Talks Machina Episode 78 Highlights: 2-30

This summary has been reproduced from this Tumblr post.

Tonight’s guests are Laura Bailey and Travis Willingham AND THE TEENY BABY. Everyone is understandably distracted. Brian: “Let’s just show the baby for an hour.”

  • Announcements: 
    • Electric Beargaloo is up on CR’s YouTube.
    • A limited-run Honey Heist t-shirt is available on the store!
  • Stats for this episode: 
    • Fjord, Jester, and Yasha were missing for 6 days in-game (Laura and Travis were gone for 6 weeks out-of-game).
    • Jester’s cast Cure Wounds 38 times and Healing Word 6 times. Cure Wounds is her most-cast spell. Laura: “I am so happy about Taliesin making another healer. Me, personally. Inflict Wounds! Inflict Wounds! Inflict Wounds! Spiritual Weapon! Toll the Dead!” Travis: “That’s the mother of our child.”
  • Travis was definitely intending to distance himself from Grog with Fjord’s more sensitive character. A lot of Fjord’s backstory is based on things that happened in Travis’s own childhood, and while he’d normally want to keep those things protected, he was curious to see what it would feel like to share those with a character, and he’s already feeling a stronger sense of investment in that sense. Laura asks if he likes Fjord more than Grog. Travis: “I can’t really love anyone more than Grog right now, because Grog is bae.” Maybe in fifteen levels… He talks about how expectations shifted toward him in real life after he went through a growth spurt and came back to school as one of the tallest kids in his class: as a parallel to that, Fjord is being perceived as so handsome and charming and a leader after having had exactly the opposite experience through most of his life.
  • Jester does feel a bit abandoned by the Traveler. “This terrible thing happened, and nothing helped her in those dark moments when she was asking for him.” Laura doesn’t want to get into it too much, since it’ll come into play in the game. Is this the worst thing Jester’s ever experienced? Laura: “Well, yeah. Jester hasn’t done hardly anything.”
  • Jester doesn’t feel especially guilty, but “she wants everybody to be happy and wants to make other people happy, so in this situation where she’s the least happy she’s ever been, there’s an extreme desire to fix it.”
  • Emotional healing is much more important to Jester than physical healing.
  • Fjord didn’t really know how much he might’ve been worth to the rest of the Nein. He thought they might’ve come for Jester or Yasha, but not him. Travis: “Maybe not that far. Just from what he’d seen so far, he thought, ‘Nah, we’re lost, they’re not going to come for us. There’s so much they have to do.’”
  • Laura wanted to cast Sending (even if it was totally unhelpful), but Matt told her it wasn’t possible in her current situation: they knew how to deal with casters, and she wasn’t able to talk.
  • Gif of the Week: Jester dancing.
  • Laura was really bummed not to get to say goodbye to Kiri. They both wished they could’ve made it to the live show. They’re also super disappointed they didn’t get to play with Sumalee and Ashly.
  • Fjord’s “going to endeavor to keep trying to look out for everybody. He’s just hard on himself for a momentary lapse of perception. He’s going to be more motivated to take care of some shit.”
  • Laura and Travis realize that Fjord and Jester can both disguise themselves. Travis: “We could bone with anyone and anyone else! We can take suggestions.” Brian: “I’m thinking of some merch ideas.”
  • Taliesin sent Laura and Travis Caduceus’ art before anyone else. He checked in with Laura to make sure she was okay with another cleric, and she was really happy. Laura: “His domain is totally different from mine. A lot of times with Jester, I couldn’t do a lot of spells in the RP aspect of the game, because I had to save them for in case there was a battle we were playing. There are so many fun just-f***-with-people spells she has.”
  • First impressions of Clay? Laura: “I love his hair.” Travis: “The dude abides. I didn’t even feel like an insight check was necessary. He just seemed so positive and nonplussed and go-with-the-flow. I think a little chillness was needed. If he freaks out and goes all rage monster, I will love him even more. He’s gonna eat people.”
  • Travis and Laura didn’t have any plans going in regarding their reactions to Molly. Laura: “I didn’t expect to get so emotional over it.” They were jumping in and out of watching episode 26, since they had a one-week-old baby at the time. Later in the night, they pulled the episode up and realized Taliesin wasn’t there… and found out from the chat what had happened. “We f***ing go have one baby…” Laura: “Molly would still be alive if we were there. I feel like we would’ve told them to run.” Travis: “It was still a good plan, though, honestly. The dice just screwed them.”
  • Absorbing Summer’s Dance was “most definitely” Fjord’s tribute to Molly and wanting to get him vengeance. It was especially hard because they were roommates the entire time. “Fjord has never really had friends or companions, much less somebody you had to talk to every night before you crashed out. As crazy and different as Molly was from Fjord, he never judged Fjord.” Fjord’s last conversation with Molly was about how the ship exploded and what happened, and it was “the first time Fjord started to trust somebody with that s***, and he got fucking killed.”
  • Jester’s taking being a cleric much more seriously because she doesn’t want more friends to die, and she’s starting to understand the stakes of what she does. The cleric-related jealousy of Caduceus was a bit of bleed-through. Laura: “I need to remember that I’m the one that’s competitive and Jester is not. Because that definitely is my go-to.” Brian: “Yeah, you in real life are much closer to Vex than to Jester.”
  • Fanart of the Week: a great combat group-shot!
  • Both Jester and Fjord’s primary motivations have changed. Travis: “A little less seeking outside answers and knowledge to things that aren’t really going to help.” Laura: “Jester’s primary motivation of just wanting to bring joy has maybe increased even more. We’ll see how far that goes.” Travis really wants Jester to go dark. “See, now I’m sad that I made Jester happy. But I do think as we level up, Jester’s Spiritual Weapon should get more and more badass. A lollipop with spiky sugar on it or something. Rock candy mace.”
  • Fjord saw the Cloven Crystal reveal as just another sign of the universe telling him, “F***ing get after it, son.”
  • Matt gave them a five-minute summary of what went down right before the game, and then left it up to them to work out how they’d play it in-game.
  • Laura thinks the Gentleman’s bad news. Travis: “Oh, you think? He took f***in’ samples of our blood.” Laura’s pretty sure he’s tied in with the slavers in some way, but Jester hasn’t got enough information to get suspicious in-game.
  • Fjord was genuinely impressed with Jester’s ability to—to him—sound upbeat even in captivity.
  • Fjord was starting to become comfortable that maybe the Nein looked to him for some sort of leadership, which he’d only had some brief experience with during his days on ships, but that took a pretty hard hit. Travis: “He’s encouraged to see Caleb as a team player and looking out for others, and that the first thing he tried to do was make us feel better. He expected a fair amount of, ‘You f***ed up.’” Laura: “He was really, really nice.”
  • Laura reveals that Jester’s actually a cannibal serial killer. You… heard it here… first?
  • Fjord was surprised to see how much growth there was for Beau in the six days they were gone. “She seems mature, responsible. She didn’t punch any kids. It’s awesome.”
  • Jester thinks Yasha’s wings “look really badass”. She also doesn’t think anyone has as close a tie with their deity as she has with the Traveler (at least, before this recent uncertainty).
  • It’s tough for Fjord (but not so much Jester) knowing they can’t achieve revenge against Lorenzo, but they’re still hopeful for closure. Fjord would consider a good kill with Molly’s sword to be closure. Travis: “It’ll be taking care of the group, making sure something like that doesn’t happen again.” Jester: “I don’t know what will get it for Jester, honestly.”

