‘The Final of Us’ episode 3: The ending Linda Linda Ronstadt music, defined

Simply because it is a post-apocalyptic present by which society has been stripped right down to its naked, feral bones, doesn’t suggest The Final of Us cannot additionally characteristic the finer issues in life.

Music, for example.

From the very first episode, Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann’s HBO adaptation of the Naughty Canine recreation makes use of music in a key manner, with Depeche Mode’s “By no means Let Me Down Once more” setting an ominous tone for what lies forward as the top credit roll. Episode 3 closes this musical loop, nevertheless it additionally options (and is known as after) one other key music: Linda Ronstadt’s Grammy-nominated 1970 ballad “Lengthy Lengthy Time,” from her second album Silk Purse.


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How does Linda Ronstadt’s “Lengthy Lengthy Time” characteristic in episode 3?

Not lengthy after the Cordyceps pandemic outbreak, survivalist Invoice (Nick Offerman) discovers an uninfected stranger, Frank (Murray Bartlett), caught in one of many traps he is set outdoors his fortified residence city. After reluctantly serving to Frank out of the outlet and giving him a tremendous meal of rabbit and Beaujolais in his residence, Frank gleefully however courteously wanders over to Invoice’s piano and begins flipping by the stash of sheet music. Ditching a number of unappetising composers, he settles on The Better of Linda Ronstadt.

This is you,” says Frank, flipping by the e-book and sitting down on the keys. “Oh my God, that is my favorite.”

A man sats at a piano leafing through a music book while another man watches.

Credit score: Liane Hentscher/HBO

He begins to play and sing alongside to “Lengthy Lengthy Time” earlier than Invoice rapidly takes over in protest of Frank’s jaunty efficiency, singing the opening traces in a gruff, pained, however reverent voice.

“Love will abide, take issues in stride,
Seems like good recommendation however there is not any one at my aspect.
And time washes clear, love’s wounds unseen.
That is what somebody instructed me however I do not know what it means.

‘Trigger I’ve finished every little thing I do know to attempt to make you mine,
And I believe I am gonna love you for an extended, very long time.”

Ronstadt’s music prompts Frank to gauge and ensure Invoice’s sexuality, as moments later, the 2 of them share a passionate kiss that begins a many years lengthy relationship. On this sense, “Lengthy Lengthy Time” is the catalyst for his or her relationship and every little thing that follows.

Written by Gary White, Ronstadt’s music really issues unrequited love, however in The Final of Us, Invoice stops earlier than the second and third verses, which embody rather more explicitly pained lyrics about “a love that by no means was.” So, by chopping off the music right here, the present retains the burgeoning romance on a constructive observe, avoiding the break Ronstadt sung about.

What is the significance of “Lengthy Lengthy Time” taking part in on the finish?

After a shifting episode that tracks the life Invoice and Frank share, from their first assembly to their deaths not lengthy earlier than the arrival of Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey), issues finish on a suitably poignant notice.

After Joel has learn the letter Invoice’s left for him and so they’ve topped up on provides, Joel and Ellie set out for the street in Invoice’s truck. Within the glove field, Ellie finds a tape with “combine for Invoice” written on the aspect, and he or she slots it into the automobile’s participant over Joel’s objections. However as quickly because the music begins taking part in he alters his thoughts.

“Oh no, wait,” he says. “No, go away it. Depart it, that is good, that is Linda Rondstadt.”

As they drive away from the house Invoice and Frank shared for many years, we hear the unique model of “Lengthy Lengthy Time”, the music Invoice and Frank performed for one another on the piano all these years in the past. It is a becoming reminder of how a lot Joel and Invoice have in widespread (one thing Invoice underlines in his letter), but in addition a poignant throwback to the beginning of Invoice and Frank’s relationship.

The Final of Us is now streaming on HBO Max(opens in a brand new tab) with new episodes airing weekly on Sunday nights on HBO.

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