Okay, Only murders in the building, you kinda got it done. In an entertaining second season, the writers mostly got away with the big twists in the most ostentatious way. Did you expect anything different from a comedy in which Martin Short plays a diehard theater buff, Steve Martin plays an ex-procedural star, and several Arconia residents have Broadway-related skills? It’s not the most realistic way to unfold the mystery, and the reveals require you to set aside some logical burning questions, but “I Know Who Did It” does justice OMITB and the caustic tone of its characters while setting up what is sure to be a campervan third season. Will that alienate viewers who don’t want to? another cameo with big names? TBD, but more on the closing moments in a minute as we have “killer reveal party” shenanigans to unwrap first.
The dialogue we need to think about when Poppy revealed her identity to Mabel on last week’s penultimate episode was, “You don’t know what she’s capable of. You don’t know what she’d do to get what she wants.” We think she’s describing her ruthless boss. In reality, she’s talking about herself for being the killer of this whodunit. Becky Butler has played a long con to get be as famous as her idol, Cinda Canning, and she’s about to get a lot more than she bargained for. Once a shy Chickasha girl, Becky sought an escape from her small town, her verbally abusive father, and a crappy job in the mayor’s office.
As she molded herself into Poppy White, the world was her podcasting oyster. Or was it? Poppy was Cinda’s devoted assistant for many years, hoping to get noticed and promoted. That didn’t happen, even after she took Mabel’s advice in episode six and directly asked her boss if she could make a podcast. I guess this time it wasn’t as simple as just walking into Cinda’s office and getting her dream job. (Side note: Why do TV shows and movies think it’s so easy to get a gig? How did Poppy magically enter Cinda’s office building and studio without anyone stopping her?) Despite all her contributions, including serving up catchy podcast titles like Everything Ain’t OK In Oklahoma and Only Murderers In The Building, Poppy sticks.
I don’t think she intended to frame Cinda for Bunny’s murder when she told Mabel her identity, but she certainly hoped to bring down her boss. She perfectly positioned Cinda as a corrupt and a liar, preparing herself for the takeover she wants. Unfortunately for her, Mabel is an observant queen. Let’s take a moment here to give kudos to Mabel, who solved most cases in season two. Oliver and Charles were understandably dealing with personal, daddy and parrot issues, but Mabel solved the case to clear her name. Selena Gomez was quite the revelation to her two big co-stars in season one, but she steals the show in season two.
Mabel realizes early on that Poppy is the criminal mastermind. The giveaway? Her disgusting order of a liverwurst and marmalade sandwich, labeled on the Pickle Diner’s menu as “14 Sandwich,” or what a dying and breathless rabbit whispered, but it sounded like “14 Savage.” Poppy is the mysterious guy Bunny dined with. She wanted Cinda’s next investigation to be about Rose Cooper, the art world’s famous missing person before Cinda rejects the idea. We don’t understand how Poppy got into this case, but let’s assume she discovered Bunny…who by the way? lived in the Arconia with their competing podcasters-had Rose’s expensive portrait. Was it just convenient and easy to then put it all on Bunny’s neighbor and Cinda’s (thus her own) competitor, Mabel? Did she know the painting was fake? Is it too much of a coincidence? this information has been left in the air, and instead of we get a great party.
Mabel, Oliver and Charles tie some of our top suspects and red herring from season two: Alice, Howard, Ursula, Uma, Jonathan and Marv, for a showdown in which they plan to unmask the killer. Everyone participates in what can best be described as a staged theatrical performance of a party. Cinda arrives with Poppy to film what the trio is about to reveal. The finger is pointed at Cinda in a sham where Oliver, Charles and the others move in slow motion to scare her (when she finds out it’s one of her fears). It’s a ridiculous but inspired piece of physical comedy that OMITB rarely does. Charles squeezing the tomatoes (another fear of Cinda) was equally ill; it disgusted me.
