The Last of Us’ widely-acclaimed third episode was originally two hours long, according to co-creator and co-writer Craig Mazin.
Titled ‘Long Long Time’, the episode shifts focus from series protagonists Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) to chronicle the love story between paranoid survivalist Bill (Nick Offerman) and his partner Frank (Murray Bartlett).
Written by Mazin, who helms the series alongside the original game’s creator Neil Druckmann, Long Long Time was met with overwhelming praise for the script, Offerman and Bartlett’s performances and its subversion of harmful LGBTQ+ tropes.
It has since been hailed as one of the best episodes of television ever broadcast. Speaking with Deadline, Mazin said he “knew” the episode was special once he saw the director’s cut, which was “almost two hours”. “I was like, oh, that’s probably not good.