HBO's The Last of Us Ep. 3 | Crooked Media
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February 01, 2023
X-Ray Vision
HBO's The Last of Us Ep. 3

In This Episode

On this episode of X-Ray Vision, Jason Concepcion and Rosie Knight bite into delicious strawberries! In the Airlock (1:45), Jason and Rosie dive deep (deeep) into episode 3 of HBO’s The Last of Us, recapping the episode and discussing Bill and Frank’s relationship, the structure of the season and episode, and critiques of Joel. (Warning: Jason and Rosie have a TLOU game spoiler conversation (49:35) through the end of the Airlock, which is delineated within the episode itself as well.) Then in Nerd Out (58:11) Jason and Rosie discuss a listener’s Star Wars theory.


Tune in every Wednesday & Friday and don’t forget to Hulk Smash the Follow button!


Nerd Out Submission Instructions!

Send a short pitch and 2-3 minute voice memo recording to that answers the following questions: 1) How did you get into/discover your ‘Nerd Out?’ (2) Why should we get into it too? (3) What’s coming soon in this world that we can look forward to or where can we find it? If you’re sending a theory, feel free to send only a summary of your theory (no audio needed) for Jason and Rosie to react to on air.


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The Listener’s Guide for all things X-Ray Vision!


Station Eleven – an acclaimed novel (2014) by Emily St. John Mandel, adapted into the acclaimed HBOMax series of the same name. We have two episodes about Station Eleven, including an interview with showrunner Patrick Somerville and a conversation with friends of the pod and hosts of Dune Pod.


The Girl with All the Gifts (2014) – written by M.R. Carey.




Jason Concecpcion Warning. This podcast contains spoilers for HBO’s The Last of US Episode three. Plus, at the end of that conversation, we’re going to have a spoiler filled conversation that will spoil The Last of Us video game. So if you have finished the Last of US video game, you will be able to listen to that conversation. And if you don’t care about that, you will also be able to listen to that conversation. Don’t worry. We’re also going to call that out very, very loudly, very, very obviously, when we get to that point in the conversation to give you an opportunity to hit, stop and move on. You have been warned. Hello, my name is Jason Concepcion.


Rosie Knight And I’m Rosie Knight.


Jason Concecpcion And Welcome to X-ray Vision, the Crooked Media podcast, where we dive deep into your favorite shows, movies, comics and pop culture.


Rosie Knight In this episode, we are going to be digging into the airlock on one of the most heartbreaking episodes of TV that you will see in a long time. The Last of US Episode three. I’m ready, but I’m not ready.


Jason Concecpcion It’s definitely like a little bit of a devastating hit to take on a Sunday, like at 10:00 at night to do, like turn that off and be like, Fuck, now I got to go to sleep.


Rosie Knight Yeah. What do I do with my life now? And in Nerd Out, we got a very exciting Star Wars theory from one of our listeners.


Jason Concecpcion Well, let’s get into it and. We’re stepping out of the airlock and into the beautiful, scenic streets of Bill’s Town for the heart wrenching third episode of HBO’s The Last of US. What? What an incredible hour of television time. A long, long time. Written by Craig Mazin, directed by Peter Hoar. And just an incredible hour of storytelling. We open ten miles west of Boston. It’s early morning. Joel, as his as is his extremely compartmentalized way, has gone off alone to mourn Tess. He makes a cairn on the banks of a river, and he goes back to the campsite that he’s sharing with Ellie. Ellie is torn by the loss of tests and her potential culpability for that. But she’s holding it together and already just seeing them, there’s signs that Joel is warming to her despite the fact that.


Rosie Knight He doesn’t to, but.


Jason Concecpcion He’s treating her with frostiness. He’s letting her users jacket as a blanket. He shares his food, presumably.


Rosie Knight Tess’s food? Yeah, it’s.


Jason Concecpcion With her.


Rosie Knight It’s an uncomfortable alliance. But Joel he he remembers what Tess’s last words were. You know, he knows this was important to Tess, even if he kind of resents Ellie for.


Jason Concecpcion I mean he’s a working man, and he’s a man that will do the job. Whether or not it’s a job he enjoys, you know.


Rosie Knight Doesn’t really. Go after going out. He is very Joel. He’s he’s never really changed over these 20 years.


Jason Concecpcion No, no, no. It’s like, did he love working as a contractor? I doubt it


Rosie Knight No. Did he do it? Did he do it? He did it.


Jason Concecpcion Ellie says, I’ve never been in the woods. More bugs than I thought, trying to make small talk. Joel doesn’t want to make small talk with or make any kind of talk.


Rosie Knight He doesn’t want to be talking. No talking.


Jason Concecpcion But Ellie clearly wants to preempt any kind of Tess talk and get something off her chest. She points out, and I think pretty fair.


Rosie Knight I love this.


Jason Concecpcion Justifiably.


Rosie Knight I love this moment. I thought it was like it really sets up who Ellie is.


Jason Concecpcion Absolutely. And she basically says, hey, don’t blame me for this. Like, that was terrible what happened.


Rosie Knight She’s like you made a choice. You and Tess chose to come. You want a your battery or whatever it was, and you made a choice. And that’s what happened. So don’t blame me.


Jason Concecpcion And so you didn’t have to take me. You didn’t. You made that choice. None of this is my fault. And they move on in silence. It’s a five hour walk to wherever they’re headed. Ellie asks Joel if he has gone this way a lot. Just trying to make conversation. She asks about the scar on his head, which he says he got in a shootout. The guy missed and he missed as well. And she’s like, What is that? You know, Is that because you suck at shooting or.


Rosie Knight Just And she’s like oh, but you’re allowed to have a gun.


Jason Concecpcion Is my gun? She’s like where? Can I? I noticed you have two guns. So what’s up?


Rosie Knight Have a gun.


Jason Concecpcion There’s two of us. I have no gun. You have two guns. Can we share? No, That’s a hard no on.


Rosie Knight Absolutely not.


Jason Concecpcion On firearms socialism. They arrive at a Cumby’s. A Cumberland Farms staple of New England life.


Rosie Knight I was going to say that was. That was like You’ve been there.


Jason Concecpcion A Cumby’s?


Rosie Knight Yeah. They were like, this is like they were like, this is real.


Jason Concepcion Joel is like, I got a cache of of stuff hidden here. We need it. And here we get a moment ripped from the game. Ellie sees a Mortal Kombat game now. A Mortal Kombat game in the in the show. Not what was it, Ninja? It was.


Rosie Knight An Angel Eye. I was the Angel Knives was the main character. And it was kind of a very brutal video game with like a black lead who had like Wolverine type claws.


Jason Concecpcion And she and Ellie knows everything about Mortal Kombat, which they don’t give the backstory here, but I would assume it’s the same from the game, which is she knew somebody who.


Speaker 3 Who knew.


Speaker 1 Knew the FEDRA orphanage, who knew all about it, and she just really wishes she could play it. Meanwhile, Joel is like where’d I hid my stuff? And Ellie calls him out on it and he says, I’m zeroing in on it. All right? I’m just like zeroing in on wherever I hit my stuff. So, Ellie, heads off. This reminded me of 28 days later, the moment where they stop at a like a roadside gas station and Killian Murphy goes off on his own just to do whatever Ellie heads off on her own. She finds a trapdoor. She goes down it.


Rosie Knight Clever plan.


Jason Concecpcion Great plan. I don’t know how she was planning to get up quickly if she needed to, but that’s fine. She finds a fresh box of tampons, which is total score.


Rosie Knight Yeah. I mean, that’s like, worth $1,000,000 in the zombie apocalypse.


Jason Concecpcion Worth more than baggies, probably. And then she hears the the trademark sound of an infected somewhere, and she swings her flashlight over, and there is one trapped by collapsed breeze. And this is a really interesting moment where Ellie takes the opportunity provided by the safety, the fact that this, in fact, is trapped, and the privacy, to like test whether she can kill a thing. Basically, you know, can I kill this thing?


