The Last Of Us Doesn’t Need A Bill And Frank Spin-Off


Bill and Frank stand face-to-face in a scene from HBO's The Last of Us.

Screenshot: HBO

Nick Offerman just won an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for his role as Bill in HBO’s The Last Of Us series, and he’s already thinking about reprising the character. While taking part in backstage interviews after his win, Offerman was asked whether he and Murray Bartlett, who played his on-screen lover, Frank, could return for the next season of The Last of Us in flashback form. According to Deadline, he wouldn’t spoil anything, but he did share an interesting tidbit: He pitched a prequel series starring Bill and Frank to HBO.

Bill and Frank’s story was featured in a standalone episode from the first season of The Last of Us and was lauded by critics and fans alike. Kotaku’s Carolyn Petit said their story “shows what an adaptation can do when it actually adapts” in her recap of the heart-wrenching episode, which took peripheral characters from The Last of Us Part 1 game and gave them center stage. The result is an hour and 15 minutes of a beautiful love story that allows Offerman and Bartlett to shine. In the game, we never meet Frank (he’s already dead by the time Joel and Ellie reach Bill’s town), but in the series, we see how much Frank influenced Bill in the apocalypse, how he softened his hard edges and allowed him to love unconditionally. It truly is one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen on TV in the last several years, and it’s worthy of its flowers (and awards).

Read More: The Last Of Us Scoops Eight Emmys, But Loses Golden Globes To Succession

So it’s not surprising that a reporter asked Offerman if we’d see more of Bill and Frank, even if it’s wholly unnecessary. “Oh, great question, but I would have to ask somebody with a higher pay grade than myself,” he said. “It certainly has been pitched. I think we pitched a whole mini-series of a prequel of their lives before they met each other. It could be a musical. We’re not short on ideas. We’ll just we’ll see what Craig [Mazin] and Neil [Druckmann] come up with.” Offerman responded to another question by confirming he’d love to reprise the role, before joking some more, saying, “I was lucky this time. They needed a guy who could use a shovel. Three of us in Hollywood, Harrison Ford passed and Jane Lynch was not available.”

Bill and Frank’s story was a perfectly clean open-and-shut romance—any more of it would cheapen what we were already given. Their one-off episode showed us their uncertain beginnings, their beautiful tenderness, and their poignant end, and no amount of prequel content can add to that. We don’t need to see who they were before—their value was in them showing us how queer love can blossom in a post-apocalypse, and it was priceless. Trotting them out again will just feel like HBO is trying to tap the same vein when it could give us so many more beautiful stories set in the world of The Last of Us instead.

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