Tuesday, October 12, 2021

REVIEW: 'Only Murders in the Building' - Charles Realizes Just How Important Jan Has Become in His Life in 'Double Time'

Hulu's Only Murders in the Building - Episode 1.09 "Double Time"

With the residents growing upset at the building's negative publicity, the trio faces a revolt. Charles is visited by an old colleague who sheds light on his past.

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.

"Double Time" was written by John Hoffman & Kristin Newman and directed by Jamie Babbit

It's funny to see Jane Lynch cast as Charles' stunt double from Brazzos. It's a rather simplistic character introduction added to the proceedings here. But it's also just a pure visual gag the show can reliably go to several times without losing its luster. It's amusing each time someone mistakes Sazz for Charles. It highlights the clashing of Charles' two worlds. Right now, he just wants to be a caretaker for Jan. She was stabbed. She is recovering. That was yet another threat to the podcast to warn them from investigating Tim Kono's murder even further. They were wrong in their theory that Teddy and Theo were the culprits. They are guilty of a completely separate murder and a number of other crimes. That gives Oscar some hope that he can be exonerated. He just needs a good lawyer to actually accomplish that feat. That's his pursuit at the moment. Everyone recognizes its importance and lets him embrace that while being removed from the core investigative engine that propels everyone else forward. Oliver and Mabel are still desperate to solve Tim's case. They are driven solely by that desire. They have already released a retraction for the various claims they made in what they thought would be the finale of the podcast. Now, Oliver also seeks to undermine its quality by stating it wasn't the big and splashy finale he actually wanted. It was released under pressure because of the real time antics of producing the podcast and releasing it to the public. In hindsight, he can see the mistake of that initial action. He was lured into releasing the episodes in real-time because he needed to avoid eviction. And now, that's happening to him anyway. In fact, Charles and Mabel are threatened with it too. That highlights how they have become the annoying neighbors that the rest of the building wants to cast out. No one particularly liked Tim. That was established early on in the season. Charles, Oliver and Mabel haven't exactly been personable either. But now, they have brought so much public attention to the building. They are no longer the only ones looking into Tim's murder. They don't have to be the ones to solve it. Of course, they found the clues to classify it as a homicide when the proper authorities wrote it off initially. They made a difference. Once more, they have the opportunity to walk away. Charles has tangled up his feelings towards Oliver and Mabel with the podcast. He believes they can only be friends if they are working on this investigation. He has to care more about Jan right now. She was hurt because no one wanted to listen to what she was saying. He can't allow that to happen again. Everyone professes just how perfect the two of them are together. It was because of Mabel's urging that Charles had the confidence to pursue this romance. He had to confront his past and be honest with Jan in order to get this far. They have only been together for a few weeks. And yet, they are already building up this relationship as something magical and lasting. That's what makes it sting when everyone realizes that Jan could potentially be the killer. That's a major role reversal. Of course, it also plays into the various conventions that the protagonists have been playing around with in this story all season. They wanted to see some vast mystery that needed to be solved. They wanted to believe the killer was targeting them for what they knew and wanted to get close to them. It makes for a dramatic turn of events. One where Charles has to rely on his friends once more despite him turning his back on them. He knows to be worried right away. It's written in the blood running down his nose. Jan sees that too. He is noticeable in the crowd. Jan lying about her standing in the orchestra is seen as a damning piece of evidence. It's also troubling that Tim had bassoon cleaning equipment in his apartment. This episode sets to point the investigation in one damning direction. At its heart though, it features Charles wanting to take action to avoid his defeatist attitude only to immediately feel betrayed for putting himself out there. That's damaging and makes for a compelling character moment before the big finish. It also means this is a story about passion. Sazz makes deductions about the case. She sees patterns that the others have missed this whole time. Mabel looks at things differently now too. They know they missed information. It takes reaching out to the right people to understand. It may not be too late. And yet, the audience is all too aware that it's only going to get more personally complicated for Charles, Oliver and Mabel. Eviction may be the least of their worries based on the various glimpses at the future teased throughout the season.