Only Murders in the Building – Season 2 Episode 6 “Performance Review” Recap & Review

“The Stories we tell Ourselves”

In typical Only Murders in the Building fashion, episode 6 starts off with a teasing voiceover. The narrator in this instance is another new face: Poppy White. The bespectacled, earnest assistant of Cinda Canning, whose discovery from Mabel Mora’s past life takes center stage. She establishes the above theme for this week.

This is also the first episode where the trio finds tangible evidence that will absolve them from the murders. But the real question is: can they capitalize?

‘Performance Review’

Poppy uncovers a controversial figure from Mabel’s past, Jimmy Russo. She brings him in for Cinda’s newest podcast where she will implicate Mabel for the murder.

In a brief montage, we see our trio one by one, possibly deceiving themselves with stories of their lives. Poppy’s ravaging monologue exposes some harsh truths about the lives we live. Our optimism for starting over, our hope for a different fate. Mabel with Alice; Charles with Jan; and Oliver with the question about his son’s parentage. The latter has now gone in to get his own lineage checked and to see if he is part Greek instead of Irish.

At the Brazzos set, Charles is starting to settle in his new role. He flirts with the hair stylist and the trio, including Charles’ daughter Lucy arrives to discuss their next plan of action. Pataki, Charles’ traditional double from the old days, also makes a cameo, filling in for him for the stunts.

On closer look, Mabel discovers that the matchbook actually has a bloody fingerprint! This might be the big relief they have been hoping for since the beginning. Detective Williams, from episode one, who helped the trio escape attention previously, is a friend on the force they decide to use. Mabel texts her the revelation and they decide the place to meet to hand over the evidence. She will run the prints to know the miller’s true identity. Detective Kreps, meanwhile, has sent an officer to the set to call the trio to Bunny’s apartment.

When they reach the spot, they discover that Cinda is there too, with Poppy. Kreps warns the two to stop interfering with his investigation and take down the podcasts. He is getting anonymous calls left and right, one including the “bird theory”. Cinda uses her leverage over Kreps, mentioning some instances on his part. Is there someone this woman does not have dirt over? Unreal evil-ness.

Cinda reveals that she will be using Jimmy’s story from when Mabel and he used to work together at Long John Silver’s. Kreps also reveals that Williams is on maternity leave “in Denver”. So who were they really texting with? The killer is the answer! Mabel chases after Poppy as she leaves. She beseeches her good conscience and asks her to stop airing the Russo story because it will end up damaging Cinda’s reputation.

Now, the imposter. The trio devises a plan to lure him into coming to pick up the evidence and then catch him. The killer’s amateurish responses are way out of place and kinda hilarious to watch.

They choose to call him to Morningside Park, where they will leave the evidence in a specific spot and wait for him to come. All this stems from Charles’ experience working at Brazzos, Season seven episode twenty-one, “The Fake Evidence”. Instead of the evidence, they will place a “glitter bomb” to catch him in style. The trio waits in Charles’ car and Cinda’s new episode’s release on the podcast coincides with the waiting. We also catch a glimpse of Cinda turning down Opooy’s request for a “performance review” to get a promotion.

Jimmy narrates a story from Long John’s. He exaggerates it, obviously, to propose that Mabel intentionally cut off his fingers and served them up after deep frying them. Mabel counters with the truth. Jimmy was a handsy perv and the one time Mabel pushed back, he caught his hand in the slicer. Oliver spots a slew of phone calls on Charles’ phone from the jail and Mabel and he discover that Charles is still dating Jan.

In a hilarious sequence as the trio debates the new event, we see the killer walk in the background. He is wearing a hoodie and a mask, fully covered up. The trio does not notice him go towards the hiding place. Charles narrates how his non-confrontational style often lands him up in dire situations where he can’t get off from relationships.

Mabel sees the killer in the rearview mirror but he is gone by the time they are able to come into action. Mable separates and walks off to cool down, while Charles gets an idea of how to end it with Jan. Poppy is brutally shot down by Cinda, whose entitled behavior outrages Poppy. She thinks she has deserved this promotion but Cinda always wants to be in control and tightly hold on to the reigns.

‘Performance Review’ Ending Explained: Does Mable commit “another” murder?

At the correctional facility, we see Charles has sent Pataki to break up with Jan, as “him”. It is a hilarious bit where she reads a letter out loud to Jan, ending the relationship.  Mable comes back to her apartment in utter shock.

Alice, whom she trusted and let her stay back, has actually transformed the apartment into the murder scene. She is recreating that terrible memory from Mable’s past, just when she was admiring Alice’s lack of interest and obsession with Mable’s past. Mable is heartbroken and fades out when Alice starts narrating a made-up, pretentious reason for doing the same.

Alice betrays her trust and faith, sending her into an existential crisis. Oliver is vexed about the DNA results and comes to stay with Charles to wait for the results. Poppy calls Mabel and confirms some ugly truths about Cinda. “She will do anything to tell a good story”.

In the middle of the call, Mabel sees the killer. Oliver gets a video from his son Will that shows Mabel apparently stabbing the killer. He has glitter all over his face and advances toward Mabel. People around her shout “Bloody Mabel part two!”, as she rushes off in a panicked state.

This ending was clearly unexpected. Was it just a coincidence that Mabel saw the killer on the train? Or was she followed? Are we even sure that the person is indeed the killer? More often than not, in Only Murders in the Building, it turns out that people aren’t who they seem they are. You might even get to see in the next episode that Mabel has stabbed an innocent person. You never know with this beautiful show!

And also, are we really sure that it is a stabbing and it is fatal? We do not see the end of the video and it is purposely kept from us to keep us waiting for next week.


The Episode Review

Episode 6 had an even more bizarre ending than the previous episode. Mabel was the focus of attention here. The world around her just crumbled with these events.

First, she learns the truth about Alice and loses the one thing she was rowing to care about. It definitely seemed like a turnaround for Mabel’s personal life, given how lonely she is. The relationship seemed like a decent change but this betrayal definitely ended Alice’s chapter with Mabel.

As she is still recuperating from the shock, she is confronted by the killer in broad daylight. Even worse, she seemingly stabs him and runs off, throwing her in the line of real danger. Will she be able to come back to Oliver and Charles without hiding and toe-tipping? Is this the end for the trio in this season?

If the events of the ending are true, Mabel will need all the help from Oliver and Charles. They must somehow get the matchbook to Williams and clear their names. On that – are we even sure that they have it? Didn’t Mabel take the matchbook when we last saw it? We will get answers in the next episode, hopefully.

Episode 6 had decent development for the subplots involving Jan and Charles as well. There were breezy moments and it seems like Jan might be done for too. Amy Ryan’s guest appearance might not be over, just yet. But Jan seems to be off from Charles’ life. Poppy seems set to be key going forward. Cinda’s evil manifestation will get a fitting reply later in the season. Seeing more of Tina Fey was a different but solid sight as well.

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