Last week, the second season of Only Murders in the Building began with an all-new mystery. Our protagonists went back to recording their podcast as they try to solve who killed the former board president of the Arconia. There’s a little bit more urgency this time around because the sooner they can find the culprit, the sooner they can clear their names.
“The Last Days of Bunny Folger” is effective in painting its titular character as a multifaceted individual. We already knew the very gruff exterior she had. After all, she’s a New Yorker. However, as we spend a day in her life, we see her more personable and kinder side. Someone who could shoot the breeze with the workers at her regular spots and be so generous to those in need.
Maybe because we have spent more time with Bunny on Only Murders in the Building, but the episode makes her more endearing than last year’s Tim Kono. That’s due in large part to the exceptional Jayne Houdyshell. She has the tough broad routine down but surprises with her believable engineering skills. Don’t even get me started on how much I love hearing her rag on the Knicks.
But there is also a deep pain and loneliness within. Bunny knows the ins and outs of the Arconia and its residence because she spent a lifetime dedicated to becoming an expert. That commitment affected her social life and as she is ready to step away from her duties and retire, she can already see that nothing can fill the emptiness she’ll soon have. In addition, rather than being proud of how she prepared her protégé, Nina Lin, to be the next board president, she sees the loss of relevancy and being put to pasture for being old.
You couldn’t be more sympathetic to her situation when Bunny brings Charles, Oliver, and Mabel some fine champagne to celebrate their success in catching Jan. All she was looking for is some companionship at this difficult time, but the cool kids thought she would cramp their style. It exhibits a lot of awareness during the podcast voiceover when the trio admit that although they didn’t kill her, they could have saved her by showing a little compassion. It demonstrates they are more flawed than being bungling detectives, and this is something that could haunt them later, especially since she might be Charles’ half-sister.
As much as this episode of Only Murders in the Building focuses on the victim, it also enhances the mystery. The missing painting still plays an important role and the references of a shadowy figure raise the intrigue. There are people who keep inquiring about the Rose Cooper artwork and Bunny rebuffs any advances. Could any of them want it so bad to kill for it? Are they the nefarious person in black that we catch glimpses of the night of the attack? That’s what we’re all trying to find out.
“The Last Day of Bunny Folger” is a great character dive displaying the complexity of the victim. Jayne Houdyshell’s performance makes us more invested in Bunny and increases our desire for justice.
New episodes of Only Murders in the Building are released Tuesdays on Hulu.
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