The Last of Us “Long, Long Time” Photo-Recap: The Brunch Bunch

I would like to lodge a complaint. At no point did anyone, and I mean ANYONE warn me in ANY WAY that this wrecking ball of a bearded, sweaty, adorable, grumpy/sunshine dynamic was going to smash into my heart and DESTROY ME BODY AND SOUL. As a middle class white woman, it is my birthright to speak to a manager!

Is this how it plays out in the game??? And you guys came back for MORE??? Ya’ll are masochists and I respect it. (For real, though, IS this how it was in the game?) Based on what I’ve been told, the game only follows Joel and Ellie, right? So did they show up to find two adorable snuggly corpses? ALSO – all I kept seeing on Twitter was how excited everyone was for Bill and Frank, and that got ME excited, and now I’m suing all of you for emotional damages. 

*stares out the window at the rain, hugging my Ron Swanson pillow* 


*looooooong soul-decimated sigh*

Let’s do this.

The episode started off with a musical number celebrating Tess’s life where Joel and Ellie sang in harmony and executed the lift from Dirty Dancing. It was a beautiful tribute. 

J/K, J/K, J/K, Joel refuses to acknowledge Tess existed and Ellie just wanted to make it clear her death was NOT her fault. I loved this. You could see the seeds of respect planting themselves in Joel’s gruff lil’ heart.

Then it was time for a breezy five hour hike to a convenience store where Joel stashed some pb&j and Korean face masks or something. While he tried to remember where he put his “nothing to see here” sign, Ellie wandered off, as she is wont to do. 

Ellie!!! What in the WORLD?? Look, I know we’re meant to encourage a child’s curiosity, and I do admire her inquisitive mind, but maybe don’t blindly hop into trap-door holes without telling your Grumpy Bodyguard-Dad?? Then she just casually dissects a Gus, kills it and climbs back out, nary a care in the world. 

AAAAAHHHHHHAHAHAHAHHA, the apocalypse was caused by EMPTY CALORIES??? This will never not be funny to me. Joel and Ellie had a good ol’ fashioned walk n’ talk history lesson in which Joel informed Ellie that the fungus mutated in a grain factory (beautifully hinted at last episode). This is how it spread so wide, so fast: humanity loves carbs. 

There is no way my dumb brain can express how masterfully this episode transitioned into the past, so I shan’t even try. … OR SHALL I – okay so what happened was, Joel and Ellie saw a bunch of skeletons, and Joel was like, “the soldiers shot them for dumb reasons that sort of make sense if you’re a stone-cold monster,” and Ellie was like, “that’s a bummer,” and then the camera was like, “hey look at that cool green dress and fun lil’ blanket!” and then it faded into a woman and a baby IN THE DRESS AND THE BLANKET getting herded into a camper van or something, and everyone watching was like, “ohhhhhhh nooooooooooooooooo, I bet that’ll be the worst thing this episode does to us!” 

For a solid four minutes of screen time, they just filmed Nick Offerman being himself: building things, setting traps, looting, fortifying, cooking meat, basically just living his best life. Then 4 years after Bill constructed his impenetrable cul de sac, an absolute dreamboat fell into his hole. (yes, I hear it, yes, I meant to)

Turns out Bill is some kind of master chef with fancy plating and fancy wine pouring, which left Frank simply agog. And cooking isn’t Bill’s only talent!

You know what never ended? Their lovely evening! Frank was picking up what Bill was putting down and he went in for the ol’ kiss n’ cry! Then he gently took Bill’s *real* virginity and it was lovely and awkward and beautiful and heartbreaking in that way that only watching two lonely people find each other can be. 

After a domestic squabble that was just so normal and real, Frank decided that three years was enough time to be in their honeymoon phase, and brought home some friends. Man alive was it nice to see a relatively clean and healthy Tess. She and Frank bonded instantly, discussing all the possibilities of a fruitful (YES, I meant to!) partnership, while Joel and Bill glowered at each other in budding friendship. 

THE GIGGLE THAT CAME OUT OF THIS BEAUTIFUL, VIOLENT GRUMP STOLE MY HEART AND NEVER RETURNED IT. Frank traded one of Bill’s ‘small’ guns for some strawberry seeds, then grew them as a surprise. And it is FINE, okay, everything is totally fine. 

One of my favourite things in the world is when two equally hostile grumps love and respect the absolute shit out of each other, but refuse to say it directly, instead choosing to say something like, “He’ll take care of you.”

That’s what happened when some very rude hooligans tried to invade their gated community and Bill wound up with a wee hole in his tum-tum. He was fine, it’s fine, EVERYTHING IS FINE, because the next time jump was ten years later and they were fine, IT’S FIIIIIIIINE!

Should we just… not talk about it? Like, totally avoid the topic altogether? Should I skip over the fact that Frank had a disease and had decided he was quite finished with being alive? Should I just not mention that they had a beautiful last day where they dressed up, got married at the piano, and had one last delicious meal together that happened to be the first thing Bill ever made him? Maybe if I’m not going to talk about that, I shouldn’t mention that Bill decided to die with him, because Frank was his only purpose in life. 

You know what, yeah, it’s probably better for our mental health that I don’t mention any of that.

