Standalone Episodes Make TV Shows Feel Fresh

I recently watched the entirety of Mythic Quest. It was a good show, with a few standout episodes. One of them, “Dark Quiet Death,” particularly stands out. It is not part of the ongoing story of the crew over at the “Mythic Quest” video game. Instead, it’s about two entirely different people played by Joel McHale and Cristin Milioti. The episode chronicles the rise, and fall, of the couple and their video game “Dark Quiet Death.” It’s a self-contained story. It’s a standalone episode. Sometimes TV shows do this, and it’s always a big swing. It also sometimes really pays off.

“Dark Quiet Death” definitely sticks out to me among the episodes of Mythic Quest. That’s partially because it’s completely different from anything else, but also because it’s a well-done story. On this subject, I am reminded of the Amazon original Forever. I may have forgotten that show entirely if not for the episode “Andre and Sarah.” It’s the best episode of the show, and one of the best episodes of television I can remember in recent memory. It basically has nothing to do with the rest of Forever. We barely see any of the regular characters. It’s a short story full of beauty and poignancy. You could watch it and, until the end, just watch that episode and understand everything and appreciate it.

Lost: “Ab Aeterno“ Gives Answers But Leaves Room For Theories | 25YL

Perhaps the most-famous recent example of this is the Lost episode “Ab Aeterno.” Although, most people won’t stand for praise of Lost these days. I also feel like this counts even though it involves a character from the show, Richard Alpert, because he’s by-and-large a tertiary character.

Obviously, this doesn’t happen a lot. There’s not a Frasier episode that follows, say, Gil around. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of these, though. It’s a fresh way to chance the pace if you can justify it. The problem, I suppose, is justifying it. The Simpsons sort of did it recently and even that episode was built around Skinner and Chalmers. Also, it took them like 30 years to do it. It’d be cool to see an episode of Barry about a different hitman, or an episode of Teen Titans Go about, say, Kid Flash on some adventure. In fact, Teen Titans Go have done a few episodes adjacent to this already. Why not just pull the trigger, guys?

Chris Morgan
Author: Chris Morgan

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