**Warning: Spoilers for The Last of Us episode 3 ahead.**


Episode 3 of The Last of Us took everyone by surprise with a touching love story between two characters - something that is only briefly touched on in the game.

The widely-praised instalment, starring Nick Offerman as Bill and Murray Bartlett as Frank, had viewers emotional with the unexpected change of tone.

Taking a step away from Pedro Pascal's Joel and Bella Ramsey's Ellie, episode 3 explores the lives of Bill and Frank, who become uneasy allies to Joel and Anna Torv's Tess.

Fans have been talking non-stop about the beautiful episode, which deviates from the game to explore the pair's relationship, with widespread praise for the showrunners, director, and cast.

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Episode 3 director Peter Hoar recently told RadioTimes.com and other press: "[The reason] I loved my episode particularly when it got sent to me was I knew about Bill, I knew who he was and how he was important in the game, but his story kind of comes retrospectively.

"[In the game], it sinks in as they're driving away and Ellie finds this stack of pornography under the seat. And you're breathing heavily, you're like, 'I've just killed loads of clickers, I can't think about this right now.' So you carry on driving. And of course, this episode just expands on that."

Read more: The Last of Us writer was "a wreck" during episode 3 filming

Fans of the show, who have already dubbed the series the best video game adaptation of all time, have also shared their reactions after Offerman and Bartlett's incredible performances.

One wrote on Twitter: "The last of us writers were like 'hey joel needs a car. what if we write the most touching and heartbreaking hour of television in the world'."

Another added: "So I’m just supposed to, what, like go to work tomorrow after episode 3 of The Last of Us?!" while one more said: "I was not expecting Ron Swanson to make me sob ugly at 11 in the morning. What an absolute masterpiece of a show The Last of Us is proving to be."

Read on for everything you need to know about Bill and Frank in The Last of Us.

Who are Bill and Frank in The Last of Us?

Bill, played by Offerman, is a survivalist who was clearly prepared for the outbreak. When everyone is evacuated from his town, he springs into action, creating a safe haven for himself - and including more than a few creature comforts along the way.

Soon, an intruder falls into one of his traps - a man named Frank. He begs Bill for a meal and Bill reluctantly agrees.

The episode shows Bill and Frank falling in love after the world has fallen apart around them, and forming an uneasy alliance with Joel and Tess after Frank invites them round for dinner.

After years of the pair living together in their haven, raiders come for them. Bill is shot but he survives.

Years later, Frank's health has deteriorated. He decides he wants to die on his own terms and asks Bill to crush up his sleeping pills and put them in his wine. After he drinks the wine, Bill reveals that he's done the same for himself.

Joel and Ellie eventually reach Bill and Frank's house after the couple have died, and find a note from Bill telling him that he's left him all of his weapons and his car, and urging him to keep Tess safe.

What disease does Frank have in The Last of Us?

Murray Bartlett as Frank in The Last of Us
Murray Bartlett as Frank in The Last of Us. Liane Hentscher/HBO

During The Last of Us episode 3, Frank's health deteriorates and he's seen in a wheelchair. His partner Bill also helps him in and out of bed and, at one point, Frank tells Bill there was no cure for his disease even before the world fell apart.

Frank's illness is not specified in the episode, but creator Craig Mazin has confirmed that he has a degenerative neuromuscular disorder. Neuromuscular disorders can cause weakness, loss of muscle bulk, muscle twitching, cramping, numbness, and tingling.

Showrunner Craig Mazin said on the official HBO companion podcast: "We didn’t necessarily want to specify [the illness] for the audience, it was either MS or early ALS but it was a degenerative neuromuscular disorder.

“We thought it was really interesting to think, 'Look, Bill is older and Frank can literally run circles around him, he’s healthier.' And then we jump ahead a number of years and it’s Frank who’s been brought low by this disease and there’s nothing they can do about it.”

Who is Bill actor Nick Offerman?

Ron and Leslie from Parks and Recreation
Nick Offerman as Ron Swanson and Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope in Parks and Recreation. Ben Cohen/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Nick Offerman will be known to millions of fans as the disgruntled, government-hating Ron Swanson in Parks and Recreation. He starred in the successful NBC sitcom from 2009 to 2015 alongside the likes of Amy Poehler, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Pratt, Aziz Ansari, and Rashida Jones.

He went on to play Karl Weathers in Fargo and, since 2016, has hosted the NBC reality show Making It with Poehler.

Offerman has also appeared in various films, including as Richard McDonald - one of the founders of McDonald's - in 2016 biopic The Founder, and appeared in the 2013 movie We're the Millers alongside Jason Sudeikis and Jennifer Aniston.

Who is Frank actor Murray Bartlett?

Nick (Murray Bartlett) in Welcome to Chippendales.
Nick (Murray Bartlett) in Welcome to Chippendales. Erin Simkin/Hulu

Murray Bartlett is best known for his role as Armond in The White Lotus - a role that earned him a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie.

Bartlett has also recently appeared in the miniseries Welcome to Chippendales, and played Dominic 'Dom' Basaluzzo in the HBO series Looking.

What happened to Bill and Frank in The Last of Us game?

Murray Bartlett as Frank in The Last of Us.
Murray Bartlett as Frank in The Last of Us. Courtesy of HBO

In the game, Bill is introduced to Joel and Ellie after the death of his partner, Frank.

He tells them he had to look after Frank, but insists that caring for someone "is good for one thing - getting you killed".

Bill forms an uneasy alliance with Joel and Ellie, before the trio stumble across Frank's dead body, with a suicide note next to it.

After Bill helps Joel and Ellie, he tells them to leave and they never see him again. It's unclear what happens to Bill in the end.

The Last of Us is available on Sky Atlantic and streaming service NOW.

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