On the previous Only Murders in the Building, Mabel makes up with her fellow podcasters for lying to them about her past. Thanks to her cousin, they learn a little bit more about what Tim Kono was up to. More importantly, the trio have an anonymous helper (Detective Williams) when they receive Kono’s cell phone while Charles and Oliver think they’ve found a new suspect.
With Teddy Dimas the newest person of interest, “The Boy from 6B” dives deeper into his dealings and as the title indicates, his son, Theo, will be heavily involved as well. When we first met Theo, it was revealed that he is hearing impaired. In an effort to change things up and take a huge risk, the episode has very little audio trying to provide the audience the type of world he experiences every day.
Only Murders in the Building sets the tone early with a flashback when Theo was a child. It exposes a darker side of Teddy with a brief moment where he takes out his frustrations on his son. The scene also shows the fractious relationship the two have and what kind of hardships the younger Dimas probably endured his entire life.
The episode serves as a turning point in the series because things begin cooking. We gain insight on the tragic event all those years ago that involved Mabel and her crew and we start focusing on the real culprits. There are no false leads and red herrings here. Theo proves to be a worthy adversary as we are given glimpses of his craftiness. He is aware of his surroundings and utilizes his skills such as lip reading to help gain intel. Maybe it’s because he’s always been underestimated due to his disability but he doesn’t overlook anyone including our bumbling podcasters.
As we enter Theo’s world, Only Murders in the Building effectively uses the silence. With one less sense to use, it allows us to be less distracted and focus in the moment. It really challenges the actors to convey emotions without the use of their voices. Overall, everyone pulls it off although there are times where it can feel gimmicky.
Music and sound effects are incorporated to break the quiet but also used at the right moments to emphasize certain scenes. The silence helps accentuate the sneakiness and covert operations on both sides and plays into the cat and mouse games between them ratcheting up the tension. There is a nice parallel where they break into their respective apartments.
Because there is very little talking doesn’t mean there’s no dialog. Communication is done through American Sign Language and subtitles. Theo has an entertaining tongue-in-cheek instance where he breaks the fourth wall and it’s funny to see Nathan Lane sign his more crazy and funny lines when he talks about how his character owns Oliver.
The lack of conversation brings a little more playfulness to Charles’ date. After all, he and Jan are using the language of love and really no words are required. We have one of the most flirtatious games of scrabble seen on television and though it takes a little longer than you’d expect him to, Charles finally picks up on it. Yeah Brazos.
Only Murders in the Building has had excellent cliffhangers all season and “The Boy from 6B” is no exception. The urgency increases and things become more serious with higher stakes and danger. Even though there’s a breakthrough with Tim Kono’s phone, it comes at a cost and now there’s a real race against the clock with both sides able to topple the other. Now we have to wait and see who comes out on top.
This week’s episode serves as a turning point pitting our lovable podcasters against real criminals and effectively places the audience into the world of a potential killer.
New episodes of Only Murders in the Building are released Tuesdays on Hulu.
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