In an HBO featurette about “Long, Long Time,” “The Last of Us” creators discussed their decision to expand upon Bill and Frank’s story from the video game. “With each episode, there’s a sort of reflection of where love can take you,” said co-creator Neil Druckmann. “And this was the pure innocent version, this was the beauty that love can bring us.” Star Nick Offerman also appeared, saying of his character, “Bill is a sad character to me when I just envision him in the world before Frank shows up.”
Offerman’s character, Bill, who closes himself off to love until Frank bursts into his life, is a huge part of why the episode’s love story works so well. Bill is also apparently a reason why co-creator Craig Mazin can’t watch “Long, Long Time” without crying. “I’ve seen this thing 200 times, and I still cry,” said Mazin. In fact, Mazin wrote the very story that keeps making him cry (via IMDb). “That’s those two guys doing it to me, no question,” he added, praising Offerman and Murray Bartlett.
Of course, the internet will be quick to agree with Mazin, as many people will no doubt watch this episode 200 times themselves. As one Twitter user put it most succinctly, “I can’t stop crying long enough to brush my teeth because I keep thinking about two men eating strawberries during the apocalypse.” Emmy voters, consider that food for thought.