing for it. Whereas Joel is stocking up, Ellie explores the basement of the shop where she finds an infected man trapped below some wreckage; or no longer it’s no thriller that Ellie is engrossing—she’s asking questions in most cases the least bit cases—and here we search that curiosity manifest in a sure plan. She slices the person originate and sees the blood no longer drift for the first time. This curiosity may presumably presumably also indirectly be costly.

Her curiosity makes for more attention-grabbing moments of the episode, mainly in ways in which relief to signify her and Joel. On the be aware of a crashed airplane—seemingly from the first weekend of the outbreak—she asks Joel if he’s ever been in a single. When he says sure, she calls him “sooo lucky,” which is something none of us would ever associate with going by security, sitting in a terminal for hours, after which being stuffed in the center seat of a help row of an airplane cabin. But Ellie would no longer know even our present society’s minor annoyances; the complete lot is a wonder to her.

She’s especially enthusiastic in regards to the originate of the outbreak, which Joel explains modified into as soon as September 26, 2003—without a doubt, additionally his Thirty sixth birthday. He explains the starting up do of the fungal infection coming from flour, or something the same, in Indonesia; the misery in Pascal’s narrate when he pauses forward of asserting that the infection may presumably presumably even non-public advance from “pancake mix” is extremely well achieved. It’s obvious that he replays that day in his head all another time and all another time and over.

As they continue down the boulevard, Joel says there’s something Ellie mustn’t search; without a doubt, this appropriate makes her desire to thought it even more. It’s a ways a procedure where of us were suggested they’d be going to a QZ, nonetheless if there wasn’t room, they were killed on the procedure. In case you ought to no longer alive, you can not rep infected, the road of considering goes. We saw this manifest in the Episode 2 chilly originate when the scientist appropriate acknowledged “Bomb,” and or no longer it’s obvious that among the many protection power strategists, this thought modified into prevalent.


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All of us of the sudden soar help two decades and search the genuine procedure where many folks were suggested they were being ended in security, and as a replacement were ended in their deaths. Invoice (Offerman) is a survivalist, a one who even forward of the outbreak thought 9/11 modified into as soon as an inner job, and, if he modified into as soon as alive this day, perhaps may presumably presumably be claiming that Pfizer and Moderna are attempting to manipulate of us’s brains with nanotechnology.

But or no longer it’s abundantly obvious that Invoice—who lives on my own in a pleasant home—modified into as soon as willing for this moment. His inherent skepticism of the manager and of us in power suggested him no plan I’m going wherever they wish me to walk; he’s hiding in his bunker, looking out on the doomed events taken away by the protection power. As now the final person in his runt metropolis, he’s in a procedure to rep the complete provides he wants from the abandoned shops; treasure many characters Offerman plays, he’s additionally a “man’s man”—he can chop down bushes, non-public his have confidence firewood, raze his have confidence animals, and originate a terribly good and trendy dinner. He’s additionally bought booby traps living up on his property to without downside raze anything infected that tries to rep within a couple hundred toes of his home.

Invoice completely is no longer always basically what we would think of as a “of us person.” Earlier in the episode, Ellie asks Joel if Invoice and Frank are good. “Frank is,” Joel tells her. Invoice may presumably presumably also no longer be good, nonetheless he’s bought a appropriate procedure going.


the final of us episode 3 prick offerman invoice frank


Four years walk, and Invoice is gratified with how issues are going. But he hears some rustling originate air, and, armed, goes and assessments on it. Here, he finds, for the first time, Frank (Bartlett). Frank is procuring for the closest QZ, and accidentally bought stuck in a single in every of Invoice’s traps; he’s hungry and decided. It’s obvious all of the sudden that whereas Invoice is paranoid and nervous, Frank is his genuine foil; friendly and drawing near near. Regarded as one of basically the most intelligent moments of the episode comes when Invoice tells Frank to no longer rely on any free lunch, because that is no longer an Arby’s. “Arby’s did no longer non-public free lunch,” Frank quips help. “It modified into as soon as a restaurant.”