Rosie Knight And is it really there’s this kind of like really clinical moment where she cuts open its head to see what’s underneath. And because also I think as well, that’s that moment of self-discovery, of wondering what would happen to her or is that already inside tied like this. But it also has this scariness to it of that disconnect from humanity of a kid who’s grown up around this, who can just cut open a living beings face, and then you kind of wait and there’s this moment of silence that almost goes too long before she actually kills it. And there’s kind of this connection, Oh, it’s really creepy.


Jason Concecpcion It really resonated with me. And that, you know, I’m sure as a kid, people have had the experience of like. The kids in the friend group who are like, Oh, let’s burn caterpillars with a magnifying glass or Let’s kill this frog.


Rosie Knight Yeah, the creepy kids.


Jason Concecpcion The creepy kids, right? And it felt like, here is this moment, Joel on around. Nobody’s around where she can kind of let the creepy kid out.


Rosie Knight Especially because she’s around these adults who kill people all the time.


Jason Concecpcion All the time.


Rosie Knight And there’s this boundary that she’s testing here. But obviously.


Jason Concecpcion Can I do it?


Rosie Knight Can I do it? And the infected is trapped like an animal kind of trapped on the glass. It’s a really intense moment.


Jason Concecpcion It really is very, very.


Rosie Knight And absolutely delivers on it.


Jason Concecpcion I mean, there’s that moment where she points the blade of the knife at it to see like, is it going to be afraid? Is there any recognition that it’s in danger right now? And then you sensed an almost relief that there wasn’t.


Rosie Knight Yeah, yeah, yeah.


Jason Concecpcion Meanwhile, back upstairs, Joel found his stuff, and now he’s hiding his assault rifle because there’s no ammo, and so it’s basically useless. So Ellie’s like, Wait, hold on a second. Let me just like throwing it in a hole, can I have it? Joel says no. They walk on, they pass an airplane crash. Joel insists that flying wasn’t actually that cool.


Rosie Knight It wasn’t that great.


Jason Concecpcion It was pretty. You had to take off your shoes, which I can’t even explain to you what that was about. That’s a whole thing.


Rosie Knight It’s a whole different time.


Jason Concecpcion Yeah. And, like, you had to sit in the middle seat and pay $12 or whatever it is for. For a sandwich. Which do you even understand what money was worth? Does that ring a bell at all? And Ellie’s like, Dude, you gotta go up in the sky.


Rosie Knight Yeah. And he’s like, And then you got to go up in the sky, too. And they crashed, so. Classic optimistic Joel there.


Jason Concecpcion It reminds me of Station 11 when they’re explaining the internet to the kids. Like, so you could just, like, look up anything?


Rosie Knight It was just like having every book in the world just in your pocket? Like, yeah, yeah.


Jason Concecpcion It was actually. I guess now when you say it that way, he’s pretty cool. But he then they start talking about like, okay, what was the fall like? And a conversation actually that we’ve been having in our Discord and have and fans have been having, which is how did this thing start? Like if the infection have to bite people, it must have there. How did who’s the?


Rosie Knight It’s the chicken and the egg question?


Jason Concecpcion Yeah.


Rosie Knight But what Joel kind of reveals here and this is different from the game, is this was like a day. In the game it’s over months. But here he’s like, it was dun dun dun.


Jason Concecpcion Yeah.


Rosie Knight It was in the theory is, which we’ve talked about, I don’t want to say we were right, but we were right.


Jason Concecpcion Our Discord certainly was right.


Rosie Knight Our Discord was definitely right.


Jason Concecpcion Yeah.


Rosie Knight But basically like it was in it had been in the food had been in the wheat and people started to get sick and it just happened really quickly. So something I think is really interesting about this reveal is that means that where we saw the doctor in Jakarta last episode that was probably.


Jason Concecpcion Ground zero.


Rosie Knight That was probably ground zero and that was probably the beginning. And by the time that Sarah and Joel and Tommy heard about it, that was when it was starting to spread.


Jason Concecpcion So he says, Yeah, I like it. It probably was a very, very basic foodstuff. Got into the food supply, hit supermarket shelves on a Thursday. This is 2003. People bought it, used it, made raisin cookies out of them, biscuits, biscuits and infected themselves. And then the next day, late Friday, September 26, 2003, the shit absolutely hit the fan and by Monday it was all gone. They later cut across. They come to a stretch of the path where Jill’s like, Let’s cut across the woods. There’s something up there that I don’t want you to see. And Ellie’s like, What? Like like you murder a guy. Like, Oh, is it going to be is it something that can hurt me? She he’s like, No, like, then I want to see it. So they go and it is a mass grave. And what we learn is that in the chaos and confusion of outbreak day post outbreak day and this is now a week after outbreak, Daniel says this happened. The military went small towns across the country evacuating people, telling them, you’re going to the QZ. And that was true. But if there was no room at the QZ, you were going to a mass grave. Where you going to get gunned down? And that was it. And I says, why? Why not just like leave them? And Joel says, Because it’s dead.


Rosie Knight People can’t get infected.


Jason Concecpcion Exactly. X-ray Vision will be back. And we’re back. We flashback to 9/30/2003. FEDRA forces are evacuating a town which, man they got that together pretty quickly.


Rosie Knight Oh, they were ready.


Jason Concecpcion They were ready.


Rosie Knight The conspiracy theorists. Probably have a lot of thoughts about how quickly they were able to militarize and evacuate these towns.


Jason Concecpcion I mean, there’s a lot of questions, right. Just a pause here. It’s like number one, did the president eat any bread on Thursday night? You know, like in the U.S., the civilian leadership. Like who? What’s left? How do you how do you get let’s say this did happen. And you’re telling up some kind of military force. Okay, You got to round people up and take them to the QZ and those that don’t make it, you just kind of I’m asking you to be a mass murderer. You have to imagine that like a large number of people wouldn’t do this. Right.


Rosie Knight I would say this is my cynical 2023 opinion. It would depend where you were getting them from. There are certain places, and in the way that they militarized the country, where there would probably be people who would be more eager. And also it’s a life or death situation. You know, it’s it’s, could you do that? I mean, also, is it a real martial law? Is the president still there ordering that or are these just segments of the army that are left? Is there? I would love to know that this is I find this all the storytelling choices in the show so brave. I’m so happy. From the beginning I said I want season one to be the first game, and that’s what they’re doing. But I. I could also watch a whole series just about the establishment of FEDRA. Yeah. And how who is in charge? Who’s making those decisions, Who’s setting up the accuses? How would they know? How quickly could they do that? What was accused and how did they get to be the places that they were like? Was it just a space in town? And how did you keep the infected out? And before you had the tests, how did you know who was infected? There’s just so many interesting questions and that kind of brutality of these like but mass graves is like it’s just so horrific. But it seems, as Joe said, that that was basically as normal as anything else at the time, like it just began and people accepted it.


Jason Concecpcion George W Bush. About to eat a piece of toast and a Secret Service guy and Andy Card come up and slap, click and toast out of his hand. So we flashback to September 30th, 2003. This town is being evacuated. We see on the evacuation truck the the woman and her child that eventually are going to be skeletons in this mass grave. And watching all of this from his underground bunker, which has is fully self-sufficient and it has like full.


Rosie Knight CCTV of the whole town


Jason Concecpcion And a secret entrance below the basement is Bill. And he’s been waiting for this. He’s been waiting for years. He thought this would happen some day. And unfortunately, he was right. He just he whispers, Not today. You. New World Order, Jack Boot fucks.


Rosie Knight And they come knocking on his door. They kick down his door, presumably. And they don’t find him. They don’t find deep in the basement. He’s. He’s safe.


Jason Concecpcion So the coast is clear and Bill emerges and it’s party time. It’s time to set up shop. He he gets his neighbor’s boat. He rips everything out of the boat so he can use it as like a trailer. He is gathering supplies from Home Depot. He’s getting all the best wines. He’s taking everything from the grocery store that he needs. He goes to the nearby power plant and make sure the gas is on.


