Mythic Quest season 3, episode 5 recap – what is Playpen?

By Adam Lock
Published: December 2, 2022 (Last updated: February 3, 2024)
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“Playpen” is quite predictable, and certain characters are just as irritating as ever, but it has moments of comedy gold and the episode delivers a really important message overall.

We recap the Apple TV+ series Mythic Quest season 3, episode 5, “Playpen,” which contains spoilers. What is Playpen? Let’s dive in.

Mythic Quest is, on the surface of it, a workplace comedy series that mines laughs from sitcom scenarios, but it does also address philosophical quandaries from time to time. In “Playpen”, the writers explore the issues of creative fulfillment. The idea of chasing a dream versus the practicalities of working within your skillset. As the episode progresses, certain characters find out the hard way that sometimes you have to accept your own limitations. Dana (Imani Hakim) shows Poppy (Charlotte Nicdao) how to have fun with her gaming creations and a few Mythic Quest employees consider new job roles.

Mythic Quest season 3, episode 5 recap – what is Playpen?

The episode begins with Poppy pitching her latest invention to Ian Grimm. She’s added in a new feature whereby the player must solve a complex puzzle before they can access their controls. Ian thinks it sounds a lot like homework and in a way Poppy agrees. The creative is going through a destructive phase of self-doubt and questions her own instincts. Before they can discuss this major issue, Poppy notices that somebody is stealing from the company in real-time and Dana looks to be the culprit.

The GrimPop creators confront Dana as soon as she arrives at the office, with a nice little Jurassic Park reference thrown into the mix. Dana explains how she wasn’t stealing Hera but actually downloading a program Poppy made specifically for her called Playpen. Dana was impressed with the game and has since passed it on to her friends. Poppy is stunned by the news, but Ian is side-tracked once again. He has just been informed that they are making a Mythic Quest movie, and he wasn’t consulted on the project whatsoever.

Meanwhile, David is confronting his own workers, dragging Carol, Brad, and Rachel in for a meeting. Montreal have been calling once again, somebody appears to have added in a monetization tool into the game without David’s approval, promoting a new NFT project in the process. The trio apologizes, but Carol accepts full responsibility for this rogue decision. David wants to pin the blame on Brad, yet Carol stays strong and takes the hit.

Carol is then contacted by the head honchos, who only go and promote her once again. She is now the Director of Unexplored Development Initiatives (The DUDI), with stock options and a genuine budget to use as she wishes. It’s a predictable plot point, but it’s still hilarious how she continues to fail upwards. Her first duty is to appoint a new Head of Monetization. She wants Brad in charge, but he is unsure about taking on his old job. Regardless of his own ethics on the matter, he can’t legally take on the role anyway and offers it to Rachel. Brad wants to help her from behind the scenes though. Rachel has other ideas, but they may just be pipedreams, after all, this could be a great switch-up for her instead.

Poppy is about to have a similar realization. Dana demonstrates the possibilities within the Playpen. The two women don the VR headsets and enter a simplistic world, reminiscent of Wii Sports. Dana has created a rather rude-looking fishing game and another that involves wrapping candy. Poppy is instantly addicted to these fun little games, even though the graphics are amateurish and basic.

Angered by the news of a new Mythic Quest movie, Ian heads to David’s office. David defends the company’s choices, stating that Ian left the studio, and David made this project happen on his own. Ian cannot fathom why they have chosen Joe Manganiello to play him, and David has to explain that this is a movie about the game, not the creator. Ian’s ego runs away with him and an argument follows. David says something he may regret and is forced to offer Ian a consultant role on the movie to avoid a lengthy dispute. Ian wants to be involved in casting decisions too and suggests Brad Pitt.

Mythic Quest season 3, episode 5 ending

Saddened by her own ironic successes, Poppy locks herself in the toilet. She spent a whole year dedicated to building Hera and now realizes just how boring that game actually is. Playpen was built in half a day and she didn’t even notice its potential. She worries again about her own instincts and breaks down in a surprisingly vulnerable moment. Dana cheers her up and they re-enter the game. Her class is in the VR game waiting for her and they all break into applause on her arrival. The students have been experimenting with Playpen and are grateful for Poppy’s invention.

Excited by the possibilities, Poppy races over to Ian’s house. She tells him how she thinks this could be her masterpiece and they agree to move away from Hera and to focus on Playpen instead. Poppy notices that Ian has company, his ex-girlfriend Shannon is back in the picture. Poppy quickly leaves before things get steamy. In the end, she’s happy with her decision, wanting to zone in on a potential hit instead of her artsy passion project. Maybe that’s a life lesson for all of us.

What did you think of Mythic Quest season 3, episode 5? Comment below.

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