And so begins Frank’s leisurely breakdown of Invoice’s sturdy walls. Invoice invitations Frank in for a sizzling shower and dinner, clearly feeling refreshed by how powerful Frank is appreciating the luxuries he’s turn out to be familiar with. When Invoice serves Frank one in every of his gourmand dinners, Frank compliments Invoice on shiny which wine to pair with which dinner. “I know I don’t seem treasure the form,” Invoice says. “No, you fabricate,” Frank warmly affirms.

Frank is set to hit the boulevard when he sees the venerable piano in Invoice’s front room, asking if he can appropriate temporarily take a seat down forward of enjoying. He picks up a Linda Ronstadt songbook, and starts enjoying “Long Long Time,” forward of Invoice shuts it down. One thing nonetheless that track, he pleads. Frank asks him to demonstrate him how or no longer it’s achieved, and after reasonably of convincing, Invoice sits down and lets it rip.

Offerman is so unbelievable in this moment; he’s clearly practiced this track limitless cases and listened to the long-established even more. But it’s good to presumably presumably quiet hear the years of misery in his narrate with each passing line in the track. “Esteem will abide, fetch issues in jog,” he wails, as Frank seems to be on. “Sounds treasure appropriate advice nonetheless there’ll not be any one at my aspect.” He feels this track. Frank asks him who he modified into as soon as singing about; who’s the girl? He knows there’ll not be any girl.

Frank and Invoice embrace, and walk to mattress together. Invoice has never achieved this forward of, nonetheless Frank has; he’ll demonstrate him the ropes. Frank tells Invoice he’ll stick round a shrimp bit bit longer. Invoice’s OK with that.


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We soar forward three more years; Invoice and Frank are basically, clearly, a longtime thing. They’ve settled a life together. They’re the absolute top ones in their metropolis quiet, nonetheless their assorted philosophies shine by: Frank wants to preserve the home up, and repair up some of the crucial shops in metropolis, even supposing they’re the absolute top ones in there. He wants it to in actuality feel treasure a genuine life. Invoice, the survivalist, would no longer desire or need anything bigger than the minimal.

And oh yeah, Frank wants pals too! He’s been talking to a woman on the radio, and has invited her over for dinner. Invoice is no longer on board. But too leisurely. The girl, without a doubt, is Tess, and Joel arrives in tow. They non-public got a pleasant shrimp out of doorways dinner, by which Invoice never stops pointing his gun at Joel. It’s a ways a relaxing moment between the 2 couples, and we are able to search that the 2 events who desired to be pals—Frank and Tess—are getting alongside, whereas Joel and Invoice more or less begrudgingly attain long-established ground besides. Joel wants to work a smuggling method out, and whereas Invoice and Frank are isolated and guarded from infected, he warns of armed raiders who will advance.

Frank and Tess, in the intervening time, cook dinner up the code the utilization of songs that we learned about help in Episode 1. ’80s plan distress.


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Three more years walk, and Invoice and Frank continue to grow closer. In one splendidly shot sequence, Frank surprises Invoice with a backyard patch of new strawberries; he traded a gun to Joel and Tess for a pack of seeds. Whereas Invoice is extremely joyful to non-public homegrown fruit, he wants to know which gun. “A chunk of 1,” Frank assures him. Bartlett appropriate exudes heat and kindness in the kind of plan that you can not credit score The Final of Us ample for fitting these two actors together. By all metrics, they mustn’t work. But we additionally attain the level where you merely can not imagine them aside.

I modified into as soon as never worried forward of you confirmed up,” Invoice tells Frank. It tells us all we now non-public to know about how this character has evolved—and foreshadows the tragic ending that each person knows is coming.

But no longer rather but. The raiders Joel warned of come, and whereas a lot of them are shot by Invoice, living on fireplace, or electrocuted by his fence, one in every of them managed to hit Invoice in the gut with a bullet. Frank manages to preserve him alive, nonetheless the sequence ends with us in misery; “Call Joel,” Invoice tells Frank as he clearly thinks his time has flee out. “He’ll fetch care of you.”