Rosie Knight Yeah, he’s he’s just loving life. He’s setting up this whole street to become his home. It’s kind of idyllic, post-apocalyptic suburb.


Jason Concecpcion It’s a beautiful deal. He sets up a defensive perimeter anchored by an electric fence. He got the electricity on with. With a generator. He’s got lots of traps, man traps.


Rosie Knight Fire traps. He’s got traps shooting zombies. If they come close, he’s digging a lot of holes.


Jason Concecpcion Solid circular saw traps. This guy is these. He loves making the traps. He has a saw.


Rosie Knight I was going to say, he’s, he’s got big jigsaw energy. He would do well as a serial killer if the apocalypse had not happened.


Jason Concecpcion And he’s also a gourmand. He plants a garden


Rosie Knight He enjoys the finer things in life.


Jason Concecpcion He’s got chickens he’s got some pork shoulder pork butt ready to ready.


Rosie Knight He’s got awine cellar.


Jason Concecpcion Saute  it up in a in a beautiful wine sauce He’s, he’s very fat and he goes on like this for four years scouring the nearby area for supplies when he means and returning to his little fortress town. And then one day he’s alerted by his security system that an infected, he thinks has fallen into one of his his pit traps around the perimeter. He goes over to see what’s what’s occurred. And it’s a guy, who is named Frank. And Frank has just escaped a couple of days ago, escaped from the Baltimore QZ, which apparently has been overrun and he’s trying to make his way to Boston. And he was in a party of ten and now it’s a party of one. Just Frank. And Bill, very, very wary gun always at the ready lets Frank out of the pit and then Frank who we are going to learn is just a very, very charming person who is eager to make connections with other people and eager to show his worth as a person who makes connections, makes a connection with Bill and says, Hey, listen, I’m kind of starving, and if I could just like have a meal, that would be great. And Bill really against his better judgment.


Rosie Knight Yeah, I just want to say Bill says, like my one of my favorite lines, which is like, I really feel like they were they were just like, This is Nick Offerman playing Bill. And I really feel like they were to him. They were like, You can just play it like if Ron Swanson was in a drama. Because, because Frank’s like, Oh, could I just have one meal? I haven’t eaten for two days? And then he’s like, I realize that doesn’t sound very long. And Bill’s like, You can’t just come here and get a free meal. This isn’t an Arby’s. If you go, people are going to be coming to.


Jason Concecpcion Arby’s an restaurant.


Rosie Knight And then and Frank’s like Arby’s, a restaurant. There was, there was no free meals. And they kind of have this banter. And eventually, like Bill decides, he’s going to let Frank in.


Jason Concecpcion He also says, Bill, that, well, listen, if I let you in.


Rosie Knight Every one else is going to come there.


Jason Concecpcion You’re going to tell every hobo in the area.


Rosie Knight Frank’s like, I won’t tell any hobos or vagabonds or drifters.


Jason Concecpcion Which this should be our first like hint that. Bill and Joel are on parallel tracks. Remember Joel on Outbreak Day passing a family on the road, no keep fucking going. We’re not stopping. Bill, had Frank not come into his life, is that guy who would not have stopped before anyone. So Bill lets Frank in. He lets him wash up hot water. It’s fantastic. He gets an extra five minutes.


Rosie Knight He’s so excited.


Jason Concecpcion Just go.


Rosie Knight To have a shower.


Jason Concecpcion Crazy in the shower and then they have a meal that is so much better than anyone could have expected in an apocalypse.


Rosie Knight Frank has definitely never eaten a meal that good in like seven years. Even before the apocalypse, he was probably not eating that good. Like Bill makes a michelin star. It’s really a good meal and he brings out the best wine and you start to suddenly realize that Frank is not the only person who’s seeking connection. Like Bill might be scared of making a connection of trusting someone else, but having this person in his house, he’s taking it seriously. He wants to be a good host. And it’s it’s really sweet. And Nick Offerman just gives the most unbelievable performance that is so endearing and awkward. And as he kind of opens up to this idea that he’s not alone, even just for this one night, he kind of starts to spread his wings. He shows off the waiters, and Frank is like the most enthusiastic guest, like he’s so happy to have the shower to eat this delicious food, to drink the wine like it’s. Yeah, it’s just really the two of them are so good together.


Jason Concecpcion We’re talking leg of rabbit with with garden vegetables.


Rosie Knight It’s called au jou.


Jason Concecpcion With au jou, paired with you with paired with a Beaujolais as Frank notes, like oh my God, the wine and, and, and protein pairing is perfect. Then Frank’s like a like I said, shortly before I leave, I’m going to play your piano, which I’ve been looking at this whole time. And he goes over, he goes through the music books that he has there. It’s a lot of old people shit. But then there is a Linda Ronstadt. Yeah. Music book and. Frank sits down, kind of hacks his way through a version of Linda Ronstadt’s Long, Long Time. Bill is like Bill, who we should note by the meal, and his reaction to this has very high standards for everything. And he’s like, No, you’re fucking ruining.


Rosie Knight He’s playing it like the jauntiest shit. It’s like, dun dun dun dun dun. There’s really chunky, like upbeat. And Bill is like.


Jason Concecpcion No, no, no.


Rosie Knight Absolutely not


Jason Concecpcion It’s a ballad, my friend. So then Bill plays it and let’s be let’s be honest. Bill’s rendition not appreciably better than Frank’s.


Rosie Knight No, but it’s it’s.


Jason Concecpcion I’m sorry.


Rosie Knight It’s more. It’s more heart, it’s more heartfelt. And you can tell there’s this message that Bill Frank, he just wanted to hack away a piano and sing a song that he liked. But Bill is like.


Jason Concecpcion There’s a there’s a longing there.


Rosie Knight There’s a yearning, lots of yearning.


Jason Concecpcion And Frank notices the yearning and he says, When was this the girl that you were singing about? And Bill’s like, There’s no girl. And Frank is like, I know. And they kiss and they become lovers that night. And years passed and they become romantic partners. And then we go. Three years later, Bill and Frank are now experiencing kind of normal growing pains of a long term relationship.


Rosie Knight They’re in the hilarious context of like.


Jason Concecpcion The post-apocalyptic.


Rosie Knight It’s like Frank, Frank wants to, like, do up to the house and do up the street and do up the boutique. And he wants to kind of create a space where other people can come and be safe because he sees the worth of what Bill is. Bill and Bill is like, absolutely fucking right.


Jason Concecpcion Well, he saves that for last first, you know, wisely, I think Frank says, Hey, I live here too. This is my home too.


Rosie Knight Yeah, this is my street.


Jason Concecpcion All I want to do is like, you know, do the lawns, maybe do some topiary sculptures, paint the houses, maybe I’ll refurb.


Rosie Knight Bill’s like that not good for the resources.


Jason Concecpcion Yeah, well, fuck the resources, It’s just the two of us.


Rosie Knight Exactly.


Jason Concecpcion And then, which, you know, a little bit of the rascal of Frank, which is like and I’ve saved the most troubling part for last. I want to have friends over. Well, we can’t just invite strangers.


Rosie Knight Doesn’t have any friends.


Jason Concecpcion We’ll stop. I’ll stop you there. We do, because I’ve already been talking to them. They’re coming. What? And so then we flash to Joel and Tess having a wonderful lunch with Bill and Frank outside. Bill, unable to let go of his pistol throughout the meal.


Rosie Knight Just pointed at Joel the whole time.


Jason Concecpcion I love when Frank is like, Could you not? Could you just like at least not Cock it?


Rosie Knight Now also, as of surprise, extra Tess, who thought we were going to get it? I’m hoping this means that this is a trend throughout that we might get flashbacks and Tess and Frank have this super sweet connection of just two people who are longing for something better. Bill and Joe, they know they see each other. They see the connection that they have. Because Joel says to Bill, he says to him, I’m the same as you. Yeah, I get it.


Jason Concecpcion I get it, I get it. And Bill is angry about this. This the fact that they’re strangers in the house. Frank goes with Tess. Oh, I want to show you the inside. And Bill is like No don’t. No don’t.


