So Help Me Todd – Season 2 Episode 5 “End on a High Note” Recap & Review

End on a High Note

Episode 5 of So Help Me Todd’s Season 2 is set entirely during a scintillating opera night. All our main characters are gathered in the house to witness Jacqueline Burton’s performance as Athena. Margaret is having trouble focusing on the opera given the situation at the office. She has had to let go of three more associates in the past week, prompting the office to give her the unwanted title of “Grim Reaper.” However, Todd tries his best to change her mind and make sure she has a good time.

Allison is still struggling to make a comeback. She is still staying with Todd and displaying uncharacteristic qualities like not following up on her commitments. Beverly is trying her level best to get Susan away from Margaret, continuing her efforts at the opera.

The Wrights find a familiar face seated next to them in Timothy Chalice, the weatherman from one of the previous episodes. There is still animosity between Todd and him but Tim is firmly focused on enjoying Jacqueline’s performance.

Todd spots Lyle in attendance and thinks that Jacqueline might be his mother given their surnames. However, that train of thought is brought to a standstill after one of the performers collapses on stage and Allison declares her dead. Later, it is discovered that Aubrey, the actress who died, was set to replace Jacqueline after her last few performances. Her assistant, Magda, is also suspicious of Jacqueline, creating doubt in Todd’s mind. Sensing an opportunity, Margaret steps in to announce herself as Jacqueline’s lawyer after the police try to question her.

She tries to make a show the next morning after being questioned along with Margaret. Although the murder weapon is apparently a knife, the detective on the case suspects poisoning. Jacqueline cannot return to her hotel and has to contend with Margaret’s “ordinary” apartment for now.

At the office the next day, Margaret and Todd team up to figure out the case. While the latter starts his search for the fake knife at the theatre, Margaret wants to test the waters with the DA using Susan’s help. However, she is stunned to find Susan in a photoshoot. Beverly explains she has arranged for an interview with her in a famous magazine. She is doing everything to snatch Susan away from Margaret…but will she succeed? Only time can tell.

For now, back to the case. Allison barges in at the firm’s office to inform Margaret that Aubrey died of poisoning. This raises suspicion in her mind about Jacqueline’s innocence. The actress had earlier said in front of the press that she would have killed Aubrey using some rare poison.

Magda also hints towards that conclusion when Todd visits the theatre. As expected, the police bring charges against Jacqueline and she is presented in court. Margaret asks her to remain low-key during the hearing but the veteran cannot hold back and creates a scene. She spins a narrative that the poisoned knife was meant for her but Aubrey lost her life accidentally. Now that there is a new twist in the case, Jacqueline is placed at Todd’s house.

Todd brings up Chalice’s bouquet found backstage at the theatre, hinting at his involvement. He is also holding a vigil at the courthouse, demanding that Jacqueline be set free. The group decides to focus on him for the moment.

In a quieter scene, Margaret advises Lyle to settle his differences with Jacqueline before it is too late. Time is fleeting and when parents age, they often drift away from their children. While talking to Chalice at the vigil, Lyle discovers that he wasn’t at the opera performance in Sao Paulo, Brazil. This means that he could not have had access to the poison used to kill Aubrey.

During dinner at Todd’s apartment, the two sets of children and mothers have a fight amongst themselves. Lyle and Allison get up and leave as the table sits silently. To get a fresh look at the case, Todd decides to interview people from the firm who were at the opera that night. This includes your usual suspects like Susan, Beverly, Lyle etc. Everyone concurs that the knife flew out of Jacqueline’s hand accidentally. Allison also alludes to feeling the knife against her knee when she got down to inspect Aubrey. But moments later, it was not there anymore.

While listening to the recording of the night, Lyle suspects Jacqueline slid a note. And she kept looking offstage in Magda’s direction. She reveals that Magda also had potential but could never make a career like her. Magda was also the first person on stage after the accident, raising suspicion.

To get her confession the next day at court, Margaret makes a plan. She uses jealousy to get the truth out of an animated Magda. She confesses that she wanted to kill Jacqueline to protect Aubrey, nailing the case.

After the trial, Margaret encourages Jacqueline to make amends with Lyle…and they do. Margaret tries to make amends with Susan, feeling that she is drifting away. However, Beverly’s carefully thought plan and execution have ensured Susan feels betrayed by Margaret. She firmly believes Beverly serves her interests the best.

In an emotional conclusion, Allison finally confesses that she hasn’t moved out yet due to her circumstances and because she is clinging to familiarity in life. Todd comforts her, asking her to stay for as long as she wants.

The Episode Review

Although the operatic energy of Episode 5 is lavishly high, the core is emotional and moving. Family has been an important theme in the show’s new season and the good work is carried on here as well.

The subplot isn’t very unique or challenging. It goes on straightforwardly with a couple of twists here and there. It was always going to be a choice between Magda or Chalice. But it is everything beyond the specific case that shines in the episode. 

Susan’s arc is set up temptingly. So Help Me Todd has an interesting dynamic between Beverly and Margaret from the beginning but Susan’s introduction has made it even more volatile. Allison and Todd’s individual journeys have progressed superbly, giving us meaty scenes like the final one. Also, Sam’s Bagels might turn out to be a big gamble on Margaret’s side but it remains to be seen when the issue will materialize.

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