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The Last Of Us Fans Are Comparing Episode 3 To The Movie Up

Contains spoilers for "The Last of Us" Season 1, Episode 3

At first glance, there's little in common between the fun, family-friendly Pixar film "Up" and the grim postapocalyptic series "The Last of Us." One features a giant flightless yet colorful bird named Kevin, while the other features a broken man who's willing to hurt others to protect his surrogate daughter — that is, until Episode 3.

No, no birds named Kevin show up, but the majority of the episode takes a break from Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie's (Bella Ramsey) journey to tell the love story between Bill (Nick Offerman) and Frank (Murray Bartlett), showing them growing old and eventually dying together, much like how the opening montage of "Up" tells the story of two people falling in love and growing old together, with one of them dying. In both cases, it's a beautiful, heartbreaking story that will leave even the most hardened viewers teary-eyed.

Viewers find that both Up and The Last of Us Episode 3 tell a beautiful, tragic love story

In the game, we only see Frank after he has already died, having been bitten by an Infected and choosing to hang himself rather than turn. In "The Last of Us" Episode 3, however, we first get to see how Bill meets Frank and then cut to different stages of their life together before Frank becomes terminally ill, leading both to take a lethal dose of pills, thus ending their own lives.

Online, a lot of viewers are comparing the tragic but beautiful story of Bill and Frank to that of Carl (Edward Asner) and Ellie in "Up." On Reddit, user u/Phenomenal_Don wrote, "This episode was an apocalyptic version of the 'Up' [o]pening montage," with u/ManaRuthless responding, "I turned to my wife (mid sob) while we were watching and yelled 'HOW DID I GET TRICKED INTO WATCHING THE FIRST 5 MINUTES OF UP AGAIN!?'"

On Twitter, user @IAmShaneNeedham wrote, "#TheLastOfUs episode 3 is an amazing short story akin to the opening of 'Up.' Just humans finding meaning within the greater struggle." Sharing a similar sentiment, Twitter user @IiBarro wrote, "#TheLastOfUs episode 3 was seriously incredible. A heartbreaking love story that reminds me of that opening scene in 'Up', except somehow bleaker. Just beautiful."

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ by dialing 988 or by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

Both stories share thematic resonance

The comparison between "The Last of Us" Episode 3 and Pixar's "Up" go beyond simply telling a beautiful yet tragic love story. They also both depict the importance of actually living life rather than merely surviving. 

In "The Last of Us," Bill initially sets out to simply survive the apocalypse. When he meets up with Joel and Tess (Anna Torv), he actually refers to himself as a "survivalist." However, something changes when he meets Frank. Suddenly, he's not just out in the world trying to avoid getting eaten by clickers. He has someone to look out for and who has his back, as evidenced when Bill defends the town against raiders, and the reason he's able to survive his gunshot wound is that Frank was there to care for him. 

"Up" goes in a slightly different order, but the same message is there. Carl isn't really living after he loses Ellie, but after he gets swept up in an adventure to South America to fulfill a promise he made to his late wife. Both stories exhibit the profound truth that a life by oneself can get lonely. Lives are meant to be shared with the people closest to us, and that's a message Joel still needs to learn in "The Last of Us."

"The Last of Us" airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO and HBO Max.