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The Last of Us episode 3 strawberries have an even deeper meaning

The strawberries are one of the great images in The Last of Us episode 3, and it turns out they add more to the horror series than you'd think

Murray Bartlett in The Last of Us

Needless to say, there’s not been a dry eye since The Last of Us TV series episode 3. The Last of Us characters Bill and Frank enthralled us, and then broke our hearts in beautiful fashion. Turns on, the horror series episode goes even deeper than you’d think, as there’s a neat symbol of their love together.

Andrew Kuhar, a UI/UX developer and designer who’s grown his owner strawberries, talked about some deeper connotations from the episode on Twitter. “They actually have something in common with the themes of connection being explored through fungi/mycelium,” he explains. “Strawberries will take over your entire yard if left unchecked. They produce ‘runners’ to grow laterally, creating new plants.”

Like Cordyceps, these off shoots from the mother plant can spread quickly. Though they seem small at first, if you aren’t paying attention, they can take root and infest your garden. Sounds quite a bit like the infected, doesn’t it?

Beyond that, what’s perhaps even more special is what Kuhar points out about how one achieves a healthy batch of fresh fruit. “Strawberry plants won’t produce fruit at the size Bill and Frank had them until the next growing season,” he adds. “The first season will only produce very small berries, when most of the plant’s energy is spent growing the plant itself. Frank spent a year on this.”

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Who the hell is cutting onions right now? Anyway, ‘Long Long Time’ was a masterclass in TV series writing, and this just makes the incredible performances from The Last of Us cast even better. The story would be self-contained if not for Joel and Ellie‘s occasional scenes, making it a sweet jumping on point for audiences.

We have a guide to the music in episode 3, if you’re curious. Have a look at our list of the best zombie movies if you’re more into the gore than love stories.