DISCLAIMER: This recap of the Central Park episode “Fista Puffs Mets Out Justice” is rife with spoilers. You’ve been warned. Proceed at your own peril. 

Welcome back, Central Park lovers! This series aired one of its best episodes yet with “Fista Puffs Mets Out Justice.” Not only does it give Emmy Raver-Lampman a chance to shine, but it gracefully addresses a vital social concern: fitting in. I also dig the comic book format that it embraces for the majority of the episode.

While Central Park‘s modus operandi is goofy and fun, this outing gets deep. It’s a topic to which we can all relate. At one point, we were all teens that sought validation from our peers. Molly feels inadequate if she can’t make people laugh. Personally, that resonates. 

Ready to delve into “Fista Puffs Mets Out Justice”? Let’s get to it. 

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Now, we open with Fista Puffs (voiced by Raver-Lampman) arriving at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. There’s a terrifying monster on the loose! Cue the quirky, and perhaps a tad lengthy, badass theme song! Our courageous superhero bursts onto the scene armed with clever wordplay and stinging puns. However, she dies after an initial attempt to vanquish her foe. 

But not to worry! Fista Puffs can simply start over a la a video game. She keeps dying at the hands of her enemy. Over and over. Fista Puffs asks if they can end the simulation. We see The Haze (voiced by Ester Dean) and Sha-Boom (voiced by Amber Ruffin) meet with Fista Puffs after the said ended simulation. Perhaps our girl needs to stretch it out. Those tense facial muscles aren’t doing her a bit of good!

Next, we learn that Fista Puffs wants to join The Haze and Sha-Boom’s elite superhero group. The dynamic duo launches into a song entitled “Pow, Pow, Boom, Boom.” Not gonna lie — it’s catchy as hell. Fista Puffs gleans from the tune and a private bathroom conversation that Sha-Boom has nefarious plans up her sleeve. She’s not who she appears to be. 

Suddenly, Fista’s suspicions are confirmed. Apparently, Sha-Boom has been utilizing a device to zap Fista Puffs of her powers. We see a fight break out between the two. The Haze emphatically apologizes to Fista for failing to see Sha-Boom’s true colors. 

Meanwhile, Paige (voiced by Kathryn Hahn) calls Molly downstairs for dinner. Our characters are still drawn in comic book format. Molly joins her mom, Owen (voiced by Leslie Odom Jr.) and Cole (voiced by Tituss Burgess) for spaghetti. Everyone is agreeable and docile. Too agreeable and docile. Paige promises not to dole out “mom advice” and Cole vows to only silently fart. Molly’s family bursts into a song about not facing your feelings. 

Photo of Molly in the Central Park episode "Fista Puffs Mets Out Justice."

Episode 3. “Central Park” season two, now streaming on Apple TV+.​

Then, Molly flees to her room. Nothing feels real. She decides to scrap what she was drawing and start fresh. Finally, the real world is restored, and we see Molly in full color. She joins Paige, Owen and Cole for dinner. It’s salmon night! We learn that Molly is feeling down in the dumps after a school field trip to The Met. Hazel has befriended Shauna, a cool girl who steals the spotlight from Molly. Molly’s cracking jokes left and right, but they fall flat. 

This time, Paige regales Molly with an anecdote from her youth. Paige wanted to ride rollercoasters with the coolest girl in school despite having a track record of vomiting on them. She puked in the said cool girl’s mouth. As a result, the cool girl changed schools. This isn’t what Molly wants to hear. 

Later, Molly draws out a comic strip that showcases her family apologizing to her. Central Park takes a bite out of Inception here. Molly is now drawing comic panels that feature herself sketching panels within panels. Within … panels! Even her family notices that something’s amiss. 

Now, Molly begins belting out a tune that highlights this episode’s theme. It’s beautifully sung by Raver-Lampman. Molly has been trying too hard to fit in, but the buck stops here. She’s already good enough. She doesn’t need to prove her worth or seek validation from anyone. 

Photo of Molly in the Central Park episode "Fista Puffs Mets Out Justice."

Episode 3. Molly (voiced by Emmy Raver-Lampman) in “Central Park” season two, now streaming on Apple TV+.​

Then, we see a return to The Met in comic book form. Fista Puffs is back to fighting the baddies. But she’s changed. Instead of providing endless quips, she simply defeats the monster. Back in the present, Molly is riding the subway with Hazel and Shauna. Both girls are into the idea of seeing themselves in a comic book, but Shauna has some notes regarding her appearance. 

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

Overall, “Fista Puffs Mets Out Justice” is a strong installment for Central Park. The first two episodes of this season have been amusing, but this one kicks it into high gear. It encapsulates the musical magic that makes this show special while embracing those heartfelt moments. Here’s hoping the series can maintain this momentum through the remainder of the season. Raver-Lampman is fantastic as Molly, and I’m glad she’s now in the role. 

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

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