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Mythic Quest - TBD - Review: Baby, Shark

Mythic Quest wrapped its solid second season with a few bold decisions that will certainly act as an intriguing base for a third year with our favorite crew of video game developers, should Apple TV+ grant us one. Read on for my review of “TBD”:

After making up at the hospital, Ian and Poppy are officially partners again. Eschewing their individual projects, they decide to collaborate to make a single expansion together, combining their two ideas into one. The immediate problem they face? As soon as they try to fix Poppy’s Hera expansion, they realize that it’s impossible to do without completely rebuilding the MQ servers from the ground up. Hearing this, Poppy tries her best to cope with all her time wasted on an expansion that couldn’t be built.

Rachel and Dana are preparing to move to Berkeley together, meaning that they are both leaving their tester jobs. Accosting David, they both quit quite ceremoniously, but Dana finds out after the fact that she didn’t get into Berkeley after all. She flies to Ian and Poppy to beg for her job back, showing them her Grouchy Goat demo as proof that she will work hard. They both remark that her work is terrible, but when she agrees with them, they ask her why she’s continued to work on the project even though she knows her demo is bad. She admits that she can see what it’s supposed to look like in her head, and wants to keep at it until it’s right. Impressed not by her work but by her “grit,” Ian and Poppy agree to pay for Dana’s schooling at a local programming school, keeping her on contract at MQ until she graduates. Rachel, however, is conflicted because she still wants to go to Berkeley, even though Dana won’t be there. The two agree to be long-distance, returning to the arrangement they had when their roles were reversed.

Jo records a call with Zach in an attempt to get him to confess to tricking her into committing a felony. He doesn’t fall for it, and Jo panics - could she really be going to prison? Jo convinces Brad to conspire with her and help her incriminate Zach in the insider trading scheme in a last-ditch effort to save her own skin. Brad agrees, but it seems to be a trap - Brad calls the SEC and informs them himself of insider trading going on at Mythic Quest. However, when the Feds arrive, it’s not Jo they ask to talk to, but Brad: he takes the fall for Jo, turning himself in to the Feds. If you think that’s a bit too “not Brad,” though, don’t worry - he did it for the “street cred.” Brad triumphantly walks out in (fake) handcuffs as Jo hypes up how much of a “dangerous felon” he is.

Poppy and Ian walk down memory lane, looking over old artifacts of Mythic Quest’s production. With help from C.W., the two realize that there’s nothing they can do for Mythic Quest anymore. “Raven’s Banquet is…was the end of the story,” they realize. As David bemoans the loss of Rachel, Dana and Brad, Poppy and Ian tell him that they, too, are leaving the company together to pursue other ventures.

A heartbroken (and now basically friendless) David encounters Jo as they both go to contemplate their new situations on the roof of the building. Hearing about David’s various woes, the power-hungry Jo realizes that David is the perfect person for her to manipulate. She volunteers to become his assistant again now that Brad is in prison.

Poppy and Ian, meanwhile, celebrate their newfound joblessness at a bar and discuss their future, planning a brand new game stemming from Poppy’s Hera idea - starting from scratch. With “Mythic Quest” having grown up and left the nest, Ian and Poppy are making a new baby - but, they agree, they are most certainly not giving in to any sexual tension that may or may not be between the two of them (we'll see how long that lasts...). As Poppy draws her first design for the new game on a bar napkin, the path of the MQ team is left blissfully uncharted.

Before I even get to any of the episode’s various plot twists, this episode was easily the funniest of the season. Charlotte Nicdao and Rob McIlhenny have immaculate chemistry, and Poppy and Ian working together is a treat. All the other characters were great (yet another shoutout to the sweet-as-sugar dynamic between Ashly Burch's Rachel and Imani Hakim's Dana), but it's Poppy and Ian who are the backbone of what makes this show worth watching.

Coming off of this finale, I’m really hopeful for the show's future (so long as it gets one, *cough cough* Apple! *cough cough*). Earlier in the season, I asked for boldness, and in the backend of the season, “Mythic Quest” delivered. The character divisions and arcs being set up for next season are intriguing, and the idea of Poppy and Ian working on their own is an enormous creative leap that, so long as it is executed with care, could bring the show into the creative renaissance that it has teetered on the cusp of for so long.

What did you think of “TBD,” and of this season of Mythic Quest as a whole? What would you change? And where do you think the characters will be if/when we pick up with them next? Let me know in the comments!

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