Last year, we were introduced to the colorful employees of Mythic Quest. As the series goes through its sophomore season, it allows deeper dives into the characters now that audiences are acquainted with them. In “Breaking Brad,” we receive a closer look at the company’s Head of Monetization.
The episode begins with Zack (Parvesh Cheena), Brad’s brother, paying a surprise visit to celebrate his sibling’s birthday. This immediately arouses suspicions since Zack works in private equity and is known for fattening up companies to maximize profits before gutting them like a pig. The resounding financial success of the battle royale mode has put the company on Zack’s radar so Brad tries to get to the bottom of his brother’s motives.
Throughout Mythic Quest, Danny Pudi’s character has gained a ruthless and steely reputation. He played the villain in “Everlight” and even when it seems someone gains the upper hand, like in the Street Fighter duel with David in “Quarantine,” he manages to remain composed and come out on top. Zack’s presence has Brad legitimately frazzled. The paranoia works comedically since we’ve never seen him like this before and the call back to his weight sensitivity from earlier in the episode is golden.
It’s the first time we see Brad so vulnerable. When he confronts his brother in the end, the extent he lowers himself to the begging and the use of Zack’s Indian nickname show how much he cares for the company. You really sympathize with him during this moment. The back story of Kate further reinforces Brad’s attachment to Mythic Quest and how he’s not as callous as people think he is.
Cheena’s portrayal of Zack is what makes Brad’s story so impactful. He carries out the warm and amiable big brother that, to the outside, is killing with kindness. Who wouldn’t want a surprise birthday and a special intimate concert with Snoop Dogg.? But that is the best way to get inside a company you want to destroy by ingratiating yourself to everyone. With a flip of a switch, he turns to the devious and heartless older brother. Zack is an intriguing piece because there’s so much internal problems of creating “Titan’s Rift,” now there’s an even larger threat from the outside.
It’s weird that Mythic Quest has kept Rachel and Dana physically separated ever since they became a couple. Maybe their relationship woes exhibit the difficulty of juggling a personal life while trying to climb the corporate ladder. At least it’s resulted in in the excellent pairing of Ian and Rachel. They share a long ride back to the office in Poppy’s Porsche.
The duo has an interesting dynamic considering their positions in the company. Even though Ian is one of the creative directors, a mere tester can really make him feel small at times. The smirk she has on her face the whole time Ian realizes he can’t drive manual is priceless. However, through them, important general questions are brought up about equity in the workplace, opportunities for the marginalized, and allyship.
While Ian and Rachel have a unique protégé/mentor relationship, Poppy and Dana’s is more one sided with the superior receiving all the benefits. Ever since Poppy was promoted, she’s becoming more insufferable. Not only does she mistreat Dana, she also embodies much of the negative sides in gaming.
Poppy wants her underlings to fuel her ego while she undervalues their time to carryout her arbitrary ideas. Then when a little pressure is applied by the bigwigs, she quickly sells out and pushes an uninspiring cash grab. It’s as if she feels she has imposter syndrome as she tries too hard to impress the likes of Snoop, which is absurd considering all her accomplishments that lead to her becoming co-creative director.
Though the Ian/Rachel pairing continues to be entertaining, it’s the compelling Bakshi brothers’ saga that propels “Breaking Brad.”
New episodes of Mythic Quest drop Fridays on Apple TV+.
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