The Last of Us season 1 episode 3 recap & review: Long Long Time

The third episode of The Last of Us dives deep into the lives of Bill and Frank, who survived the fungus by locking themselves in a town. The episode is now streaming on HBO Max.


Ten miles west of Boston, Joel is still grieving the death of Tess. Ellie clarifies that he shouldn’t blame Tess’ death on her because they always had a choice.

The duo continues their journey to Bill and Frank. They stop by Cumberland Farms on their way. Joel has stashed some supplies here.

Ellie is excited to see a Mortal Kombat game that doesn’t work. She further explores the place, grabs a box of tampons, and comes across a trapped infected.

For the very time, she is this close to an infected. She examines him, cuts his skin to see what is inside, and immediately kills him. She doesn’t let Joel know about this interaction.

The duo resumes their journey. A lot of things are quite new for her, like a plane crash. She indulges in a conversation with Joel and asks how this virus spread in the first place. Joel says that cordyceps mutated and got into the food supply.

Joel intends to take Ellie through the woods by ditching the road since there is some stuff on it Ellie shouldn’t see. Upon hearing that, Ellie becomes more eager to see it. They come across skeletons with their clothes still around them.

Years ago, the government killed these people while they were taking them to the QZ. Since there was no room, they decided to murder all of them.

The show goes back to September 30, 2003, the same day these people died. The town gets evacuated, but Bill decides to hide in his basement and wait for the government to leave.

Bill is a skilled survivalist who starts building his own private safe zone once the government leaves. All by himself, he gathers everything he needs to survive in the town.

Four years into the future, Bill has managed to build that safe zone. No one can enter the place apart from him. He has fences surrounding the town that will prevent people from getting inside and will kill the infected ones.

One fine day, a man named Frank gets trapped in one of his holes. He is trying to get to Boston’s QZ. Frank explains where he is from and how he got separated from his group.

Unwillingly, Bill helps him get out of the hole. He checks to see if he is infected and even offers him a shower and some food. Frank promises to leave, but he is first going to play the piano that Bill has.

He attempts to play “Long Long Time” by Linda Ronstadt. Bill stops him midway, as the song means a lot to him. Bill plays the song his way. Frank wonders which girl he is singing this song for.

When Bill says there is no girl, Frank understands and they both lock a kiss. Frank wants to stay longer if they are going to sleep together.

Three years pass by. Bill and Frank are now fighting because the latter plans to make changes to the town. He even intends to make some new friends. These new friends are Tess and Joel, who are invited to their town.

Throughout the lunch, Bill remains hostile toward them. Only Joel understands why Bill is the way he is right now. Joel explains how they have things in QZ that Bill doesn’t have here. They both can help each other.

Before leaving, Joel warns Bill that, unlike them, others will come by to storm this place and steal it from them.

Three more years pass by, and Bill and Frank seem to have been getting along with Joel and Tess. They have strawberries in their gardens, thanks to the seeds supplied by Joel and Tess.

In the evening, the raiders that Joel predicted do come to invade Bill and Frank’s fortress. Bill fights them off and gets injured in the process. Though he starts feeling that this is his end, Frank manages to save him.

In 2023, Bill and Frank are still navigating their lives in the same town. Frank is now sick and in a wheelchair, and they both have gotten quite old.

Since there is no cure for Frank’s disease, he wants to die. He tells Bill that this is going to be his last day. Before dying, he wants to live one last day with Bill to the fullest.

They not only enjoy their last day together but also get married. At night, Bill prepares the same dish he gave Frank the day he arrived in this town.

Bill serves Frank a glass of wine and adds crushed pills to it. Frank finishes that drink in one sip, and after watching Bill do the same, he figures out that the pills were already there in the bottle too.

Bill confesses that he is old and satisfied, and with Frank gone, he has no purpose anymore. The two walk into the bedroom.

Sometime later, Joel and Ellie arrive. Ellie finds the letter Bill has left for Joel. In the letter, he admits that he was happy when the world started falling apart and everyone died, but he found one person that was worth saving.

Bill thinks that’s what men like them do. He wants Joel to save Tess with the equipment he has left for Joel to use. Joel takes a shower. He plans to take Ellie to his brother in Wyoming. He’s a Firefly, and he might know the lab where Ellie is supposed to go to.

Before leaving, Ellie grabs a gun without Joel’s knowledge. Joel tells her a few rules that she should follow. She should not mention Tess; she must not tell people about her bitemark; and she should do as he says.

Joel and Ellie hop in Bill’s truck. Ellie is sitting in a car for the very first time. They both leave listening to “Long, Long Time” by Linda Ronstadt.


  • Though the episode isn’t moving the plot forward, it depicts a kind of human emotion that is still relevant in a world where everyone is killing or stealing from one another.
  • Bill, in a way, is more or less like Joel. His relationship with Frank is an adventure to look forward to. The Last of Us manages to execute a heartfelt, tense, and romantic episode right after an action-packed one.
  • The human emotions of Bill and Frank were always there since the start of the show; they were mostly in the backseat, owing to the kind of world the characters are living in. This third episode took them to another level.
The Last Of Us season 1 episode 3
The Last of Us season 1 episode 3 recap & review: Long Long Time 1

Director: Peter Hoar

Date Created: 2023-01-30 08:30

Editor's Rating:

Also Read: Does Tess die in The Last of Us?

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