Tuesday, August 23, 2022

REVIEW: 'Only Murders in the Building' - Charles, Oliver and Mabel Trap the Killer in a Room to Get a Confession in 'I Know Who Did It'

Hulu's Only Murders in the Building - Episode 2.10 "I Know Who Did It"

One question remains: Who did it??? Oh, who are we kidding - there's a few more questions raised too.

"I Know Who Did It" was written by John Hoffman, Robb Turosky & Matteo Borghese and directed by Jamie Babbit

The DNA evidence from the murder weapon was all it took to solve Bunny's murder. That information was available to Mabel, Charles and Oliver to a certain extent. The knife was planted in Charles' apartment after all. The podcasters were being framed for a reason. It still took them awhile to trust Detective Williams with that piece of evidence. That was absolutely crucial. When Mabel reaches out for an update, that's when everything clicks. Until that moment, suspicion was very clearly directed at Cinda Canning. The woman who inspired the love of podcasts for the protagonists was the prime suspect in their investigation. They were looking for a storyteller. She has served in that role for the entire season. The rival podcast meant to incriminate them was full of fanciful details. It was all being helmed by one of the most influential people in the field. She wasn't going to confess simply because the podcasters backed her into a corner with the evidence. They had to be smart and strategic. Of course, the series itself has to act that way too. A lot of this season felt aimless mostly because so little progress was being made. Sure, that allowed more time to be spent on the personal lives of its characters. Even those moments came in fits and starts. It was never consistent enough to feel as emotionally devastating by the end as it could have been. The show is still successful overall. It produces a final twist that leaves everyone guessing until all is revealed. It mostly showcases the ways in which people deceive each other. It's silly when suspicion falls onto Alice once more. Mabel already had her moment of confrontation with her. That was the show following the same tropes that played out in the first season. It would have been lackluster for the same twist to occur once more. For a few brief moments, that's exactly what happens. Alice stabs Charles. He dies on the floor of Bunny's apartment. It's yet another act of vengeance in pursuit of greater infamy. It was ultimately a carefully crafted piece of theater. The podcasters only have an hour to get everyone up to speed on the roles they need to play. And yes, the storytelling calls out how bad they are. Sure, Oliver marvels at Lester's natural gifts. That's not enough to make their plan come to fruition. It all hinges on the power of accusations and shocking reveals. The podcasters are told what annoys Cinda. They implement those items in order to make her uncomfortable. It's all about breaking up the tension to ensure no one can ever feel secure. That allows the killer to slip up and reveal herself. None of this had anything to do with Bunny. She was simply a way in. Her death could create a story that gained so much attention and acclaim. The person most desperate for that was ultimately the killer. That could apply to so many people. In the end, one was simply more miserable and willing to engage in these tactics no matter the cost they have on other people's lives.

Poppy already did that once. She confessed to Mabel that she's actually Becky Butler, the murdered girl from a prior Cinda Canning podcast. That was meant to infer the lengths her boss will go to get what she wants. Cinda is this impossible to please individual who is so demanding and demeaning of those around her. That too is a trope she fits into well. She has obtained success. She will do anything to maintain it. She relies on Poppy to uncover these stories. It's all a fabrication of what Poppy wanted to be revealed about her life. She and Detective Kreps planted the evidence in Oklahoma. As a result, the local mayor was imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit. Of course, he wasn't a great guy. Poppy wanted to escape this life for a reason. She yearned for more. That all became an extension of storytelling. She got away with telling one version of events. She didn't just disappear never to be heard from again. She brought more attention to her life. She craved that clout even more. It was so easily accessible to others. She is jealous of Mabel for what she has. It's a lot of trauma that she has barely unpacked across two seasons. And yet, the central characters are willing to show off their growth. They have gotten more confident in what they aspire to do together. That friendship is meaningful. Sometimes Mabel questions Charles and Oliver's behavior. They still rely on each other to solve this murder. It means something to each of them. They need to honor Bunny in death. They robbed so much of life from her. They failed to show her compassion when she needed it the most. And then, she was killed solely to incriminate them. It didn't work. Poppy was always flailing for control. It wasn't as easy the second time around. Too many clues ultimately pointed to her guilt. She could very well be perceived as a master manipulator. She remains tentative in her actions too. The text warning the podcasters to get out of the building only tipped them off to an imminent threat. Kreps could only do so much to control the official investigation. Poppy still dictated the story Cinda told. That didn't matter when they were competing against people more motivated to uncover the truth. They do precisely that. Mabel received Bunny's dying words. It all makes sense now. Poppy and Kreps are caught and arrested. The two podcasts come together to provide resolution to the fans who've been listening each week. That success invites more into this world. The next murder mystery is established. It doesn't happen in the Arconia. It still strikes at the pinnacle of what should be Oliver's rousing return to the theater. Exploring murders has provided him with new opportunities. He got to engage in his craft once more. It all went awry because his leading man fought with Charles before ultimately dying on opening night. It's too unbelievable for Mabel. It truly is insane. The characters at least had a year to live in relative happiness. That's a blessing that promises growth even if the show won't be changing its structure as a new murder must be solved.