Talks Machina: Are We Out Of Time Yet?

  • Ronin’s class? He’s very loud, so maybe a bard, but he has monk-like kicks. They think he might’ve been learning from Laura’s battle-heavy VO sessions in the womb.
  • Laura loved the “case closed” moment, even though when she first heard about it, her initial thought was “Nott closed a case without me!?!”
  • Travis was surprised that nobody else perked up at the description of the Cloven Crystal. Laura: “Nobody cares about your backstory but you.” Dani: “I care!” Travis: “THANK you, Dani!”
  • It was really hard for them to miss the first episode in the new studio, since it was such a milestone. They also hate that they missed the first PC death.
  • Sumalee got booked on a new TV show, and mentioned on Twitter that the first thing she got asked was what it was like to be on Critical Role.
  • They reminisce about Liam’s evil one-shot they played with Ashly and talk about how vicious Travis gets when he’s not on your side. Endgame for Fjord? Chaotic evil, clearly.
  • At Ren Faire a few years ago, Travis went missing from the group after some drinking. They eventually found him at a rare coin stand, and he showed off an old coin he’d just bought. Brian: “I’m like, ‘How much did it cost?’ And he just looked down.” Travis: “DON’T SAY THE NUMBER.” Brian: “The shame immediately kicked in.” Laura also dropped a dagger in a porta-potty. Brian: “The Ren Faire takes a toll.”
  • We fade out on Brian walking away while Laura and Travis sing ‘You’ll Be in My Heart’. As you do.