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#Only Murders In the Building Season 1 Episode 6 Review: To Protect and Serve

#Only Murders In the Building Season 1 Episode 6 Review: To Protect and Serve

There are many delightful twists and turns on Only Murders In the Building Season 1 Episode 6! 

Not only did the plot seriously progress, but there was time for some beautiful character moments as well.

It feels like we’re getting that much closer to solving the mystery of Tim Kono’s murder.

Dinner Guests - Tall - Only Murders In The Building

Oh, my God, the twists and turns of this are unbelievable. It’s like a rainbow crafted by a drunken leprechaun.

I was right in that I predicted different voiceovers from a new character each episode, but I was pleasantly surprised to get the perspective of Detective Williams (Da’Vine Joy Randolph), the policewoman who closed Tim Kono’s case.

The detective’s voiceover focuses on loneliness — how it is part of the human condition to be alone. Little does she know how much she has in common with our trio, who were all solitary beings before Tim’s death brought them together. 

We’re born alone, spend most of our time alone, then we all go out alone.
Detective Williams

It seems like a random choice at first to give this character so much screen time, but it cleverly highlights another theme that runs through the episode — true crime is always true for someone. Death has a lasting effect on the living — friends, family, even those tasked with holding murderers accountable.

Williams humanizes the aspect we sometimes forget when we get sucked into the genre — someone suffered and died for this entertainment. No wonder she hates true crime. 

Detective Williams - Only Murders In The Building Season 1 Episode 6

Meeting Mabel’s mom really stresses just how stunted Mabel has been in the years since Zoe’s death. She is right, though — now that Charles and Oliver know how much Tim and Zoe meant to Mabel, it would be insensitive of them to continue exploiting her personal tragedy. 

It’s definitely cool to see Mabel’s old bedroom, complete with childhood art projects. It’s clear she had squandered potential, but that is what trauma does to people. She may not have gone to prison like Oscar, but she still had trouble reassimilating and figuring out what to do with her life.

Solving Tim’s murder may give Mabel closure, but it also might somehow solve the mystery of Zoe’s death.

Oscar and Mabel, despite how they feel about each other, are linked by a horrible incident from their past. They haven’t seen each other in ten years, but shared trauma creates powerful intimacy. However, it can’t be the only basis of a relationship, and it feels like deep down Mabel knows that.

Oscar just wants to avoid discussing it, but Mabel needs resolution, especially if they are to move forward as a couple.

Oscar And The Tree Of Life - Only Murders In The Building Season 1 Episode 6

For a brand new character, Mabel’s mother (Mandy Gonzalez) has several important scenes.

First, she expresses concern that Mabel is living in the past, which is true, and she is worried her daughter has no future. She definitely infantilizes Mabel in the way she speaks to her, but it seems to come from a place of concern rather than control. 

Later, we learn that Mabel’s mother blames herself for Mabel’s state. She thought she was doing right by Mabel by sending her off the Manhattan on school breaks to stay at the Arconia.

Mabel’s mother is also suspicious of Charles and Oliver’s interest in her daughter. Once she speaks with them, though, it’s clear they care for her in a more parental way. The way they list her positive attributes is just so darn wholesome. Mabel’s mother intuits that they will do what’s best for Mabel, even if it means leaving her alone.

You know, it’s a law of nature. Nothing good ever happens on Long Island.

(I’d like to point out here that Mabel’s mother both serves dinner to her guests AND protects her daughter. It’s not just Detective Williams who ‘protects and serves.’)

On The Defensive - Only Murders In The Building Season 1 Episode 6

It’s clear Mabel has always been a bit morbidly-inclined, even before the deaths of her friends.

Women who knock rarely make history.

Her obsession with true crime became a way to channel that into something more removed from herself. Investigating Tim’s murder is a way to utilize the skills and interests she has, while at the same time righting a wrong and finding out the truth about a death that has haunted most of her adult life.

When she says goodbye to Oliver and Charles, you can see how moved she is by their words, and it makes her realize she feels the same. She’s alive in a way she hasn’t been for a long time. Yes, they are old, but they really are her friends. 

Mabel: I’m a stranger that lied to you a bunch and you’re two randos that dragged me into a podcast.

Oliver: Rando is a slang for a person of no significance.

Charles: I used context clues but thank you.

Steve Martin and Selena Gomez do well navigating this strange friendship, one that could come off as creepy but finally settles and solidifies into genuine caring. Charles knows he was being selfish, which is why he’s ready to give up on this thing he loves, for Mabel’s sake.

I think Charles sees some of Lucy in Mabel — he’s in a quasi-fatherly role and so he has to act like it. This isn’t the first time he’s put someone else’s well-being ahead of his own. We get a depth to Charles’s heart now that speaks to his character after his immature behavior in Only Murders In The Building Season 1 Episode 5.

Thoughtful Mabel - Only Murders In The Building

More Nathan Lane! Yes! Teddy Dimas is back — along with cameos from Tina Fey once again, and Jimmy Fallon of all people. Sure, why not? 

Nathan Lane can weave a yarn like no one else. Expository monologues are usually full of clues, so it will be interesting to see what the story of Yaya Evangalia yields — other than the fact that Teddy might be Tim’s black-market jewelry dealer. This could be a promising lead to follow.

I’m wondering now, is it possible that Teddy was also a client of Tim’s investment firm? A little back and forth? There’s got to be something there. Since Teddy is an investor in so many things, it would make sense.

Hearkening back to Episode 5, what seemed like a throwaway mention might actually mean something more. Charles and Oliver were bantering about another podcast — “Daddy’s Little Helper.” I still think there’s the possibility that a father-duo could be behind it all. As I’ve said, there have been subtle signs since the beginning.

It could all be a coincidence, but all I’m saying is — don’t sleep on Theo. Maybe Teddy and his son were in it together. 

Teddy - Only Murders In The Building Season 1 Episode 6

Oliver continues to be hilariously meta as always, delivering on-point opening and closing lines. Oliver is by nature selfish and ambitious, but even he shows his softer side here.

Oliver: Apparently people still watch live TV. Where was this audience when I directed Godspell Live on NBC?

Charles: That was you?

Oliver: No, but it should have been.

What’s becoming more apparent is that Charles, Oliver, and Mabel really are friends now, not just random people brought together by a common interest. They know each other’s secrets. They have a foundation of trust, which they can build upon.

As the podcast gains popularity, the trio will undoubtedly face more hurdles and dangers. But they have Tim’s phone now, thanks to Detective Williams. No doubt they’ll figure out the password, somehow, and unearth more secrets. 

Where do you think all this is heading? And who will be our next voiceover narrator? Share your thoughts and theories in the comments!

Mary Littlejohn is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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