‘Flipping the Pieces’
Mable’s past has always been a subject of mystery and we have never quite gotten into what really shaped her character. A person’s past, or the life they have lived until a certain point, has a big role to play in defining them in the present.
In episode 7 of Only Murders In The Building Season 2, we “flip” the pieces to look underneath our most beloved member of the tribe. Mabel is clad in a yellow night-suit sitting in a bedroom. She has pieces of a puzzle in front of her. Not just any puzzle; the puzzle of her life.
In a flashback, we see a young Mabel solving puzzles with her father. The older Mable narrates that they would take the entire weekend to piece the puzzle together and spend time with each other. Her father would make the challenge harder by flipping the pieces of the puzzle.
It is the first we see of her father in the series. She has always talked about him in conversations but he physically manifests as a loving and caring father. Mabel wakes up in a mysterious apartment. She notices stains of blood on the bed cover. The door opens and her “abductor” enters. It is Theo Dimas from the building. Mabel attacks her from behind but Theo tries to explain what had happened last night. Mabel has no memory of stabbing the glitter guy. Oliver and Charles are getting restless. There is no sign of her anywhere; hospitals, their favorite places, the neighborhood. A knock on the door lifts them from their misery but it is not Mable. Detective Williams has cut short her leave and come to solve the murder with her baby. Even she is obsessed with it.
Theo tries to explain to Mable what happened, as she has literally no memory of the event. He was taking the same train as hers. The glitter guy attacked her and Mabel stabbed him in self-defense. When he ran away, he dropped a security badge that belongs to the Coney Island amusement park. He says he wants to help Mabel and they drive together to that place. Oliver is wheezy when he realizes he still hasn’t gotten rid of the murder weapon. It is still in his house.
Charles follows him to the bathroom where they confer with each other. Williams hears everything and asks them to give her the knife. Oliver still hasn’t heard from the people who tested his DNA.
Mabel rummages through the files in the park’s office but is overwhelmed due to her inability to remember. Theo consoles her. His ankle bracelet’s battery starts to run out and it will take about an hour to charge. So, instead of the dreadful waiting, Mabel decides to introduce Theo to the world of amusement parks. While playing one of the games, Theo wins a gift for Mabel. It is a green ring, similar to the one Zoe had on. Theo and Mabel then recollect the horrible memory from that night. Zoe’s face still haunts them and Theo still wonders if she slipped or if he pushed her. Mabel goes to use the washroom before they leave. Williams believes Mabel is innocent but asks the men to help her. She is definitely not helped by her baby, Keith Jr. as he has a crying episode.
Oliver suggests he might have acidity after being fed. Singing a song from A Chorus Line, Oliver performs magic on Keith as he moves his body on the table to relieve the gas. The kid smiles with relief and stops crying. In the washroom, Mabel has another flashback of her father’s before spotting glitter in the sink. The killer is in the building!
She goes to the locker room and sees him tending to his wounds. She hides in one of the lockers but makes a sound. When the killer arrives, she slams it open in his face, takes her purse, and rushes out. Theo and Mabel hide as the killer rushes after them and they’re are able to escape. But Mabel notices that the matchbook is missing from her purse. She also finds an even more alarming photo.
When Theo’s father calls him and he hangs up the call, Mabel reveals that her father died when she was seven.
He had stomach cancer and no one had told her to protect her from the pain. She then explains how she blocked off the memory of seeing her father in that condition. The pieces were so flipped that she has no memory of it. She does this with instances that are traumatic to her. This is the reason we saw her struggling with Bunny’s murder and thinking that she did it in a state of fugue. But when she focuses on the night, she realizes she didn’t do it.
They reach the diner, where Mabel meets up with Charles and Oliver, while Theo calls his father. The alarming photo she finds in her purse is that of Charles and Lucy. Charles immediately calls Lucy, who is in his apartment. Just then, we see that the city has gone under a blackout.
The Episode Review
This episode did not feel like it had too much story progression. On the face of it, “Flipping the Pieces” seems like a decent companion piece to the previous episode. Mabel Mora’s deconstruction was hinted at from the very first episode of this season. And it has finally happened in an emotional harkening back to the past.
She has always been a character who seems to be going through a lot. She carries a lot of baggage from the past and it reflects in the way we see her. Even when she was able to go past that stage, life wasn’t kind to her.
Detective Williams is back in town and some of her bits with Oliver and Charles were really good. They do have an infectious and charming bromance that has begun to blossom. Theo was humanized in this episode too, and I liked that choice very much.
His crimes beside, he’s still a good person and a similar target of pain and misery. The ghost from his past, Zoe, has troubled him but we didn’t see that suffering before this episode.
OMITB (Only Murders In The Building) is not one for glorifying or focusing on the chase/action sequences. Mabel had a run-in with the killer but still didn’t see his face and was able to get away with ease. Although it does not diminish OMITB’s appeal, it doesn’t give it brownie points either.
Overall, this episode felt relatively weaker than the previous ones in the season. I don’t want to say the word but “filler” pops up as the perfect way to describe it. Mabel’s revisit to the past was effective but the lack of anything else really couldn’t rouse us up. Until next week.
|Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!|