DISCLAIMER: This recap of the Central Park episode “Central Dark” is riddled with spoilers. You’ve been warned. Proceed at your own peril. 

Welcome back, Central Park lovers! Apple TV Plus’s delightful animated musical comedy is back for a second season! Praise be to the Weehawken gods! “Central Dark” isn’t the show’s strongest outing. Narratively, it’s pretty flat. That being said, I think this episode serves as a reintroduction to the characters we know and love. It has been almost a year since the Season One finale, after all. 

Despite the lack of a substantial plot, “Central Dark” is still a good ol’ time. And isn’t that what’s important? The musical numbers are solid. In general, the songs are the crux of this series. 

Ready to delve into “Central Dark”? Let’s get to it. 

RELATED: Central Park Season Finale Recap: (S01E10) A Fish Called Snakehead

Now, we open with our core characters singing right out of the gate. Cole (voiced by Tituss Burgess) and Molly (voiced by Emmy Raver-Lampman) are walking home from school. Paige (voiced by Kathryn Hahn) is on the subway while Owen (voiced by Leslie Odom Jr.) is on official park business.

Photo from Central Park episode "Central Dark."

Episode 1. Bitsy (voiced by Stanley Tucci) and Helen (voiced by Daveed Diggs) in “Central Park” season two, now streaming on Apple TV+.​

Then, their paths converge for a family night. Time to watch the latest episode of “Gina Tracker FBI”! Fun fact: Yvette Nicole Brown lends her voice to Gina Tracker here. Comedy worlds collide! Birdie (voiced by Josh Gad) lingers outside the Tillerman residence and reacquaints us with his narrating style: Stalking. 

Meanwhile, Bitsy (voiced by Stanley Tucci) and Helen (voiced by Daveed Diggs) are en route to the Tri-State Hoteliers Association where the former is scheduled to deliver the keynote speech. Helen launches into a no-holds-barred rap about Weehawken, New Jersey, where she grew up. Listening to Diggs lend his voice to Helen never fails to make me laugh. Of course, Tucci is also a scene-stealer as the conniving Bitsy. 

Next, Molly asks her parents if she can go to a concert with Brendan … solo. They acquiesce. While on stage, Bitsy procures a slew of top-secret documents that reveal an infrastructure plan for NYC.

However, before she can elucidate further on the matter, the lights go out. Not just in Jersey, but in NYC as well. The whole tri-state area is shrouded in darkness. 

Photo from Central Park episode "Central Dark."

Episode 1. “Central Park” season two, now streaming on Apple TV+.​

Now, the Tillermans seize this opportunity to try out a new board game, one that’s all about the Salem witch trials. You have to figure out who’s the witch among your crew of Puritans. Naturally, this leads to distrust and unveiled secrets among our quartet. Such as the fact that Molly and Brendan won’t be alone at the concert. Molly’s morally questionable friends will be there as well. 

Then, Bitsy and Helen find themselves on the run in the dark when the Hoteliers event attendees begin chasing them. They want access to the top-secret documents! Helen’s street smarts come into play here as the pair hide out in a dumpster.

Next, they proceed to jump off the side of a bridge and into another dumpster filled with Number #1 foam fingers. It’s a good thing that the foam finger factory never went out of business. Only in New Jersey!

Meanwhile, the Tillermans attempt to pinpoint the witch among the crew. So far, nobody is fessing up. Helen is now carrying Bitsy because the latter broke her ankle. Helen’s a badass from Weehawken who knows what’s up. Eventually, our core family discovers that nobody had the witch card. There’s a lesson in all this. Somewhere? Molly apologizes for lying about the concert.

Later, Helen and Bitsy arrive at the Brandenham Hotel. The duo is cornered by the angry Hoteliers attendees, who followed them all the way from Jersey. Bitsy hands them the briefcase with the documents after Helen’s life is threatened. Well, it’s actually a briefcase full of sh*t. Bitsy concealed the important docs in her bosom. 

Photo from Central Park episode "Central Dark."

Episode 1. Paige (voiced by Kathryn Hahn), Cole (voiced by Tituss Burgess), Owen (voiced by Leslie Odom Jr.) and Molly (voiced by Emmy Raver-Lampman) in “Central Park” season two, now streaming on Apple TV+.​

Suddenly, the power returns to the tri-state area. The Tillermans decide to pitch the witch hunt board game and resume watching “Gina Tracker FBI.” She just changed into yet another tracksuit! 

RELATED: Catch up on all the musical madness with our Central Park recaps!

Overall, “Central Dark” is rife with toe-tapping musical numbers and amusing one-liners. The episode doesn’t propel the plot forward in a significant way, but it is a nice reentry into this universe. It’s like cotton candy. It’s fun, y’all! Birdie’s solo song about living in the dark in NYC is probably the highlight for me, along with Bitsy and Helen’s “Odd Couple” back-and-forth. Diggs plays an excellent dry, straight character. 

The first three episodes of Central Park Season Two are now streaming on Apple TV Plus. 

Stanley Tucci and Daveed Diggs Get Animated About CENTRAL PARK

 

 

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