Rosie Knight Frank, not the inside.


Jason Concecpcion I just go inside like, Fuck you. And Joel takes that opportunity, the privacy, that private moment with a gun on him to say, Hey, listen, this is a relationship that can actually work. First of all, I understand you’re wary of us. That’s fine. But we have we have things that you will need. We have machine parts. We have medicine that your fence is going to fail in a year. I can get you galvanized wire that will last the rest of your life like just any.


Rosie Knight Your lives. He realizes that that’s really what Bill’s doing. He sees that immediately that Bill, the person he’s really keeping safe, is Frank.


Jason Concecpcion Yeah. And there’s you’re so right to note that, like Frank and Tess immediately get on, because what if Frank has given something to Tess and it maybe it’s the pistol at that time? Who knows? Tess is like, you’re sure? And he’s like, No, this is, this is you’re going to come back in the relationship. Yeah, we’re going to trade.


Rosie Knight It’s a gun. Yeah. Because we then find out what he traded it for.


Jason Concecpcion This is a relationship. And by the way, I have an idea for a code. So when we get on the radio, no one will know what we’re talking about and will use. And this is the genesis of the pop music code.


Rosie Knight Eighties code. Yeah.


Jason Concecpcion As they leave, Joel warns Bill hey listen,  you’ve got a great set up here. The infected are not going to be a problem, but traders at some point are going to get wind of what you have. They’re going to come. They’re going to come at night. They’re smarter than the infected. They’re going to come armed and they’re going to come here meaning harm. And Bill is like, don’t worry about it. We go ten years into the future now, 2013, ten years of Bill’s town to 2013. The town’s defensive perimeter now includes stacks of vehicles.


Rosie Knight Those two. What were they doing? How were they doing it?


Jason Concecpcion Holes in the vehicles. They were living it up. So we understand that there’s been battles fought here. Frank. They’ve gotten to the point in their long term relationship now where you start thinking about how do I keep this person around as long as possible? Frank has has put into place a kind of health regimen. He’s getting Bill jogging. Bill is very bad at jogging. Wants to keep Bill is hale and hearty as he can for the foreseeable future. And then he’s like, I have a surprise for you. And it’s a garden of strawberries. He got a packet of seeds for another, another gun.


Rosie Knight So we know he’s set up some kind of gun running with Tess. And at first, Bill’s like, you see the old Bill where he’s like, Which gun? And Frank’s just like, it’s a little one. He’s like, it’s a little one don’t worry about it. And then this is. There’s this whole. It’s hard to just watch the episode if you haven’t watched it. I know, like, a lot of our listeners listen to us first, especially with the last of us, because it’s scary. Don’t do that. This is an episode that is not this is not a scary episode, is scary in an existential, heartbreaking way, but it’s not jump scares scary. And there’s so many brilliant moments. But. This moment where Nick Offerman and Murray Bartlett eat these strawberries together and Bill is so happy to eat this strawberry, is just so unbelievably full of joy. This was the first moment when I teared up and then I didn’t stop crying for like the rest of the episode.


Jason Concecpcion The first moment that I teared up is right here. Where? Where? So they’ve been running clearly like. You know, Frank wants to keep Bill around. There’s no health care out here. And Bill, understanding what Frank is doing says, I’m sorry. For what? Getting older, faster than him. And then this wonderful moment where Frank puts Bill at ease, saying, I like you older. Yeah, Like, you know, it’s older. Means we’re still. We’re still here. And then Bill makes it a really vulnerable admission. And it’s a thing again, if you think about Bill as as I think we do, as as a version of Joel, the kind of guy that Joel is. Yeah, but who’s let love into his life. He then makes this admission that I don’t think Joel could ever make, which was I was never afraid before you showed up when you gave me nothing to be afraid of losing. And it’s this really, really vulnerable, touching moment sometime later. Weeks, months. Who knows? Maybe years. Raider’s come against the town. It’s definitely not the first time, as you saw by that, by the cars stacked up by the perimeter.


Rosie Knight And we see by how specific Bill’s traps are. He has flamethrowers that saying people on fire, he knows where they’re going to come. He knows where the weaknesses are. But Frank, I feel like I feel like I love Frank, but I feel like Frank has not learned the lessons that Bill would want him to learn.


Jason Concecpcion I think he’s ready. I mean, like he looked like he could he looked like he knew his way around a pistol. That clearly was Bill’s doing that. But in terms of like.


Rosie Knight Don’t leave the door open, Don’t be like that was many times when I was yelling at him. But they they you know what? They come out of it.


Jason Concecpcion Well, I will say I think that the fact that Bill is already up shooting at these guys tells you a lot about the relationship.


Rosie Knight Exactly.


Jason Concecpcion Which is like.


Rosie Knight Frank stays in the house.


Jason Concecpcion You stay in the house like I will deal with this. You stay safe. Frank goes out to Bill, who, by the way, is like standing in the middle of the street shooting. You guys go behind something now.


Rosie Knight Bill’s like, too. He’s too rough and ready.


Jason Concecpcion He doesn’t care. He gets behind any literally anything. It would have.


Rosie Knight Been good for Bill if he listened to that advice, because then he got shot. He got shot.


Jason Concecpcion So Frank helps him into the house. And here again is this wonderful, touching moment where I love these moments where you see different, where you see either Bill or Frank take the lead in the relationship and the other person let them. So here’s Bill is wounded lays, frankly, is on the table. He’s he’s getting some wine on his hand so he can he can touch the wound and get it ready. All the while, Bill is thinking he’s done and he’s telling Frank, listen, I have a list ready for you. And Frank is like, Let’s keep Bill talking. Yeah, tell me about this. Oh, sure. I’ve made copies of keys. You need to reach out to Joel because you can’t be here alone.


Rosie Knight Joel will look after you.


Jason Concecpcion And Frank says something really touching. I’m not alone. You’re here. Where am I going? And then years pass again.


Rosie Knight And they do a really good bait and switch here, right where you see these two bearded old guys. And one of them is in the wheelchair. And you assume it’s Bill because of the shooting. But we see that it’s actually Frank.


Jason Concecpcion And they’ve got to be I mean, Bill’s got to be. Late sixties at this point. Right. And time has taken a brutal toll. Frank is sick, probably cancer. He’s in a wheelchairs, as you noted. They’re spending as much time as they can drinking up the days in this home that they built. But then, you know, they wake up one morning after going to bed together, Frank, laying in bed, clearly thinking about how he is going to tell Bill what he wants to do in the morning. And then the morning comes and he says, listen, this is the last day. This is it.


Rosie Knight Yeah. Because he actually even and this is like a really powerful representation I think of just like. Yeah. It’s just something you don’t get to see. He basically pulls himself out of bed and into his wheelchair, and he does it over the night. He wants to do that thing himself.


Jason Concecpcion He’s like.


Rosie Knight He’s like get back in bed.


Jason Concecpcion Yeah, Don’t do that. Like I told you, what happens you fall asleep. He’s so worried about him.


Rosie Knight And, yeah, like you said, Frank is like, no, he’s like, today is the last day.


Jason Concecpcion And he says, Here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to have a great day. I’m going to take you to the boutique. You’re going to wear what I say.


Rosie Knight You’re going to wear what I pick.


Jason Concecpcion Right. Then you’re going to make a great dinner. We’re going to bring the wine out. We’re going to crush some pills in the wine. I’m going to drink it. Then I’m going to fall asleep in your arms, in your bed.


Rosie Knight And the outfits he’s picking so they can get married. Right. And they’re going to they’re going to get married. They’re going to have this ceremony, the two of them. Then they’re going to eat dinner. They’re going to drink a delicious wine. Then they’re going to put some pills in a slightly cheaper bottle of wine so they don’t ruin it. And and Frank is going to kill himself. And he wants Bill to continue on because he loves Bill. And and we get to see this day that they shared together and it is just full. Well, Bill.


Jason Concecpcion First Bill.


