The Gonzo Journals
January 30th, 2023
I knew it was coming. I just knew it. I even held my breath until I witnessed the first social media post because I believed deep down that society wouldn’t let me die. I’m sick and tired of being right all the time.
Last night, HBO Max premiered the third episode of their hit show The Last of Us. The reason it’s such a runaway success is because the source material is golden. They stray from it from time to time, but they always stay fairly true to the story’s roots. Last night was one of those instances…or was it?
We were introduced to doomsday prepper Bill and his “friend” Frank during last night’s showing. I recalled meeting them while playing the video game all the way back in 2013 on the PlayStation 3. Yes, this story has been available for a decade. For those who don’t play video games, information regarding the plot and characters was available through a quick Google or YouTube search. You could even watch someone else play the game! This is the age of information after all.
Attention: Spoiler Territory. Turn around, don’t drown.
The television episode took a bit of a deep dive into Bill and Frank’s personal relationship, becoming one of the most heart wrenching chapters of any show. If you have a heart, that is. Unfortunately, it was a little too much for some people.
The episode went into great detail regarding two burly, bearded men falling in love at the end of society as we knew it. Even though it’s HBO, it didn’t display any extreme nudity or sexual scenes – which is unusual for the home of GOT and HOTD – but the two men did kiss a few times. Sometimes that bothers American simpletons who are secretly confused about their own sexuality, but I found it to be rather tasteful. I’m as heterosexual as they come (hehe), but I wasn’t offended in the slightest. As a matter of fact, it was such a touching episode that my wife and I cried a little bit. Kudos to the show runners for departing a tad from the source material, but did they really? Only when it comes to Frank’s demise.
In the episode, Frank was slowly dying of cancer with no way to turn to doctors. Bill nursed him for who knows how long and pushed him around their “town” daily in his wheelchair. When Frank could take no more, he instructed Bill that today would be his last day on Earth, going out on his own terms rather than letting the disease take him when it may. Bill agreed to this but, rather than live alone in sorrow, decided to overdose on medication right beside Frank so that they wouldn’t have to live without one another. It was heartbreaking.
This strays from the game, leaving the explanation of Bill and Frank’s relationship up to the player. For those who can’t comprehend context clues within the dialogue, there are notes hidden throughout the Bill and Frank level revealing the two men were indeed romantically involved. They’d separated at some point and Frank was living in another house on the opposite side of Bill’s town. Frank committed suicide by hanging himself in a rather ‘less than overwhelmingly emotional’ revelation.
The television show fixed this in a very big way. It’s a tearjerker.
Just as I knew it would, men – aka little boys wearing grown up clothes – vomited on social media because their soap opera strayed from guns and gore and forced them to witness two souls in love. Who cares that they both sported beards and probably made Velcro sounds when they kissed, it was romantic as fuck! Both actors portraying the characters made the most sensical among us feel this emotion unfolding before our eyes. If you weren’t overwhelmed with sadness upon the finale of the episode, then I feel for your significant other, or lack thereof.
The worst reveal of all was when one of my literary colleagues boasted his own disgust with the episode calling it “woke” and inappropriate. To be honest, the source material was readily available for ten years. The word “woke” wasn’t even a thing in 2013, was it? At least not in its current, often misunderstood context. I mean, we are aware, as a society, that there are men and women all over the world who are homosexual and have been falling in love with each other for centuries, right? Why did this suddenly become such a shock to so many at 8pm CST on Sunday January 29th, 2023?
In the end, maybe I just expected more from a fellow author. We are artists, after all, and most of us tend to be a little more open minded than your typical deep south, MAGA flag waving, trailer park patrons who just recently discovered this newfangled invention called “the internet”. It’s great for looking at boobies whenever you want, just as long as Billy Joe Bob isn’t taking up residency on the party line again trying to talk his cousins into a three way.
Yes, Bill & Frank were gay for an entire decade before last night’s outing. Perhaps people should research television shows derived from other sources of media before getting all judgmental. It will make them look like less of a hatemongering idiot if they take the time to peruse a synopsis every now and then. We still all take our phones to the shitter, right? Perfect time for a good read.
Reading. Insert laugh here. Who in the fuck am I kidding?
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