Mythic Quest has shoveled out for itself a spot in TV historical past because the grasp of the particular episode with yet one more phenomenal, inventive, nuanced outing that provides a brand new layer of sophistication to considered one of its hardest-to-love characters. Learn on for my assessment of “Backstory!”
It’s 1970-x and a younger Carl Longbottom is beginning his first day as a junior copyeditor for Wonderful Tales journal. Regardless of a slightly chilly welcome from his new boss, he meets A.E. Goldsmith and Peter Cromwell, two different junior CEs who each share his overwhelming enthusiasm for science fiction.
After catching a glimpse of Ursula Ok. LeGuin, Ray Bradbury and Isaac Asimov collaborating collectively in a convention room, the trio of Carl, A.E. and Peter (dubbing themselves “The Tripod”) got down to turn into similar to the three well-known authors, agreeing to learn over every others’ tales and assist one another enhance their work. The three trade tales and the subsequent morning, they regroup to provide suggestions. A.E. and Peter having glowing opinions for each other, however Carl’s story clearly underperformed in his colleagues’ eyes.
It seems that Carl is a grammatical genius however remarkably dangerous at writing sci-fi. Though his work is missing, A.E. continues to be supportive of him, suggesting that good sci-fi ought to depict ”a future the place issues are sudden and inevitable on the identical time.” Enthralled by her mind. Carl takes A.E.’s recommendation… and begins to fall in love along with her.
After enhancing and submitting it to their boss, Saul, A.E. finds out that her story is getting revealed in Wonderful Tales. Jealous, Carl shirks off The Tripod’s celebration with a purpose to work on bettering his personal story. Staying up into the wee hours writing, he calls A.E. for assist in the midst of the evening for extra recommendation…solely to listen to Peter’s voice on the opposite finish of the telephone, implying that she and he went residence collectively. Distraught, Carl continues to work furiously, revising his brief story right into a full novella.
Peter and Carl each give their revisions to A.E. to ship to Saul, however A.E. chooses to not give Saul Carl’s novella, considering that it’ll solely work to embarrass Carl. Infuriated, Carl rails into A.E., accusing her of flirting with Saul to get revealed. Carl then secretly offers his manuscript to Isaac Asimov, who’s as soon as once more visiting the workplace. To Carl’s delight, Asimov sends the manuscript again having learn by it and left “a couple of” notes. Nevertheless, that delight quickly fades when Carl realizes that Asimov rewrote his story completely.
Whereas strolling residence, drunk and dejected, Carl sees a demo of Pong enjoying in a retailer window. The concept of it conjures up him a lot that he determines that he wants to jot down tales for the brand new period; for video video games. He brings the thought to the Wonderful Tales workplace, however when he begins blabbing on about playable tales, he’s ridiculed by Saul, and neither Peter nor A.E. come to his protection.
Carl goes again once more and begins to kind up his novel, utilizing Asimov’s rewrites as a substitute of his personal concepts. He will get the e book revealed and we bounce ahead in time, to when Carl – now going by the identify C.W. – wins the Nebula award for finest debut novel. On the reception dinner, he as soon as once more sees A.E. and Peter, who’ve formally gotten collectively and are making ready for A.E.’s first novel to be revealed.
In a quiet second between the 2 of them, A.E. (now going by Anne) and C.W. reminisce on their time at Wonderful Tales. When A.E. remarks that the fashion of C.W.’s e book didn’t look like him in any respect, he explains that he simply wished to get one thing revealed with a purpose to open the door for him to have the ability to pursue tasks he was actually enthusiastic about. A.E., seeing proper by him, tells him that his e book “didn’t learn like a poor man’s Asimov. It learn precisely like Asimov.” Whereas each clearly know what C.W. did, neither admits it aloud and Anne offers C.W. a kiss on the cheek and walks away.
In 2015, C.W. is working at a renaissance faire when he’s approached by a younger Ian Grimm and Poppy Li. Ian asks him if he ever wished to jot down for a online game, to which C.W. smiles.
What an insanely good episode. I am not exaggerating after I say that watching TV like that is genuinely an honor and a pleasure. C.W. is admittedly a tough character to get behind – racist, sexist, lazy, and many others;. Nevertheless, this episode takes the proper strategy to his backstory; not making him a fallen hero, or a misunderstood genius, however a person who would do something to create the world he envisions. C.W., as we all know him, just isn’t a person who was as soon as nice and now could be out of his time; he has all the time been in a time and a world not suited to him, and as inappropriate and grating his actions may be, this episode brings an empathetic understanding to his story.
To be sincere, I’m beginning to marvel why each episode of Mythic Quest can’t be this nuanced. It’s turn into clear that the writers can pull out a fancy, gorgeously-conceived half-hour every time they need…so why solely a couple of times a 12 months? To be truthful, I’d fortunately take a million seasons of this present as long as we proceed to get episodes like this, even whether it is simply yearly. However severely, why no more?
What did you concentrate on this episode? Has this modified the best way you take a look at C.W. in any respect? And what do you consider the “1 particular episode per season” association? Let me know within the feedback!