Frank's Character Was Greatly Expanded in the 'Last of Us' Show as Opposed to the Game
Spoiler alert: This article contains plot details for Episode 3 of The Last of Us on HBO.
Gamers and loyal television watchers alike are rejoicing in the state of The Last of Us on HBO. The popular and acclaimed series is a live-action adaptation of the equally acclaimed video game that was first released on the PlayStation 3 in 2013. It follows a smuggler named Joel (Pedro Pascal) who escorts a girl named Ellie (Bella Ramsey) across the United States while dodging fungal-infected monsters.
The show has already taken several steps toward re-creating the game with accuracy, depth, and nuance. But as its own story, it's got a little more room to tell some original stories and expand on elements that the game previously didn't cover. For instance, the character of Frank (Murray Bartlett) is greatly expanded in Episode 3 of the series. Even longtime fans of the game may not recognize Frank right away, but was he in the original game?
Is Frank in the 'Last of Us' game? Let's break down the character.
CW: suicide mention
Season 1, Episode 3 of The Last of Us is largely a flashback episode where we initially meet Frank. A few short years after the initial Cordyceps outbreak, he has a chance encounter with Bill (Nick Offerman), a doomsday prepper who lives in a fully stocked but isolated town as he survives the pandemic. Having fallen into one of his many traps, Frank is reluctantly taken in by Bill and the two of them eventually develop feelings for each other.
Fans of the game would be excused for not remembering these scenes from the game, because this is an entirely original storyline for the show. Though Bill's character still exists in the game, the HBO series takes the opportunity to fully establish Bill's sexuality, which was previously left ambiguous, as he and Frank share a loving relationship.
However, that doesn't mean that Frank is an original character. Frank is briefly mentioned in the game, albeit in a much darker context.
Though we never actually meet Frank in the original game, he plays a relatively minor role. Bill discusses Frank when he and Joel inadvertently come across his corpse. He implies that they lived together for a while before Frank left Bill's safe house after a major argument.
He and Joel discover Frank's body hanging from a ceiling with bite marks on it, revealing that Frank had become infected at one point and presumably killed himself before he could turn.
If the player explores, they can discover Frank's suicide note and show it to Bill, revealing that Frank grew to despise Bill over the years and openly cursed him in his final moments.
While their relationship ended on poor terms in the game, they are able to spend more than a dozen years together in the show as part of a complicated but loving couple. Though their love story results in tragedy, it ends with the two of them caring for each other deeply.
New episodes for The Last of Us premiere every Sunday at 9 p.m. EST on HBO.