The Adventure Zone: Graduation Ep. 6 “Long Overdue”
January 24, 2020 7:40 AM - Subscribe

The buddies return to get their evaluations as well as some big news for Fitzroy. The Firbolg checks on a friend, gets some troubling information, and returns a library book. Argo has a decision to make and some quiet thinking to do.
posted by Tevin (24 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm a little sad that Fisk is a little too close to Fitz for it to work out as a name, because I'd totally be okay with Fiscal Responsibility (Fisk) being a permanent name for the Firbolg. Not sure how I feel about him taking to the accounting class so well, though.

Also, wow, this school is a more ridiculous scam than I thought.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:46 AM on January 24 [1 favorite]

I did think that Justin saying "My name is Fiscal Responsibility" and then not picking up on the joke of "Fisc" as his new character name about two minutes later was hysterical.

It does seem like everything is a scam, doesn't it? Looking forward to some great heroics from our new "villain" and his co-franchise partners.
posted by nubs at 9:18 AM on January 24 [1 favorite]

School being a huge scam is very relatable content.
posted by bleep at 12:19 PM on January 24 [4 favorites]

I'm disappointed that Argo didn't have a chance to ask the Jackal what this secret society actually does that they think is good for people.

I'm curious about what's driving the school's decision to promote Fitzroy. I hope we get to see more details of the underlying weirdness soon!

I loved the Firbolg's Thunderman Franchise bit -- it had me laughing at the bus stop this morning.
posted by esker at 5:38 PM on January 24 [3 favorites]

There is definitely some weirdness going on, what with demons in the forest and Fitz's abrupt promotion to villiany, not to mention whatever Jackal and his secret crime club is all about.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 7:08 AM on January 25

After listening to this episode, I couldn't really recall anything that had happened. Had anything actually happened aside from DM exposition? (sorry for the phrasing, I enjoyed the episode but I couldn't find a way to say this that doesn't sound cranky.)

> ...disappointed that Argo didn't have a chance to ask the Jackal what this secret society actually does...

There's a degree to which Argo doesn't see beyond his nose. Not sure whether this is Clint "yes-and"ing too hard or Argo just not being able to think things through well. We're not sure what his business is anyway, beyond the oft-repeated cues that he came from the sea, is chronically short for cash, and needs his citrus.
posted by ardgedee at 2:17 PM on January 25

this episode was really really bad.
posted by JimBennett at 7:17 PM on January 25 [1 favorite]

posted by The corpse in the library at 2:22 PM on January 26

posted by The corpse in the library at 2:22 PM on January 26

posted by The corpse in the library at 2:22 PM on January 26

posted by The corpse in the library at 2:22 PM on January 26

posted by The corpse in the library at 2:22 PM on January 26

posted by The corpse in the library at 2:22 PM on January 26 [1 favorite]

There's a real sense that Travis is working extra hard to cut off all dramatic tension at the knees. While there's some weird or unexplained elements, it almost seemed like any time a player tried to introduce some conflict (Fitzroy conflicted at becoming a villain, Argo at being a henchman instead of a sidekick) Travis had the NPC hand-wave it away. I guess the next episode will be very informative whether this is an issue with Travis as a DM or if it's intentional in the service of a big curtain-dropping reveal.

I'm also kind of weirded out by the time skip. I guess the semester is over? Argo has been doing jobs for the jackal, but we've never seen one, so we don't know how morally compromised either might be? Does Clint know? Same for the pegasus -- Justin did as good a job as I could imagine but not showing any of those earlier visits was super weird.

And as sucky as it might have been I really wish they had just gone Full Andy Kaufman and committed to the disaster of the slowest character in conversation with the second slowest. There was a chance for some real absurdist comedy there but Travis in particular just totally bailed on the character.
posted by range at 2:35 PM on January 26 [4 favorites]

Oh my god, that would have been terrible, and I agree they should have done it. It's a podcast and people who can't handle it really could've hit 1.5 speed.