Rosie Knight Is like absolutely.


Jason Concecpcion I can’t do it. I can’t absolutely can’t do it. I’m not strong enough to do that. He breaks down. But eventually, because of the love and respect and and the relationship they’ve forged, which thinking back to that first argument where Frank wants to do the lawns and paint stuff and invite people over, and Bill’s like, No, no, no. The basis of their relationship has been frank, pushing Bill out of his comfort zone and Bill not wanting to go there, but ultimately going there because of his respect for Frank.


Rosie Knight And there’s a great.


Jason Concecpcion And it working out.


Rosie Knight Yeah and there’s a great line here where Frank says to him like, do you love me? And he’s like, Yeah. And he says, Well, then love me the way I want, which is to have this day and then to I mean, being sick is, is, is so much pain just in a allegedly functioning society, let alone he’s dealing with this in a situation where he he says to Frank, you know, that was he says to Bill there was no cure for this before, Right. What are we going to do? And so what are we going to do? You know, and and then they get to have this like and you know what? I just I was so proud of Bill in this moment, which is very funny to say for a character that you’ve known for like 45 minutes, because he just embraces it like he he listens to what Frank wants and he actually gives him that day. They dress up, they dress real fancy, they spend time together. They give each other rings and and then, you know. Bill Cooke’s hymn, the same meal that he had the first day that he ever came to his house and he replicates it and he cooks that meal. And it is just such a beautiful moment. I mean, I was just crying like nonstop.


Jason Concecpcion It was.


Rosie Knight Post strawberries. It was just ball and ball and ball and like that. These performances there so much love and nuance and tenderness and complexity and it is just such an astounding piece of television.


Jason Concecpcion So then the wine comes out and Frank drinks his wine. Bill watches Frank drink his wine and make sure he’s drinking it. And Bill drinks his wine. And then we, Frank realizes, Oh.


Rosie Knight You it was already there was.


Jason Concecpcion You took some, too. And Bill’s again. There’s enough in there to kill a horse. Frank Now it’s Frank’s turn to get pushed out of his comfort zone. He says, You know, I don’t support this. This is not what I wanted, but. You know, from an objective point of view, it’s very romantic. And they go up to bed to to go to sleep together. In each other’s arms sometime later, probably days, few days later, a week, two weeks.


Rosie Knight It’s unclear because. And it’s unclear for a purpose.


Jason Concecpcion Right.


Rosie Knight Bill and Frank leave all of the Windows open. And yes. So in a recent enough time that no one else has found the house.


Jason Concecpcion Right. From late summer to fall.


Rosie Knight Mm hmm.


Jason Concecpcion Joel and Ellie arrive in the town and they find the house quiet.


Rosie Knight Joel  is immediately like, What the fuck? He knows there’s a problem.


Jason Concecpcion He the way he opens the door, knowing that Bill is a trap guy is very wary. He looks all around, goes to their bedroom, tells Ellie, you stay right here. I’m going to go look around. Ellie finds the letter that Bill left. And and she begins to read it. Meanwhile, Joel is looking around. He sees that Bill’s car is there, that there’s stuff for.


Rosie Knight There’s food kind of rotting on the plate.


Jason Concecpcion There’s like the ingredients for a car battery that are like in place. Just need to be assembled and then charge. So he’s got everything he needs to continue his mission. And then. He returns to the house and is reading the letter. And Ali reads it to him. And it’s basically about, you know, how Bill. Here’s some of it. So I used to hate the world. I was happy when everyone died, but I was wrong because there was one person worth saving and that’s what I did. I saved him and I protected him. That’s why men like you and me are here. We have a job to do, and God help any motherfuckers who stand in our way. I leave you all my weapons and equipment, use them to keep. And then she stops because it’s Tess written there. Joel then takes the letter, he reads the rest of it, and he makes a decision there that, okay, we’re going to continue with this mission. He asks Ellie to see her arm. It’s completely healed. And he says, Okay, here’s what was up before we met. I have a brother. He was in the fireflies. He’s in Wyoming. He’s in some kind of trouble. We’re going there. Maybe he knows where your Firefly lab is. And then Ali is like, Great. Hey. And about tasks like, now this. The letter is brought back this kind of wound of Tess, and she wants to apologize in this moment, but he stops. He’s like, Don’t. Don’t ever talk about Tess. Never mention her name. And in fact, we’re never going to talk about our own histories.


Rosie Knight He’s like, These are the rules if you want to. With me? No, Tess. And we were wondering last week if that was something we were going to see, because that is a rule that Joel lays out in quite a harsh way in the in the game. In the game. That kind of almost like sets him and Ellie back kind of away from the the journey that they’d been on together. But it quickly you know the nature of their relationship means that they quickly find new paths to kind of reconnect. But yeah I was very interested to see this. No Tess. No talking about our pasts like we’re basically just travelers on this road together. But it is really interesting because it is this letter from Bill that makes him decide to save Ellie, that’s basically like to take Ellie where she’s going. This is the letter. We are here for one reason to protect people. Guess what? That didn’t happen with Tess. In Joel’s mind, He’s like, Here’s this child. Look at her. I’m okay. She’s healed. This is real. And in that moment, he takes on that full. This is not Tess’s mission that he’s doing because he misses her. This is him becoming the protector, the person who is going to get her to where she needs to go. It’s like a huge moment. And I think they did a really brilliant job of bringing that to life in a slightly different way than than the game.


Jason Concecpcion The rest of his ground rules are. You don’t talk about your immunity because.


Rosie Knight People just kill you.


Jason Concecpcion It will just kill you. They’ll see the bite, they’ll kill you. And then third of all, you do whatever I say, whatever I say goes. And Ellie agrees in Bill’s bunker. Joel takes Ellie down there and we discover that it was the 1980s. Music was from Bill and Frank. Ellie, seeing a wall of guns just asks for a gun.


Rosie Knight Again.


Jason Concecpcion Yeah, there’s like 50 there. Once again, no. They then gather up what they need to pack for the trip. Ellie’s back in the house for a little while. She finds a gun like either a nine millimeter or a 22 hidden in a desk. And she keeps it. And they get in the truck, which Ellie has never been in a vehicle before. She doesn’t know how to put on a seatbelt.


Rosie Knight This is like a spaceship. It’s so cute because when you actually think about it, you’re like, Oh, shit, Yeah, cause I’m pretty crazy. It’s like the Internet conversation. This whole episode has big station 11 energy. Basically. It’s all about like, finding what keeps you going against, like, the most insurmountable odds.


Jason Concecpcion As they drive away, she puts a cassette tape in. It’s Linda Ronstadt’s Long, Long Time. Joel is about to be like, Now, don’t put any music on. I don’t want my music on my Oh, wait, wait, hold on. This is good. This is good. I want to hear the whole Well, this is good. This is Linda Ronstadt. This this is this is a good one. And they drive off through the gates of town, headed west. And then we get the last shot of the episode is like this a pull back through the open window from inside Bill and Frank’s bedroom window. They’re in there somewhere, but you don’t ever see them dead. You only see the outside through the open window. And it’s very, very consciously the exact same image.


Rosie Knight Yeah, it’s pull back to the.


Jason Concecpcion Menu of the of the Last of US menu screen.


Rosie Knight Yeah. You have to press any buttonevery time.


Jason Concecpcion And there it is. That’s just simply one of the best hours of television that we’ve seen this year. X-ray Vision will be back. And we’re back first and we’re going to get into a spoiler conversation that we’re going to call out. Yes. But first, I think what is really cool about this episode is the way that Bill and Frank’s relationship is like a very pointed critique of Joel and the way he goes about things, about the way he just spoke to Ellie at the end there. You do what I say.


Rosie Knight Yeah. And also, like, there is this they sell it so well in the show because there’s this. This is not Joel’s intention. Joel is not a predator, but there is this horrible power dynamic there where he’s like this adult man who, like you, will do whatever I say. Well, I say goes, and you will have to do it if you’re coming with me. There’s just so much anger and fear that fuels everything that Joel does. Whereas Bill opened himself up to actually becoming somebody partner and trusting them and believing in their agency and believing in their goodness and believing that they could bring something to their life, which is something that Joel has not managed to do since Sarah. Even with Tess.


