Invoice and Frank’s years-long, post-apocalyptic romance unfolds chapter by chapter, in breathtakingly stunning vogue. From their first, nervous encounter on Invoice’s farm, to their ugly cry-inducing remaining meal as a married couple, the story of their life collectively is instructed elegantly, and with the extent of dignity it deserves.
The heroes of the piece are in fact Offerman and Bartlett, whose efficiency as a pair is pitch-perfect. Their physicality tells a lot of the story right here. When Invoice brings Frank his first meal after releasing him from one among his notorious traps, he’s turtled up and tense. And once they transfer to the piano to alternate songs, he comes out of his shell a bit due to Frank’s disarming heat, conveyed with a delicate hand on the shoulder and two easy, liberating phrases of affection and recognition: “I do know.”
As the next chapters of their romance play out, we see completely different shades and colours of the connection, glimpsing moments of friction, peril, and bliss. From the primary time they make love, to their double date with Joel and Tess (miss you already, Anna Torv!), to Invoice’s scrape with dying through the raider invasion, to Frank shocking Invoice with a plot of ripe strawberries, each slice of life we see is equal elements transferring and coronary heart wrenching, particularly when it turns into clear their lifetime of bliss is coming to an finish.
There are little poetic touches in all places. Early on, we see Frank arguing with Invoice over desirous to spruce up their little city with a brand new coat of paint (Invoice considers it a “useful resource administration” challenge). Years later, as Frank’s well being is deteriorating, we discover Frank surrounded by stunning work he’s accomplished of their home’s devoted artwork room. Booby Lure Invoice was a softie all alongside—he simply wanted Frank to assist him embrace his true self.
The ultimate chapter of Invoice and Frank’s life collectively is overwhelming to look at, which is spectacular contemplating we’ve solely spent one episode attending to know them and their story. It is a testomony to the unbelievable work put in by Offerman, Bartlett, and the inventive partnership between showrunner Craig Mazin, Final of Us creator Neil Druckmann, and the writers. Although we come to like Invoice and Frank a lot by the top of their story, once they make that remaining stroll to their bed room collectively, sure, it’s heartbreaking, nevertheless it additionally looks like a pure, becoming conclusion to their story. The Final of Us collection has at all times been a narrative about love at its core however wrapped up in a tragedy and “Lengthy Lengthy Time” is exemplary of each of these components.
The great factor in regards to the episode’s epilogue with Joel and Ellie is that it seamlessly transfers the entire emotional heft constructed up within the ballad of Invoice and Frank to the principle storyline. Invoice’s letter to Joel reminds him that males like he and Joel “have a job to do,” and that’s to guard these near them in any respect prices. “God assist any motherf*clerks who stand in our manner,” Invoice writes. Those that have performed the sport will know simply how darkish the implications of those phrases are.