OK, let’s face it: Steve Martin and Martin Short are pretty much comedy royalty. Selena Gomez is going to have to put some work in without looking like she’s putting work in to be seen as a viable third member of the trio. If she looks like she’s trying, it just won’t work.
Fortunately, she has the chops.
See, an episode like this seems to exist mostly to establish what kind of person Tim Kono, the dead man, was while simultaneously better establishing Mabel as played by Gomez. Charles and Oliver are still there and still doing their thing, but I would imagine most viewers tuned in initially to at least see Martin and Short and…
You know, given they’ve both got the name “Martin” in there, it is really awkward to discuss those two without writing out their full names. That may just be my thinking that as I type stuff, but there’s a part of me that worries if I don’t use their full names, people might get confused which one I am referring to. OK, ridiculous concerns voiced. Moving on.
Alright, so Charles and Oliver are doing their thing, trying to get an episode recorded while bickering the whole time. Mabel, she’s also doing her own thing separate from the other two. The pilot revealed that Tim was one of her two “Hardy Boys,” so this time around, the episode has to say more about what that means. And, for the most part, it means Mabel didn’t know Tim that much better than anyone else. The other “Hardy Boy” was a fellow named Oscar, and he’s in prison for the possible murder of his high school girlfriend Zoe. Except, just before Oscar was arrested, Tim told Mabel he saw someone else arguing with Zoe before she fell to her death off the very building Mabel is currently living in and where she and the others used to go on “Hardy Boy” adventures of going into people’s apartment and pretending they were solving crimes.
Then again, the one thing I noticed in Mabel’s flashback when she talked about meeting Tim when both were kids was that, gee, Tim was kind of a rich jerk even back then. Seeing him disown Mabel and not want to talk about Oscar even the near-present doesn’t seem too far-fetched. Cut to the present when, at a memorial for Tim in the building’s lobby, it turns out no one really liked Tim all that much. He was a bad neighbor who claimed he had asthma so no one could smoke or use their fireplaces even on a balcony. There’s more mourning for another tenant’s cat that used to get out and explore everyone’s apartment. Granted, I have a cat and would probably miss her more than some jerk neighbor who kept complaining about me, but I don’t currently have a jerk neighbor.
I hope that doesn’t mean I am the jerk neighbor…
Regardless, there’s some good comedic stuff involving Oliver and Charles each doing their own thing. Mabel learns Charles’s little speech about his father from the first episode was lifted verbatim from an episode of his old show. Oliver is hiding how broke he is. The two men both manage to get ahold of the complaint file on Tim (it’s thick) after buying expensive milk products from a woman in the manager’s office who does not appreciate autographed photos of former TV stars in lieu of tips for Christmas. And the trio do get a look inside Tim’s place where they find bloody cat footprints and, to Mabel’s amazement, a collection of neatly shelved vintage Hardy Boys novels.
I used to read a lot of those…
Regardless, the problem is the three wouldbe true crime podcasters are all strangers with trust issues. Mabel is even making a separate recording on her own with her own thoughts on Tim, thoughts she largely neglected to share with Charles and Oliver. The three of them did find an engagement ring, but perhaps more importantly, Mabel alone looked inside those Hardy Boys books and found, well, a whole lot more jewelry.
That may be why her personal recording is titled something to the effect of “in case I am next”.
Do I think Mabel had anything to do with all this? Not really, but it’s not like I know enough about her to say one way or the other right now.