DISCLAIMER: This recap for the Mythic Quest episode “Juice Box” is laden with spoilers. You’ve been warned. Proceed at your own peril.
Welcome back, Mythic Quest fans! We’ve reached penultimate episode territory, and if “Juice Box” is anything to go by, the season finale will certainly pose some interesting questions. This outing really delves into the vulnerable sides of our bullheaded co-creative directors when Ian is hospitalized. Despite creating these larger-than-life characters with seemingly indestructible façades, Ian is really a scared little boy who’s essentially overcompensating. Aren’t we all?
Mythic Quest has the unique distinction of being a sitcom with heart and poignancy aplenty while exploring many themes along the way. You won’t find another show like it in the comedy sphere.
Ready to delve into “Juice Box”? Let’s get to it.
Now, we open with Ian (Rob McElhenney) and Poppy (Charlotte Nicdao) presenting their respective halves of the expansion to the bigwigs in Montreal. Ian’s presentation goes off without a hitch to raucous cheers. Initially, Poppy’s “Hera” showcase is smooth sailing. That is until there’s a massive server crash. As it turns out, Poppy’s ambitious idea was a mite too ambitious.
Then, David (David Hornsby) asks Brad (Danny Pudi) if he’ll help our favorite responsible executive director move. David needs to be close to his widow fling, especially since his ex-wife is seizing his apartment. Brad is alarmed by this. You only ask nice people to help you move!
Jo (Jessie Ennis) approaches the pair. She inquires whether the duo are together now. I really dig the running joke of having these “awkward ex” moments between Jo and her former “bosses.” She bursts into laughter upon discovering that Brad may assist David with the move.
Meanwhile, Dana (Imani Hakim) is hard at work on her grouchy goat project. She wants to attend Berkeley and learn how to code, after all. Gotta whip that goat into shape! Rachel (Ashly Burch) wakes up and discloses her desire to become a writer. She felt the siren song calling to her after reading Peter Cromwell’s immensely sexist book. Dana is ready and willing to support her girlfriend. These two give me life.
Next, David informs Poppy that Ian just had a heart attack. She rushes to the hospital to find Mr. Grimm in a rather vulnerable state. C.W. (F. Murray Abraham) reveals to David that he crafted a stirring and eloquent obituary for Ian should our fearless leader shuffle off this mortal coil. He proceeds to read it to David.
The best part of it? “Ian T. Grimm, age unknown.” He’s 42, by the way. David ponders over his own legacy and wonders whether he too should enlist in C.W.’s obituary writing abilities.
Now, Poppy is sitting with Ian in the hospital. She notes that he looks like a scared little boy. Ian seeks validation from Poppy regarding his half of the expansion. Did she love “Zeus” or loathe it? Poppy retorts that her opinions are irrelevant, since everyone else seemed to adore his presentation.
However, it’s quite evident that Ian truly cares about what Poppy thinks. She delivers her honest opinion — it’s lazy and derivative. Ian confesses that he knew this. He’s always been unoriginal when it comes to his work. He reiterates Poppy’s inability to be honest with him about her fears.
Then, Rachel finds Dana snoozing in the testing room. She reveals that she’s applying to the writing program at Berkley. Not in an effort to stalk Dana, but because it adheres to her needs. In typical Rachel fashion, she nervously word vomits until Dana kisses her to “shut her up.” It’s adorable and sickeningly sweet.
Later, Brad finds Jo in his office with a measuring tape in hand. She’s planning on stealing his space. Why? Because she partook in some definitely-not-legal insider trading with Brad’s brother Zack.
Of course, Jo isn’t aware that what she did was illegal. Brad slam dunked this moment here. He reminds Jo that he always has and always will be the true shark at Mythic Quest. Jo storms out of his office in a panicked rage.
Meanwhile, a doctor pays Ian a visit while Poppy is present. She reveals that he didn’t have a heart attack. In fact, he’s just severely dehydrated and malnourished. He’s been skipping meals. Her prescription? A juice box. And he needs to eat more.
Naturally, this information enrages Poppy. She was under the impression that he was dying. He’s just being overdramatic, as always. Ian tells Poppy that he’s been so nervous about this expansion to the point that he ended up in the hospital.
After a bout of high-octane arguing, Poppy decides to stay with Ian. She even sings him a lullaby. If you’ll recall, her main “fear” involves singing in front of people. This is a lovely moment on which to end the episode.
Overall, “Juice Box” is a multilayered installment that delivers Mythic Quest‘s standard brand of humor with a heaping helping of heart and pathos. As per usual, McElhenney and Nicdao are the beating hearts of this show. Both have stellar chemistry, and they imbue their characters with nuance and vulnerability. I’m curious to see where the season finale takes us.
New episodes of Mythic Quest are available to stream on Fridays, only on Apple TV Plus.