DISCLAIMER: This recap of Central Park episode “Live It Up Tonight” is rife with spoilers galore. You’ve been warned. Proceed with caution.
Welcome back, park lovers! Central Park gave us a solid episode this week, albeit a step down from last week’s installment. “Live It Up Tonight” boasted some wonderfully witty moments, but I still believe the Tillerman family are strongest when they’re together. At least from a comedic standpoint. As per usual, Stanley Tucci and Daveed Diggs knocked it out of the park (Get it?). That’s easily the most consistent thing about this show — Tucci and Diggs delivering the goods. Now, this episode only had two musical numbers, which is a showtime low for Central Park. Overall, it was an enjoyable episode. Bitsy’s story line somewhat propelled us forward, but the show is still lagging in the pacing department.
Ready to delve into “Live It Up Tonight?” Let’s get to it.
Now, we open with Bitsy (voiced by Stanley Tucci) having an impromptu dance party in her lavish car while Helen (voiced by Daveed Diggs) and Mayor Whitebottom (voiced by H. Jon Benjamin) look on. Finally, the trio embark on a trip to discuss the whole buying Central Park thing. You know, real estate stuff. Bitsy is to be gifted with a prestigious humanitarian award that very evening by the mayor. Well, it’s an award of Bitsy’s fabrication. The ceremony is supposed to serve as a “diversion” while an auditor scopes out Central Park. Said auditor is tasked with really cracking down on Owen. To ding him with frivolous charges. Once the world discovers that Central Park is a trash heap, then everyone will be on board with Bitsy’s real estate bid. Bam!
Meanwhile, Cole (voiced by Tituss Burgess) and Molly (voiced by Kristen Bell) are hellbent on attending a walking tour of deleted scenes from Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. Apparently, the aforementioned is Cole’s favorite film. After some persuasion on their part, Cole and Molly garner the seal of approval from Owen (voiced by Leslie Odom Jr.) and Paige (voiced by Kathryn Hahn).
Next, Owen and Paige are elated to have some alone time from the kids. They decide to celebrate by indulging in a deep-cleaning session. Thankfully, they decide to abandon the boring cleaning work and go on a date. Bitsy and Helen have arrived at the former’s award ceremony. Bitsy loses an opal earring through a grate in the ground. At Bitsy’s urgent behest, Helen removes the grate and descends into the underbelly of the beast. Bitsy trails behind her. Unfortunately, the pair manage to trap themselves in a basement of sorts. And that blasted earring is nowhere to be found.
Later, Paige and Owen are standing outside the “Tipsy Giraffe,” which looks like a hipster’s wet dream. However, before they can officially christen the elusive date night, Elwood (voiced by Rory O’Malley) calls Owen. Why? Because an auditor is at Owen’s office for an unexpected audit. So, there goes dinner plans.
Meanwhile, Cole and Molly are starting their Home Alone 2 walking tour. Their enigmatic guide, a maned eloquently named Zoom, drops interesting factoids and other tidbits about the ’90s family film. Cole is already starting to get anxious because he’s afraid of the dark. Also, nighttime is not the best time to stage a city tour.
Then, back at Owen’s office, our beleaguered park manager holds his own against the formidable auditor. However, a significant receipt is missing from Owen’s records. The auditor demands Owen cough it up, otherwise she’ll have to notify the mayor regarding the former’s shortcomings. And most likely have Owen fired, since this is the auditor working for Bitsy and Mayor Whitebottom. Apparently, Elwood used said receipt to shelter his new pet worm named Diane. Thus, Owen and Paige are granted one hour to track down the missing receipt. It’s go time!
Next, Zoom is informing the group of ominous threats pervading the thick woods in Central Park. Said woods is also home to a multitude of bats. Suddenly, the swarm the tour group. Cole flees the scene in utter terror. Molly separate from the group so she can find her brother. We see it starts to rain. The four Tillermans participate in a song together and it’s a cute number.
Then, Cole and Paige arrive at the store where the former purchased an overabundance of worms. After some high quality persuasion and the exchange of overpriced candles, they manage to get a reprint of the missing receipt. Molly finds her brother hanging upside down off a fence. He got stuck attempting to hoist himself over the fence. Molly remarks how he looks like a vampire, which is a callback to when he accused her of being a creature of the night. Because bats.
Meanwhile, Bitsy and Helen wind up in a wine cellar. The pair proceed to smash every wine bottle (and even some margarita mixes) in the cellar. Both found the act to be therapeutic. Am I sensing some inadvertent bonding? Bitsy is like the mom Helen never had!
Now, the auditor is stuck waiting in Owen’s office. She notes that the clock is ticking and Owen is about to run over the allotted hour. Oh, and she’s about to miss her salsa class with Pedro. Elwood decides to be her dance partner when Birdie (voiced by Josh Gad) plays a salsa beat on his violin from outside. The troubadour narrator saves the day again! Thankfully, Owen and Paige arrive shortly thereafter armed with the receipt in question. The auditor is satisfied and agrees not to notify the mayor of any issues. Success! Take that, Bitsy!
Speaking of which…Helen and Bitsy manage to break free of the cellar. They arrive in the Brandenham Hotel, wherein Mayor Whitebottom is awkwardly cracking jokes with the crowd. Unfortunately, Bitsy and Helen missed the whole ceremony. Oh, and the hotel is bereft of alcohol. Why? Because the wine bottles Helen and Bitsy smashed actually belonged to the Brandenham Hotel…her hotel. Uh oh.
Back at the Tillerman residence, Owen and Paige have resumed their cooperative deep-cleaning. Molly and Cole are watching TV. The kids managed to arrive at home prior to their parents’, despite technically missing their curfew. Kids and their Home Alone 2 deleted scenes walking tours!
Now, we only have one episode left of this season, folks. Central Park has slowly been laying the groundwork for a standoff between Bitsy and Owen. While they’ve only interacted once or twice this season, I think Owen will be the one impeding Bitsy from taking Central Park. This episode had some hilarious one-liners from Bitsy, proving that Tucci is the only person who can truly capture her essence. Diggs’ deadpan Helen is always a joy to watch. In fact, every character on this show has a unique personality and a humorous perspective that they bring to the table.
Do you think Bitsy’s failed attempt to get Owen fired will evolve into something truly sinister for the season finale? Will Owen formulate a game plan to prevent Bitsy from buying the park? Did Bitsy ever get that basin of martinis she requested? Join me next week as I recap Central Park, here on Geek Girl Authority.
Central Park streams Fridays on Apple TV+.
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