September 25, 2023

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Only Murders In The Building “Flipping The Pieces”

Season Two, Episode Seven

I didn’t, for a minute, believe Mable was the killer because…well, this isn’t that sort of show.

I mean, it tries to be.  It even arguably partially succeeds, but it tries to be.

So, here’s the thing:  Mabel did stab a guy on the subway, it went viral, and that’s that.  Of course, there’s more to it than that.  There is a witness who basically saw everything and seems to be the only one who knows Mabel attacked the Glittered Figure in self-defense:  Theo Dimas.  He’s deaf, has an ankle monitor, and may have killed Mabel’s friend.

The problem for Mabel, and this is the part that largely works, is she doesn’t quite remember things.  Both this incident and Bunny’s death were traumatic to Mabel, to the point where she actually does question if she did stab both Bunny and the Glittered Figure.  Theo managed to get his hands on a single dropped clue, namely a Coney Island security pass.  Since Theo isn’t sure if he pushed Mabel’s friend Zoe off the roof or not, the two actually have some sympathy for each other, enough for Theo to take Mabel out to Coney Island and look for clues, particularly Mabel’s bag which contains the matchbook with the fingerprint and was missing when Theo found Mabel.

Not a bad plotline, actually.  The thing that ties it together is Mabel, a onetime jigsaw puzzle enthusiast, has questioned her personal perceptions since she failed to notice the reason her father moved out of the house when she was a kid and why he was unable to do things like take her out places.  I mean, he was wearing a hat for a reason and seemed to have no eyebrows when young Mabel shouted how much she hated him, only to take it back in a later scene when she realized he was dying of cancer.  Moments like that, moments that show Mabel sometimes doesn’t see things as clearly as she thinks she does, works for a show like this, giving the character a deeper motivation while also allowing Mabel and Theo to bond a bit.

For the sillier stuff, Detective Williams shows up at Charles’s door and seeks to get some information from Charles and Oliver.  Arguing in the bathroom is not a good idea.  Arguing just loudly enough that Williams can know the pair have the murder weapon is even worse.  Williams is a bit interesting since she was never really on board with the podcast thing, but now seems like a firmer ally.  Besides, she’s not supposed to be there, so she’s not just an ally, but a stealth ally.

However, Mabel is obviously not the killer.  Remembering her father and even getting her bag back while she and Theo flee the Glittered Figure allows her to rethink things, look closer at memories she was afraid of before, and realize she didn’t stab Bunny.  No, she saw the killer make a run for it, a silhouette of a figure, but the point is Mabel didn’t stab Bunny.  I am not sure the series ever seriously considered that the audience would believe Mabel did it, even if Mabel herself did.  It’s a comedy series with a ten episode run per season.  They aren’t going to give the killer away this early.  Arguably, the point of the show isn’t even to solve murders but to dig into characters.

All of which leads to Mabel and Theo bonding, only to get back to Charles and Oliver with some new evidence:  whoever had her bag left a photo of Charles and Lucy inside.  Lucy is back at the building, and then the city’s lights all go out.

See, that’s a good cliffhanger, even though I do not for a minute believe this is the sort of show that will kill off a juvenile character like Lucy.