Here is a list of all the differences between the HBO Last of Us show in season 1 episode 3, Long Long Time, and the video game.

Differences Between The Last of Us Show Episode 3 & the Game

The Last of Us episode 3 is one hell of a piece of television. After the show’s creators mashed two episodes together for the premiere, we thought we’d seen the last of The Last of Us’s extended episodes, but we’re glad that wasn’t the case. So, with its runtime of an hour and 15 minutes, here are all the differences between the HBO The Last of Us show in season 1, episode 3, “Long Long Time,” and the game.

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In Episode 3, the Biggest Difference Between the Show and Game of The Last of Us Is That Bill and Frank’s Relationship Shines

This episode is mostly about Bill and his partner (later husband) Frank — Joel and Ellie barely get a look in. But since the episode starts with the latter two, we’ll cover that part first.

  • Rather than attempting to apologize for Tess’ death, as in the game, Ellie argues that she shouldn’t apologize, that Tess and Joel were taking a risk in return for a reward — a car battery. It sounds less callous on screen, but that’s the gist of it.
  • As in the game, Ellie finds an arcade brawler that her friend (Riley) was really into. In the game, the arcade machine is the fictional The Turning, but here it’s a real, though unpowered, Mortal Kombat II machine. And instead of talking about Angel Knives, she sings the praises of the pointy-toothed Mileena.
  • Ellie encounters a crushed and pinned infected in a basement and kills it with her knife. Joel, who is searching for his supply cache, is unaware of this.
  • Joel, who’s been carrying a FEDRA soldier’s rifle, leaves it in the cache as he reasons bullets are too hard to come by.
  • As implied last week, Joel states that the reason the outbreak happened so fast and all at once was because of contaminated flour. He states that the fungus infected at least one flour source, and since that source was used in multiple products and brands, anyone who consumed the infected batch turned. The game offers no similar explanation.
  • It’s revealed that it wasn’t just Joel’s daughter who was killed on military orders. Civilians were rounded up and, if there was no room in the quarantine zones, gunned down. This is, supposedly, to stop them from becoming infected.

At that point, the action switches to the past, and we meet survivalist Bill and, a little later, his partner / husband Frank. We’re not going to explore that scene by scene — it’s such a great piece of TV that we heartily recommend you check it out yourself. Plus, virtually none of it appears in the game. But here are some significant differences between Bill and Frank’s life on the show in episode 3 and their in-game The Last of Us lives.

  • We get to see how Bill and Frank meet.
  • Bill and Frank’s home isn’t some random house they found. It’s Bill’s mother’s house, the house he grew up in.
  • We also get to see the pair meet Tess and Joel, when Frank contacts them over the radio. Bill is not happy about Frank bringing other people into their lives.
  • But while Bill and Frank are shown to clash, they get over their differences. In the game, Frank gets so sick of Bill’s ways that he leaves him — in the show, they stay together for 20 years.
  • Bill is still a survivalist and still more than a little grumpy, but the series shows us a much warmer side to him compared to in the game.
  • In the game, Frank steals from Bill and is bitten, ending his life so he doesn’t turn. In the show, Bill and Frank do die, but it’s together and on their own terms, with not a single infected in sight.
  • So instead of meeting a living Bill, when Joel visits Bill’s house with Ellie, Bill’s already dead, alongside Frank.
  • Joel doesn’t need to disable or watch out for Bill’s traps. Bill’s neighborhood is surrounded by a fence, and Joel has the code for the front gate.
  • Joel and Ellie find a letter from Bill telling them to take what they want — which they do, including the truck. In the game, Bill is alive to hand it over, though they do have to find a car battery.
  • In the game, Joel gives Ellie a pistol a little later down the line. In the show, she takes one from Bill’s house and hides it in her backpack.
  • Bill’s letter mentions how life-changing it was to have someone to protect (Frank).This underlines that Joel is to find Ellie’s presence similarly enriching. The game doesn’t put that in writing, even though it quickly becomes obvious.
  • Finally, before the episode closes, Ellie and Joel have the whole conversation about not mentioning Tess’ name and doing exactly what he says. In the game, this conversation takes place before they reach Bill’s, almost immediately after Tess’ death. The show has split that one post Tess-death conversation into two.

Those are all the differences between the HBO The Last of Us show in season 1, episode 3, “Long Long Time,” and the game The Last of Us Part I. Now, if you’ll excuse us, we’re going to pour one out for Bill and Frank.


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Chris McMullen
Chris McMullen is a freelance contributor at The Escapist and has been with the site since 2020. He returned to writing about games following several career changes, with his most recent stint lasting five-plus years. He hopes that, through his writing work, he settles the karmic debt he incurred by persuading his parents to buy a Mega CD. Outside of The Escapist, Chris covers news and more for GameSpew. He's also been published at such sites as VG247, Space, and more. His tastes run to horror, the post-apocalyptic, and beyond, though he'll tackle most things that aren't exclusively sports-based. At Escapist, he's covered such games as Infinite Craft, Lies of P, Starfield, and numerous other major titles.