‘Mythic Quest’ Levels Up in Heart and Humor for Stellar Season 3

There is something admirable about a television show that can completely shake up its formula, send its core characters into different directions, and still remain the delightful series audiences originally fell in love with. It’s not an easy task, but season three of Apple TV+’s Mythic Quest makes the challenge look like a breeze.After the

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There is something admirable about a television show that can completely shake up its formula, send its core characters into different directions, and still remain the delightful series audiences originally fell in love with. It’s not an easy task, but season three of Apple TV+’s Mythic Quest makes the challenge look like a breeze.

After the Season 2 finale, the future of Mythic Quest was up in the air (as was the future of all the show’s characters). On one hand, the episode felt like it could double as a series finale—seeing as several of the main characters quit their jobs at the Mythic Quest video game development studio, including Poppy Li (Charlotte Nicdao) and Ian Grimm (Rob McElhenney). But on the other hand, there was so much story left to tell—including about how Poppy and Ian’s new venture would go, along with how the rest of the characters would fare on their journeys.

Despite that satisfying season finale, the show was soon renewed for not just a third season, but also a fourth. After watching all 10 episodes, it’s clear that giving us time to watch these characters continue with their lives was the right move.

Robert Voets/Apple TV+

The new season picks up a year after Season 2 ended. Poppy and Ian have launched their new gaming company GrimPop and are busy at work on its next project, Hera. (Well, at least Poppy is.) Meanwhile, Brad Bakshi (Danny Pudi), who took the fall for Jo (Jessie Ennis) in an inside trading scandal, is getting out of prison on parole and working his way back up as a janitor at Mythic Quest. Jo is once again assisting Executive Producer David Brittlesbee (David Hornsby), who is strapped with a lot more responsibility now that his two co-creative directors have deserted him. Dana (Imani Hakim) and Rachel (Ashly Burch) are still going strong (yay!), making the long-distance relationship work: Rachel’s at school and Dana’s working for Poppy and Ian.

The show’s heart still belongs to Poppy and Ian. The duo provide some of the biggest laughs (Poppy doing jazz hands whenever she gets excited will never not be hilarious and perfect) along with the show’s biggest source of pathos. While McElhenney and Nicdao don’t skip a beat with the funnier moments of their characters’ friendship, they also bring devastating emotion to some of the more poignant scenes, of which there are plenty this season.

The season two finale may have found all the characters splitting off into new directions, as life often does, but they are really not as far apart as you may think. Ian and Poppy’s new office is, after all, just a floor below Mythic Quest. In fact, changing up the dynamics of the office (and adding a whole new office setting) allows for there to be new opportunities to pair unlikely groups of characters together.

Jo, the queen of the terrifying one-liner strikes up a friendship with Poppy and Rachel after a day-long brunch outing—which is easily one of the funniest episodes of the season. Ian and Dana take a road trip and find out that while they are extremely different people they are scarily alike creatively. Brad and Jo, while no longer in a mentor/mentee relationship, continue to strengthen their bond through new misadventures. That includes a mission to catch a rat—the animal, not a snitch, much to their dismay.

Apple TV+

There was one particular Mythic Quest staffer we knew would not be returning to the series: C.W. Longbottom (F. Murray Abraham), the inappropriate and overly confident writer of the Mythic Quest game. His absence is addressed quickly in the first episode, giving C.W. the bittersweet send-off he deserves.

While C.W.’s presence is missed, the show fills up space by highlighting some of the other characters instead. We get to see a lot more of Naomi Ekperigin’s HR person extraordinaire/office therapist Carol this season, which is a huge win for us. She is the newly minted head of diversity and inclusion at Mythic Quest, a position she has been given with zero direction and budget. Instead, it’s just a title and no actual job responsibilities—“a peek behind the white curtain,” as she says. Carol now finds herself in a position of authority and is determined to use it for good—which, aside from the obvious “hell yeah” that incites from both us and her, is fodder for good gags. When she is accused by a middle-aged white man in the office of ageism in her hiring practices, because she is hiring too many young diverse people, she outwits him by hiring two middle-aged game testers. The lesson: Don’t mess with Carol.

Robert Voets/Apple TV+

While the show leans toward the comedy as much as always, it also makes sure to deepen the characters’ backstories. This season’s bottle episode, a regular part of the show at this point, is particularly moving. It dives deeper into Ian and Poppy’s own stories, which goes a long way in explaining the duo’s unorthodox dynamic.

With its perfect balance of humor and heart, Mythic Quest keeps getting better with every new installment. In true video game fashion, the show beat the final boss—but then revealed that more adventures were in store after that was said and done.

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