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Mythic Quest - Peter - Review: When Life Gives You Lemons

No, although you might think you’re not watching a remake of Grumpy Old Men, but this week’s insane, quiet, oddly cathartic episode of Mythic Quest. Read on for my review of “Peter”:

After the revelations about her relationship with Dana, Rachel has decided to say yes more in her life - which includes saying yes when C.W. needs a ride to visit Peter Cromwell, who we were introduced to last week as C.W.’s former friend. Also a sci-fi writer, Peter's relationship with the "MQ" writer soured when he won the heart of mutual friend Anne, who C.W. also was in love with. When the episode begins, we find that Peter recently reached out to C.W., asking to reconcile, but the writer only accepted the invitation in order to try and humiliate his former romantic rival.

At this point, Anne had died many years prior, but her presence is still deeply felt throughout Peter and C.W.’s tense reunion. Peter almost immediately begns talking to C.W. about how happy Anne and he were, touting all the children and grandchildren they had. Trying to compensate, C.W. pretends that Rachel is his own granddaughter, “Calpurnia.”

The meeting is unpleasant from the start, as Peter and C.W. bite and bicker at every turn of phrase. Quickly, C.W. realizes that Peter doesn’t intend to apologize to him, and in fact, Anne and Peter’s daughter Jenny actually set up the meeting, telling Peter that C.W. was intending to apologize to him. The two men quickly begin to argue, until C.W. touts his Nebula Award as the pedestal hoisting him above Peter (even though, as you may recall, he won it for a plagiarized novel).

Although absolutely no one is having a good time at this reunion, C.W. (and a reluctant Rachel) stay in order to discover a good way to enact vengeance on Peter. At dinner, a tipsy and disgruntled C.W. leaves to go to the bathroom, only to go riffle through Peter’s desk instead. Earlier on, Peter admitted that although he had written and published 19 out of a planned 20 sci-fi novels, after Anne’s death, he couldn’t bear to finish the last book. However, C.W.’s snooping leads him to find that Peter had finished his last novel after Anne died, and, as it turns out, the novel was never published because his first 19 novels were only published as a favor for Anne. After she died, the publishers wanted nothing to do with Peter’s writing. C.W. drunkenly returns and exposes this fact to the table, effectively embarrassing himself and his old friend all in one go.

Done with the drama, Rachel is overjoyed when C.W. then opts to leave. But as she starts up the car outside, the two men have a final moment alone to exchange last words. When C.W. asks why Peter’s daughter would’ve possibly put the reunion together, Peter admits that he’s dying and his daughter “still believed that closure existed.” “It does,” C.W. says, “But not for you.”

Blackout drunk, the “Mythic Quest” employees take off, but C.W. soon passes out in Rachel’s car and Rachel, scared, returns him to Peter’s mansion. C.W. awakens the next morning, greatly hungover and face-to-face with Anne - or, really, it’s Jenny, the spitting image of her mother.

Jenny explains to C.W. that Anne never spoke about him to her - that is, until she brought home a copy of “Mythic Quest” and insisted Jenny show her how to play it. Anne was proud of C.W. for predicting video games’ popularity and finding the thing he wanted to do with his life, she explains. Having delivered a final, posthumous message from Anne to C.W., Jenny leaves, even sucking on a lemon slice like her mother used to, and C.W. says a quiet goodbye to his lost friend.

Going back to Peter, literally sitting in a garden that Anne planted, C.W. admits that he read all of Peter’s novels, and asks Peter to read him the unpublished 20th and final book. He does, and we pan out with the pair’s complex relationship having been mended by their shared love for days and people long passed.

Absolutely beautiful. Riding the wave of last week’s episode, this was a dynamic, beautiful half-hour. I do think it did lack somewhat in the nuance we saw in “Backstory!,” although this is hardly noticeable as much of the episode features two seasoned Oscar winners going toe-to-toe in the way only seasoned Oscar winners can.

In all, I think that drama-heavy episodes like this continue to show off the creative leaps that this show can so easily and gracefully take. Mythic Quest has found a gorgeous, weird, hilarious, unique little niche and I hope it can continue to grow from there.

What did you think of “Peter?” How do you feel now about C.W.’s (rather controversial) character? And don’t you wish, more than ever, that the show would slim down on the “Yum Yum”-s and become a show full of “Backstory!” and “Peter”-s? Let me know in the comments!

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