DISCLAIMER: This recap of the Central Park episode “Down to the Underwire” is riddled with spoilers. You’ve been warned. Proceed at your own peril.
Welcome back, parkgoers! “Down to the Underwire” is easily one of Central Park‘s strongest outings thus far. Paige’s job was on the line! Helen’s job was at risk! Bitsy’s ability to run a race sans cheating was called into question! Owen’s retail skills were put to the test! Molly’s boobs were down to the underwire (Title of the episode!)!
In short, this episode had stakes, which is a rarity for Central Park. Additionally, as a “daddy’s girl” myself, Owen and Molly’s story warmed my cold, dead heart. Papa Owen is an exemplary father figure and a bra bro.
Ready to delve into “Down to the Underwire”? Let’s get to it.
Now, we open with a dilemma of the underwire proportions. Molly (voiced by Emmy Raver-Lampman) laments about how she’s still wearing a training bra while her contemporaries have graduated to regular bras. She launches into a “punny” song about her “bra-blem.” I harbor an affinity for puns, so this song hits my sweet spot.
Meanwhile, Bitsy (voiced by Stanley Tucci) has some business affairs to tend to. Helen (voiced by Daveed Diggs) has been tasked with walking Shampagne in Bitsy’s absence. Our favorite harried assistant finds a small key near the toilet. It’s for Bitsy’s file cabinet, wherein she keeps her will. After Bitsy leaves, Helen departs for the park with the dog in tow.
If you’ll recall, Helen decided to let Cole (voiced by Tituss Burgess) walk Shampagne since the latter forged a bond with the pup last season. She tells Cole that the walk will be brief, as she has things to do. Well, in this case, file cabinets to raid. But Shampagne will relieve his bowels when he damn well wants to.
Next, we see Owen and Molly are out shopping. Molly is in the fitting room. Owen is surrounded by bras. Bras everywhere. This papa feels like he’s out of his depth. But not to worry — the sole employee there is too busy helping one woman save her marriage to assist Owen!
Then, Paige and her boss, Marvin (voiced by Tony Shalhoub), spot Bitsy waltzing into their place of business. She’s having a meeting with Roberta (voiced by Patti LuPone), the owner of the publication. Paige assumes that Bitsy’s on the warpath and she intends to buy the company. After all, Paige did write a scathing piece about Bitsy and the infamous “Snakehead.” Perhaps this is Bitsy’s way of seeking revenge.
Later, Helen returns from her brief walk with Cole and the doggie. Unfortunately, she misplaced Bitsy’s key to the file cabinet. If Bitsy catches wind of this, then Helen will surely be fired.
Meanwhile, Owen finally gets some help from the lone employee at the store. Molly hasn’t found the bra yet. However, our heroic shop worker might have the perfect undergarment for Molly. Helen returns to Central Park. She spots Cole and his friend, Enrique (voiced by Stephanie Beatriz). I’d like to note that I had no clue Beatriz lent her voice to Enrique until the credits rolled. She’s sickeningly talented.
So, Helen enlists the aid of Cole and Enrique to help her find Bitsy’s key. Soon, Elwood (voiced by Rory O’Malley) joins in on the search party fun. Cue a song about finding a key that’s not aquí! Back at Paige’s office, Paige and Marvin attempt to eavesdrop on Bitsy’s conversation with Roberta, but to no avail.
Speaking of, Roberta unearths a shared memory with Bitsy from the 1960s, wherein the latter tripped up the former in a track race. Roberta wants to challenge Bitsy to another race. If Bitsy wins, then she can buy the publication. But if Roberta wins, then Bitsy must cough up the 8th place ribbon that she so rightly deserves. Two old ladies running. What could go wrong?
Later, Bitsy and Roberta emerge to reveal their wager. They’re going to race in front of the staff. They’ll veer closely to the windows and, hopefully, not break a hip in the process. And … go! As the two seniors slowly run (Jog? Moderately speed walk?) past a plethora of desks, Owen spots the perfect bra for Molly in the shop. Helen comes up short in her search for Bitsy’s key.
Now, Molly gets the bra of her dreams. It’s blue and sporty and girly! Roberta wins the race, fair and square this time, which means that Paige gets to keep her job! Bitsy returns home to discover that her key is MIA. Just when Helen thinks she’s about to go on unemployment, Cole shows up with the said key in hand. It was nestled in a bag of Shampagne’s feces. After Bitsy leaves, Helen offers to continue the dog walks with Cole.
However, Cole has turned a new leaf. He’s decided to stop obsessing over Shampagne so much. Maybe take a week off here and there. Hang out with Enrique. Meanwhile, Molly and Owen are riding the subway home. Owen also purchased another bra that caught his daughter’s eye. What a good dad. Best father eva right here.
Overall, “Down to the Underwire” injects real stakes into the mix and shines a spotlight on all-around great fathers. Healthy father/daughter relationships. It’s still as humorous and tongue-in-cheek as ever, but with that extra dash of heartwarming, ooey-gooey love. The crux of this series is family, after all.
However, I do hope that this episode serves as a turning point for Season Two. Bitsy appears to be back on track to buy out Central Park. That “Bra-Blem” song is a “bop,” as the kids say. So many puns!
New episodes of Central Park are available to stream every Friday, only on Apple TV Plus.
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