Up until the moment they both drank the wine, I had it in my dumb head that Joel and Ellie would show up in the nick of time. That our boys would find new purpose and live to fight another day. Like a chump. A lesser show would have them be juuuuuuust too late. But sweet jambalaya it was even more devastating to know they’d been dead for weeks. That the 80s song playing on the radio in episode one meant that Bill hadn’t updated the playlist. 

So of course, Joel and Ellie walked into a dusty house with dying flowers and adorable corpses rotting in the bedroom. Ellie reading the letter up until the part where Bill tells Joel to protect Tess was JUST ABOUT ALL I COULD TAKE, YOU HEAR ME SHOW???

Feels good to have a plan, right? They’re going to hit the road in search of Fun Uncle Tommy because he used to be a Firefly. But first they had to gather some supplies (including a gun that Ellie sneaky-snuck, which I’m sure is fine).

And off they rode into a picturesque countryside as we watched from the bedroom window, beside two very dreamy, very romantic corpses. 

I love episodes like this. The ones that don’t necessarily advance the plot, but are wildly important to the overall story. This was world-building. It was a story within a story. It was character growth. It was a gosh darn journey that took us somewhere, and it was a masterpiece from start to finish. 

How are you guys FEELING????? My stomach legitimately hurts from how hard I was sobbing. Wait. Should I exercise more? Never-mind, what I’m saying is that this was beautiful and sad and touching and devastating and I’m mad and sad but also grateful, what is happening to me???


  • Honestly, if carbs are the reason for a zombie apocalypse, I will be the ABSOLUTE FIRST to go, I’m not kidding around here. If someone ran up to me just as I was about to eat an oatmeal raisin cookie and was like, “WAIT! If you eat that, you’ll become a zombie!” I’d be like… “Ehh, I’ve had a good run, nom nom nom.”
  • Yes, oatmeal raisin, I SAID WHAT I SAID. 
  • Which song did I implant your head for the foreseeable future, this one or this one? I apologize for adding to your suffering, but it had to be done.
  • “There is no girl.”  – direct quote from every crush I ever had in high school and university (I did a lot of musical theatre). 
  • “One orangey, little whitey, big roundy.” Be honest – do you think that was in the script, or was Nick Offerman just being adorable?
  • “They don’t teach us how their shitty government failed to prevent a pandemic.” I see you, show.
  • Anyone else notice that Joel can’t say ‘partner’ or ‘girlfriend’ or ‘lovaaa’. “If my… if mine brought strangers into our situation…”
  • I hope Linda Ronstadt watches the show. I doubt she’s told when rights to her song are bought, so what a beautiful surprise that would have been. (After writing this I looked her up to make sure she was still alive and discovered she has Parkinson’s disease, sweet lord what a song choice!)
  • Ellie found tampons! A show that acknowledges girls get periods! And it’s NOT a joke about her mood? CELEBRATION!!
  • Episode one crushed us with Sarah, episode two with Tess, episode three with ALL OF THIS NONSENSE… what the hell are we walking into with episode four???
  • On a scale of One to Please Take My Soul Out of the Wood Chipper, how devastated were you? Does this help: “I’m old. I’m satisfied. And you were my purpose.”
  • I hate to be this guy, but Twitter is being weird (or, you know, self destructing), which means even my pals aren’t seeing my recaps. If it gave you a chuckle, would you mind giving it a share on whatever social platform suits your fancy? Thank you!



14 thoughts on “The Last of Us “Long, Long Time” Photo-Recap: The Brunch Bunch

  1. I saw the post for the review on twitter this week, but not last week. So, progress at least!

    What happened in the game with Bill and Frank was actually way darker and even more depressing. This was so much better. I loved them taking a tiny, bitter kernel from the game and making it into something beautiful. This was a real treat of an episode.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 1. Whether or not it shows on my feed, now that I know you’re doing these, I actively search for your posts so I’m not worried for my sake. But I will be sharing them because everyone needs a bit of your comedic genius.
    2. SIXTEEN YEARS. Joel and Tess have at least known, possibly *known* each other for 16 years according to the timeline. He just lost his partner that he’s been with for nearly two decades, how is he still functional?!
    3. I was waiting for a comment on Ellie reading out “hehehehe” like a possessed Siri.
    4. Also, someone mentioned how (much more) devastating Bill and Frank marrying each other is, knowing it wasn’t legal for them before their apocalypse. I’m not crying YOU’RE CRYING
    5. If you lived in Frank and Bill’s enchanted village, which business would you run?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for both searching and sharing!

      Six.Teen.Years. You are correct. I AM crying.

      Hmmmm, great question! I feel like my answer has to be that I’d run the Apocalypse Gazette or something, and just write snarky articles about all the nothing that happens.


  3. So glad you’re recapping this show and I love that you came into it blind 😅 I didn’t play the game but I watched someone on YouTube play (I’m lazy and like to have something else to do with my hands) and I only have like vague memories of the plot which I feel like is the best way to enjoy the show, you’re not caught up on the details but get to enjoy some of the nods to the game… then again I’m biased so

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hell yes 😀 (same person here just different account) do you know how many hours I’ve watched of Kelsey Dangerous playing the Sims and getting emotionally invested in the stories she’s telling with her sims without actually having to spend even MORE hours playing the game (and paying for it!) myself? I’m definitely a watcher over a player 😀

        Liked by 1 person

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