Tuesday, September 14, 2021

REVIEW: 'Only Murders in the Building' - Charles and Oliver Feel Betrayed Upon Learning Mabel's Past with Tim Kono in 'Twist'

Hulu's Only Murders in the Building - Episode 1.05 "Twist"

Mabel slips away on a solo mission tracking the victim's final days. Suspicious, Charles and Oliver follow her.

In 2020, the television industry aired 493 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Hulu's Only Murders in the Building.

"Twist" was written by Thembi Banks and directed by Don Scardino

Anyone can have a podcast nowadays. The technology is widespread enough to make that an opportunity to anyone with a passion. The proliferation of content can be overwhelming though. It can also dilute the brand to the point where no one can get a handle on what's actually good and what just fulfills a specific niche. Even the people Charles and Oliver hitch a ride from while following Mabel and Oscar have a podcast. Knowing Cinda Canning doesn't elevate the central trio either. They have long put her on a pedestal. They revere her dedication to and execution of the craft. She brought them together. And yet, she too is a product of the demand for content. Her company has been bought. She is successful in this industry. However, she has meetings with plenty of wannabe successful podcasters. It's a way for her to diversify her slate. Charles and Oliver don't even know how to calculate their statistics. They feel such a sense of accomplishment from this podcast. They are investigating a murder from the very beginning. They have a way in that so few rarely have in this circumstance. This investigation is something they have to do. All three of them feel compelled to do so. And yet, Mabel has conducted her own investigation separately from her partners. She has kept them away from her personal life and her true connection to Tim Kono. That information was never hidden from the audience beyond the premiere. It also couldn't be kept from Charles and Oliver for the duration of the season. And so, her secrets are exposed at the halfway point. Charles and Oliver feel betrayed. Oliver views it as a shocking twist that can propel the story forward. Learning about one deceitful thing is enough for him to immediately condemn her. She is suddenly the killer in his eyes. She is the one preventing this investigation from moving forward in a meaningful way. She has been impeding their progress. Charles wants to give Mabel the benefit of the doubt. And yet, he too is distraught over her actions. She awakened something inside him once more. She helped pull him out of his lonely existence after Lucy left. Of course, he has also transferred a lot of that emotional connection onto his relationship with Mabel. She is now the person he places his sense of worth onto. That's precarious too. It makes him volatile in a moment like this. At times, it can lead to spontaneous fun like when Charles and Oliver are just riffing in the car. But it has a larger impact when the confrontation finally occurs. Mabel is trying her best to navigate all of this as well. She is still missing crucial clues along the way too. She doesn't fully understand what Tim was doing in the days before his death. She even has a personal connection to his recent actions. She couldn't see that. She needed an objective outsider like Oscar to help make sense of it all. He is reluctant to do so. However, he still becomes a part of this investigation. People want to rule him out as a suspect too. He acted suspiciously because he was going up the stairs when the alarm was going off. That was the time when the killer struck. That gives him access. He is in the vicinity. He proclaims his innocence. He did that once before. He was still convicted for Zoe's death though. He wants a chance to start anew in life. Mabel immediately pulls him back in. Oscar's father didn't want that for his son. He still seeks it out. He becomes an active participant in the mystery. That truly propels all of this forward. Yes, it's fun to offer critiques and insights of the podcasting format. But that's just a device that is easy to grasp for everyone trying to process this. The true mystery highlights more character details in ways that illuminate their own shortcomings and triumphs. Everything is out in the open now. Mabel is forced to be honest with Charles and Oliver. They believe her. The mystery still persists though about what all was going on in Tim's life. His life has more dramatic twists that must be unpacked before reaching the conclusion of this investigation. Everyone is engaged and able to now articulate why this means so much to them. Some shocking reveals are still likely to come. The show played around with the imagery of tie dye guy. That mystery could only persist for so long before a face had to line up with the body. And yes, Oscar still requires more depth in order to become a part of this ensemble. His love is apparent in his connection with Mabel already. That should help ease this all along. But again, twists are coming. Some are obviously going to be more deadly than others given what the story has already foretold about the future.