Part 2 of my going through all of the characters of Critical Role’s second campaign, a fantasy RPG web series/podcast (depending on how you choose to experience it). Part 1 is here.
I’d probably best get on with talking about Molly’s character.
Mollymauk came to us as a member of a traveling carnival, an ostentatious tiefling who immediately tries to scam one of the other protagonists. His personality is in-your-face, and yet he always manages to maintain an air of mystery. Maybe it’s because we saw him using the abilities of a monster hunter class before we ever find out how one ends up traveling with a circus—and why he never seemed particularly keen on hunting down creatures. Maybe it was because we had no idea about his past.
Of course, the big secret comes out—that he doesn’t actually have a past—which just leaves us with more questions. But those are questions Molly doesn’t have the answer to, either.
He was a bit of an enigma character-wise, as well. A grifter who’ll take advantage of one person, yet be generous with others. It’s intriguing, and I don’t think I quite put that puzzle together until his best frenemy Beau finally spelled it out for us:
“Molly told us a few weeks ago…he left every town better than he found it. When he first told me that…my first initial knee-jerk reaction was, ‘You f-ing arrogant, narcissistic bastard, no one can f-ing know that…’ We had a conversation last night for watch, and he asked me what my greatest lie was…and he told me this story about tricking a town into thinking he was royalty, being a king, to pull off a scam…even in his scams…he was still making people feel good or feel special.”
And Nott brought up at one point how he was larger than life, living every moment to the fullest, instead of being afraid of everything that might happen.
All of that does a great job of summing up Molly. A liar and a thief, who did his best to be happy and to make others happy as well.
Molly and Yasha
Out of all the other protagonists, Molly had the strongest relationship with Yasha, because they already knew each other and had shared their secrets. But because Yasha’s actress is away half the time, we only ever got to see snippets of their relationship. What we did see was nice. There was this understanding between them, and whenever she took off, his reaction was basically just, ‘yeah, she does that.’ He’d trusted her with his secrets. There was this nice comfort there between them, that made it seem like we as the audience got a peek into a secret world.
Molly and Beau
Molly was friendly with Jester, he roomed with Fjord (driving him away from that room once with his exploits), and overwhelmed Caleb—but I think his most defined relationship besides Yasha, was with Beau.
It’s interesting to see them have kind of the opposite relationship from their characters in the first campaign, Keyleth and Percy. The latter two were best friends who deeply cared about each other on a personal level, despite the fact that they agreed on almost nothing. Beau and Molly, on the other hand, seem to agree a lot of the time. They seem to be on level most of the time. But they personally can’t stand each other.
Over time, their dislike grows into something a bit more friendly, yet still contentious. But they always have a very challenging relationship all the same. Their personalities push at each other, and yet they always end up shoved into circumstances together. And then they start choosing to interact with each other. Maybe its natural that Beau was the one who figured out the virtues in his flaws. Because the two of them always have to pay attention to one another, if only so that the other doesn’t one-up them.