Talks Machina Episode 91 Highlights: 2-42

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Tonight’s guests are Marisha Ray and Laura Bailey (with special guest appearance from Ronin! Awwww), so I can hardly wait. We’re discussing Episode 42: A Hole in the Plan.

  • Announcements:

    • Brian is bursting with an announcement he’s not allowed to reveal for another six months. His favorite guess: something about him stealing all the money from the company and moving to an island, but that’s actually his long game, not the short one.

    • Throughout November, they’re raising money for Operation Supply Drop, Travis’s favorite charity, which supports both active and retired military.

    • No episode of Critical Role this week due to Thanksgiving. There will also be no episode of Talks Machina next Tuesday; instead, they’ll be airing Sam’s Fireside Chat! This was a reward from the Critter donations to the Pablove Foundation.

    • Critical Role hoodies are back in the store; the print is very similar to the original with a bit more embellishment on the text on the back.

    • “Honey Heist 3: Tova’s Honeys” airs this Friday at 7pm Pacific! Marisha: “It was bear-nanas.” Laura: “Oh, no.”

  • Stats for this episode:

    • Jester has cast Blessing of the Trickster 31 times; 15 of those times were on Nott.

    • Jester technically won her bar brawl with Sorris! She dealt 16 points of damage to his 15.

    • Beau continues to have the most natural 20s with 49. She also has the most natural 1s, womp womp.

    • Marisha: “Well, I roll a lot, you know?” Brian: “Well, your husband is also a tyrant and not to be messed with.” Marisha says she thinks Gil’s die is cursed and everyone gasps. How dare.

  • Does Brian feel the pressure of following Dani, who was such an excellent host last week? No; when he went through the potential list of fill-ins, the only one that made sense was Dani.

  • Marisha sees Darktow as a super-abusive socialist society, which does not sit well with Beau. It’s a silk trap.

  • Jester’s conversation with Caleb was triggered by Fjord’s kiss, especially with her wondering if it really meant anything to either of them. Laura thinks of her high school crushes and how hard you crushed & how devastated you were at every perceived slight; Jester only has the view of romance through her mother, which means physical affection is very different from emotional affection in her mind. On Brian’s asking, Laura’s high school crush was Han Solo. When Laura’s sister was 12, she paid her $15 to paint Han and Leia in a dip kiss, which she still has framed in her current house. I’m dying, this is adorable.

  • Beau doesn’t exactly trust that Fjord is going to do the right thing, but him sleeping with Avantika doesn’t trigger her red flags in terms of “looking out for each other, keeping each other in check.” She’s looking more for them bullying someone when they don’t need to, being violent when it’s not necessary. “Pursuing power to endless depths and f***ing hot pirates, that’s fine with Beau. She just doesn’t want to kill children.” Brian marvels at how this fits into Jester & Caleb’s conversation about killing people from the most recent episode.

  • Jester can tell Caleb is tortured, and more than anything she wants people not to be sad around her. She just wants desperately for him to be happy.

  • Marisha has thought a ton about what Beau would have said if Jester had come to her first about the kiss, especially since it was Jester’s first kiss (Marisha assumes, and Jester answers in an adorably non-committal not-not-a-negative). Beau would have been game for it. She doesn’t know if Beau would have given good advice, but she would have tried her best.

  • Brian spills that Mary’s character’s CHA in their home game is 6. They discuss Nott’s score of 5 and enjoy themselves mightily at both of their expenses.

  • GIF of the Week! By @ropadoper, it’s Liam casting Reduce and then the Wall of Fire at the end of the episode, both of which involve Marisha falling out of her chair to the floor in reaction so that only her forehead is visible. Everyone is being so cute this episode I can hardly stand it.

  • As a reminder, an international shipping facility has been created in the UK. Laura asides to tell Travis the keys are in the diaper bag. Literally everyone is in the studio tonight except Sam, EVEN ASHLEY.

  • Jester thinks the Traveler always gives very good advice, but his suggestion to trick Fjord was the first time ever she felt a little hesitation to follow his advice. Brian: “Is that because he’s never been wrong or because she’s never been allowed to disagree?” Laura says it’s always been amazing advice so far, much more a best-friend relationship, but this was the first time she didn’t want to take his suggestion wholesale because she wasn’t sure it’s how she wanted to get Fjord to like her. Marisha really likes the dynamic of finding out your childhood best friend is a god.

  • Beau finds herself still being careful with her walls–Marisha imagines Beau was put in a lot of, like, pageant dresses as a kid–so when Jester commented on her hair and then laughed, she felt a little of that “wait, what, do you actually care? Do I look like s***?” Laura says she laughed, not Jester, because it was the most random thing to compliment Beau on.

  • Beau’s haircut came into being because it was cool & because Marisha wishes she were brave enough to try an undercut.

  • Brian’s convinced Fjord’s got gills. Dani: “What do you think Fjord is?” Brian: “Obviously a water man. Water genasi. What are water genasi?”

  • Beau wasn’t surprised Allison rejected her; she’s used to it. Ack. She was looking for an ally against Avantika, Big Brother style. “Instead she just shat in an alleyway with Nott.”

  • Laura’s not perturbed the Traveler hasn’t mentioned Fjord’s god; he doesn’t really talk about/care about other gods or patrons. Brian suggests he’s actually the Dongfather in disguise. This show’s collective mental age is smaller than Pike, haha. 

  • Beau felt like such an interloper when Sam asked her to help with Fluffernutter, like the best friend trying to be in on a joke without really knowing what’s going on. Marisha also takes a moment to praise Laura for her Jester over the last few episodes; she’s digging into the metaphorical popcorn every time Jester & Nott start going off. (Me too, bud.) Jester’s description of the insect carrying a piece of bread is one of her favorite D&D moments ever. Both Marisha & Laura are agog at how many little plans they’ve tried have gone disastrous and then circled back around to being mostly okay again.

