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axumblade said:

It’s weird to say this but I feel like episode 3 helped you get inside of the mind of someone like Joel. His shift in demeanor in episode 4 is evidence of the commitment he has to protect Ellie.

I loved the character development and the buildup for the next episode. I’m just curious if this will be a continuous pursuit throughout the season or just one of many stops.

I don't think that's weird, in fact; I believe it's the entire point of the episode. It's a portrait of how one man chose love and hope, while the other fell into deep despair and anger, all during the same timeframe. It's also a foreshadowing and hint at Joel's potential for actual, heartfelt relationships and love again. Their meeting somewhere along the midway point on the timeframe, the barbeque in the garden, shows them at the same junction, but headed in opposite directions, while their more lively partners both held more hope all along. Their intrinsic roles as protectors also shone through, which is why they both clashed and respected one another all at the same time (further evidenced by Bill's obvious admiration in the letter, and by Joel's visibly distraught reaction to Bill's death). Bill's characterization serves as a perfect juxtaposition to Joel's; they are both widely different and very similar all at once. I found it brilliant, personally.