Tuesday, July 19, 2022

REVIEW: 'Only Murders in the Building' - Oliver and Charles Question Alice's Sudden Interest in Mabel's Life in 'The Tell'

Hulu's Only Murders in the Building - Episode 2.05 "The Tell"

Mabel hosts a party for an eclectic art crowd which also serves a double purpose for smoking out a liar in the trio's midst. Oliver relies on a party game and an era which he feels brings the best out in him to uncover the truth and any potential psycho killer.

"The Tell" was written by Matteo Borghese & Rob Turbovsky and directed by Cherien Dabis

Charles and Oliver want to ensure the killer in their new mystery isn't following the same pattern as Jan. They were surprised when the truth was revealed about her. She got close to Charles only to try to kill him after he realized what she is capable of. They don't want to be fooled by the new person who has started dating one of the central trio. And yes, it would be incredibly lane if Alice was brought into the story to be Mabel's girlfriend who is eventually revealed as Bunny's killer. It would be an unoriginal idea because it would so closely mirror what happened with Jan. She still has to carry a secret Oliver must expose no matter what. Alice lying about her upbringing and background is apparently damaging enough that it forces a conversation about honesty between her and Mabel. It all seems incredibly overwrought and dramatic. It also highlights how everyone in this world carries secrets. Mabel can accept some of them. Little white lies can be tolerated. She's still furious at Charles and Oliver for disrupting the party and the new friend she has made. She cares about Alice. That relationship has let her feel normal. She wants a party in her apartment so it no longer feels so empty. That's been the overwhelming feeling ever since Bunny was killed. The podcasters aren't any closer to the truth either. They didn't even suspect some newcomer in one of their lives until Jan pointed out the obvious. It shouldn't take Jan to explain why the podcasters should do the basic work of this job. They feel the importance of crafting a meaningful story for their fans. They want this story to be equally as compelling as the first. That requires different twists and turns. They have to at least flesh out this theory. They have to investigate and disprove the notion that Alice only got close to Mabel because of this murder. Jan teases how the new killer is an artist who wants to be an ongoing member of the piece. They have to be involved with the story. That could single out any number of people at the Arconia. Several may have reason to kill Bunny. Others may have a personal vendetta against Charles, Oliver and Mabel. This murder prevents them from moving forward with their lives. It can be incredibly time-consuming and distracting. Oliver wants to be there for his son as he directs a school play. However, Oliver quickly returns to the comfort of the same party game he has been playing for decades. It's nothing original. It's simply a way for him to talk about his skills as a detective. It's not enough that he's credited with solving Tim Kono's murder alongside Charles and Mabel. Now, he has to put on a performance. The set even gets dressed up to match his reality. It simply doesn't provide the resolution he so clearly wants.

Oliver wants Alice to be the killer. Meanwhile, the fans of the podcast just want the central trio to pursue an actual lead. They haven't been consumed by this new story as much as the previous one. That's the show itself playing around with conventions. It knows how difficult it is to deliver second seasons of podcasts. It's equally challenging for a television show based around a mystery. The audience knows how the narrative operates. The viewer knows how likely something will just be a fake out. Oliver still ultimately makes progress in the investigation. He receives security camera footage that shows the stranger Bunny met at the diner the day before her death. She previously noted how he wasn't her friend. Meanwhile, the matchbook found in the secret passageway near Mabel's apartment was retrieved by this person. The clues are presenting a reality in which all of this occurred. The podcasters simply can't put a face to this crime. They have a bunch of details that are still too scattered. They can't put the pieces together to create a fully realized story. They aren't meant to have all the answers at this point either. The killer isn't done revealing their story. They have a role for Charles, Oliver and Mabel to play. Everyone is being watched closely. That can be intimidating and paralyzing. It could threaten to keep them from living their lives or embracing new possibilities. Charles and Jan quickly fall back into the pattern and routine that allowed their relationship to blossom. They had good memories together. It was ruined by her trying to kill him. He shouldn't trust a single thing she says. He feels a certain level of protection knowing that she is an objective outsider to the new mystery. Plus, he misses the sounds that used to fill up the Arconia. Now, the building is too quiet. That plays into the overall changes in this place. Some of them are required in order for the people to survive. Some changes have faced major resistance. It's the way in which people throughout the building cope with what it means to be bonded together in this way. It offers no elaborate realizations. It simply offers personal shock and betrayal. Will took a DNA test for his son's ancestry project at school. It reveals Greek heritage. That makes no sense to his Irish father. It lines up with the potential of Teddy being Will's biological father. That's the secret that has long been kept in this family. Will pushed Oliver away for a time. He's gladly accepted him back in his life. Oliver has been Will's father in every way that counts. But now, this reveal threatens to take Oliver away from the podcast investigation in order to protect the family that has long meant so much to him. That's simply more important. None of this matters if these characters don't have fulfilling lives elsewhere to enjoy. They have to take advantage of those moments when they come too - even if it's not the most fulfilling thing a mystery-based show could be doing.