Tuesday, June 28, 2022

REVIEW: 'Only Murders in the Building' - Awareness of the Past Sends Charles Spiraling Over His Father's Actions in 'Framed'

Hulu's Only Murders in the Building - Episode 2.02 "Framed"

A memorial for Bunny Folger provides an opportunity for our trio to question their neighbors, while they also try to get rid of a very implicating piece of evidence. One of Bunny's relatives makes a surprising appearance and if you thought Bunny was a force, get ready...

"Framed" was written by Kristin Newman and directed by John Hoffman

Bunny spent her entire life in the Arconia. She was the granddaughter of the building's architect. As such, she knew about all the secret designs of the building. She could exploit them to her own benefit. However, her death marks the end of an era. She has no family willing to call this place home. Her mother, Leonora, is still alive. She too is deeply connected to the history of the building. However, she only experiences the trauma of the past. She sees a place haunted by all that has previously occurred. She recognizes that history when so many are completely blind to it or have long ignored what's happened around them. Charles was inspired to become an actor by his father. He helped him prepare his lines before his auditions. It was always a ruse. It was a convenient way to keep young Charles busy while his father was carrying out multiple affairs. He wasn't the man Charles thought he knew. He's grappling with that revelation. The truth has always been hanging on Bunny's wall. And now, it's staring Charles right in the face in his apartment. It's damning because it suggests he's the killer. He's even willing to suspect himself. That makes no logical sense. To Charles, it seems rational because he can't trust the stories he has always been told. He has long had an affection for Brazzos. He was eager to step into that world again. He wants to work. The podcast and his friendships have taken the priority. He yearns for answers. That includes much more than figuring out who killed Bunny. He needs to get to the truth of his very essence. Leonora escaped this building. She's at peace knowing that her prized artwork will be found eventually. She knows the one currently circulating is a forgery. The wear and tear simply isn't there to indicate its authenticity. She is comforted by Charles' presence nonetheless. He's tentative about asking questions. She serves as this connection to the past. It's easy to get distracted when her presence is suddenly so accessible. She knows the trio aren't killers. They aren't responsible for what happened to her daughter. She makes herself available to Charles because she senses he needs more from her. He's still caught up in the drama of this building. She can't subject herself to that anymore. It's too painful and silly for her. So much has changed. So much is the same as well. That's the inherent tragedy of this place. Everyone wants to believe in the uniqueness of their lives. Their generation is constantly moving the world forward. This series crosses generational lines to showcase the connections we all have. It's a burden. All that happened in the past informs the present. What happens next sets the stage for the future. It all remains so elusive. It's all deeply funny and amusing too. That struggle can simply be overwhelming at times for those who just want simple answers.

Charles was completely blindsided when Jan was revealed as Tim Kono's killer. Howard proudly boasts that he suspected her early on in the podcast. Charles would have appreciated that information. It would have saved him from heartbreak. Those lines of communication simply weren't open. Everyone has their theories about what happened during the tragedies of life. And yet, those actions sometimes don't intervene in time. Jan was still arrested. The podcast has a complete story for its first season. That's enough to develop into a scripted series even though Amy Schumer is mostly interested in acting out her longtime crush on Charles. That's all she's hoping to get from Oliver. She may not offer much prosperity in the entertainment business. She simply sees an opportunity to pursue something she always wanted. Charles is flattered but not interested. He's too lost looking at the painting. That holds more meaning for him now. He isn't given the respite necessary to lead with any perspective. Mabel receives the clarity of knowing connections are more heightened and enthralling in the height of collective trauma. She and Oscar may simply work best as friends. That's what their dynamic should be. Meanwhile, it's freeing for her to pursue things with Alice. She offers so much empathy and compassion. She wants Mabel to address her issues in a primal way. She already understands her so well. She gives her the freedom to do what she needs to do. Mabel accepts that. They act on these feelings. Of course, the viewer should obviously be skeptical of Alice's sudden prominence. Mabel getting close to her may only echo the twist with Jan. That may be nothing but a healthy dose of skepticism. It plays into the overall pattern of Mabel's life. She's always surrounded by death. The world moved on during the countless times this tragedy has happened in the past. They've kept Mabel stuck in this place. She can't escape. She doesn't want to at times either. In fact, she fears she is becoming more like Charles and Oliver. She appreciates their friendship so much. She needs more as well. That makes it healthy when Alice comes around. It offers an appreciation of art. The focus still remains on murder. People are obsessed with the action. They rarely deal with the emotional complications of what this loss of life actually means. Mabel could never ignore that. Charles and Oliver had to embrace the personal burden in the previous story. It's only gotten more intense. Leonora offers certainty that they didn't kill her daughter. That doesn't fit the overall narrative the building wants to form. People may listen to her. They may also still confirm to what was previously teased. They may be collectively suggestible. That doesn't lead to the truth. It's simply comfortable pleasantries in a life that demands so much more rich and complex nuances from those willing to engage with history.