Mythic Quest (Season 3), Episode 9: While the series had focused more on Ian’s creative genius in the invention of Mythic Quest, it is now exploring the potential of other characters without letting it ever seem contrived. Poppy argues with him about his lack of interest in working for GrimPop for her idea of Playpen. For him, it becomes difficult to see someone else running the ship instead of him. The previous episode tackled the conflict between the two creators through its tenderly confrontational moment.
Its new episode shows the ripples of this argument behind other developments in both the gaming studios and their passionate leaders.
Mythic Quest (Season 3), Episode 9 Recap:
The Year Of Phil
Directed by Todd Biermann, the 9th episode titled ‘The Year Of Phil’ is written by Ashly Burch. Episode 4 showed Jo (Jessie Ennis) tackling the deal with Joe Manganiello for casting him as the leader of the Mythic Quest live-action film. While David (David Hornsby) could not reach on time for that meeting and meet Joe in person, he is now in charge of managing this popular actor for the movie under his supervision. Until now, he had mostly needed to deal with anxious gamers and egomaniac game enthusiasts, where he did not need to be upfront with them by himself.
Now that the success of the movie is crucial, David needs to deal with the super-confident actor. By now, Ian (Rob McElhenney) was the only ever-confident person he needed to deal with, and he failed most of the time. So, he is not ready to tackle the challenge. And it shows when Joe goes on to make unusual demands, whether it is keeping his helmet always on or his character being of German descent. David understands that he cannot comply and proceed with them but is not confident enough to say ‘No’ to him. As always, he is scared to be an unlikeable figure or to even raise his voice without being unapologetic.
Being an authoritarian, Jo keeps reminding David that Joe, the actor, is nothing but a worker for David, who needs to comply with his demands. David reminds her that it is not the last era of the USSR where such language was accepted! However, she sees him struggling with this minimal task on his hand, which he should have a better grasp of, and thinks of inviting Ian herself. Ian comes in and, to his own surprise, ends up being charmed by Joe, who is also a fan of Ian and his persona. While Joe manhandles David merely with his confidence, he manhandles Ian by using Ian’s love for his own charisma to his advantage.
Meanwhile, in GrimPop, Poppy (Charlotte Nicdao) is gearing up for her investor pitch for Playpen. As always, she is pumped up about this thing that she has worked on and built from scratch. And unlike Mythic Quest, for which she tirelessly worked for years as a programmer, she is now entering the realm of being a creative head. Since she is new to this side of the business, she does not feel confident in this role. And while she assumes she is winning over everyone (basically the two male game-testers that she brought over from Mythic Quest to praise her unconditionally), Dana (Imani Hakim) brings her back to reality by stating that she is not nearly as confident.
Even worse, Dana reminds Poppy that she is not Ian, who has a sense of effortless confidence. That rubs her off badly because she argues with him and confesses her inner conflict. Dana notes how the investor would want to invest in her instead of the game and how it does not matter, even if it is genuinely brilliant. That still does not make her feel confident in herself, so Dana decides to coach Poppy with some lessons in effortless charm. She mentions that the fate of ‘their’ game is in her hands, which Poppy finds odd. How can she claim ownership even if she did not invent the tool? Or even if she is just a recent employee, who is supposed to be their junior?
Dana claims that it was her idea to give Playpen to users to create their own games. Poppy envies her and craves Dana’s level of confidence. That is when she submits herself to be taught by this junior. Meanwhile, Carol (Naomi Ekperigin) from HR of Mythic Quest takes Rachel (Ashly Burch), Brad (Danny Pudi), and Phil (Derek Waters), to speak with their new employees about how she motivates people to be better and more successful versions of themselves. She takes credit for employing Rachel as the head of the monetization from being just a tester and Brad as her assistant from being a janitor. They both note how weak her claims are.
After getting politely angry at them, Carol talks about Phil, and upon learning one of the new employees named Phil calls the long-term employee – ‘old Phil.’ He hates that and calls out her bias of ageism. Carol was not aware that there was such a thing. Phil, however, notes how there are hardly any older employees besides him and decides to gather others who are angry at working for Mythic Quest. However, he cannot find anyone right away. He then heads into the testers’ room, thinking it would be filled with young, impressionable kids.
He gets surprised to see two guys, who are older than him, sitting and enjoying their work. Carol walks into the room and mentions hiring them just that morning. Being happy for outsmarting Phil, she speaks of herself in the third person and sings the praise for her authority. Both the old, white guys do not understand who she was speaking about since they do not know her name or any other woman’s name from the office, even if they have communicated with them.
Mythic Quest (Season 3), Episode 9 Ending, Explained:
Getting tired of Ian and Joe bonding, David decides to step in. He orders Ian to come to speak in person and then surprisingly manages to bring his confidence down by using his strategies against him. While Ian had earlier claimed his authority over Mythic Quest, he now walks back in fear of getting caught by the police for entering an office without the employer’s permission. Hearing that, even Joe decides to abide by David’s authority and not have his mask on for the film’s entire duration.
Meanwhile, Poppy becomes so confident that she decides to drive the car alone. While she nails the pitch, the investor still decides to deny funding it. He then notes it because of her previous communication, where she abused them despite their extremely generous offer. Dana gets enraged at Poppy upon realizing that she had come to an investor despite that terrible past experience. Poppy, however, is genuinely confused about whether her behavior is psychotic or confident. She still does not have a grasp over it as Ian or Dana does. This episode reveals the changing power dynamic between both these creative studios.