Saturday, June 19, 2021

Mythic Quest 2x08 Review: “Juice Box” (Rainbow Connection) [Contributor: Jenn]

“Juice Box”
Original Airdate: June 18, 2021

(I’ve skipped a review for “Peter” but just have to say that F. Murray Abraham needs an Emmy because that episode was a stunner for him. I’m glad that the show managed to give us closure to the C.W./Peter relationship before Peter died. It was hard to watch at points because C.W. was a terror, but I love that the show reminded us that change is possible — no matter your age.)

This week, we return from our standalone episodes to the MQ headquarters where Ian and Poppy are each presenting their expansions to Montreal, Rachel and Dana are making big moves in their relationship, and Jo realizes she’s made a big mistake. Let’s dive in because there’s a lot to unpack and a lot of tears to cry!


Let’s start with Ian and Poppy first. When we last left them, Ian had delivered some really hard words to Poppy, leaving her standing in the middle of the office hurt and confused. But Ian’s words didn’t come out of nowhere — he lashed out because Poppy refused to be vulnerable with him when he was entirely vulnerable with her. This episode picks up with each team member presenting their expansion to Montreal. And they literally could not be more different.

Ian’s expansion is all about a world where you’re at the center. It’s all about you. Poppy’s expansion is all about being able to change the world around you with others at the same time. There are a few problems though with the expansions. See, while Ian’s is uninspired, it works. While Poppy’s is a stroke of genius, she manages to crash the test and dev servers. And when she berates her programmers, they tell her the truth: she cannot have it all. She needs to let something go because what she’s asking her team to do is unrealistic. 

Poppy doesn’t get the chance to yell at her staff further because David tells her that Ian has been hospitalized with a heart attack. Poppy rushes down to the hospital, buys Ian a stuffed animal (“It’s a Girl!” was all they had), and stays with him because he asks her to. She tells him that he reminds her of a scared little boy in the position he’s in. Unfortunately, Poppy soon realizes that Ian didn’t have a heart attack at all — he fainted, likely because he was dehydrated and hadn’t eaten anything. The doctor hands him a juice box and tells him to make sure to eat and drink.

This is when Poppy, rightfully, gets angry. She goes a little overboard by unplugging monitors tracking Ian’s vitals but she expresses her frustration with Ian misleading her and not being upfront. And then we have a scene which should win Rob McElhenney an Emmy. Over the last season, we’ve seen a direct parallel in Ian and Poppy’s journeys: as Ian has become more vulnerable, Poppy has become more self-involved; as Ian has learned how to open up and speak hard truths, Poppy has become tyrannical with her power. So when Ian confessed his greatest fear to Poppy, his partner and whom we learn he considers to be his best friend, and she didn’t reciprocate, he was crushed. Ian’s biggest fear seems to come true in “Juice Box” and lands him in the hospital. He’s so worried and stressed about his expansion, but he knows Poppy will be honest with him. When she starts to leave his hospital room, he asks her what she thought of it. She tells him the truth — that it was not good. That it was uninspired, and that he could do better. 

Ian’s bravado is lost in this scene, and he agrees with Poppy. He knows that she’s the only one who will tell him the truth, and her opinion matters to him so much. That’s why he was so hurt when she told him her biggest fear was singing in public. That’s why he lashed out. But “Juice Box” shows us a different side of Ian; he tells Poppy that when he looks at her, he sees a scared little girl who can’t admit her fears. And he begins to cry when he says that Poppy is his best friend. Poppy is startled, and though Ian tells her to go away and leave him alone, she doesn’t. He curls up in bed, clutching the bear she got him to his chest as she sings him a Filipino lullaby. It’s this beautiful little moment, with Poppy comforting Ian and stroking his hair while singing to him. 

I love the Poppy and Ian dynamic. In a lot of ways this scene reminds me of “Quarantine.” Even though Ian and Poppy sometimes hate each other, argue constantly, and tell everyone else how annoying the other is, the truth is that they need each other. And they know they need each other. In “Quarantine,” Ian made a big sacrifice and gesture for Poppy to show her just how much he cared and reminded her that she wasn’t alone even though she felt alone. In “Juice Box,” Poppy reciprocates by showing Ian that he isn’t alone. Through sobs, he apologizes repeatedly to her and it’s so gut-wrenching that it’s making me tear up just thinking about it. (Again, give Rob a damn Emmy.)

They never really address the rift that happened between them, but in some ways that’s not needed right now (though I hope it’s addressed in some way in the finale). There will be time for them to unpack their issues. In that moment, Ian needed someone to sing to him (Poppy switches to “Rainbow Connection” when Ian says that a song in another language doesn’t really hit him the way it’s supposed to which, hilarious) and Poppy was there. When the two look at each other, they finally see their vulnerabilities and insecurities. I think Poppy realized a little bit of how much she means to Ian and how he sees her; it’s a beautiful moment and I’m so glad Mythic Quest enjoys emotionally destroying me every week!


There are changes happening in MQ headquarters! Dana is still planning to study programming at Berkley and after Rachel’s road trip with C.W. in “Peter,” she’s been thinking about her own future. Rachel’s contemplating becoming a writer. Even though she has no idea how to become a good writer or if it’s possible, she was moved by the book she was given at Peter’s and wants to do the same for others. It really makes a lovely little arc for Rachel since her first story in season one with C.W. involved her learning about the power of story. I’m really excited because it seems like Rachel is finally realizing her passions, and she and Dana are in a good place to potentially go to Berkeley together! The only problem is: what happens when Mythic Quest gets renewed for season three?

Elsewhere in the episode, Jo taunts Brad. She’s joined alliances with Zack and is about to make a whole lot of money and gain even more power! Or so she thinks. Brad warned Jo about attaching herself to the wrong person and she learns, through Brad, that Zack got her involved in insider trading. Zack doesn’t remotely care about Jo or making her any money; all he cares about is being able to gut MQ and destroy Brad. While this story will certainly play itself out in the finale, I’m interested to see how it’ll go. Will Brad take care of Zack himself? Will Jo have to be the one to pay for what she’s done or will Brad take the fall for her, proving once and for all that he’s really not a horrible person? We will have to wait and see!

As we head toward the finale, I’m impressed yet again by how well-done Mythic Quest is. This season was impeccable and I can’t wait to see how it ends (but also I need more of this group in my life so please renew the show ASAP, Apple TV+ so I can have another year with these weirdos)!

Notes and quotes:

  • Elsewhere in this episode, David is trying to find a new place to live since his ex-wife is kicking him out of his condo. Might Brad and David live together? The internet would love that, but Brad is vehemently against helping David move and definitely against becoming his roommate.
  • “I’m a nice guy and no one takes advantage of me!” “Your ex-wife just forced you out of your own home for the second time.”
  • Jessie Ennis’ laugh should win awards. Seriously, she’s so perfect.
  • “He’s cute.” “He’s so janky.”
  • Jessie told us in an interview for The Community Rewatch Podcast about her air quote scene with: “family back home.” Go listen to the episode and you’ll appreciate the scene even more!
  • Charlotte’s singing voice is so lovely.

What did you think of this episode? Sound off in the comments below!


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