At times in series a particular scene with which one episode ends is continued directly at the beginning of the following episode. Is there a name or technical term for this?

An example is the scene at the end of the first episode of Mr. Robot, eps1.0_hellofriend.mov, in which Elliot Alderson is brought into a room full of men in suits, of whom we by now recognize the most prominent one. The episode ends on this cliffhanger, but picks it up at the beginning of the second episode, eps1.1_ones-and-zer0es.mpeg, where the group is introduced and the meaning of this meeting is revealed to Elliot (and the audience).

Edit: I am not talking about recaps, but about specific scenes.

Edit 2: They seem to get more frequent in series. As a few more examples: Peaky Blinders has a few of these 'inter-episodic scenes', and The End of the F***ing World has several - IIRC, most of it (or Season 2, at least) is based on this structure. Shameless uses it regularly (albeit after the intro), e.g. s05e05/e06.

  • I know what you mean. The Good Wife sometimes would do this. However they sometimes would also show the same scene, but from a different character perspective perspective (a different take/different audio specs/different angel(s)). Good Q, because I would like to know what these scenes are called too! Mar 31, 2019 at 16:48
  • I'd say a cliffhanger is a special case of the technique.
    – user888379
    Mar 31, 2019 at 20:25
  • A cliffhanger is its most common use, but not a requirement of the technique - cliffhangers are sometimes not even followed up, and do not ensure the same scene to return later on, let alone bridge two episodes.
    – Joachim
    Mar 31, 2019 at 20:31
  • 1
    If I were to come up with a term for this, I'd name it after that old two wheel auto-balancing electric scooter you steer by leaning. Because it takes you easy from place to place
    – infixed
    Apr 1, 2019 at 14:18
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    @Dave no, the Q is asking for continued scenes. Apr 1, 2019 at 15:23

1 Answer 1


No, there is no specific term. This is a common occurrence in star trek and many other shows, though not so much anymore I find...and is mostly just an ‘act break

Where a story is too long for a single episode or a scene is too long before a mandatory commercial break, and they end it, for the same scene to be picked up in the following episode immediately or after said break for the commercials where sometimes that scene is even replayed again (often in TNG) and continued.

These are not cliffhangers, nor recaps, as they are not positioned during the high point of the second or third acts (generally) And do not ‘recap’ what happened previously.

  • 2
    According to the page you linked, an 'act break' is the space that commercials occupy, which is not what I'm after (unless on the rare occasion where two episodes follow each other up with only a commercial break in the middle). And I'm talking about two different consequential episodes, not one that's broken up. I've also explicated that I'm not talking about recaps, and that these 'bridge scenes' I'm asking about can function as cliffhangers (which don't have to be positioned at specific moments, afaik), but aren't necessarily (albeit they lose their logical function, I guess).
    – Joachim
    Apr 1, 2019 at 22:14
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    I explicitly mentioned it was not a recap, or a cliffhangers recap. And the reason why your situation is at most an act break, infact as i said in the first sentence, there is no term for what you’re looking for. The use of an act break is not only exclusive for commercials, its literally a break of an act. It doesnt matter at what point or how long said break is. There are no rules that state it has to be between commercials. Apr 1, 2019 at 23:14
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    I find that the sort of scene the OP is talking about has been becoming more frequent over the course of the last decade or so (at least in North American TV shows) as the popular TV format has been shifting from episodic plot lines to serials. This isn't to say it happens all the time, of course, but certainly moreso than it used to in the 90s and earlier, where every episode was self-contained, barring "to-be-continued"s.
    – Steve-O
    Apr 2, 2019 at 20:50

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