The pointing finger continues with Mabel turning to ex-girlfriend Alice and calling her out as Bunny’s killer. Their act involves Alice stabbing Charles to death, while Cinda is impressed by Mabel’s skills and offers her the podcast Poppy so desperately wants. It inevitably makes Poppy confess her crimes. Not only did she have the creepy Chickasha mayor arrested for her death, but she killed Bunny, hoping to get answers, a painting, and a major. podcast out. It’s no wonder that Poppy and Cinda were there when Oliver, Charles and Mabel were arrested or that she already had a podcast name ready.
As for Detective Kreps, the woman he meets at the bar is not Cinda. It’s Poppy. And here I want to introduce logic, even though I have embraced the idea that OMITB goes for theater instead of laying a stable foundation in his finals (Remember when Jan suddenly wanted to blow up the building in a spectacular way when she could have just run away?). HOW‚ yeah, a capital HOW, didn’t anyone even vaguely recognize Poppy in the Chickasha bar with the chicken logo where they’re investigating Becky’s disappearance? After the reveal, Cinda tells Poppy, “I know the game you played with me in Oklahoma,” suggesting they’ve spent plenty of time in her hometown. Despite the makeover, Becky and Poppy definitely have the same look. And yet not one person who recognizes her is hard to believe. Once again, OMITB does not yet answer these burning questions.
I’m not sure how I feel in general about the show that turns two women into unhinged killers in every season. And could Cinda have made a much more convincing or even nicer reveal? There are still many unanswered questions, such as why Howard lied that Nina gave him a black eye, why Amy Schumer, or especially why Poppy texted the trio with Det. Williams’ phone to get out of the building if she wanted to frame them. Wouldn’t going away and not be in Arconia give them an alibi? if i want OMITB had also solved all these puzzle pieces. Still, “I Know Who Did It” was a fun, quite funny, and sometimes even sweet half hour.
We end with a one-year time jump to find that solving yet another case has revived Oliver and Charles’ careers. After passing Will’s paternity test with his son, Oliver is on the cusp of a major Broadway play directorial debut. It stars his fellow podcast host Charles, who is dating his makeup artist Joy (Andrea Martin). And as for the big cameo? Say hello to Paul freakin’ Rudd channeling his best Bobby Newport from Parks and Recreation in his OMITB appearance. He plays Charles’ co-star Ben. The two clearly don’t get along, and Charles warns him to “stay away from her.” this ccould be Mabel, Lucy, Joy or anyone else. Ben doesn’t live long enough because as soon as the curtains open, he collapses to death in front of the audience. And it was just like Mabel celebrated a year with no murders around her. It looks like the trio need to dust off their microphones as a new case needs to be solved.
- Now that season two is over, what rating would you give it overall? I give it a B+. And I’m cautiously optimistic about a third season, but I hope it’s the last so they finish on a high note.
- As I mentioned in the review, Selena Gomez was great in season two, and Martin and Short continued to be an absolute delight. But shout out to Adina Verson for getting the killer supporting role she got.
- I really enjoyed Tina Fey’s performance in this episode, so I hope Cinda’s podcast goodbye Fey isn’t the show’s farewell just yet.
- In a similar vein, here are a few of my favorite Cinda lines from this episode:
“I won’t be the one-hit wonder of true-crime podcasts, I won’t be the Nickelback of podcasting,” and, “Just record all the smart shit I say and the dumb shit they growl.”
- Here are Cinda’s fears alongside slow motion and tomatoes: human errors, interruptions, and people who work for her but don’t look like her.
- My favorite quote from Oliver: “Can we torture her? Charles, grab your concertina and whatever you consider to be your 10 most interesting stories.”
- Lester’s truth bomb as a former Broadway star going up against Tracy Letts was fun, adding more credibility to why he agreed (along with Howard and Jonathan, among others) for the killer reveal party act.
- Paul Rudd becomes a returning player in season three. I’m optimistic because he’s an excellent performer and very suitable for the show, unlike Schumer, Rapaport and Delevingne, who even combined hardly contributed with their skills.
- Thanks for following along with the OMITB replays and commentary with theories, questions, comments and everything else. (A special thanks to the commenter who dived into the opening theme songs I didn’t catch!) Until next time.