The deviation is the problem with adaptation. The first indication of a transformation for a story’s source material’s admirers is always closer to sin than development. They need accurate adaptations.
Fans anticipated faithfulness from HBO’s The Last of Us, co-written by the video game’s author, Neil Druckmann. Why alter the original if it was so good? But the series’ creators, which included Druckmann and co-writer Craig Mazin, wanted to delve further.
They fully expected variance going into the project. The most significant departure from the original may occur in Episode 3 when Bill and Frank, two minor characters from the game, are given their plot.
Even while that episode is fantastic, Druckmann acknowledged that it would offend certain fans in an interview with The New Yorker.
“To me, the story we tell is authentic to the world. It’s authentic to the themes that we’re talking about.”
It is true to the themes that we are discussing. In other words, even in deviance, there is integrity. Bill and Frank’s significance in developing the show’s more prominent themes—“outward love and inside love—the people who want to make everyone better, and the individuals who want to protect certain people at whatever cost”—was also mentioned by Mazin in the same interview.
Regardless of how fans would respond, engaging with both characters much more closely was necessary to make these ideas more obvious. But the relationship implied during gameplay is not unlike the plot Druckmann and Mazin have for Bill and Frank.
The concepts of protection and sacrifice are clear to players even though Bill and Frank have different outcomes in the game. Here is how the game’s Bill and Frank storyline develops.
What Happens To Bill and Frank In The Video Game The Last of Us?
At the game, Bill is first introduced to players in a junkyard. The yard represents Bill’s contested territory, the area outside his defenses, and the accompanying network of alleys and barricades.
There are traps here, and one of them catches Joel, forcing Bill to free Joel and lead Ellie and him to safety. This storyline, as in the series, occurs after Tess’s passing.
Bill owes Joel a favor in the game. Joel suggests doing them the favor of getting him and Ellie a car. Like in the show, they would get supplies from Bill and then take his truck west. Unlike the series, the gameplay focuses on getting this car, which necessitates searching for a battery first.
Joel and Ellie see an abandoned school and a road lined with clickers while on their journey. The player has challenges because the game demands that the infected take over Bill’s refuge. Of course, Bill’s lair is a fortress in the show.
Frank is conspicuously missing from the game. In one sequence, Bill starts repeating the tale to Joel to persuade him to return Ellie to the QZ rather than transport her:
“Once upon a time, I had somebody that I cared about. It was a partner. Somebody I had to look after. And in this world, that sort of shit is good for one thing. Gettin’ ya killed. So you know what I did? I wisened the fuck up. And I realized it’s gotta be just me.”
Joel rejects Bill’s defense of pure self-preservation, which is Bill’s initial stance in the series before he meets Frank. The game also introduces Frank to the players. Joel, Ellie, and Bill seek refuge in a house after making a mistake in securing a car battery.
Frank, wearing a Hawaiian shirt, was there, hanging himself from the ceiling. Bill tells him, “He’s my partner,” and then he kills him. “He’s the only moron who would put that shirt on,” Bob is sobbing.
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Their troubled connection was alluded to elsewhere, such as in letters found throughout the property. The player discovers through Frank’s suicide letter that he “wanted a better life” and “hated [Bill’s] guts.”
It turns out that Frank, who had attempted to flee, was the one who took Bill’s car battery. Joel and Ellie then use the car battery to depart the city. Bill bids you farewell. He is never mentioned or seen again.
The series transforms what happens during a gameplay interaction into a complete story. But Joel and Ellie don’t take part in this tale. The bodies of Bill and Frank are just discovered at the end of the episode.
But the themes—self-preservation vs. care—remain the same. The same story beat is also completed. Ellie and Joel now own a vehicle. Now they can travel west.