'Mythic Quest: Raven's Banquet' Episode 4 Review: A sharp look at ingrained sexism in the gaming industry
'Mythic Quest: Raven's Banquet' has been taking potshots and light jabs at pertinent issues: be it the rising Nazi guild among players in their video game or the toxic work culture in the gaming industry. Episode 4, titled 'The Convention', deals with the latter.
Though there are two separate plot threads running in the episode, they're both plagued by the same issue of ingrained sexism. Plot A shows the development studio in flux after their faithful streamer Pewtie Shoo decides to switch loyalties and go for a science fiction game.
The team needs to find a new streamer, and this quest leads Ian Grimm (Rob McElhenney), Brad Bakshi (Danny Pudi) and Poppy Lee (Charlotte Nicdao) to Streamer Con where Poppy is insistent on looking for a female streamer.
They encounter numerous candidates, including a blue-haired teenager who demands a percentage of Mythic Quest's weapon sales, instead of cash. Brad finally shows some nuance in his character in this negotiation, as he has just been portrayed as rather uni-dimensional and money-minded.
However, more than Brad, it's Poppy who steers the episode forward. Nicdao is a real gift, and she shows the struggles of a woman constantly at war with mansplainers and sexism in a male-dominated industry.
Yet, while trying to fight the same battles, she makes the same mistakes as her man-splaining colleagues do. Poppy is happy when she meets a young female gamer and is about to induct her into the job, but drops her after realizing that she has only 200 subscribers.
This is a rather jarring note, though it is intended as humor as the episode had been trying to focus on inspiring women in the industry. If you don't have clout, you don't make the cut.
The second thread is when young girls from 'Girls Can Code' come visiting the office. They want to see women who inspire, but unfortunately, there are only a handful of women in the office. David Brittlesby takes them around, desperately trying to find women staff who will inspire the girls.
The results are not pretty. Michelle, who helps in developing the game, gives a cynical answer on how everyone is competitive and that women can tear each other down. She throws some snark about Poppy, who is her boss.
In a haste, David takes the girls to community manager Pam, who hides her neuroticism under her overt cheeriness. The real glow of inspiration comes from Dana at the end of the episode who tells them that yes, this is the male-dominated industry, but you just got to hold your ground and hit back.
The episode was quite an interesting one, with a sharp message in place as well for viewers. Poppy reaches the end of her tether with her male ego-centric bosses, and so she should — because they were just becoming plain unnerving.
You begin to wonder why Poppy has to constantly put up with the taunts, and their constant credit-stealing as well. The other light parts of the episode included CW Longbottom and Rachel bonding in the game-testing room.
'Mythic Quest' airs on Apple TV+.