Last spring, Mythic Quest was one of those series that made a special episode done virtually to help tide fans over until the next season. “Quarantine” played to the comedy of working via Zoom while also addressing the mental toll the hard lockdown and isolation caused. With more people becoming vaccinated every day, there’s a reserved optimism now and the show tries to tap into this positive energy in another special that became available today.
“Everlight” begins with the original story of the episode’s titular celebration found in the Mythic Quest game. The intro serves as a tease for the big things to come with a compelling animated sequence that is narrated by Sir Anthony Hopkins. The tale mirrors a pandemic with a curse that is slowly spread through a kingdom until it is overcome by a darkness. An unassuming hero rises to inspire the people and banish the curse.
Everlight is a significant event in real life as well with an annual costume party that is celebrated at the video game studio. This year, it corresponds with the first day back at work. Ian (Rob McElhenney) holds his own LARPing tournament to find a new champion that will take possession of the ceremonial Blade of Light and bring hope and comradery to the company after an unprecedented crappy year. There is high production value with elaborate cosplay outfits and the office is impressively transformed into a fantasy forest.
The episode does some really great character work and the roleplay only accentuates who the crew really are. Jo (Jessie Ennis) really takes to her alter ego, the ruthless Executioner, who is an early favorite in the tourney. Brad (Danny Pudi) loves being the wet blanket that is too cool to dress up. The LARPing also provides some fun action sequences that still remain grounded by the amusing way they handle wounds. It’s a silly way to show the gore without getting a complaint from Carol from HR.
All of a sudden, there’s an unexpected change in intensity and Mythic Quest ratchets things up to another level with higher stakes, special effects, and dramatic music. You get so caught up, you forget you’re watching a workplace comedy.
The special also serves as a nice primer to season two, which comes out next month. It further develops the relationship between the two testers, Rachel and Dana, and their growing but unexpressed feelings toward each other. In addition, we receive a glimpse at the new Poppy/Ian dynamic now that they’re co-creative directors. They’re still adjusting to the shared duties but despite their dysfunction, they really complement one another. We witness how great of a team they can be.
In the past, Mythic Quest has proven they are unafraid to take risks. “A Dark Quiet Death” comes to mind. This episode is unlike anything the show has done so far. It contains the usual comedy but incorporates elements of action and adventure with a focus on the idea of hope, especially as we emerge from the shadows of the pandemic and try to return to normalcy.
The new Mythic Quest “Everlight” special can be streamed on Apple TV+.
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