DISCLAIMER: This recap of Central Park season finale episode “A Fish Called Snakehead” is rife with spoilers galore. You’ve been warned. Proceed with caution. 

Welcome back, park lovers! Central Park streamed its season finale episode on Friday. Owen and his family came together to track down an elusive, formidable fish known the city over as a “snakehead fish.” Bitsy learned the hard way that nobody likes her face. She hired a “likability advisor,” who burst into a song co-written by the one and only Fiona Apple! I’m an avid listener of Apple’s music, so this little tidbit tickled me pink. Anyway, as per Central Park‘s usual, Bitsy attempted to foil Owen’s plans. However, the park manager maintained control of Central Park, much to the hotel heiress’ dismay. 

Ready to delve into “A Fish Called Snakehead?” Let’s get to it. 

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Now, we open with a jogging couple discovering a creature lurking beneath the pond waters of the Harlem Meer. Who is this creature, you may be asking? None other than the vicious snakehead fish. Meanwhile, Owen (voiced by Leslie Odom Jr.), Paige (voiced by Kathryn Hahn), Molly (voiced by Kristen Bell), and Cole (voiced by Tituss Burgess) are getting ready for the day. They’re heading to the farmer’s market to scoop up some spicy cheesy bread (SCB). However, one of Owen’s employees calls him and frantically informs him about the snakehead fish. Well, there goes the cheesy bread. 

Helen (voiced by Daveed Diggs), Bitsy (voiced by Stanley Tucci), and Mayor Whitebottom (voiced by H. Jon Benjamin)

Helen (voiced by Daveed Diggs), Bitsy (voiced by Stanley Tucci)​ and Mayor Whitney Whitebottom (voiced by H. Jon Benjamin)​ in “Central Park,” now streaming on Apple TV+.

Next, Birdie (voiced by Josh Gad) shows us what Bitsy (voiced by Stanley Tucci) has been up to. She’s accompanied by stalwart assistant Helen (voiced by Daveed Diggs) and Mayor Whitebottom (voiced by H. Jon Benjamin). The mayor reveals that Bitsy has an “unlikable face.” In fact, nobody in NYC likes Bitsy. At all. Of course, this doesn’t bode well regarding Bitsy’s Central Park real estate deal. The mayor also reveals that he’s bringing in a likability advisor. Bitsy asserts that she’s “fun, flirty, and feisty.” Hearing Tucci utter that line made my week. 

Then, Owen and his family catch up with the witness joggers. They explain exactly what they witnessed. Paige’s boss calls her and urges her to write up a story about the snakehead fish. Owen decides to join his employees in scouring the pond for the elusive fish. 

Now, the likability advisor (voiced by Audra McDonald) shows up and tells Bitsy what’s what. She sings a song about how New York despises Bitsy’s face. McDonald is immensely talented and her voice legitimately gives me chills. She’s a force of nature. The advisor essentially tells Bitsy to change up her appearance. Clothes, hair, makeup. Even ramp up her social media presence. Because you know 80-somethings are all over the web. 

Back at the pond, a slew of people show up to try their luck in catching the snakehead. Paige learns that her boss ran her story immediately after she sent it in. Apparently, it’s getting hits. A man named Dick Flake arrives on the scene, courtesy of Bitsy. His job? Catch the fish in Bitsy’s name. Thus, she’ll become more likable to the NYC populace. 

Cole (voiced by Tituss Burgess), Paige (voiced by Kathryn Hahn), Owen (voiced by Leslie Odom Jr.) and Molly (voiced by Kristen Bell)

Cole (voiced by Tituss Burgess), Paige (voiced by Kathryn Hahn), Owen (voiced by Leslie Odom Jr.)​ and Molly (voiced by Kristen Bell) in “Central Park,” now streaming on Apple TV+.​

Next, the Tillerman family set sail for the Harlem Meer pond in search of the fish. However, all’s quiet on the watery front. Dick Flake goes missing for an hour and returns with the supposed snakehead in hand. Bitsy moseys down to the pond and gives a speech to the gathering journalists. Paige asks her about the deal to buy out Central Park, but Bitsy pretends to ignore her. She feigns a profound love for the park, but we all know she’s attempting to save face. At least her unlikable face. 

Later, Paige is examining the photo of the fish Flake supposedly wrangled up. She zooms in on its eyes. Paige believes that said fish has been dead for quite some time. She surmises that Flake bought the fish from a market and brought it to the pond for show. That means the real snakehead is still out there. 

Now, the Tillerman family board a boat bound for the pond. After a bout of searching, Owen successfully catches the fish in question. Success! A grand musical number takes place during this scene. We hear bits of previous tunes from the season interwoven in the overall song. Odom Jr. shines during this number. His voice in this episode is downright glorious. 

Cole (voiced by Tituss Burgess), Molly (voiced by Kristen Bell), Owen (voiced by Leslie Odom Jr.), and Paige (voiced by Kathryn Hahn) in Central Park.

Cole (voiced by Tituss Burgess), Molly (voiced by Kristen Bell), Owen (voiced by Leslie Odom Jr.) and Paige (voiced by Kathryn Hahn) in “Central Park,” now streaming on Apple TV+.​

Then, Paige publishes a story commending the park employees for catching the real snakehead fish. In addition, she calls out Flake and Bitsy for being frauds. Boom! We see Bitsy is fuming. A montage takes place, wherein we see our heroes roaming about the park they love so much. For now, Central Park is safe from villainous rich people. For now…

RELATED: Read all Central Park recaps here!

Now, I felt underwhelmed by the season finale. The pacing was slow and I feel the main thread of the story, the crux of the entire show, was lost in the shuffle. Sure, Bitsy strove to make Owen and his employees look bad, but that was it. The core of the episodic plot focused on finding a fish. Bitsy’s lines made me chuckle though and I did enjoy the final song. However, every move Bitsy has made this season was easily foiled by our protagonists. There was no conflict. No push and pull. No moment wherein our heroes felt like succumbing to defeat and waving the proverbial white flag. Conflict makes for interesting television. It also encourages you to root for the good guys. You connect to these characters and therefore want to see them win. 

We’ll see how Season 2 plays out. Here’s hoping the show finds its footing by then. 

Season 1 of Central Park is streaming on Apple TV+. Season 2 will air in, presumably, 2021. 

 

 

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