Only Murders in the Building
This week on Only Murders in the Building, Charles learns that Jan, the first person he has let into his life in years, is lying to him. And according to Mabel and Oliver’s investigation, Jan is probably the person who murdered Tim Kono. The killer is not only in the building — she’s in Charles’s bed. “Double Time,” the penultimate episode of the season, smoothly builds up to Jan’s secret. But that isn’t the only betrayal in the episode: The Arconia residents turn on the trio, and Charles feels betrayed by Oliver and Mabel, who are quick to trust anyone except Jan (though they were unknowingly onto something there).
Last week’s episode ended with Jan lying on the floor of her apartment stabbed, her fate unclear. But she’s fine: There has not been another murder in the building. “Double Time” immediately lets us know this, with a sensual voice-over from Jan about the bassoon while she sensually (of course) plays the bassoon. This intertwines with Charles taking care of Jan after the attack. Charles is furious at Oliver and Mabel for rushing the podcast and not listening to Jan’s alternate theories, so he wants out of the hosting and investigation gig. Jan means more to Charles now than the fame and praise of the podcast, which is significant growth from when we first met him in episode one. It’s just unfortunate that the person he has finally warmed up to is not only a sexy bassoon player but a liar and most likely a murderer.
Sazz Pataki (Jane Lynch), Charles’s stunt double on Brazzos, is in town for the stunt-double awards, and every year she stops by to visit Charles. Pataki has fought a gator, doubles for Tilda Swinton, wears the same little hat as Charles, and has a complicated history with him. Pataki has a high-energy, extroverted personality that challenges Charles’s stiffness and makes him jealous: He wishes it were as easy for him to be so likable. Charles tells Jan that Pataki was more popular on the set of Brazzos and that his ex-girlfriend Cookie left him for her. Later in the episode, Pataki tells Charles that Cookie left her, too, so that’s something else they have in common besides their measurements and their little hats. Throughout the episode, people mistake Pataki for Charles, which made me laugh every single time. Jane Lynch is a legend, people.
Mabel is doing exactly what she did with the tree she painted in her childhood bedroom. To get through the pain, she is painting residents of the Arconia in windows on the wall of her (aunt’s) apartment. With Tim Kono’s murderer still on the loose after getting so close with the Dimases, she’s still grief-ridden and anxious without closure on the case. As we see Mabel paint in a fabulous utility jumpsuit, we hear Oliver on the podcast explain the wrongful accusation of Teddy and Theo, although it looks like they are in trouble for Zoe’s death and their grave-robbing. But with the podcast’s huge mistake (which they likely made because they release episodes as they go and don’t have a fact-checker), there is some good news: The wrongful accusation of the Dimases means more episodes of Only Murders. The Arconiacs will be pleased. And me. In Mabel’s apartment, Oscar, who is meeting a lawyer to discuss clearing his name, says, “Am I the only one happy the Dimases got accused of something they didn’t do? Back at ya, fuckers.” Mabel agrees, but she has to finish this case to move on with her life. She still wants to find out what happened to her old friend, perhaps now more than before, considering she now knows Tim Kono wasn’t as terrible as she thought.
Before the Arconia residents’ meeting, Oliver gets an eviction notice. At the meeting, residents also vote to evict Charles and Mabel because of the chaos the podcast has caused. Instead of seeing that Charles, Oliver, and Mabel are trying to make the Arconia safer, they hate them for involving them and the building in the podcast. They complain that no one wants to come to the Arconia because it’s “the murder building.” Clients don’t want to see the therapist anymore, and children are afraid to sleep alone. Howard tries to defend them because the podcast helped him figure out his cat was poisoned with the same poison that killed Tim Kono, but he is bullied by Bunny into voting to evict. After the meeting, Charles quits the podcast. Oliver crashes on Mabel’s couch, and they continue to investigate without Charles.
Pataki plants the idea that leads Mabel and Oliver in the right direction to solve the case. Pataki, who learned more about true crime from Brazzos than Charles did, sees Tim Kono’s murder as a crime of passion because he was drugged and shot. According to Pataki, whoever killed Tim Kono wanted to see him suffer before blowing his brains out. “That requires premeditation, romantic fury,” she says. Oliver and Mabel immediately sing her praises and agree, while Charles suggests letting the police continue the investigation. Jan correctly but nervously points out that when she tried to help with the investigation, she was ignored and sent home to get stabbed. Not everyone can be Pataki, Jan!
As Oliver and Mabel go over the events on the day of Tim Kono’s murder, they realize he was holding someone else’s trash when they saw him in the elevator. They talk to Tim’s next-door neighbor, who confirms he was seeing someone she never saw (she only heard them, and it sounds like they had a good time). After speaking to the neighbor — whom they should have spoken to way earlier than this, but it’s fine — they take a closer look at Tim Kono’s sex toys and make their most important discovery: One of the items in Tim Kono’s sex-toy box is a bassoon cleaner. Ahhh!
Meanwhile, free of the obligations that come with the Only Murders podcast, Charles attends Jan’s concert against her wishes. Jan claims his presence would make her too nervous because she’s not at her best due to the stabbing. But Charles wants to see his sexy girlfriend play the bassoon, so he goes anyway. At the show, Charles discovers Jan is not the first-chair bassoonist for the symphony, like she said, which makes him twist in his seat in embarrassment. As Jan notices him in the audience, his nose begins to bleed, which happens when he’s anxious. And once again, Charles is reminded why he has avoided opening up to people in the first place: Just like Cookie and Emma, everyone will betray him anyway.
So until the season finale next week, we’re left hanging with Big Information: Jan is Tim Kono’s former lover and killer. This means I can finally say “I told you so”! This plot development also frees me from the guilt that came with accusing national treasure Amy Ryan of playing a murderer for several weeks. It feels good to be right, but knowing that I wasn’t falsely accusing an innocent character of a crime feels better.
• I would have never counted on Oliver screaming “Sex toys, sex toys” earlier in the season to matter so much in the long run. But here we are! This show is so special.
• Although I suspected Jan from the start, the reveal was surprising, and it’s still unclear why Jan killed Tim Kono. But my theory is that it has to do with Mabel coming back to the Arconia.
• It makes sense that Oliver, the director of Splash the musical, thinks stunt doubles know everything. And maybe they do.
• All of the performances on this show are extremely good, but Amy Ryan’s must be noted. The way she has played up Jan’s charm with a mixture of her sinister energy that makes you a little bit suspicious while also assuming she’s probably completely innocent is clever and unparalleled. I am very much looking forward to what she does next week. I’m thrilled the show provided the Jan reveal before the finale so that Amy Ryan gets an entire television episode to chew the scenery as an evil person.