DISCLAIMER: This recap of the Only Murders in the Building season premiere episode “Persons of Interest” has spoilers. Prepare to send the investigation in a whole new direction and proceed at your peril.
Welcome back, Arconiacs! Only Murders in the Building Season 2 is finally here, and, folks, it wastes no time by throwing us headfirst into a new juicy murder mystery. Our leads maintain the same effortless, electrifying chemistry they had in the first season. The jokes are funnier, landing seamlessly for pitch-perfect comedy.
Ready to delve into “Persons of Interest”? Let’s get to it.
We open with Charles (Steve Martin), providing a voiceover as he did in the pilot episode. We see photos of him as Brazzos plastered across the city’s walls and a photo featuring Charles, Oliver and Mabel on the side of a bus. Everyone greets Charles warmly while passing him on the street.
Unfortunately, it’s all a fantasy.
Charles sits in the interrogation room with Detective Williams (Da’Vine Joy Randolph) and Detective Kreps (Michael Rapaport) across from him. Kreps lays into Charles, piling on f-bombs and insults aplenty. Oliver (Martin Short) receives the same verbal treatment from Kreps, while the coarse detective goes easier on Mabel (Selena Gomez). Well, initially.
Kreps believes Mabel killed Bunny and plays a recording of Mabel explaining a recurrent dream on the podcast wherein she stabs a man with her knitting needle. However, Mabel smoothly foils both detectives by stating they’re trying to implicate our fave sleuthing trio after they solved two crimes the police couldn’t.
Additionally, they don’t even have the actual murder weapon, which was a knife. Ergo, the cops have nothing on our heroes. Boom!
Free to Go
Next, we see Charles, Mabel and Oliver leaving the police station. Detective Williams tells Charles she didn’t send them the text the night before that urged them to leave the building. Williams emphatically encourages the trio to fly under the radar — no podcasting and no solving crimes. As of now, they’re persons of interest in Bunny’s murder, but that could change.
While outside the building, the trio encounters an onslaught of press scrambling for photos and coverage of the potential crime solvers-turned-killers. Oliver, ever the flamboyant, attention-seeking drama queen, provides a moving monologue for his adoring fans.
Living “Normal” Lives
At the Arconia, Oliver tries to throw in a callback to the pilot by asking Mabel if she likes her “beats.” But she’s not wearing headphones this time! Anyway, Charles and Oliver put their thinking caps on regarding the Bunny murder while Mabel urges them to heed Williams’ warning. Perhaps living an everyday life wouldn’t be so bad.
Mabel returns to her apartment and scrubs Bunny’s blood off the wood floors. She replays the horrific incident in her head — Bunny stumbling toward her in the tie-dye Only Murders in the Building hoodie, a knitting needle protruding from her chest. Mabel shudders when she thinks about it.
Meanwhile, we see Charles disassembling the murder board (No!). He receives a phone call from his agent, who reveals some big-shot producers plan to reboot Brazzos. Mabel scours Instagram, where fans call her “Bloody Mabel,” with many complimenting her looks. She watches a DM video sent to her from Alice (Cara Delevingne), an art gallery owner who loves Mabel’s mural. She invites Mabel to a swanky gallery event.
Oliver takes Winnie onto an elevator and encounters Amy Schumer (as herself), who happens to be an avid fan of the Only Murders in the Building podcast. She’s moving into Sting’s apartment (we saw a trolley cart with a box labeled “Sting’s Rainsticks” earlier). Amy asks Oliver if he’d like to have dinner sometime so they can discuss adapting Only Murders in the Building into a streaming series. Everybody’s striking career gold!
Uncle Brazzos and Bloody Mabel
Later, Charles meets with the producers regarding the Brazzos reboot. He discovers he’s playing “Uncle Brazzos,” the uncle or older mentor of the lead woman portraying the titular character now. The producers claim they had Charles in mind for this reboot, but they thought he died until his face was all over the news for a crime he didn’t commit.
Then, Mabel arrives at the gallery event in complete New York chic. She notices everyone staring at her and snapping photos on their phones. Thankfully, Alice steps in when one man tries to take a selfie with Mabel. Alice and Mabel stand before a Frida Kahlo-inspired piece while Mabel regales the former with a tale from her childhood. Alice would like Mabel to work with the gallery. She asks Mabel to drop by the next day with her paints. Here’s hoping it’s not a cult!
Only Murderers in the Building
Next, Charles, Oliver and Mabel listen to the first episode of Cinda Canning’s (Tina Fey) new podcast, Only Murderers in the Building. Each segment introducing our trio showcases Cinda sitting in their respective homes, almost as if she’s speaking directly to them. It’s brilliant on a writer and cinematic level.
Our sleuthing trio reunites after listening to Cinda’s podcast. She plans to investigate them in real-time, even though that’s their thing. Mabel recounts one detail she recalls from the night Bunny died. She uttered the number 14 before collapsing. What does it all mean?
Meanwhile, they hear Bunny saying, “F*ck you, Oliver,” through the vent linking Mabel’s apartment to Bunny’s place. Mabel, Oliver and Charles climb through the vent to find Bunny’s parrot rattling off expletives and obscenities. Oliver urges his pals to look for letters written by him to Bunny. You know, the one where he wished death upon her that might look suspicious to the authorities.
Suddenly, Uma (Jackie Hoffman) and Howard (Michael Cyril Creighton) barge into Bunny’s apartment while on the hunt for a pricey, rare painting in Bunny’s bedroom. Our heroes hide in the closet. Uma and Howard scream when they discover the art — the one worth millions of dollars — is missing. After they leave, Mabel finds a secret door leading to a private elevator. The trio don Bunny’s fur coats (hey, it’s cold) and take the elevator outside.
Charles and Oliver are game to restart the podcast (Season 2, baby!), but Mabel seems unsure for most of this episode. Bunny’s missing painting is the straw breaking the camel’s back. She wants to clear her name, especially since Cinda’s hot on their heels. Additionally, whoever murdered Bunny probably has the painting in their possession.
“That’s my father.”
Later, Charles discovers something bewildering in his apartment, so he texts Oliver and Mabel to come immediately. While riffling through the pile of letters he snatched from Bunny’s apartment, Oliver finds a card. The message states, “I want the painting.” Uh oh. Mabel recalls another word Bunny said before dying: “Savage.”
Our trio stares at Bunny’s painting while it hangs on Charles’ living room wall. He has no idea how it got there. Mabel wonders whether the older man in the said painting is Charles, but he discloses that the naked dude is his father.
This sends the investigation in a whole new direction!
“Persons of Interest” brilliantly lays the groundwork for the rest of the season, establishing the new dynamic and feel of our heroes’ next case as they barrel into an investigation where the stakes are astronomically high. I think the higher stakes will undoubtedly keep the narrative chugging along at a brisk pace.
Where the hell is Oscar? He seemingly vanished without a trace. I believe this omission is intentional, and we’ll see him at some point down the road. Initially, I thought he might be responsible since he wasn’t in the episode, but the painting thing and Bunny saying “Savage” clears him in my eyes. But what’s the deal with “14”?
I could see Uma joining the suspect list because of her interest in Bunny’s expensive and lewd painting. Charles wasn’t in the complex at the time of Bunny’s murder, so that should clear him too.
Who do you think killed Bunny? Was it someone living in the Arconia? How will our heroes convince the law of their innocence? Join me while I recap Only Murders in the Building, only on Geek Girl Authority.
Only Murders in the Building drops new episodes every Tuesday on Hulu.
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