The three-episode series premiere of Only Murders in the Building introduced us to Oliver, Charles, and Mabel; three strangers that live in the same apartment that are brought together by their shared love of true crime podcasts and their desire to solve a mysterious death in their complex. In “The Sting,” the trio look into their biggest suspect and I don’t want to spoil who it is, but suffice to say, he’ll be watching you.
Actually, his name is in the episode’s title so it’s not that big of a surprise. There’s a compelling case against the former front man of The Police. Not only was he hostile towards Oliver and his dog last week (before they were threatened), but he has a bone to pick with the recently deceased, Tim Kono. The Sting lead is an amusing and silly detour in the investigation. It allows the surprising yet delightful guest star more screen time and the singer is having fun with the role, particularly with the preview of his song writing process.
Only Murders in the Building does some great character work on Charles delving into his past. We learn more about Lucy, who was previously referenced. It is a tale of lost love, but not in the way you would expect and you can’t help but feel more sympathetic and heartbroken for Steve Martin’s character. It sheds light on why he is so reluctant to open up to anyone.
At least things are looking up with regards to his love interest, Jan the sexy bassoonist. Charles’ awkward game running is so cringe inducing to watch but hilarious at the same time. The potential couple’s courtship is so wholesome and adorable and who would have thought a bassoon/concertina musical duel could be so flirtatious. The storyline also demonstrates how much closer the three main characters have grown so far with Oliver and Mabel’s playful ribbing but whole-hearted support for their friend’s romantic endeavors.
The podcast motif continues with Only Murders in the Building with our group seeking out advice from the Queen of Podcasts, Cinda Canning. She serves as a mentor and recommends subtle ways for them to approach a high-profile suspect like Sting to question him.
Also, Cinda has voiceovers throughout the episode as if she’s recording and her dialog complements the plot and raises some intriguing pertinent questions about the investigation and life in general. In addition, there is a time jump during one of her narrations about this case and it raises the interest because the way it is delivered makes you question the fate of our protagonists.
The closing moments ratchet up the drama and suspense. Though his appearance may be a bit too convenient, Oliver’s veterinarian son pops up at his dad’s apartment with an update on Winnie but reveals Mabel’s connections to Tim Kono possibly stirring up conflict amongst the team. Speaking of Mabel, she deciphers a meeting Kono had and sets out hoping to find answers but the shadowy tie-dye guy tails her. What a juicy cliffhanger and tease for next week.
“The Sting” does some excellent character work with Charles while providing an entertaining false lead and a titillating cliffhanger ending.
New episodes of Only Murders in the Building are released Tuesdays on Hulu.
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