OK, so, can I take a moment to appreciate how cool it is when a show like this just gets a great guest star?
Well, even if I can’t, I will anyway.
Much of this episode deals with the comedy of errors involving that painting. Charles realizes not only is it his father, but also that his father must have been carrying on an affair with the artist, Rose Cooper. This is one of those moments where the character flashes back to his childhood and realizes that the memory of his father going to auditions at the building across from the Arconia that young Charles was encouraged not to tell his mother about were about something else entirely that had nothing to do with acting and perhaps with everything to do with why his father was arrested there once while being dragged away half-dressed.
Man, Charles may have become an actor and moved into the building to subconsciously succeed where his father failed, and it turns out his father was perhaps not trying to do that sort of thing. That’s the sort of thing that might be a bit hard to come to terms with for an adult realizing something about a parent, but given Charles’s age…ouch, that might make it worse.
Regardless, someone snuck the painting into Charles’s apartment, and since there’s something like a wake going on at Bunny’s place, and Bunny had a private elevator, then maybe the three of them can somehow sneak the painting back. That seems unlikely given this is a comedy show and I only really peg about two-thirds of them as being anything close to competent. However, I did want to wax euphoric over a guest star, and it isn’t Amy Schumer.
Not that there’s anything wrong with Amy Schumer. She’s fine here as a version of herself looking to expand her resume with a dramatic retelling of the first season’s podcast, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a much better guest star lurking around.
Say, did this show release an actual podcast alongside the fictional one, one where the actors played their parts in a podcast format as they went through the mystery? Because that might be pretty cool.
OK, got sidetracked: Shirley MacLaine shows up as Bunny’s mother Leonora, whose episode opening narration explains how she was descended from the building’s architect and that was why Bunny, who lived in that apartment her entire life, had a private elevator. Sure, there’s more to it than that, but never mind that right now. Instead, let me say that MacLaine is just generally awesome as an acid-tongued old woman who knows her alcohol, is perhaps meaner than Bunny, an expert on Rose Cooper’s work who really wants that painting back, and also claims to have had an affair with Charles’s father at the same time as Cooper. Watch old movies with MacLaine and she often comes across as the cute girl full of energy. Watch her in stuff now and realize it was something of a shame she didn’t do more episodes of Downton Abbey trading barbs with Maggie Smith. If someone had to play the even meaner mother to mean ol’ Bunny, MacLaine is a great choice.
And she’s such a force of nature that of course she will go right over to Schumer’s place when Oliver and Mabel accidentally let slip that the painting is there.
And no, no one can stop her from inspecting the painting. It’s a fake, but only she seems to know why that is.
Well, that maybe lets the three off the hook for now. And Bunny can still mess with Oliver from beyond the grave by putting into her will that he gets her foulmouthed parrot…a bird that seems to say it knows who the killer is.