Tuesday, June 28, 2022

REVIEW: 'Only Murders in the Building' - The Police Suspect Charles, Oliver and Mabel of a New Murder in 'Persons of Interest'

Hulu's Only Murders in the Building - Episode 2.01 "Persons of Interest"

Welcome home, Arconiacs! Charles, Oliver and Mabel are now implicated in the murder of Board President, Bunny Folger. They must choose whether to lay low or risk their safety by catching the killer themselves. As they grapple with that choice, fireworks ensue.

"Persons of Interest" was written by John Hoffman & Noah Levine and directed by John Hoffman

Charles, Oliver and Mable had no beginning, middle and end when they launched their podcast. They offered a stream-of-consciousness investigation of their pursuits. Anything could have been pivotal. It was all taking place in real-time as they came upon these discoveries in the hopes of solving a murder. They eventually did so. The podcast was a success too. It developed fans as it was airing. And now, the trio may be lifted to a new level of infamy because they are arrested for a completely separate murder. That was the cliffhanger at the end of the first season. It wasn't featured on their podcast in order to lure the audience back into another season with a new investigation. That's the demand of a series narrative though. It needed to pique everyone's interests to ensure more captivating stories could be told in this world. It also means the bulk of this premiere has to be devoted to the trio signing onto another podcast. It's a way for them to release their story. However, they are at the center of this investigation. People are analyzing their every moves because they are the prime suspects in Bunny's death. It all started with Mabel acting on the impulses she's always dreamed about. A person doesn't have to venture far into the podcast before this stunning admission takes place. It's in the very first episode. That created narrative symmetry. And now, it's a damning argument against Mabel. Bunny was found in her apartment. The knitting needle wasn't the only weapon used to kill her. That clue is given to the trio while they're being interrogated. They have a friend on the force. Detective Williams doesn't want anything bad to happen to them. She appreciates them for helping solve a murder she was willing to close right away. She didn't want to be proven wrong. She accepted that fate because it was needed to bring justice. Calm doesn't linger in the building for very long. Bunny was killed during the celebration. It's not appreciated when Oliver makes callbacks to how this journey started. Mabel doesn't push Charles and Oliver away. However, she yearns for more from her life beyond murder. Death has consumed her world for a long time. She gains more notoriety online because of one image. That's all it takes to call her Bloody Mabel. It doesn't matter what the truth is. She wants to take back the story. That pulls her back into the same behavior she wanted to avoid. She's haunted by Bunny's death. The clues are present in her mind. It's simply jumbled. She doesn't recall all the details she has. That too is a tactic meant to draw this mystery out. The character stories have to be more pivotal and focused than the actual investigation. This show is all about what it means to live in a world of sensationalized headlines.

This season promises to dive into Charles' past. Mabel had the immediate connections to Bunny's murder. However, Oliver sent death threats. He's eager to retrieve them from her apartment. They would be damning as evidence. It's unclear if he and Mabel even got them all. Meanwhile, Charles' obsession with murder may link to the years his own father spent in prison. That's a completely new character thread. That relationship informed his life. Plus, his father is the central figure in Bunny's erotic artwork. That priceless item was seen as the new motive for the crime. And then, it shows up in Charles' apartment. All of this is done with the intention of framing the trio. It's not all about carrying out a personal vendetta against Bunny. It's also zeroing in on the behavior of these three. That animosity has to be pronounced. Not many people have that vitriol. And so, it will be fun to see how the show threads the needle of this investigation. It's done so once already. However, second seasons are notoriously hard to crack. The standard was set in the first. It's hard to recapture magic. That's especially true in the podcast genre as the success is all about the craft. Charles, Oliver and Mabel didn't follow the rules even though they are fans of the genre. They set out to do their own thing. It's being copied by their idol. They are also being targeted with such viciousness. That's a huge aspect of their lives. They can't escape it. They have plenty of opportunities now. The podcast was once seen as all they had. New offers are coming in. Charles can star in a reboot of Brazzos. Sure, he would no longer be the central character. It would be the consistent work he's wanted for years. Oliver could adapt the podcast into a scripted series. He can earn his credibility back by working alongside Amy Schumer as an executive producer. Mabel could explore new and exciting possibilities in the art world. At a time when people are only focusing on her as a potential killer, one person sees her striking artistic talent. That's a remarkable skill that can provide visibility in a time when people need to be provoked. Everyone has their own selfish interests. That's always been a part of these friendships. They still lift each other up. They do so literally when it comes to breaking into Bunny's apartment. They discover a secret elevator. Plenty of mysteries still lurk within this building. No one can quit the intrigue. They are obsessed. They have to go all in. They have to be more careful than before. They are shaping a narrative more precisely and carefully because of any potential legal ramifications. That may lesson their appeal. That's not immediately apparent in a premiere that sets the template for a new and equally exciting season.