DISCLAIMER: This recap of the Only Murders in the Building episode “The Last Day of Bunny Folger” has spoilers. Prepare to send this investigation into a whole new direction and proceed at your peril.
Welcome back, Arconiacs! Only Murders in the Building presents a beautifully executed homage to Bunny Folger as we glimpse into her final day on Earth. The writers do a terrific job of endearing Bunny to us, of making us care about who murdered her. I wish we had more time with Bunny, to be honest, so we could have more brilliant performances from Jayne Houdyshell (Fun fact: I saw her play Madame Morrible in Wicked in 2009!).
“The Last Day of Bunny Folger” methodically scatters clues and lays the groundwork for what’s sure to be another plot-twist-filled mystery, along with pitch-perfect comedy and snappy writing.
Ready to delve into “The Last Day of Bunny Folger”? Let’s get to it.
“I know who did it.”
We open with Charles (Steve Martin), Oliver (Martin Short) and Mabel (Selena Gomez) sitting in Oliver’s apartment, processing what Mrs. Gambolini, Bunny’s parrot, just said to them. According to the foul-mouthed bird, she knows who “did it.” Oliver tries to elicit the scoop from Mrs. Gambolini while Charles rants about making out with his potential late sister, a.k.a. Bunny.
Thankfully, Mabel, ever the voice of reason, gets Charles’s head on straight. I’d also freak out if I kissed my maybe deceased sibling.
Our sleuthing trio finds receipts from the day Bunny passed — March 12. They wonder aloud who else Bunny interacted with that fateful day besides them.
Next, Bunny (Houdyshell) wakes in bed on her final day on Earth. She makes tea, listens to the radio, reads the newspaper and exercises while reciting her retirement speech. After all, it is her last day serving the Arconia as board president (pause for laughter).
We see Bunny get emotional while reciting said retirement speech. It’s a shade that viewers are unfamiliar with — at face value, Bunny always seemed self-assured and stoic. After dressing, Bunny runs errands and mingles with the masses, from a hot dog vendor to lightly rebuking Lester (Teddy Coluca) for leaving trash on the sidewalks. Of course, she quickly follows it up by sending well wishes to Lester’s wife.
Then, Bunny stumbles upon a salon featuring our sleuthing trio and their adoring fans. Sam (Jaboukie Young-White) and Marv (Daniel Oreskes) of the famed Arconiacs are also present with a merch rack. And is that a cake with a flaming candle shaped like a gun (yes, yes, it is)?
We overhear Mabel, Oliver and Charles recounting their heroism in great length and even greater embellishment. Bunny lays down the law with the group, citing that they’re breaking a handful of the building rules. Nina (Christine Ko) arrives to back her up.
Passing the Baton
Next, Nina and Bunny sit on a bench together while the latter dispenses last-minute wisdom before passing the board president baton off to Nina. Nina is quick on her feet regarding her responses, proving she has the know-how and gumption to run the Arconia.
Later, Bunny and Uma (Jackie Hoffman) walk down a sidewalk together. Uma reacts to Bunny’s decision to move to Boca Raton, Florida. After affectionately telling each other to f*ck off, the besties part ways. I plan on interacting with my friends in this manner when I’m old and gray.
Bunny receives a phone call from someone asking about her painting, but she quickly brushes them off. Could this be her murderer? She makes a pitstop at The Pickle Diner, where she runs into Oliver and his son Will (Ryan Broussard). We learn that Will follows in his dad’s footsteps by directing a play at his son’s school.
Before Bunny departs the diner, she gifts her long-time server, Ivan (Ariel Shafir), with a sizeable amount of cash stashed in an envelope. She urges Ivan not to love “only one thing” in life.
“I f*cking hate the heat.”
At the Arconia, Bunny boards the elevator with Charles and Mabel. Suddenly, the elevator stops, but Bunny knows how to fix it, which she does effortlessly. Bunny hops off, relaying a realization to Charles and Mabel: she loathes the heat.
Later, Bunny enters her apartment to a surprise from the Arconia board. Nina, Howard (Michael Cyril Creighton), Dr. Grover Stanley (Russell G. Jones) and Liam (Damani Varnado) gift Bunny with a “Happy Retirement” party. However, Bunny has an announcement that’ll shake up the proceedings. She plans to stay as the Arconia board president, much to Nina’s dismay.
Nina vehemently protests this, reminding Bunny that the Arconia needs new blood to maintain it. Nina endeavors to renovate the Arconia, modernizing it with sleek updates. Howard recites the minutes from a past board meeting at Nina’s behest to remind Bunny what she said when she passed the mantle to her protégé.
Meanwhile, we return to the present, wherein Charles, Mabel and Oliver stand before a new murder board. All three agree that Nina is their prime suspect now, especially given her disdain for Bunny’s resistance to retirement.
The Good Champagne
Bunny hears music emanating from Mabel’s apartment. She brings a bottle of good champagne, presenting it to our sleuthing trio as a thank-you gift. Charles stops the music on his phone, and it sounds like Steve Martin playing the banjo. Oliver hastily grabs an Only Murders in the Building hoodie from a pile and hands it to Bunny. She tries it on to cheers from our trio.
However, instead of inviting her in, they shut Bunny out. Then, they watch Bunny burst into tears through the peephole in Mabel’s door. Bunny rushes into her apartment and slams the door before our heroes can let her inside.
Later, Mabel, Charles and Oliver party it up on the roof while Bunny sits with Mrs. Gambolini to watch a film. Mrs. Gambolini recites one line from the movie verbatim, telling us this is a rewatch. “I know who did it,” she screeches. Okay, so maybe she doesn’t know the identity of the killer.
Death Knocking on the Door
Suddenly, Bunny answers the door to a familiar face we don’t see. She instantly knows this person but doesn’t invite them inside. Instead, they barge in, and we see a struggle in the shadows as Mrs. Gambolini becomes an inadvertent witness to a murder.
Meanwhile, Mabel returns to her apartment to grab another bottle of champagne. She gasps when a fatally wounded Bunny stumbles toward her.
So, who do you think did it? Initially, my gut instinct was to say Nina, but I feel this series will surprise us. It’s par for the course for Only Murders in the Building to throw us for a loop. My second choice is Alice, Mabel’s art gallery girlfriend. The timing of her arrival seems off to me. Plus, the whole painting thing paints (Get it?) her in a suspicious light.
Where will this investigation take our heroes? Will they find the killer before this person strikes again? Will Oliver hit his stride for Season 2 of the podcast? Join me while I continue recapping 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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