What a perfectly executed finale (pun intended)!
Only Murders In the Building Season 2 Episode 10 ties two seasons of mystery and murder together with so many twists and turns that there was hardly room to breathe!
How many times did you gasp? When Mabel steered away from Cinda and accused Alice? When Alice “confessed”? When she “stabbed” Charles? When Poppy started laying into Cinda? It was a roller coaster!
God! This is really not feeling like a finale yet, is it?
I’m still recovering from how fantastic this finale was. It was so funny, clever, and expertly paced. The reveals were doled out crumb by crumb until we finally had a delicious cake (or liverwurst and marmalade sandwich, depending on your preference).
Let’s dish it up!
Must you poop on every party, Charles?
Only Murders In The Building owes so much to the theatre, so it’s only fitting that this episode was so theatrical, from the “killer reveal party” to Charles and Oliver’s Broadway show.
The reveal party felt like a true homage to classic murder mysteries — gathering all the suspects in a room together — except they weren’t suspects; they were there to help by acting like suspects.
The fact that it took place in Bunny’s living room (emphasis on “living”) was appropriately poetic.
The set-up gave us so much character insight. The Lester backstory was wild and unexpected, perfectly delivered by Teddy Coluca.
Charles Haden Savage: What happened, if you don’t mind my asking?
Lester: Nah, it’s fine. I just realized that my true passion was being a doorman, and I left the theatre behind.
Charles Haden Savage: Really?
Lester: Are you nuts? No. I stopped getting high and developed a drinking problem, and was homeless for a while. Almost died, cleaned up, took the first job I could get, and I’ve been stuck here ever since.
Howard’s inappropriate eagerness to perform was funnier than it had any right to be.
Still, there was sweetness in the already comfortable boyfriend banter between him and Jonathan, who didn’t judge even Howard’s questionable talent though Jonathan had the Broadway bragging rights.
Howard Morris: Am I dressed appropriately? It’s really hard to know what to wear to a killer reveal party.
Jonathan: Killer reveal party — meaning a party where a killer is revealed or a reveal party that is killer in nature?
Howard Morris: I don’t know, Jonathan. Just be hot, okay?
(Also, a nice callback to Howard’s fear of blood).
It was odd that Nina wasn’t present, given how much she loved Bunny, but she does have a newborn to deal with, and given the nature of the evening’s events, they likely wouldn’t put the baby at risk.
A bit more resolution between Nina and Howard would have been nice (that plot thread felt a little dangly), but at least she got a nice scene with Lester in Only Murders In The Building Season 1 Episode 8.
The way the mystery unraveled was so much fun, full of shocks and laughter.
The Charles stabbing had me convinced at first, but then I remembered we hadn’t seen him fall down the manhole yet (as we did in Only Murders In The Building Season 2 Episode 1), and they wouldn’t have killed off one of their major stars.
It would have been a helluva bold move if they had, though!
The live-streamed party also gave Oliver, Charles, and Mabel the chance to do what they do best. Oliver got to direct, Charles got to act, and Mabel got to solve a mystery (yes, she’s an artist, but solving mysteries is clearly her forte).
So, it looks like the Amy Schumer thing just never went anywhere. She was about as red as a herring gets.
I’m still mad Oscar never showed up at all this season, nor did his father, the superintendent of the building.
Having them involved would have probably made things awkward for Mabel, though. You’d think Mr. Torres would have had something to say about Bunny’s murder, though!
Mabel and Alice’s open-ended semi-reconciliation hit the right tone, and it was great to give Alice a chance to redeem herself, playing a significant role in the proceedings.
It was a surprise that they painted over Mabel’s incredible mural, but then her aunt has to be back one of these days.
In Only Murders In The Building Season 2 Episode 9, it was unclear how the reveal of Poppy as Becky would tie into Bunny’s murder.
Cinda definitely had me fooled. It seems odd that she wouldn’t have pieced Poppy’s identity together, but then this episode painted her as much more incompetent than we have been led to believe.