I didn't have any emotional attachment to the pegasus, so that segment did nothing for me.

Thunderman franchises was great, and I'm looking forward to hearing more about that.

The extra bit post-ending music is exactly my sort of humor. I am a Dad now.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:43 PM on January 26

Speaking of pacing...
Has anything actually happened? Here Be Gerblins was also 6 episodes long.
I like spending time with the gang, but there's a moment where there needs to be stakes beyond a sitcom episode, right?
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:08 PM on January 26

> Has anything actually happened?

Things happen but it seems to be all telling, no showing. Travis exposits for a while, builds a setpiece, then the boys romp through it.

The sketches are fun (and it's Justin who bailed out on the slow-talk competition, or I guess it's more he blew up about it) and there are things at stake but they seem to hover overhead rather than get engaged with.
posted by ardgedee at 3:50 PM on January 26

I mean, we know Argo has something he has to resolve or deal with but hell if we know what it is. Similarly the Firbolg. I half wonder whether Travis has a schedule in mind for the Graduation series and is concerned that setting up a quest relevant to one of the boys' issues risks tidying up their problem and leaving them without a reason to hang around.

It shouldn't have to be that way. Even if the quantum state of Goodcastle is resolved, that ought to merely be a setup for more adventurin'; if Goodcastle exists, well, there's probably a lot of work they need adventurers to do for them, and if Goodcastle doesn't exist, then there's a scammer the boys have to chase after.
posted by ardgedee at 3:57 PM on January 26

Yeah Justin blew up when he realized what they had set up in the library but having him and Travis egg each other on, brother v brother in a contest to be the biggest asshole sticking to their character choices, seems like a bottomless TAZ/MBMBAM comedy mine and it was weird they didn't go down it. Imagine, if you will, each of them getting slower and slower, asking irrelevant questions, going on digressions, luxuriating in the wasted time, as Griffin audibly dies on air while ranting about "audio poison." It seemed like Justin blew up and then Travis immediately made some excuses about the turtle (sorry, tortle) not being awake yet or something and sped way up.

Today I was nostalgically listening to (spoilers, maybe?) the scene in balance where Taako acquires the flaming raging poisoning sword of doom (confession: 4x in a row). Griffin completely loses his shit when he recognizes the dominoes Justin has just set up to scam him, but they resolve it (for the podcast) by digging into the bit and ultimately Justin rewards Griffin's trust by making a character choice that is both funny and conveniently keeps the game-breaking item out of Magnus's hands. That's the kind of thing that seems like it's missing here -- even though these characters are new, there's an avoidance of tension that's palpable.
posted by range at 4:38 PM on January 26 [6 favorites]

Yeah, I like the goofy chaos when they clearly go against what the GM has in mind, and I feel like there’s been less of that in the past few episodes.
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:51 PM on January 26

I think maybe part of the problem is also the in-world signalling: like last episode they served a subpeona to a monster, but this episode we were told that's totally a normal thing for adventurers to do. Which deflates the weirdness of it a little bit. As opposed to when they brought up the subpeona to the lawyer, and the lawyer was a little WTF about it, and that helped the solution seem more weird and funny.

I think this was supposed to be the equivalent to a lunar interlude episode, but also there wasn't much of a signal to it, other than a tweet Travis had made.
posted by dinty_moore at 6:45 AM on January 27

I had a thought this morning that the latest episode was more or less everyone sitting around at the table waiting for somebody else to do something.
posted by ardgedee at 8:45 AM on January 27 [3 favorites]

Huh, yeah, I think you're on to something there. Travis tends to be a pretty proactive player, so with him not at the table, there's nobody to be impulsive and help give others stuff to react to.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 1:14 PM on January 27 [3 favorites]

Travis tends to be a pretty proactive player, so with him not at the table, there's nobody to be impulsive and help give others stuff to react to.

Yeah. That’s insightful. I miss Travis as a player.
posted by mr_roboto at 9:30 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]

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