Jason Concecpcion Yeah. I mean, even with the letter, which I think you’re right to point out, it’s like a mission statement if you think about it. Joel has never done anything in this show as of yet that he’s wanted to do. He didn’t want to go.


Rosie Knight And nothing’s been to have even his own agency.


Jason Concecpcion Right. He’s getting dragged forward into one of the most formative relationships of his life. This this relationship he’s going to have with Ellie. And every step of the way. He didn’t want to fucking do it. He didn’t want to go. He didn’t want to go with Tess. He didn’t want to bring her. When he met Ellie, when Tess died, he wanted he didn’t want to.


Rosie Knight He didn’t want to leave this. Then he didn’t.


Jason Concecpcion He was thinking, I’m going to leave you with Bill and Frank.


Rosie Knight Yeah, They can look after you. You’re safe here.


Jason Concecpcion Yeah, I’m going to drop her there.


Rosie Knight He says there’s somebody here who owes me a favor. Yeah, and wouldn’t that favor be to leave? Oh, you know what to do. You’ve got a car. You can take her.


Jason Concecpcion And I think it’s. That’s the part that really hit me extremely hard was that, you know, Bill could just never if it wasn’t for Frank, he never would have let anybody in his fortress town. And Joel is exactly like that. He’s so beholden to his traumas and the fact that he, quote unquote, failed on the night the outbreak happened that he, like, can’t enjoy anything. I think about that that really telling moment where Tess says, oh, can’t you just like take the good news.


Rosie Knight For one for once?


Jason Concecpcion Can’t you just like, accept that something good happened? Like Bill got to a place where he could accept something good happened, where like, he could accept that, like Frank came into my life and that was really good. And now I am satisfied and I’m ready to go. Joel is like, holding on to this terrible sadness and can’t breathe, can’t see anything else for it. And it was so smart to use the Bill and Frank relationship as this spotlight on Joel as this wounded, traumatized person who can’t listen to any of the people who he cares, but he doesn’t. You never listen to Tess who dragged him on this mission. He’s certainly not listening to Elie like. Here’s the thing, Okay, you don’t want to give Ellie a gun. I get it. You know the open country more than she does. I get it. But why are we leaving this town right now?


Rosie Knight Like, literally. Why don’t you stay here and eat some food.


Jason Concecpcion Stay here for a week, Teach her how to shoot safely.


Rosie Knight How to drive a car.


Jason Concecpcion Yeah. Teach her how to drive a car. Teach her how to do anything useful. But there’s something in Joel that because of how he failed, Sarah wants to keep the people around him. Not infantilized. But I think you were right to point out he wants to keep Ellie powerless in a weird way. Not in any kind of like creepy way.


Rosie Knight No.


Jason Concecpcion But in a way of, like, I know best. I know what I’m doing. You don’t. Yeah. I’m going to take care of you.


Rosie Knight Yeah, Especially. It’s like we know what Bill is like. There’s probably meals packed in there. There’s probably food for months. There’s kind of a freezer port. There’s everything you need. You could teach how to make traps. You could give her a different kind of weapon. You.


Jason Concecpcion There’s a computer full of music from every decade of popular music that existed.


Rosie Knight Like it would. I think they’re.


Jason Concecpcion Hot running water.


Rosie Knight He’s almost. Oh, my God.


Jason Concecpcion Electricity.


Rosie Knight Should have had a shower.


Jason Concecpcion Why are we leaving at this very moment? What do you want to beat the snow’s? Like, What are we doing? You have a  car now.


Rosie Knight He’s almost like.


Jason Concecpcion Hang out.


Rosie Knight He’s almost like a shark. It’s like he can’t stop moving. I just got to get going forward because if he stops, then he’s going to have to deal with what happened to Tess. I mean, the reason Joe doesn’t want to stay in the house is because he spent time with Tess there. That’s why he to remember that he ate the food there. They had a nice time, that they had friends, friends that he never had. But he knows really they were friends. You get this moment where he goes outside with the letter and he or is he crying? He’s kind of keening. Silently yelling. It’s almost there. And he’s out on that lawn where they spent time together. But it is this is one of Joel’s silliest. I’m going to be honest. It is the silliest moment because these two could have hunkered down here even just for one night. They could.


Jason Concecpcion Just want to grab him and go, Joel, Enjoy this. My guy. Look around.


Rosie Knight Joel, what is the number one thing that we all know? You know this Everyone who’s ever watched a zombie movie or any kind of post-apocalyptic story knows this. The worst thing out there is humans right here. There is no humans. Take your time, because wherever you’re going next is going to go badly for you. I mean, you’re going to come up against enemies. You’re going to come up against dangerous things that are worse than the infected. So just take a minute.


Jason Concecpcion Not to mention, do you want Ellie as this helpless package that you have to deliver or do you want help because you’re so right. Teach her to fucking drive.


Rosie Knight Drive a car.


Jason Concecpcion Teach her to drive.


Rosie Knight Make a trap.


Jason Concecpcion Make a trap. Teach her to teach her to shoot a gun.


Rosie Knight Please.


Jason Concecpcion Just do it. You know, because you’re going to be out here facing a lot of danger. To use a knife. I’m going to. Just to do any amount of things.


Rosie Knight Have a conversation with her.


Jason Concecpcion Yeah.


Rosie Knight Ask her if she knows how to shoot a gun. She grew up in a zombie apocalypse. Let’s just have a conversation. But Joel is. He can’t do it. It’s a compulsion that he has to keep moving so that he doesn’t have to deal with all of his loss.


Jason Concecpcion That’s exactly. That’s exactly right.


Rosie Knight Yeah.


Jason Concecpcion Wow. What an episode. Oh, what a what. A punch to the chest. Even on a Sunday night. How do you go to sleep after this?


Rosie Knight I know. It’s literally like, it’s really funny because the episode opens and it continues our expectation of what the show is going to be. Joel and Ellie, they’re in a beautiful forest. They come to a kind of post-apocalyptic, messed up place. They have a conversation we learn some more about. What happened with the outbreak. That is kind of the shape of the show so far. And that’s great, especially because Bela and Pedro are so great. So it’s like it’s not routine, but it feels immediately like we’ve been tripped up when they throw you into this flashback. That’s actually the meat of the episode. I mean, the episode is an hour and 15 minutes long, and I think the opening with Ali and Joel is really that 15 minutes. And then you get almost this like hour with with Frank and Bill. And it is just such a thoughtful, kind, good storytelling. And I really love the way that this expands on like the tiniest hints that were given about Bill and Frank. You know, Frank is dead in the game. Bill is alive. And we know that.


Jason Concecpcion Frank left in a huff in the game.


Rosie Knight Bill got his. Yeah. Know, he got rid of his partner because he didn’t do this, that and the other, but that the implication was there that they were gay. But that was a gay character who had been killed offscreen. You didn’t know what happened. You don’t really know about Bill. That’s not a big major point of his life. This is to me, I saw a lot of people saying this is a deviation, but to me, this actually just felt like like the best adaptations do when I am playing this game. Now, this just feels true to me. Like, yeah, sure, I met Bill, so in this version they didn’t die together or whatever, but that relationship, that expansion of those characters and that experience that they had together, that feels so true to the game. And I love this, this feeling about one of my I’d, I’d written about this on Instagram, about how much I like the film, but I saw something that was a really great take from one of my favorite film directors, Timo Tanto, who’s like this incredible Indonesian horror director. And he says, like, The Lastof Us was never about like vengeance. It was like about finding love that it was your.


Jason Concecpcion The game was never about vengeance?


Rosie Knight He’s like, It’s not like the quest is not like Joel on a quest for vengeance.


Jason Concecpcion No, no, no. He’s The Last of Us two is like that. Spoiler Alert.