I will not be the one-hit wonder of true crime podcasts, Poppy. I won’t. I will not be podcast Nickeback.
Poppy was the actual brains behind everything.
It was fun watching Cinda work with the trio to take down the murderer. Finally, they collaborated instead of competed, and both likely saw huge ratings for their prospective finales.
Cinda’s fear of slow motion and tomatoes was decidedly goofy, but it did lead to some classic, hilarious physical comedy from Steve Martin. It seems like he only ever pulls it out in the Season Finales, but the man’s still got it. The whole “slow-mo” sequence was just silly enough without verging on absurd.
Would it be a plothole to consider that people didn’t recognize Becky when she returned to Chickasha with Cinda? Becky had only given herself a haircut and put on glasses. It’s a small town, so it feels like a bit of a stretch.
However, the Kreps/Poppy combo was inspired, disturbing, and in retrospect, made sense. Both were undervalued in their professions and concocted a plan to gain some glory.
Were they also planning to sell the Rose Cooper painting? That bit was unclear since they surely couldn’t have sold it after stealing it from a dead woman (that they murdered).
Their “love story” doesn’t explain how much Cinda knew about them, exactly, or if she was in cahoots with him, too, but whatever it was, Kreps was definitely referring to Poppy when he spoke of “the smartest woman in the world.”
The thing is, before I became one of the most talked about people in the country, I had a pretty ordinary life.
Poppy’s interest in Rose Cooper’s story made for a fascinating parallel, so thematically those plotlines connected quite well. They were both women who gave up difficult lives and disappeared themselves.
Intuitively, Poppy probably recognized Rose as a kindred spirit — maybe Becky even chose a flower for her new name as an homage to the artist.
Adina Verson handled Poppy’s fall with grace and even elicited a little sympathy.
Cinda was cruel and abusive, and Poppy found herself in yet another exploitative relationship, but this time she found an even more ingenious (and psychopathic) way out.
Poppy’s downfall was Lucy as a witness and the fact that Poppy enjoyed a peculiar type of sandwich. “14 Savage” was a whopping misdirect all along.
Oliver’s DNA storyline even got a satisfying button. Will guessed that Oliver wasn’t his biological father, but, as predicted, it didn’t matter to him.
If you’ve read my previous reviews, you’ll know I’ve been lukewarm on this plotline. It’s hard to put a finger on, but it felt like filler that was just a distraction from the central murder plotline — there was always the hope it would somehow connect, but it never did.
Dad, if you’re not my father, then I don’t know what a father is, you hear me?
Ryan Broussard and Martin Short have a beautiful rapport, as I’ve mentioned before, and maybe that’s just it — Oliver and Will are there as an example of a healthy father-son dynamic and fit into one of the overarching themes of the series — unconventional fatherhood.
They certainly have come a long way since Only Murders In The Building Season 1 Episode 1.
The Paul Rudd cameo was an unexpected treat! A pity he had to die so quickly, but he made the most of his screen time.
With any luck, we’ll get a Ben Glenroy-centric episode in Season 3 with flashbacks to the past so we can get more of him.
The same goes for Andrea Martin — odds are she’ll be a regular for Season 3 too!
Though I was disappointed in Season 1’s finale, it all wrapped up so well here that it’s hard to complain now.
The entire season overall didn’t feel as tight as Season 1, but in calling back “All Is Not OK In Oklahoma,” it felt like a proper continuation of Season 1, not just a whole new mystery.
This ending strengthens the end of Season 1 (which initially felt like a cheap cliffhanger), as it now all works together as one big story containing a variety of more minor mysteries.
One last thing — the music over the end was pure delight! Yodelshop may just start catching on…
Over to you, Arconiacs! What did you think of the finale? Did you find it satisfying? Are you going to try a liverwurst and marmalade sandwich?
Let us know in the comments, and we’ll see you back here for Season 3!
Mary Littlejohn is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.