Mabel’s infamy continues to grow on Only Murders in the Building. Last week, she got up close and personal with the potential killer and it led to a violently viral incident. Viewers of the video can jump to their own conclusions but we know there is more to the story. What is her next step? Well, we find out in “Flipping the Pieces.”
The episode begins with Mabel waking in a strange apartment with no real recollection of what transpired the previous night. Although she does see the blood on her clothes, which draws some concern. We soon discover the person who offered her sanctuary is none other than Theo Dimas.
His reintroduction has a much more significant impact compared to other familiar Only Murders in the Building faces such as Jan and Cinda Canning. Theo helping Mabel in her quest to find glitter guy provides a redemptive arc for the one-time villain. He genuinely shows remorse for his past transgressions and clearly wants to make up for them. The understanding and the compassion that grows between them is endearing and comes about organically.
There is good rapport between Selena Gomez and James Caverly. Their characters are each going through difficult times and they find a sympathetic ear in an unlikely place. This helps them overcome the initial hostilities due to their past and bond over shared experiences. In a very reflective scene, Theo doesn’t know if he actually pushed Zoe from the Arconia or if she slipped.
It can be very difficult to admit that you can perform heinous acts much like Mabel struggling with whether she murdered Bunny. Their communication problems also demonstrate how isolating and alone one can feel even though they are literally with someone. At least there is the therapeutic effect of saying things out loud regardless if the other person understands.
Another shared experience the two have is a complicated relationship with their fathers. Only Murders in the Building dives deeper into Mabel’s past and why she has trouble recalling the events of Bunny’s death. It’s a tragic story with realization only after the fact. The setting of Coney Island, more importantly a midway and arcade, help set the mood to reminisce about her childhood. The combination of current and past events places her close to coming apart. She’s in a fragile state and only solving the mystery before her can grant her any solace.
A nice diversion from all the seriousness in the Mabel and Theo plot is catching up with Oliver, Charles, and Detective Williams. It’s classic Martin and Short bumbling comedy as they try to protect Mabel from scrutiny after her high-profile incident. Also, for anyone who raised an infant, The Chorus Line bit is relatable and benefits from the timeless fart joke as well as the opportunity to hear Da’Vine Joy Randolph sing to cap off the sequence.
Only Murders in the Building also builds up the suspense as Mabel has another close call with glitter guy. You get so caught up with her and Theo’s journey that you forget he could still be around. There is a short and tense cat and mouse game in the locker room but it’s the end that raises the stakes. Not only does the mysterious suspect have his eyes on more than our main trio, the city of New York faces a city-wide emergency. It’s an exciting way to head into the final three episodes.
“Flipping the Pieces” is the first step into rehabilitating Theo’s image while diving deeper into Mabel’s backstory and inner turmoil. Short and Martin show once again why they are a great comedic duo and the suspense is raised with more close calls with the main suspect.
New episodes of Only Murders in the Building are released Tuesdays on Hulu.
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