Rosie Knight Yeah, well, and that’s a different vengeance. Yeah, but he’s like. He’s like part one. It’s never about, like, vengeance or it’s about, like, finding love that it’s worth being violent for. It’s like, that’s why you’re violent is like these things that you can take care of. And I kind of love this. To me, I was like, It’s about finding things you can love and things that help you get through. But there’s also this reality of like Bill killed many, many people for Frank. Bill would kill right? As Bill would kill the infected. Joel murdered multiple people on the quest for Tess. And in The Last of Us, those two things are aligned like it’s like, what will you do to protect the people you love? And that, obviously, as we know and people have played the game know is the biggest question about.


Jason Concecpcion Well, that’s.


Rosie Knight The Last of Us.


Jason Concecpcion It’s a perfect opportunity then to talk about The Last of US game in a spoiler filled way. So right now we’re going to transition to a spoiler conversation for people who have finished the Last of US game.


Rosie Knight Yes, or who don’t care about spoilers, but.


Jason Concecpcion Who don’t care about spoilers.


Rosie Knight This will, could potentially.


Jason Concecpcion We haven’t seen ahead in the show.


Rosie Knight We haven’t seen ahead, but it is most likely that this will be part of the show and will be a huge spoiler. So stop listening now if you don’t want to.


Rosie Knight Spoiler, spoiler, spoiler alert.


Jason Concecpcion So for those of you who have finished The Last of US part one game or know about the ending, let’s talk about the ending. So the ending of the game, shocking moment. You get to the lab, right as Joel you as Joel, bring Ellie to the lab.


Rosie Knight This is what you’ve been playing for the whole game. And it’s great, right?


Jason Concecpcion Time to save the world, right? You’re you. She is in the room with the doctors. And you discover that whatever this process is, that is going to bring that immunity out of her is going to kill her.


Rosie Knight Yeah, I believe they have to take the fungus out of her brain. Right. And it would kill her.


Jason Concecpcion It would kill her. And so Joel decides to kill everybody in the lab. Take Ellie out. Okay. Then Ellie wakes up and Joel lies straight to her face about what happened.


Rosie Knight He’s like, Oh, there was so many people that were, you know, who are immune, and they’d never actually been able to find a cure.


Rosie Knight So, you know, free to go.


Jason Concecpcion All right. So.


Rosie Knight And Ellie kind of chooses to believe Joel in that moment. I feel like. I feel like. I feel like she does. I don’t feel like she no, I don’t feel like she thinks he’s telling the truth. I feel like in that moment, there’s, like, a question there. But she knows that this is like, you got to survive.


Jason Concecpcion So here’s what I could not stop thinking about watching last night’s episode, and that is Bill and Frank, because again, as a direct criticism of Joel and it’s the way their relationship is built on this respect for each other, this love for each other, that is that can allow for the other person’s voice to be heard.


Rosie Knight An agency.


Jason Concecpcion An agency. I get what I get. Joel being like, No, you’re not killing this person that I love. What is fucked up to me is that you don’t ask her what she wants to do.


Rosie Knight Yeah.


Jason Concecpcion Does she want to save the world? You know, like, here’s what we know about Ellie. Is this all throughout the game and the show thus far? Ellie is the person who cares about everyone more than herself. She sees Marlene shot. She’s known Marlene for three days, mostly as her jailer. She’s like, Oh, my God, Are you okay? Tess is infected. They’re leaving her.


Rosie Knight They’ve been together for two day.


Jason Concecpcion She’s going to die. She’s like, We can’t leave Tess. We can’t leave her.


Rosie Knight She has that thing that Sarah has at the beginning. We should have gone back. We should have gone back. We should have gone back. I love that Reed so much. And I think it is a direct critique. I also I’m just very interested to see the route that they go with that narrative. I think it’s one of the best choices of any videogame ever. I also think as well. I love stories. I talk about this book a lot when we talk about the show, but the guy with all the gifts by Mike Carey is so good and it ends in a very equivalent way, but with more of the agency put on the young girl in the center of the story. And I kind of love this idea of like who gets to choose who lives and dies in a zombie apocalypse? And is this just the nature of evolution? Like, is should should Ellie die for a cure that might not work, that would also end up killing? It’s really interesting. But the point is, one, they do a great like shadow of the Colossus style trick by getting you to go on this journey and then mass murdering all the people, trying to save the world and being like peace. That’s incredible. But also as well, it’s all about Joel’s selfishness. There isn’t kind of as great a story. He is not wondering, like who gets to choose who lives and dies. He’s like, This is my child. I love her and you are not going to kill her again FEDRA. Fuck you.


Jason Concecpcion And it’s the difference between. You know, Frank saying to Bill, you, did you love me then love me the way I want you to


Rosie Knight Exactly.


Jason Concecpcion And Bill, listening.


Rosie Knight Mm hmm.


Jason Concecpcion Joel will,  Joel, If the story plays out the way it does in the game, will never get to the place where he can listen to anything that Ellie has to say, because he’s always going to feel like I know better. I am the protector. I’m God help anybody who gets in the way of me protecting you. And that’s going to take any form that I deem necessary. And I’m going to keep from you all the information that I feel like is dangerous to you or be good to me, troubling to you and. To act on. To act on your love for someone is understandable to do so when the stakes are the extinction of the human race, everybody else’s family that is out here in the world, them potentially dying, you know, during centuries of barbarity and and raiders and slavery and all the bad things that are out there. You can end it.


Rosie Knight Big spoiler that will come back to bite Joel, in The Last of Us part two. He will learn that lesson that there are other people who have families and other people who need to have loved ones.


Jason Concecpcion And to not even like, run it by Ellie. Like, I understand. That’s that’s that’s it’s a weight.And a responsibility that no one should have to bear. But to be like, hey, so here’s the situation. Would you have wanted to go through with this if you could have a shot at it?


Rosie Knight  I do think that’s actually a really interesting point. And I do think it makes the complexity of that ending kind of even more interesting, because FEDRA also don’t tell her.


Jason Concecpcion FEDRA are bad.


Rosie Knight They put her to sleep.


Jason Concecpcion FEDRA also bad


Rosie Knight And I think there’s something very interesting in like, I love the way that they chose to make this choice because they put you and make you so complicit because it would it be easier to make it more sympathetic by like having Ali wake up and be like, No, I don’t want to do this or hear them and say, I don’t want to die. But they don’t do that. Joe Just tricks kills everyone and breezes off and then lies. That is. It is really interesting. Yeah, I’m very I’m very interested. Now, with the second season being announced, I’m very happy that they made this as one season. I think that ending has to be the end of this season for it to work. Now, how they going to play season two, I think is really the biggest theory because, you know, Craig Mazin, I think at the premiere he was saying that is it more than one season, which I would agree with. But the question is, where do you start? How long do you how do you adapt the shocking opening of the second game? How soon do you do it? Right? It will be very interesting to see. I mean, this has been such a huge hit for HBO. I think this is probably a good decision, making it as soon as you can.


Jason Concecpcion I think that this season, Bill and Frank and the way they told that story is going to make the punch of Joel’s decision, whatever it’s going to be.


Rosie Knight Even.


Jason Concecpcion Even though it’s going to make it even more. They could.


Rosie Knight Even do it’s a nine episode season so they could pull a Game of Thrones and have episode eight be huge and then have the finale be kind of the smaller, more intimate fallout, similar in Tone and Vibe to Bill and Frank, which is just him and Ellie driving off afterwards and kind of dealing with the ramifications.


Jason Concecpcion And the lying to her, straight to her face.


Rosie Knight Exactly. I mean, I’m so interested to see how they sell it, because it is not the hero’s journey that we used to know.


Jason Concecpcion It’s like Joel is like it’s like if you entrusted. The worst fucking hobbit with bringing the ring of power to mount, like he’s the best at killing everybody.


Rosie Knight And he’s like, if you if you just gave it to Gollum and told him to destroy it because he’s going to keep it.


Jason Concecpcion Yeah, but it was just man, the way that that episode made me think about the ending of the game is really amazing. And it’s just so well-written, so well done.


