The third episode of “The Last of Us,” a post-apocalyptic TV series based on the popular video game, has earned critical acclaim for its exploration of a gay love story. In a departure from the original video game, Nick Offerman and Murray Bartlett portray lovers Bill and Frank, respectively, whose relationship is the focal point of the episode. The episode director, Peter Hoar, spoke to Inverse about the challenge of getting audiences invested in a gay love story.
“Sometimes you have to trick the rest of the world into watching these things before they’re like, ‘Oh, my God, it was two guys. I just realized,’” Hoar said. “I think then they might understand that it’s all real. It’s just the same love.” Hoar, who is gay himself, also spoke about the character development of Bill, who he described as a man who never discovered himself and lived in a world of mistrust before Frank entered his life.
The episode has received praise for its portrayal of love and heartbreak, with Hoar crediting Frank’s character as the reason Bill discovered his sexuality. The final shot, an open window with curtains waving gently in the breeze, was chosen by Hoar as a way to have a final moment with Bill and Frank. “It’s not as complicated as it sounds. It’s about heart and love and truth,” he said. “They are kind and gentle to each other.”