It might be easy to ask why we’re even writing this article in the first place. It’s just rating rigging and isn’t hurting anyone in the real world, so what’s the big deal, huh? In a logical world, yes, we wouldn’t have to write this article because it is relatively harmless.
However, we aren’t living in a logical world. We’re living in a world where even the suggestion of queerness prompts people to accuse others of grooming and abusing children. These actions, at the very least, have caused for the banning of books and events such as drag shows. The Washington Post recently reported that physical attacks against Jewish people and LGBTQ+ individuals have drastically spiked along with rising hate speech on Twitter since Elon Musk took over as CEO. As of this writing, it’s been only three months since a mass shooting at Colorado Springs’ Club Q left five innocent people dead. It’s hard to argue that we aren’t in the midst of a terrifying rise in homophobic and transphobic hate not only in the United States but the world at large.
What does any of this have to do with “The Last of Us” and its third episode? Well, “Long, Long Time” mostly revolves around the 20-year relationship between two gay men: the lonely and repressed Bill (Nick Offerman) and the out-and-lively Frank (Murray Bartlett). Their relationship is far from smooth sailing, as Bill’s conspiratorial paranoia and Frank’s perpetual optimism aren’t always compatible. However, they make it work, despite the literal end-of-the-world happening outside their walls.