DISCLAIMER: This recap of the Mythic Quest episode “Please Sign Here” is laden with spoilers. You’ve been warned. Proceed at your own peril.
Welcome back, Mythic Quest lovers! We’re now halfway through Season Two. It feels like only May 7 when we ushered these buffoons back into our homes. “Please Sign Here” is a bottle episode at its finest (Someone alert Abed!). Naomi Ekperigin has always knocked it out of the park as the perpetually exasperated Carol, but this episode gives her a chance to truly shine.
Did you know that in the It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia episode, “Sweet Dee Has a Heart Attack” that Charlie references an elusive HR woman named Carol? Is this proof that Mythic Quest and It’s Always Sunny exist in the same universe? Make it so!
While “Please Sign Here” boasts plenty of comedic moments, the ending takes a heel turn and packs an emotional punch. We’re even privy to the vulnerable side of Ian. Hats off to Rob McElhenney for that.
Ready to delve into “Please Sign Here”? Let’s get to it.
Now, we open with Carol (Ekperigin) delivering a speech about a recent HR assessment that was given to all MQ employees. Each person was also tasked with signing said assessment and turning it in to Carol upon completion.
However, Rachel (Ashly Burch), Dana (Imani Hakim), Jo (Jessie Ennis), Ian (McElhenney), Brad (Danny Pudi) and Sue (Caitlin McGee) have yet to sign their assessments. So, no one can leave the office until they sign on the dotted line. Tell your disappointment to suck it. We’re doing a bottle episode!
Then, we learn that each person’s answers correlate with a specific animal. Carol succinctly reveals that it’s a fun way of distilling information and serving as a loose blueprint to help folks excel at MQ.
For example, Jo is a shark. Rachel is a baboon, and that tracks. Dana is an otter. Sue is a mouse. Ian is a lion, which surprises no one. The real shockers are as follows: Brad is a mouse and David is a wolf. However, Carol incessantly reiterates that these outcomes don’t mean anything in the grand scheme of things.
Next, Brad and Jo begin circling each other as if they’re interlocked in a terrifyingly sexual dance. Jo is about to eat him up. She is a shark, after all. Jo thinks she can do better for a mentor than Brad. Ian whips out an iPad, and we see C.W. (F. Murray Abraham) is on it.
Now, C.W. doesn’t have an animal because he still needs to participate in a sexual harassment course. Poppy didn’t take the assessment either. Montreal granted her a dispensation because she’s been so busy with the expansion. Ian doesn’t take too kindly to this.
Later, Carol grows tired of C.W.’s offensive tirades, so Sue wheels him away. David (David Hornsby) slinks into the picture, clad in a leather jacket and biker boots. Ever since he scored a wolf on his assessment, he’s chosen to adapt to that wolf lifestyle. Hornsby is brilliant in this episode. Every joke and beat lands perfectly. We learn that David now has a girlfriend — a widow that lives in Yorba Linda. It’s all thanks to Brad’s aid with the dating apps.
Then, Dana asserts that she wants to be a wolf. Not like David, though. She has aspirations and goals! Dana wants to attend Berkeley and learn how to code. Rachel’s hearing this for the first time. This could throw a wrench in their fledgling relationship. She leaves after signing her assessment.
Meanwhile, Poppy (Charlotte Nicdao) arrives on the scene. Ian refuses to sign his assessment unless Poppy completes hers. She agrees to do so. Brad and Jo are just circling each other, ready to consume the other whole like the apex predators they are. Jo insists that Brad’s weak.
Remember Kate, his 4-H pig that he couldn’t kill? She knows his Achilles heel. After more circling that’s definitely not giving off faintly sexual undertones, the pair sign their documents and proceed to skedaddle.
Then, David learns that he may have taken the assessment backward, so he’s more akin to a butterfly than a wolf. He quickly signs his test to make it official and scurries off. Like a butterfly. Dana signs near the wolf symbol to make a statement — she’s a wolf, from rump to snout.
Of course, this leaves us with Carol, Ian and Poppy. After Poppy completes her assessment, we learn that she’s also a lion. So, now MQ has two lions ruling the pride. But there can only be one! Carol urges Ian to dig deep and disclose a deep-seated fear of his. Get vulnerable with it. He reveals his fear: he’s afraid that Mythic Quest will be his only worthy contribution to society. Not to mention, he’s afraid that Poppy is the younger, smarter lion that’ll soon take his place.
Next, Carol is taken aback by Ian’s honesty. She asks Poppy to be transparent as well. Poppy replies that she’s afraid to sing in front of people. Ian just wants her to be vulnerable with him. In a bout of anger, Poppy emphatically says that Ian’s the top lion. He’s in charge. She asks him if he’s happy to hear that.
Naturally, Ian answers to the contrary. He’s feeling immensely exposed at that moment. He signs his assessment and hands it to Carol. Poppy asserts that she wasn’t required to take it anyway, and proceeds to shred hers. Carol gleefully skips away, having accomplished what she set out to do. She finds David stuck in the elevator. Hey, even wolves lose their key cards from time to time and occasionally get trapped in the elevator.
Meanwhile, Poppy attempts to cut through the pervasive tension between her and Ian. She reveals that he’s the only one who believes in her. That, and she’s struggling with the expansion and could use his assistance. However, Ian calmly replies that he thinks she’ll fail. She’s going to fail big time without him. Poppy knows it, too. He strolls out, leaving Poppy alone in the office.
Overall, “Please Sign Here” is one of Mythic Quest‘s strongest outings. Admittedly, some of my favorite TV episodes are bottle episodes (cough, Community, cough). It’s an opportunity for more character-driven work as opposed to characters getting swept up in the plot. It’s almost a vulnerable setting, in a way. You don’t have a ton of setpieces and changing scenery on which to rely.
Ekperigin is the episodic MVP, with McElhenney, Nicdao and Hornsby all tied for second place. In fact, everyone brings their A-game here. I don’t like seeing my parents fight, so I hope we get an Ian-Poppy fence-mending session soon.
Do you think Jo will look for another mentor since she doesn’t work with “mice”? Will Dana get accepted into Berkeley, thus driving a wedge between her and Rachel? Will Daddy Ian and Mommy Poppy make nice so David doesn’t continue to live in his childhood trauma? Join me next week as I recap Mythic Quest, here on Geek Girl Authority.
Mythic Quest streams Fridays on Apple TV Plus.
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