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New Escapist Column! On Why That Episode of “The Last of Us” Wasn’t Filler…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist this evening. This week saw the broadcast of Long Long Time, a spectacular episode of The Last of Us. While the episode was almost universally praise, there was some criticism that it was “filler.”

This is an interesting argument, in what it reveals about modern pop culture and what it misses about the art of storytelling. Long Long Time is thematically essential to The Last of Us. It’s an episode that establishes the actual meaningful stakes of the story, beyond the plot mechanics that spur the narrative forward. It’s easy to miss in an era where spoilers are considered a huge issue, where media is designed to be consumed at multiples of its intended speed, and where recap culture has reduced storytelling to lists of plot points. Nevertheless, it’s important.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.