It’s girlboss brunch time on this week’s Mythic Quest, the Apple TV+ show about the overworked, undervalued and confused team of executives and developers who keep a gaming company afloat. Jo, Poppy and Rachel go to brunch together and make some discoveries about themselves and each other.
Meanwhile, Ian and Dana search for inspiration in the desert. David gets excited because a Mythic Quest movie might be in the works, even though everyone and everything is screaming at him that it’s a bad idea. Also, Brad might not be the changed man he appears to be.
Mythic Quest recap: ‘Crushing It’
Season 2, episode 3: When we join the Mythic Quest brain trust in this week’s episode, entitled “Crushing It,” David (played by David Hornsby) is trying to tell Jo (Jessie Ennis) and Carol (Naomi Ekperigin) some good news when Brad (Danny Pudi) walks in. They all assume he got named in a sexual harassment suit, and it takes him a minute to redirect the conversation. Hollywood wants to make a Mythic Quest movie, and David’s going to be named executive producer. Neither Carol nor Brad are impressed.
Speaking of unimpressed, Poppy Li (Charlotte Nicdao) keeps making coding breakthroughs and Ian (Rob McElhenney) and Dana (Imani Hakim) are nowhere in sight to encourage her. (He’s on some kind of desert retreat.)
The only person who’s there when Poppy makes her coding deadline is Rachel (Ashly Burch), who stops by to steal her sandwiches because she’s broke. Rachel wants to celebrate Poppy, so she suggests they go get brunch. They run into Jo and begrudgingly invite her along as well, knowing she has nothing better to do.
Some people call it ‘the brunch’
Rachel realizes a few minutes into the outing that neither of these women has any friends. Poppy is so unused to the idea of going to brunch with friends that she calls it “the brunch.” Rachel is incredulous.
“Did you just call it ‘The Brunch’?” she asks.
“That’s how we say it in Australia,” Poppy replies.
“Is it?” Rachel asks.
“Yeah, it’s weird that you guys don’t say it like that,” Poppy says, embarrassed (and Nicdao scores with a home run of a delivery, as usual).
Getting seriously tanked
Jo figures out that Rachel and Poppy’s version of celebrating themselves is just elaborately lying to spare their self-esteem as she watches them get drunk, lose their confidence, and dissolve into teary messes. Jo resolves to fix the day. She takes them to a gun range and lets them drive a tank across a bunch of old cars. It can’t help but put a smile on your face to watch them drive a tank.
Elsewhere, David has a word with Sue (Caitlin McGee), one of his investors who desperately tries to talk him out of making the Mythic Quest movie. Game fans hate game movies, and this will be no exception, she says.
He seems unsure, and was getting used to that “executive producer” title on his business card. He goes down to brag to Ian about it, but finds the Grim Pop offices empty. Then he can’t figure out how to use the elevator in the too-modern basement to leave. He goes stir-crazy almost instantly. Excellent and simple.
While he’s down there, Brad almost convinces Carol to fire everyone and restructure the company and get into NFTs.
I guess that means I’m done for the day
This week, we finally got a Mythic Quest episode full of Jo moments that justify the character, which is, at its worst, overwritten and under-valuable to the dynamic of the show. Jo’s apoplexy about the simplest things can’t be unique every week (even Yosemite Sam calmed down every once in a while), and it’s not Jessie Ennis‘ fault that she really leans into the part.
However, this week she had her best moment full stop. When she drops by Grim Pop to collect Ian and he’s not there, she has an agonizing few seconds where she realizes she has nothing to do with her life outside of the office.
“I guess that means … I’m done for the day … so I’m gonna go … hang out … with my friends,” she says. And then she turns and faces the wall, standing motionless in front of a confused Poppy and Rachel. The show then cuts to a wide shot of the room, emphasizing the distance between the three of them as they stand silently.
Finally, when Rachel relents and asks Jo if she wants to join their brunch, she just nervously nods her head like a sad kid. Magnificent … that was the biggest laugh this week, until her next absolute miracle moment.
Big laughs incoming
When Rachel and Poppy are hopefully toasting the things they wish they were doing well, they turn to Jo and ask her what she’s celebrating.
“This girl that used to bully me at school lost her house in a tornado,” Jo says. I was laughing so loud my neighbors could clearly hear me. This episode marks the best Jo has yet been allowed to be by the Mythic Quest writers. And Jessie Ennis is a hurricane this week. Just outstanding.
Elsewhere, the little bits of David, Carol, Brad and especially Sue (hope we see more of this character — Caitlin McGee is very good) serve up digestible bites around the heavier bits involving Jo, Rachel and Poppy. You never feel like you want to get back to the more-showy plot line. A perfect episode of this show.
Watch Mythic Quest on Apple TV+
New episodes of the third season of Mythic Quest arrive on Apple TV+ every Friday.
Watch on: Apple TV+
Scout Tafoya is a film and TV critic, director and creator of the long-running video essay series The Unloved for RogerEbert.com. He has written for The Village Voice, Film Comment, The Los Angeles Review of Books and Nylon Magazine. He is the author of Cinemaphagy: On the Psychedelic Classical Form of Tobe Hooper, the director of 25 feature films, and the director and editor of more than 300 video essays, which can be found at Patreon.com/honorszombie.