Reactions to 'Only Murders in the Building' Season 2 Episode 1 - Upsmag - Magazine News

Reactions to ‘Only Murders in the Building’ Season 2 Episode 1

We’re back at the Arconia, the fireworks are sparkling in Charles Haden-Savage’s imagination, and wouldn’t you know it—more people are dead! Last season’s finale of the hilarious murder-mystery comedy Only Murders in the Building ended, as expected, on a quaint note: Mabel Mora (Selena Gomez) returned to her apartment in the famed Upper West Side building to discover the building president, Bunny Folger (Jayne Houdyshell), bleeding to death, one of Mabel’s knitting needles sticking out of every chest. Mabel’s new friends Charles (Steve Martin) and Oliver Putnam (Martin Short) rush down the stairs to discover her kneeling over Bunny’s dead body. She insists “it’s not what you think,” but the police who handcuff each of the amateur podcast co-creators aren’t so sure. In the words of Charles himself, this takes the investigation into a whole new direction.

At the top of season 2, episode 1, “Persons of Interest,” Charles, Mabel, and Oliver are each in the hot seat, under the withering glare of police officers Detective Williams (Da’Vine Joy Randolph) and Detective Kreps (Michael Rapaport), the latter of whom likes to “say ‘fuck’ a lot” and refers to Charles and Oliver as “low-hanging, dehydrated scrota-sacks.” Williams wants to believe that none of these idiots could have killed Bunny, but the circumstances are a little too funky to ignore. (It doesn’t help that, in the podcast they co-created, Mabel talks about a “recurring dream” in which she stabs an intruder with her knitting needle.) Neither Charles nor Oliver are thrilled about their names scrawled onto the suspect list Alongside Mabel’s—Oliver even demonstrates his characteristic willingness to throw a friend under the bus—but there’s one key point saving them: The police don’t have the murder weapon, which was not a knitting needle but a knife.

Williams lets them go, but with the knowledge that they’re persons of interest, and New York City, ever hungry for gossip, is watching. When the trio emerge out onto the courthouse steps, they’re instantly surrounded by cameras—a development about which Oliver makes no attempt to hide his glee. (Short’s line deliveries are as intelligent and vivacious as ever, with “I’m just like you!” a standout this episode.)

As the friends attempt to return to their lives, it’s Mabel who objects to the idea of ​​investigating Bunny’s murder. Sure, she wants her name cleared, but she’s also sick of living a life constantly infused with death. Her former friend Tim Kono (Julian Cihi) was murdered last season by his ex-lover Jan (Amy Ryan), who almost succeeded in killing Charles, too. She’s ready to spend a few months or years as a “boring” 20-something with old-guy friends who play chess in the park. But, of course, that’s not what the Arconia has in store for them.

In spite of all the murders, life at the Arconia moves on. There’s a new tenant taking over Sting’s old unit: Amy Schumer, playing Amy Schumer. (Not all OMitB fans were thrilled with this development.) For reasons that don’t make much sense, she wants to work with Oliver on optioning the trio’s podcast for a streaming series “with exclusive internet content leading to gamification,” and Oliver practically combusts on the spot . He’s not the only one with third-party attention, either; Charles is invited to a meeting regarding a reboot of brazzos, the cop serial he starred in as a young(er) actor. And Mabel, she’s caught the attention of Alice Banks (Cara Delevingne), an art collector interested in the mural Mabel painted in her apartment. She invites Mabel to a gallery opening, and something—maybe a need for change, maybe an addiction to danger—incites Mabel to go, now rocking a bob haircut.

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Strutting into the gallery in a ravishing orange shirt-dress, Mabel looks cool and confident, until her reverie is interrupted by an overeager “Bloody Mabel” fan who wants a selfie. (It would appear our favorite murder suspect now has a nickname.) Curator Alice rescues her from the embarrassing photo opp and proceeds to, slowly, unveil her ulterior motives: She wants Mabel for their artist collective, in part due to her new friend’s “ natural talent” but also because, right now, she has “everyone’s attention.” The chemistry between these two is certainly bubbling, but it also seems obvious that Alice’s intentions for Mabel extend well beyond painting.

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As each of our protagonists contemplate these new opportunities, they discover an old podcasting champion is out for blood. The NPR legend Cinda Canning (Tina Fey) and her team of lackeys are developing their own podcast, Only Murderers In The Building, based entirely around the ongoing investigation of Charles, Oliver, and Mabel. The announcement and its accompanying insults, though broadcast over radio, feel so intimate to the trio that they each imagine Canning at home with them—in Charles’s bed, in Mabel’s living room, and leaning over Oliver’s writing desk. Fey is a delight in this sequence, her wry pompousness accented with a wink.

Mabel insists that “Cinda doesn’t even know what happened that night,” which, of course, begs the question: What did happen? Mabel doesn’t remember much—she was drunk on champagne—but she thinks Bunny said the word, “Fourteen.” That little tidbit isn’t much to go on, but it’s something, and the suspects now have extra motivation to clear their names. Screw Cinda Canning; Charles can’t lose brazzos—or, uh, Uncle Brazzos!

Just as it seems they’re about to embark on season 2—meta very much intended—their conversation is cut short by Bunny’s disembodied voice telling Oliver to “fuck off.” Confused and disturbed, they hunt down the source of the noise and discover, inside Bunny’s apartment, a parrot mimicking Bunny’s voice. (I’m not convinced Bunny didn’t intentionally teach her bird to say, “Stuff it up your ass.”) Anyway, since they’ve already trespassed on Bunny’s apartment, they might as well look around, right? And destroy a few of Oliver’s recently written notes along the way?

Before they get far, two other Arconia tenants, Uma (Jackie Hoffman) and Howard (Michael Cyril Creighton), walk in through the front door discussing Bunny’s eye for “erotic art”—in particular, an expensive Rose Cooper painting that’s very “balls -forward.” Uma’s looking to get it appraised, but, naturally, the painting is missing from Bunny’s apartment. The art thief couldn’t possibly be connected to the murder, right? When Charles returns to his own abode hours later, there it is, inexplicably: a portrait of his father and an unknown woman, naked, wrapped around each other in a fit of passion.

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That’s one hell of a way to end a premiere episode, and it’s tinged with Only Murders in the Building‘s signature infusion of dark humor, quirky wit, and real emotional stakes. That’s a good sign the show’s sophomore chapter will be able to continue the momentum of its killer first season, but only if Only Murders doesn’t get too haughty in its pursuits. We all know what happens when big ideas fall apart in execution; just ask Oliver Putnam about Splash! The Musical.

Lauren Puckett-Pope
Associate Editor
Lauren Puckett-Pope is an associate editor at ELLE, where she covers news and culture.

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