Every season of Mythic Quest so far has an episode or two that goes back in time to tell a bittersweet story. First there was the brilliant “A Dark Quiet Death” that explored the development of a simple video game. Last year, we received C.W.’s origin story as a science fiction writer. In “Sarian,” we look at the childhoods of the heads of GrimPop.
Young Ian (Judah Prehn) has a tough time growing up with family strife between his parents as well as poor academic performance at school. But even at that age, he possesses many of the qualities we’re familiar with his adult self. There is his rebellious nature unwilling to conform to the regular standards and he is filled with smart aleck retorts. In addition, he is already a person of great vision and imagination creating novel new worlds. It’s easy to believe he will be responsible for Mythic Quest one day.
Part of the reason Ian can reach his full potential is due to the love and support of his mother, Sarah. She can see the genius inside of him that others can’t, and feels it’s important to fuel and nurture his creativity.
The mother-son relationship is best observed when the pair go into a craft store for homework supplies. She makes all of Ian’s thoughts come to life in a scene filled with whimsy and childlike wonderment. There is so much love between them that you can’t help but be carried away in the moment. That’s why it’s such a gut punch when Sarah’s own issues come to light and her unreliability has repercussions. Your heart breaks for what happens to them, but there is a sliver of happiness with what comes out of their joint creation.
On another continent 14 years in the future, we check in with Mythic Quest’s Poppy. Isla Rose Hall is a scene stealer as the mini version with her attitude. How can someone so adorable have such a foul mouth and be so conniving. Her character is more concerned with escaping into Final Fantasy IX than making friends. It’s probably why she’s unable to connect with people and is so awkward. However, we also have an example of her hard work and drive as she practices for a piano recital.
The running theme of parents and children is present this time through Poppy’s dad. Dionysio Basco embodies the Filipino immigrant dad. It’s more than an accent, but the enthusiasm and encouragement for his daughter in things he might not fully understand. The positivity he has cheering her on while she battles Kuja is sweet.
The episode’s titular game helps tie the two narratives together. Sarian is proof that Ian could convert his visions into something. More importantly, it serves as a love letter to Ian’s mom immortalizing something they built together. Hence the meshing of their names. It also serves as a catalyst that eventually brings Mythic Quest’s main characters together in an unforeseen twist. Something so small and personal would have such a significant impact in their relationship.
“Sarian” is a touching flashback tale that provides insight into Ian and Poppy and how their parents’ love and support helped them pursue their interests.
New episodes of Mythic Quest drop Fridays on Apple TV+.
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