Rosie Knight Yeah, I mean, I definitely think that’s not just because, I mean, it’s only January, so it’s obviously like the best episode of TV we’ve seen so far. But I mean, that’s unless we have the best year of TV that we’ve had in like two decades, that’s going to be on every best off because, I mean, there’s just nothing like it. And for Murray and and Nick that’s that’s got to be award system shut down. I mean they were just so good.


Jason Concecpcion Well end of spoiler conversation hopefully has ended.


Rosie Knight It has ended now I’m playing the game. Go play the game.


Jason Concecpcion Go play the game. Up next, Nerd Out.


Rosie Knight In today’s Nerd Out where you tell us what you love and why, or as you have also kindly been doing, share a very cool theory. The way to the better, though I have to say, you guys will have very legit theories compared to our tinfoil hat theories. Adam pitches a new theory today about Thrawn, one of the characters we talk about so much when it comes to Star Wars, and if you don’t know the character who first appeared in Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn trilogy and now Timothy came back after he was made Canon and he is just a blue skinned, evil alien that everybody loves to hate.


Jason Concecpcion Tactical, strategic genius.


Rosie Knight Yeah. I mean, he is political genius. He’s one of the ultimate Star Wars villains and when he was brought back into Canon. It was just such a huge deal. And I think that what Adam is proposing here is is very realistic. So, Jason, I’ll leave you to read the thing.


Jason Concecpcion Okay. Adam writes, After seeing the Skywalker saga, we’ve all known as the large number of characters whose absence in the finale is glaring. Dave Filoni is known to be an encyclopedia of Star Wars knowledge and could provide an answer as to why those characters are missing. I postulate.


Rosie Knight Postulating that’s how it.


Jason Concecpcion Postulating right now. I postulate that Thrawn may have recruited them to the chess ascendancy. Dun dun dun. He continues in the Throne novels. Thrawn had been recruiting people to the chess cause after the fall of the Empire, Throne could no longer see the remnants of the Empire as a possible ally for the chess that they were not strong enough. We know from the Mandalorian and Rebels that Ahsoka is actively searching for Ezra in Grand Admiral Thrawn. Thrawn would likely see Ahsoka, Ezra Grogu and others as assets to help the Chiss ascendancy if he successfully convinces some or all of them to go help the Chiss. That is a plausible explanation for their absence during the rise of the first order.


Rosie Knight Wow.


Jason Concecpcion Wow.


Rosie Knight I mean, that would probably be like the biggest twist of all time if when Thrawn showed up, he’d, like, recruited some of people’s most favorite force users to the Chiss ascendancy. Everyone would be, like, screaming. I mean, I think with this. Okay, show. Yeah. I mean, it’s not long until we see live action. THORN It’s going to happen, right, people Yeah, it was going to be Richard Grant, which would have been great casting in in the old Rise Skywalker. But, you know, I think it’s I think we’re going to see it. I think it’s going to happen.


Jason Concecpcion So we’re operating right now. In a kind of time period of Star Wars history that is not it’s, you know, post imperial the rise of the first order. And we don’t know a ton of what’s going on there, but this would be fascinating. I wonder Man Thrawn with Grogu.


Rosie Knight I mean, that would be dangerous. Oh my God. Imagine if it were Thrawn who saved Grogu, because he wanted to use him.


Jason Concecpcion I could see Thrawn and Ezra too. I could see Ezra. You know, Ezra had those kind of flirtations with the dark side, or at least with a different analysis. It was the dark. It was the flirtation and things.


Rosie Knight We were to call it the Great Jedi. But apparently if you say that now you get in trouble. So I’m going to say a flirtation with dark side.


Jason Concecpcion But I could I could see Ezra working with Thrawn.


Rosie Knight But I do think something very interesting about this is Grogu, who rejected the Jedi chose the Mandalorian way so he doesn’t fan. Ahsoka rejected. The Jedi did not become a Jedi. Ezra, like you said, has had these flirtations and existed outside of the classic Jedi space. So that is a very interesting read because those are the characters with that very specific thing in common. They are not Jedi as we specifically know them, and they kind of have all rejected it at certain points in their journey.


Jason Concecpcion I wonder how much of Thrawn’s back story is going to be canon when they bring him over in live action.


Rosie Knight I, I believe that the Zon original trilogy has been re canonized. I needed a new Thrawn trilogy, so we have that to draw from. But yeah, you know me, I’m a legend. I’m a legend. Supersonic the EU. So anything that brings those kind of wild, that wild west of Star Wars storytelling. And I mean also we have the acolyte coming out which is going to be, you know, through the told you the eyes of a Sith. I think there’s a lot of interesting space that we could see some of these legends characters and a character like Thrawn, who is animated canon but has not yet made it to live action come into play. I would love to see it. I think that when they bring Thrawn, that’s going to be like a whole kind of different era of Star Wars as we know that.


Jason Concecpcion I’ve got a pitch I want. I want to see a imperial political drama like House of Cards.


Rosie Knight Okay.


Jason Concecpcion But it’s Moff Tarkin versus Thrawn, both of them like jockeying for position.


Rosie Knight Yeah. Not a single lightsaber in sight, you know, just Andor, but like, hyper political.


Jason Concecpcion Hyper political, just them, like chess moves against each other, each trying to usurp the other, to be like the guy.


Rosie Knight Tthe guy, the number one.


Jason Concecpcion Number one guy. And then. And then Darth Vader being like the wild card because he thinks he’s the guy. I would like to see that.


Rosie Knight Yeah, I would like to see it.


Jason Concecpcion Man, that was really, really fun. Adam, thank you so much.


Rosie Knight Yeah. And if you have those theories or passions that you want to share, you know, we’ve had no doubts about all kinds of cool stuff. And the theory train is running strong. So hit us up at, and as always, the instructions are in the show notes.


Jason Concecpcion Well, that’s it for this really fun episode. What a what a great episode to record and a fun thing to talk about today. Rosie, any plugs?


Rosie Knight Yes, I will be writing all kinds of cool stuff. We’re coming up the Ant-Man and the WASP time, so you can check out my writing at IGN, Nerdist, Den of Geek, Polygon, all those cool places you can find me. Rosie Mark’s on Instagram or Letterbox’d and yeah, where can people find you?


Jason Concecpcion You can find me right here twice a week.


Rosie Knight Yeah, baby


Jason Concecpcion Wednesdays and Fridays in your podcast Feed and other places. We’ll talk about that later. Catch the next episode on Friday, February 4th. For a little mailbag action. Remember, we are bringing you two episodes a week. Two episodes a week. That’s one. Two episodes a week. Make a peace sign. That’s how many episodes a week we are bringing you.


Rosie Knight And if you like those episodes, then subscribe on YouTube, where we are now putting up the whole episodes and you can follow us on XRVPod on Twitter and check out our Discord, which we’ve been shouting out a lot because it’s a lot of fun with lots great, great members and they love to talk about all the things we love to talk about. We do watch parties for The Last of US and me and Jason are there. So yeah, make sure you check out the Discord and show us some love.


Jason Concecpcion Five star ratings. We need them. We got to have them. We love them.


Rosie Knight Five, five, five.


Jason Concecpcion You’re giving them to us. Here’s one from RCrowDetroit. Great, great, great. The opportunity to spend time with Jason. Rosie is truly one of the highlights of my week.


Rosie Knight Oh, thank you.


Jason Concecpcion I’m an old school comic collector, sci fi reader, movie fan. You are my people. Yes.


Rosie Knight That’s right. One of us.


Jason Concecpcion Let’s go us. X-ray vision is a Crooked Media production. The show is produced by Chris Lord and Saul Ruben. The show is executive produced by myself and Sandy Girard. Our editing and sound design is by Vasilis Fotopoulos. Delon Villanueva and Matt DeGroot provide video production support. Alex Reliford handles social media. Thank you Brian Vasquez for our theme music. See you next time. Bye bye. Joel’s got to hang out for a little while, then. What the fuck?