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Last Night's "The Last Of Us" Managed To Be Both Awful And Boring

Chris Pizzello. Shutterstock Images.

Up until episode seven, the only debate about each The Last Of Us episode was whether it was good or great. I found the places and people Joel and Ellie saw and met to be very interesting. The flashbacks were all really compelling and even when other characters were introduced, they were fascinating and believable. This episode was predictable, moved at a glacier pace and wasn't well acted for the first time in the entire season.

This makes last week's title card stating "Three Months Later" even more infuriating. Rather then spend over an hour in the abandoned mall, I would have much rather seen more of what most people love about the show: Joel and Ellie traveling across the country. It's certainly not spending an excessive amount of time in a Spirit Halloween.

Giphy Images.

I know some people were as frustrated with Episode Three as I am with Seven. Three was the one featuring Bill's (Nick Offerman) story. For me, the difference was that felt unique. The world Frank created was unique and interesting. The love story with Frank (Murray Bartlett) felt honest and unlike anything I've seen on television before. The time jumps kept the story going at a brilliant pace and I found it to be really creative. Compared to that, this episode felt like an afterschool special.

Despite the excitement of the clickers and the great premise the video game has, Pedro Pascal is a huge reason this show is so good. He's a brilliant actor who carries so much of the show on his back. Whether or not you liked the Bill/Frank episode, no one can honestly criticize the performances of Offerman and Bartlett. They were great. I've said before in the blog how Ramsey has been hit or miss all season (her best episode by far was Episode 5) and I didn't buy her best friend turned love interest Riley (Storm Reid). Reid is most known for Euphoria, which I've never seen. But in fairness to both Ramsey and Reid, I think the main issue with this episode was the writing.

Giphy Images.

This has been a show that if anything has felt rushed at times. This like it was in slow motion. When Riley said there were five surprises in the mall, I assumed we'd be seeing a clicker attack by the second or third. No way were we going to see every facet of a mall for 65 minutes, right? Wrong. It all felt so plodding and boring. I don't know if we were supposed to feel some kind of mall nostalgia, but by the time they got to the arcade and kept playing Mortal Kombat II, I was as bored as I was in 1994 when I was waiting in line to play the game.

I do like this show very much and while I didn't like this episode at all, I'm guessing it's more of a detour than a five car pile up. I'm assuming next week, we'll be back to seeing Joel, Ellie and the storyline we care about. The flashbacks can be sources of the best and worst The Last Of Us has to offer. It's a little like Lost in that way. Some of those flashbacks were brilliant (Walkabout) and others were about Jack getting a tattoo. The difference is with a 22 episode season, punting one here or there made more sense than in a nine episode season.

I do think next week will be better. At the very least, the show can't get much worse.

Episode 7: D

Episode 6: B

Episode 5: A

Episode 4: B-

Episode 3: A+

Episode 2: B

Episode 1: A-