  • Beau was a little hurt when she wasn’t asked to help break into the captain’s quarters, since that’s her specialty, but it was eased by being able to help with her knowledge anyway. However, she knew since she didn’t have any magic, she had no escape plan aside from jumping off the boat. She laughs that that’s what they ended up doing anyway. 

  • Jester views sex as a transaction, which is why she’s not particularly bothered by Fjord sleeping with Avantika.

  • Fanart of the Week: @jdillustrates, with a lovely portrait of Caduceus.

  • Jester’s warring between the logical part of her brain (he was saving her life) and the romantic part of her brain (did he want to kiss me, though?).

  • There are reasons Beau learned Deep Speech–not as complicated as most people think–that will be revealed eventually. “Nerdy reasons, not because she was kidnapped and turned into a cultist.”

  • Fjord/Avantika does make her jealous, but it’s also serving a purpose. Laura compares it to telling the high school crush to go hang out with a best friend, only to have them start dating.

  • Marisha doesn’t feel like Beau’s plans were overly shot down this episode–it’s something she hadn’t even noticed until this question. Marisha feels like it’s so much of a group effort with everyone trying to get to the right plan that it’s hard to pick out who contributed what part of which plan.

  • Brief interlude to examine a portrait of Brian that looks like George Michael. e

  • In re: the Molly disguise: Beau felt like there was just a wall of regret walking towards her, because it was the friend she let die and the one-night stand. Beau never felt it was actually Molly, though. Jester picked Molly because when Nott said “Keg,” she instantly associated it with “someone who is really cool–who’s also super cool?” Everyone commiserates over how into the night’s shenanigans Molly would have been.

  • Beau was frustrated while being detained, but she also knew it was going to happen, so it wasn’t a huge issue. She felt like that was where the challenge began for her–anything to get the guard away from what was going on. 

  • Another brief interlude where everyone experiments with how to make power vaginas with their hands. “This is the car salesman power vagina.” I feel like wherever the rails are for this show, they’re so far gone they might as well be little stars in the sky.

  • Laura thinks Jester’s reaction to Caleb’s backstory would be much different than Caleb imagines it. Both Laura & Marisha talk about how Caleb’s convinced the moment people realize, they’re gone; there’s also the complication that Beau’s “comforting” is not actually that comforting. “She’d say, ‘you know, they won’t care,’” (which Marisha points out, Caleb would respond–how could someone not care about this?) when what she means is, “They love you and won’t abandon you over this.”

  • Laura and Marisha are both pumped about Caleb’s Wall of Fire–the walk to the dock was like “getting called to the principal’s office, except the principal is going to kill you.” Laura’s immediate reaction was regret she’d tossed the gems, but she loved his decision since she was panicking IRL & her heart was legit pounding. They also both get super enthusiastic bashing Nott’s plan to dump the haversack in an alley. “It’s bright pink! Someone would have definitely seen it!”

  • Marisha really misses Professor Thaddeus, but is convinced she’ll never see him again. Dani: “He’s your Nymeria, your Arya.” Marisha, tearfully: “He’s gonna come with his flock of owls and gouge out everyone’s eyes but ours.”

  • Laura’s convinced Sprinkle is magic, since he definitely should be dead twice over.

Quebec is for Lovers: After Dark edition

  • Neither Laura nor Marisha are cooking this year. Laura & Travis have no Thanksgiving plans at all this year. My gosh, if they were here my parents would be stuffing them full of turkey yesterday, even though they have no idea who they are.

  • Brian teases Max over messing with Trinket & carrying him back and forth in his car. Dani wants one TM where Brian isn’t mean to Max. Max, offscreen: “I’m FINE. I’m GOOD.” Marisha laughs that Max was okay with Brian’s teasing but shooting daggers at the TDs laughing.

  • Brian gives Dani an A for amazing and adorable, but not asshole.

  • Dani ships Percy/Vex, Keyleth/Vax, and Fjord/Jester. Close after is Kima/Allura & Caleb/Jester. She would be surprised if it happened, but wouldn’t object. Marisha asks, as a shipper, what does Dani look for in a quality ship. Dani likes clear feelings with clear reciprocation, canon connections; she doesn’t ship a ton of subtexty stuff.

  • Laura has been relistening to Vex’s playlists & crying. Both she & Marisha really miss Vex & Keyleth. Liam texted Laura the other day a fanvid of Vex & Vax that made her cry.

  • Marisha gets emotional seeing fanart of older Keyleth because it means that she’s living on & being happy. Noelle also came up & thanked Marisha for giving Tova a purpose after the latest Honey Heist, and everyone talks about how many hours they’ve spent creating and living in these people.

  • Marisha can’t listen to Tokyo Sunrise by LP anymore because it instantly makes her cry.

  • Beau is not a mindflayer. Everyone’s convinced, Marisha.

  • If Laura had Jester’s paint set, she’d draw home improvements. She’d draw a door for her bathroom into Ronin’s nursery. Marisha would draw more producers–”Not to undermine the ones I have! We’re so overworked!”

  • Brian looks to Max for the time left, only to have missed Dani literally just giving him the signal.

  • Brian starts to say he’ll see us next week, but Dani tells him not to confuse us since there’s no TM next week. Brian: “We’ll see you next week this Thursday Critical Role on, Logan Paul guest starring, along with Paul Rudd, Rudney Dangerfield…”

  • Max, as the sound fades: “Okay, please…”

And that’s it for tonight. See you next time, everyone!