DISCLAIMER: This recap of the Central Park mid-season finale episode “Sir Bricks-A-Lot” is laden with spoilers. You’ve been warned. Proceed at your own peril.
Welcome back, parkgoers! We’ve reached mid-season finale territory for Central Park! “Sir Bricks-A-Lot” ushered in quite the dilemma for the Tillermans. Should Owen accept a higher-paying job out of state, or should the family stay in NYC and fight for Central Park? The episode is mainly comprised of mini-stories as told through “stackers” or LEGO bricks. Each family member found a unique way to envision their “new life” in Connecticut.
But in the end, New York won. This episode may be one of the show’s strongest yet. Additionally, the writers managed to creatively incorporate Bitsy and Helen into the narrative despite the focus on the Tillermans.
Ready to delve into “Sir Bricks-A-Lot”? Let’s get to it.
Now, we open with Birdie (voiced by Josh Gad), our peerless narrator and busker. He reveals that Owen (voiced by Leslie Odom Jr.) and Paige (voiced by Kathryn Hahn) have had a trying week. And, to top it all off, Owen was offered a new job at a swanky university in Connecticut. He’ll be receiving a phone call later that day where he must deliver his decision.
Next, Molly (voiced by Emmy Raver-Lampman) enthusiastically barges into their bedroom. She’s ready to move to Connecticut. Molly notes that Brendan is willing to make their relationship a long-distance one. Cole (voiced by Tituss Burgess) also pops in for a spell. He, too, is on board with the life change.
However, Owen isn’t so sure about this. After he picks up many “stackers” with Cole, Owen sits down with the family to “build” their dream lives. You know, LEGO-style.
So, Molly presents her new life in brick form. She’s working as a janitor at a prestigious art school in Connecticut. One of the art teachers there poses a nigh-on impossible sketch idea for his students. Thankfully, Molly is there to breathe life into the said idea. Molly’s artistic star soars to meteoric heights. Her work even goes up in the Louvre!
Molly sings a lovely tune about wanting to gain recognition for her abilities. Raver-Lampman’s voice suits Molly so perfectly. Oh, and if you didn’t already catch it, this story is eerily similar to the Good Will Hunting plot.
Then, Paige showcases her Connecticut aspirations. She discards her journalism career in favor of becoming an author. Her 15-book series, Hunter Gatherer, takes the world by storm. She even scores a book-to-film adaptation with Beyoncé as the star!
But things take a turn for the worst when Paige gets into a terrible car accident. Margarett (voiced by Stanley Tucci) takes Paige in under the guise of nursing her back to health. But, wait … it’s the plot of Misery! Margarett (with two t’s) proceeds to torture Paige, so the latter writes the next book in her series.
Thankfully, Paige’s super ripped husband, Owen, swoops in and saves the day!
Now, it’s Cole’s turn. He cultivates a fun, happy-go-lucky life with his astronaut dad, Owen. Cole takes a joyride into space in his dad’s rocket against Owen’s wishes. He returns home with an adorable alien-like creature (That’s also a cat?). They bond.
Suddenly, a woman who looks like Helen (voiced by Daveed Diggs) arrives on the scene. She reveals that the scientists want to experiment on Cole’s new buddy, even though the latter could cure many diseases! If you’re wondering whether this is similar to the plot of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, then wonder no longer (It is.).
Lastly, Owen must reveal his vision of an ideal Connecticut life. He unveils a LEGO-style design for a new park. He launches into a song about making choices. What’s his bliss, and how does he follow it? Odom Jr. sounds fantastic here, but I’m biased. I’ve always loved his singing voice.
Finally, Owen makes a decision. He wants to stay on as the Central Park manager. He’ll be the obstacle standing in Bitsy’s way of buying the park. Paige, Molly and Cole breathe a collective sigh of relief. Nobody actually wanted to move. They saw how miserable Daddy Tillerman was and strove to be supportive. How sweet!
Overall, “Sir Bricks-A-Lot” is a delightful outing that boasts solid vocal performances, funny jokes and toe-tapping jams. I love that each family member envisioned a life that’s reminiscent of different famous movie plots. Additionally, this episode propels the narrative forward for the remainder of Season Two.
So far, I’d say that Season Two’s musical catalog is stronger than its predecessor. The songs are more memorable, with catchy melodies and striking lyrics. Helen’s “Weehawken Rap” might be my favorite tune of the season.
While this season hasn’t been particularly plot-driven, I’m curious to see what the latter half looks like in that regard. Will Bitsy finally bust out the big guns? Will we learn if Helen’s in the will? I suppose we’ll have to keep watching to find out!
All episodes of Central Park are currently streaming on Apple TV Plus. The rest of Season Two will premiere on an undisclosed date.
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