This Only Murders in the Building review contains spoilers.
Only Murders in the Building Season 2 Episode 6
As we start the second half of the season 2, we still aren’t any closer to finding out who Bunny’s killer is. Only Murders in the Building loves to stretch the mystery out and give you as many seemingly-random clues as possible, but this second season seems to be taking that strategy even further than the first.
Each episode seems more like a stand-alone snippet into the lives of these intriguing characters, and the writers’ desire to combine bit roles from the show’s past along with introducing new ones makes for somewhat of an overwhelming viewing experience.
In “Performance Review”, we are introduced to another new point of view from a character who has been used sparingly up to this point in the show. Charles, Oliver, and Mabel loved to follow the podcasting of Cinda Canning (Tina Fey), but they start to sour on her when they discover she is trying her hardest to frame them for the murder.
One of the ways she does this is by interviewing a man who claims Mabel cut his middle finger off during childhood. This is supposed to feed into the “Bloody Mabel” tag that the social media world in the show has grabbed ahold of. This is a great little commentary on the ways we believe everything we see online, and how society seems to be getting even worse at discerning the difference between truth and fiction.
The slander attempt makes it even more imperative the trio find who the real culprit is, but much of the episode focuses on Cinda’s shy assistant, Poppy (Adina Verson). We see how crude and rude Cinda is to Poppy, as well as how Poppy can’t seem to get any respect from her mentor no matter how hard she tries.
Mabel starts to sympathize with Poppy’s struggle and there’s a heartfelt scene between the two where they talk about the potential of career and personal growth and how it’s snuffed out when you don’t believe in yourself. We can take this as a sign that Mabel is still struggling to figure out who she is, too, even though her podcasting partners are much more caring than Cinda is.
On the mystery-solving side of the story, we get some real detective work in action in this episode, Brazos-style. The three start corresponding with a phone number they had originally assumed was Detective Williams (Da’Vine Joy Randolph), but instead reveals themselves to perhaps be a suspect in the case when the person on the other end says they won’t meet up in person.
Charles, Oliver, and Mabel decide to lure the suspect to them with a glitter bomb conveniantly located in a local trash can. In true Only Murders fashion, the three are unable to execute the plan because, while they are waiting for the suspect to arrive, they start discussing their personal lives with each other. The suspect sets off the glitter bomb but gets away before anybody can get to him.
All three main characters have something weighing heavily on them at the moment: Mabel can’t trust Alice after she walks in on her reenacting the murder scene, further perpetuating the myth that Mabel is the killer; Charles lets it slip that he still has feelings for Jan and has been visiting her at the prison; Oliver is awaiting the DNA test results to find out whether his son is actually his real kin.
The issue with the season as we reach the back-half is that Charles and Oliver’s plots are not tied very well to the overarching murder investigation. The cliffhanger from last week regarding Oliver’s paternity issues remains unresolved when the credits roll after the sixth episode. Charles is fooling around with a character that was the big antagonist last season, but figures to not factor into solving the mystery this time around. That leaves Mabel’s plot line as the one that is pushing this series furthest along at the moment.
We must find out why Mabel is tied to the murderer. It looks like we are reaching a point where we might get some answers next week. The episode ends with Mabel recognizing the glittered suspect on a train. Charles and Oliver see a video that was recorded of Mabel supposedly stabbing the man, leading to more talk of “Bloody Mabel”. It’s hard to imagine why she keeps getting put in uncompromising positions, but it will also allow Selena Gomez to really shine and reveal new things about her character as the season reaches its climax.