Blackouts: OMITB Season 2 Episodes 7 and 8 (Recap)

OMITB Season 2 Episodes 7 and 8, “Flipping the Pieces” and “Hello Darkness,” aren’t exactly filler. Aside from one reveal towards the end of the two episodes, though, not much happens to advance the story. Only Murders In The Building Season 2 has been reliably heavy on plot, and has struck a good balance of jokes; emotion; action; and intrigue. Episodes 7 and 8 hit the mark when it comes to three of these things, but the actual action is limited to a few odd moments here and there – something not necessarily detrimental, but strange this late in the season. 

“Flipping the Pieces” starts with a much-needed flashback to Mabel (Selena Gomez) as a young kid. Throughout OMITB, we’ve gotten many references to Mabel’s father, and their relationship’s positive and negative effect on her; Season 2 Episode 7 gives us more insight into that. As Mabel narrates, we see more about her childhood, including an obsession with The X-Files that maybe explains her obsession with mysteries a bit more. It turns out that her father had cancer – his death so traumatized Mabel that it resulted in her occasionally blacking out, or, as she puts it, “flipping the pieces” to avoid tough truths. (It also turns out Mabel has been an obsessive puzzle-solver since she was a girl.)

The episode is our first long look into Mabel’s mind, and showcases her fear that maybe she was the one to kill Bunny. If she doesn’t remember stabbing the Glitter Guy on the subway, could she have forgotten something else? Luckily for Mabel, Theo (James Caverly) was on the train during the stabbing, and took Mabel back to his apartment, where she wakes up confused and tries to knock him out. He shows her the footage of the stabbing, and we see just how scared Mabel is.

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Selena Gomez as Mabel and James Caverly as Theo in Only Murders In the Building (COURTESY: Hulu)

Mabel and Theo, struggling with a language barrier – Theo is deaf; lip reading is actually very inefficient; and Mabel doesn’t know ASL – work through what happened; Theo writes that he saw Mabel stab Glitter Guy, after which he ran off with her purse. It’s a little bit of a strange moment: the two of them try to play their communication breakdown as a joke but Mabel basically loses her temper at Theo because she doesn’t know ASL. The fact that the two of them don’t have a strong relationship didn’t make this feel any less weird. Unfortunately, since it focuses so heavily on Mabel and Theo, OMITB Season 2 Episode 7 has a lot of moments like these. We do find out that Glitter Guy dropped a Coney Island. So it’s off to the amusement park for Theo and Mabel, as they search for more information – along with the bloody matchbook Mabel had in her purse, their only clue so far into the identity of the killer. 

“Flipping the Pieces” flips back and forth between Mabel and Theo at Coney Island and Charles (Steve Martin) and Oliver (Martin Short) at The Arconia, and, though it pains me to say this, the episode feels like a waste of both stories. Charles and Oliver are surprised by a visit from Detective Williams (Da’Vine Joy Randolph), who questions them about Mabel’s involvement in Bunny’s murder. Between a few jokes and a brief performance of A Chorus Line, she discovers that they have the murder weapon. Mabel and Theo eventually find Glitter Guy – somehow Mabel doesn’t try to discover his identity, but she does find a picture of Charles and Lucy. Mabel, Oliver, and Charles finally meet back up at The Pickle Diner and discuss their findings, but are interrupted by a blackout. OMITB Season 2 Episode 7 had a lot of promise with its initial focus on Mabel and Theo; but other than revealing the photo of Charles and Lucy – which is a concerning development – nothing much happened. 

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Martin Short as Oliver and Steve Martin as Charles in Only Murders In the Building (COURTESY: Hulu)

We pick up OMITB Season 2 Episode 8 right where Episode 7 leaves off, in The Pickle Diner at the start of the blackout, with Charles trying to reach Lucy (Zoe Colletti) out of concern that the killer could be going after her. Only Murders podcast superfan Marv tells us in voiceover that he believes the killer could be the 6th Avenue Slasher, and that the Only Murders gang is in a rut. Meta-commentary on these last few episodes aside, Marv’s theory seems pretty off. Charles is frantic trying to reach Lucy, who was waiting in his apartment to surprise him, but their call is cut off before he can warn her about any danger. Chaos waits the group at The Arconia, where, yes, the residents are panicked about the blackout, but mostly they’re just concerned about the elevators not working. “Hello Darkness” gives us plenty more filler here. I’m excited that Arconia resident Howard gets a potential love interest, the back-and-forth between actual danger with our main trio and Howard’s evening with his new neighbor is a bit exhausting, especially after “Flipping the Pieces” was so light on plot. 

While Oliver, Mabel, and Charles struggle up the stairs, Lucy hears a noise and runs to hide in the passageway in Charles’ apartment. The gang makes it up, finds her gone, and naturally heads into the passage to try and find her. When they eventually do, Lucy confesses that she was at The Arconia the night of Bunny’s murder – she even saw the (masked) killer from afar. So of course a masked man appears and the gang runs to the lobby, where Mabel knocks him out, and, surprise…it’s Marv! He explains he was simply trying to protect Lucy from the 6th Avenue Slasher. 

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Zoe Margaret Colletti as Lucy and Michael Rapaport as Detective Kreps in Only Murders In the Building (COURTESY: Hulu)

As they chat, Lucy talks to Detective Kreps (Michael Rapaprt) about what happened, and explains the tunnels to him. Marv bumps into Kreps, who winces. As he turns away, Mabel notices a streak of red glitter on his neck. So we have the answer to Glitter Guy’s identity. It’s unclear whether Kreps has been working alone – while he’s been a sketchy character from the start, especially in his insistence that Mabel is guilty, Kreps doesn’t seem to have the smarts to pull all of this off. We end “Hello Darkness” on a high note, with the answer to a big question, but it isn’t quite enough to make up for the overall disjointedness of the last two episodes. 

OMITB Season 2 Episode 7 and 8 Ratings:

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