Portrayed by Nick Offerman, Bill is a minor but important character in ‘HBO’s post-apocalyptic action-drama series ‘The Last of Us.’ Episode 3, titled ‘Long Long Time,’ takes a break from the main narrative and focuses on the poignant, wistful, and tragic story of Bill and Frank (Murray Bartlett). After the outbreak starts in 2003, the military gathers up all of Bill’s neighbors and takes them away under the pretext of guiding them to one of the quarantine zones. In reality, they were all executed. Bill escapes this fate by hiding in his basement bunker.
After the soldiers are gone, Bill sets up a parameter around the town with deadly traps and electric fences. He spends the next four years living all alone until Frank arrives. An artist, Frank lived in the Baltimore quarantine zone until it was destroyed. Initially caught in one of Bill’s traps, Frank ends up spending his life with him. If the events at the end of the episode have made you wonder whether Bill is dead and Offerman has left ‘The Last of Us,’ we got you covered. SPOILERS AHEAD,
Is Bill Dead?
Yes, Bill is dead in HBO’s ‘The Last of Us.’ After Frank’s arrival, he and Bill build a life together in the latter’s town. In 2010, they meet Joel and Tess, who invite them into their smuggling business. Although Bill doesn’t necessarily like Joel, he comes to recognize the man as a protector like him. Frank brought purpose and love into his life when he was bereft of both.
Sixteen years pass, and in 2023, Frank struggles with an unidentified neurodegenerative disease and uses a wheelchair. One morning, Frank declares that this will be the last day of his life. Bill doesn’t protest and spends the day with his domestic partner. They get married and have the dinner that Bill has made for them. Frank realizes too late the wine they both drank is laced with sleeping pills. Bill and Frank die together on the bed they have shared all these years. Sometime after, Joel arrives with Ellie and learns what happened.
The HBO show has been developed from the namesake Naughty Dog game, where the ending of Bill and Frank’s story is significantly harsher. Frank grows tired of his life with Bill and how the latter refuses to change. He leaves their home on his own and is soon infected. He hangs himself to death, holding on to his bitterness toward his “partner” till the last breath. On the other hand, Bill doesn’t die in the game. He is presumably still alive during the events of ‘The Last of Us Part II,’ set around five years after the first game.
Did Nick Offerman Leave The Last of Us?
Yes, Nick Offerman has likely left ‘The Last of Us,’ given his character is already dead. Even though we neither see him die nor take the pills, and he is alive in the game, the series creators are not likely to show him alive later because it will negatively impact the beautiful and self-contained story they developed for this episode. Moreover, although Bill is mentioned a few times, he doesn’t appear again in the game after Joel and Ellie depart from his home. So, keeping him alive will not serve any narrative purpose in the show.
Series co-creator Craig Mazin confirmed in an interview with the Los Angeles Times that Bill was indeed dead. “They reach an end on their own terms,” he stated. “And like Bill says, ‘I’m old, I’m satisfied, and you were my purpose.’ That feels like a victory to me.”
Mazin continued, “For people who played the game and loved the game, this is pretty much all entirely new. The story of Bill and Frank and the letter that Bill leaves behind [in the show] is such a huge part of why Joel decides he’s going to keep going [on this journey] with Ellie … Their relationship ultimately becomes kind of the skeleton key to unlock all of this show, as far as I’m concerned.”
The show producers originally wanted actor Con O’Neill for the role of Bill, but he was otherwise busy. Offerman was a last-minute addition to the cast. Even though his character is dead in ‘The Last of Us,’ you can catch the ‘Parks and Recreation’ actor in upcoming projects such as ‘Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning – Part Two,’ ‘Butterfly in the Typewriter,’ and ‘Dumb Money.’
Read More: Is Frank Dead? Did Murray Bartlett Leave The Last of Us?