Relief to 2023

the final of us episode 3 murray bartlett frank


As we soar ten more years, the tables non-public grew to turn out to be. Invoice and Frank are both barely venerable; their hair has grayed, and Frank is now confined to a wheelchair. They continue to are residing their life; Frank paints, and Invoice has to remind him to fetch his treatment for an undisclosed illness. As they rep into their mattress, or no longer it’s obvious that this grade of life is taking a toll on Frank; Bartlett is so gratified the majority of the time, that after he expresses any stage of distress, or no longer it’s very obvious.

Invoice wakes up the following morning taken aback that Frank has managed his plan into his wheelchair on his have confidence. It took him all night time, nonetheless that’s ample, he tells Invoice, because this goes to be his final day. No topic illness he’s bought did no longer non-public a treatment even forward of the outbreak, and life is easiest going to rep more durable and more durable as they switch forward. Invoice would no longer desire to hear it, nonetheless Frank wants him to hear and appropriate relief him out. He wants to are residing one final hiya, after which for Invoice to crush up his capsules and pour them into his glass of red wine. “Esteem me the plan I need you to,” he asks.

Invoice agrees, and the final day goes based entirely mostly on thought. Except dinner comes. As their meal winds down, Invoice mixes the capsules into Frank’s wine, and he drinks it down. No regrets. But then Frank additionally chugs his have confidence wine; the bottle itself modified into as soon as already spiked forward of dinner even started. Invoice tells Frank that he modified into his cause. It’s as powerful of a Romeo & Juliet ending as two unbelievable 50-something character actors made-up as venerable men may presumably presumably also presumably non-public (and I mean that in as appropriate a plan as that it’s good to presumably presumably imagine).

The Aftermath

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Composed in 2023, we fetch up with Joel and Ellie. Joel knows the code to rep previous Invoice’s electrical fence, and as he and Ellie come at Invoice and Frank’s home, all of the sudden sense that something is off. Candles are melted; meals is disregarded. Joel tells Ellie to complete quiet as he seems to be round.

She finds a letter that Invoice left, addressed “To whomever, nonetheless perhaps Joel.”

And that’s where they rep you. The trope of “letter sent from previous the grave” brings the tears in Avengers: Endgame, it brings the tears in Stranger Issues, and it brings it here. Ellie reads Invoice’s letter aloud, which has the complete gruff “I never loved you” energy that it’s good to presumably presumably appropriate hear Invoice asserting in Offerman’s signature deadpan.

But where The Final of Us subverts this contemporary trope is that neither Ellie nor Joel ever raise out studying the letter; Invoice’s letter tells Joel to use his provides to offer protection to Tess. Ellie may presumably presumably also no longer study it; Joel knows what it says. And with this, we at final non-public the elephantine reason for the series.

Joel had his person—it modified into as soon as Tess. But now he’s bought Ellie, and he’s bought Invoice’s truck, and he’s bought a charged battery and hundreds weapons (and Ellie picked up Frank’s Chekhov’s Gun, so don’t ignore that). And whereas his important cause for heading west is to search out his brother, Tommy (Gabriel Luna), Ellie is now the absolute top residing person he’s bought any originate of relationship with. He lays the guidelines down for Ellie, and he or she obliges.

This recount is imported from youTube. It’s likely you’ll presumably presumably also presumably gain the the same recount in a single other structure, or it’s good to presumably presumably also presumably gain more info, at their web procedure.

As they’re hitting the boulevard, they pop Invoice’s tape into the venerable truck’s cassette participant. And what other track would play nonetheless “Long Long Time?” Joel’s angry to hear Linda Ronstadt; Ellie no longer so powerful. If easiest these two knew the importance that track needed to the story all of us appropriate saw play out.

“Recall issues in jog,” Linda sings. Joel and Ellie are doing that. But each person knows that they’ll grow shut—and The Final of Us goes to use that to toddle us aside.

Headshot of Evan Romano

Evan Romano

Evan is the custom editor for Men’s Health, with bylines in The Contemporary York Cases, MTV Info, Brooklyn Journal, and VICE. He loves phenomenal movies, watches too powerful TV, and listens to track more regularly than he doesn’t.

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