DISCLAIMER: This recap of the Only Murders in the Building episode “Twist” is riddled with spoilers. You’ve been warned. Proceed at your own peril.
Welcome back, true crime lovers! We’ve reached mid-season territory with this week’s episode of Only Murders in the Building. “Twist” is an apropos title, indeed. The Tim Kono investigation takes unexpected turns and presents intriguing potential directions for our ragtag trio to explore. I can’t say this enough, but it’s so wonderful to see Steve Martin and Martin Short together again on screen.
We almost get a “My Little Buttercup” moment with Charles and Oliver’s semi-musical bit. It’s glorious.
Ready to delve into “Twist”? Let’s get to it.
We open with a voiceover from Oscar (Aaron Dominguez). At this point, it’s clear he’s the elusive and enigmatic tie-dye hoodie guy. He pursues Mabel (Selena Gomez), who ducks into an alleyway. She jumps atop him and whips out a knitting needle before she sees that it’s really Oscar.
Meanwhile, Charles (Martin) and Oliver (Short) are in the elevator. Oliver is recording for the latest Only Murders in the Building podcast episode. He’s ready to write off Mabel as Tim Kono’s murderer, but Charles is willing to give her the benefit of the doubt, even though she lied to both of them regarding her connection to the victim.
Next, Mabel learns Oscar was released from prison a week ago. We know she’s going to meet “GM” on Shore Road in lieu of Tim. Oscar wants to spend the day with her and offers to drive her to New Jersey.
Charles and Oliver spot Mabel getting into a car with Oscar, a.k.a. tie-dye hoodie guy. They decide to follow her. You know, in case she’s getting nonviolently kidnapped. Oliver fetches his car while Charles proceeds to tail Mabel and Oscar on foot.
After grabbing a warm pretzel for Oliver, Charles spots his pal pulling up in the least conspicuous vehicle in NYC. Oliver believes they should hide in plain sight.
Then, while en route to Jersey with Oscar, Mabel broaches the subject of Tim Kono’s death. Oscar’s well aware of what happened — in fact, Tim “shot himself” the night Oscar was released from prison. Oscar wanted to see Mabel right after reuniting with his father, so he ran upstairs to visit her. Mystery solved! Oscar = tie-dye hoodie guy.
Charles muses whether Mabel is in danger. Oliver, however, believes she was in cahoots with tie-dye hoodie guy from the getgo. He notes Mabel’s reticence to accept TDHG as a viable suspect. We see a brief flashback of a brainstorming session featuring Mabel and Charles as they narrow down their list of potential murderers.
Meanwhile, Oscar reveals he saw Mabel with Oliver and Charles, a.k.a. “that dude from ‘Brazzos.'” Mabel jokes that Charles still thinks he’s on that show.
Charles attempts to call Mabel but to no avail.
Oliver procures an article about Mabel’s friend, Zoe, who was pushed off the rooftop of the Arconia 10 years ago. Charles tries to call Mabel again and, this time, she answers. She fibs and tells Charles she’s in Washington Square Park.
Next, Oliver dives into a somber monologue about Mabel’s duplicity and Charles feeling betrayed. He finally opens up, only to be duped by her. Or … wait, let’s run that again. Short’s comedic timing here is nothing short (Get it?) of brilliant.
Later, Oscar helps Mabel revise a puzzle piece. She most likely won’t find anything at that jeweler in New Jersey. “GM” actually stands for Gustavo Mora, Mabel’s cousin Tavo’s “government name.” He was the one who gave Mabel, Oscar, Tim and Zoe their whale tattoos. Plus, his tattoo shop is on Shore Road.
Boom! They’re going to Long Island!
So, Oscar takes a different exit with Charles hot on his heels.
Then, this bit culminates in Martin Short singing about “saggy bottom balls” for no discernible reason other than he’s Martin Forking Short … and he can. It’s the “My Little Buttercup” of 2021! Seeing these two in their element gives me a copious amount of endorphins.
Meanwhile, Oscar pulls into a gas station. He and Mabel hit up the convenience store therein. Charles and Oliver prepare to wait for them when a fella named Lucian (Jacob Ming-Trent) approaches them. He knows who Charles is. He offers to tow Oliver’s jalopy to his cousin’s repair shop. In addition, Lucian will help them follow Mabel and Oscar.
After Lucian’s cousin, Vaughn (Roy Wood Jr.), hops in with the trio, we learn Lucian and Vaughn have their own podcast entitled “Yard Dogs.” It’s all about horticulture! Not only that, they know Cinda Canning personally and are on her network.
While pursuing Mabel and Oscar, Charles and Oliver explain why they’re following their much younger friend. Vaughn and Lucian urge them to see beyond the obvious, .i.e. that she’s guilty.
We see Mabel and Oscar arrive at Tavo’s tattoo shop. Oscar confesses his discomfort regarding the Tim Kono business. He just got out of prison — he wants to move forward. He longs to live his life! Open a yoga studio! So, the pair part ways.
Later, Charles and Oliver reunite with Mabel inside the tattoo parlor. She’s infuriated with them for following her. That is until the older pair reveal their hurt feelings over her lies. Mabel apologizes and tells them the truth — she used to be friends with Tim Kono.
Oscar returns with a plethora of sweet treats in tow. Mabel introduces him to Charles and Oliver. Oscar divulges a truth of his own. He wasn’t ascending the stairs to see Mabel that fateful night. He wanted to visit Tim. Not to kill him, just to … rough him up a bit.
Tavo (Esteban Benito) overhears the quartet discussing Tim’s murder. He tells them that Tim “called it.” Tim knew someone was trying to kill him!
Apparently, Tim was attempting to bring down a black market jewelry dealer called “Angel.” Charles feels it’s a tad off base for an investment banker to pull the rug from under a black market jeweler.
Well, until Mabel unveils the bevy of jewelry she found in Tim Kono’s apartment.
It’s all coming together!
“Twist” is a delightful episode that’s chock full of Only Murders in the Buildings‘ signature cheeky humor, top-tier performances from Short and Martin and the show’s always solid score. It’s easily one of my favorite TV scores ever—props to composer Siddhartha Khosla for creating the perfect sound for this series.
So far, Only Murders in the Buildings‘ strengths lie in its stellar cast, lighthearted storytelling and consistent pacing. I’ve even enjoyed the slower moments. It’s just a lovely little piece of escapist TV.
New episodes of Only Murders in the Building are available to stream every Tuesday on Hulu.
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