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Would you watch a two-hour version of The Last of Us, Episode 3? Because it exists

Didn't get your fill of The Last of Us, Episode 3? Well, you'll be pleased to know that there's a 2-hour version of it out there... somewhere.

What did you make of the most recent episode of The Last of Us? Did you think it was great? Did you think it was one of the most powerful, impactful, and touching pieces of TV we've seen in recent years? Because I did. In fact, I wrote a good 1000 words on why it's so effective as a bit of good, prestige TV the other day (even taking into account that, yes, it does deviate from the games).


Could this be one of 2023's best episodes of TV? Yes.

But what if there was more of it? To catch you up, Episode 3 is pretty much the only episode we're going to see Bill in – a character that lives far longer in the games. The episode, bookended by Joel and Ellie making their way across the ruined heartland of America, mostly focuses on Bill and his doomed romance with partner, Frank.

After an unlikely meeting, the two of them enjoy a slow and intense relationship in Bill's protected compound. Safe (for the most part), from the threats of the world around them, Bill and Frank start to prop each other up fill in the gaps in each others' lives - even if there is some friction along the way.

Some delicious food and a little Linda Ronstadt later, and the two set up the rest of their lives. We're taken on something of a whistlestop tour of this romance, showing how it starts, how it fleshes out in the middle, and how it ends. The episode clocks in at a whopping 75 minutes – and we still only really get a superficial look at what's going on between the two men.

There exists a version of the episode that's longer – by about 45 minutes.

“When [director Peter Hoar] sent it to me, I think it was almost two hours or something like that,” explains show co-creator, Craig Mazin, in an interview with Deadline. “So, I was like, oh, that’s probably not good. And I sat down, but I’m like, ‘OK, I’ll watch the two-hour version of this episode.’

“And I cried so hard that at one point, I actually said out loud: ‘Ow.’ I mean, it hurt. I cried so hard; it hurt. And I thought: ‘Well, if these guys can do this to me and I wrote this f**king thing, then I think it might work pretty well on other people.’ Now, we did work really hard to, but we knew we couldn’t put a two-hour version of this thing out there.”

The various emotional gut punches that land in the show come pretty hard and fast as it is – if the show had more time to establish the stakes and the characters, can you imagine how much harder it'd slap?

Whether we'll ever get to see this bonus length episode (maybe on the eventual Blu-Ray release of the series?) remains to be seen, but it's nice to know that something exists that could flesh out this gorgeous relationship a little bit more.

Does Mazin think we'll ever see it? Who knows. In the same interview, Mazin notes that he never wants the show to “overstay his welcome,” but if it's something the fans call for, maybe one day, HBO will release the 'Hoar cut'.

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