Episode 3 wasn't just good by the metrics of TV adaptations of video game, it was one of the best hours of television I've ever seen, period. I'd been anticipating getting to this point and...ya know sometimes I get a little skeptical when critics make such big promises as here (I can remember some monumental letdowns before), but Long Long Time really does make the case for narrative deviation from the source material in a big way that firmly gives the TV version its own distinct identity for what I feel like is the first time.
Without spoiling too much, you remember that note disclosing Bill and Frank's previous partnership alongside the latter's fate? Whelp, confirmed, this is 2023 now, not 2013 anymore, so Bill and Frank can have a real romance arc now, not just a passing acknowledgment after the fact. Indeed, said arc is the heart and soul of this episode, composing the bulk of it...and it's just beautiful! It does indeed end with a heart-wrenching conclusion still, but it's a different, and way more powerful, one than that in the game. The chemistry between these two is palpable from the outset and we get to watch Bill's contempt for humanity slowly melt away into a special mix of joy that we never see from him in the game combined with a new kind of fear unfamiliar previously unfamiliar to him. I won't spoil the new way that it all ends, but I will say that you don't have to be a gay man to weep bitterly over it.
This is must-view TV, simply put, and it's a real breakthrough for the show that, to me, gives it genuine merit separate and apart from the video game's existence. It's now ways in which the show diverges from the game's content that are standing out to me as the most special of all. I haven't stopped loving the game, but I'm now extremely glad that this show exists, and I don't just mean as a fan of the game. The TV series is now succeeding on its own merits, not just those of the game that inspired it. I can't wait to see more!
I agree witht all of the above; this was a truly amazing episode. This show at its best rivals most shows on my top 10 list at their best, and that's saying something. I'm really loving how they're very true to the source material, but deviate where it holds the most punch, and that they're giving some side-characters a lot of love and respect. I also like the flashbacks to the beginning, to see how it all started with the infection. I'm absolutely gobsmacked at how well they've adapted this to its new format and medium - this show could end up cleaning house come award season.