The mystery is getting more intriguing with each episode.
Let’s dive into episode 5. I really liked this episode.
I knew that I would like this episode as soon as it started because I like the idea of people having “tells.”
Oliver introduces a party game that he used to love called The Son of Sam.
How do you play?
Well everyone at the party is given a card, someone will get the killer’s card and when the lights go out, the “killer” will kill someone else in the game.
The game then becomes a process of elimination as more and more people drop out, the remaining players have to try to keep from being found out.
I really like this idea because this kind of game allows one to see who has a good poker face and who doesn’t, or as Oliver would say, this game allows you to see if someone has a “tell”.
What is a tell? A tell is a nervous little habit that one does when they’re lying. Someone might subconsciously play with their hair or fiddle with their clothes or bite their lip when they’re lying, and this little “tell” is how you know that this person is being untruthful.
So, we know from the very start of this episode that this game is important and it will likely come up again, and it does, in Mabel’s apartment.
I mentioned in my discussion of episodes 3 & 4 that Mabel has been getting to know Alice. The two characters are dating, and while Charles and Oliver are happy for Mabel, they are also a little wary.
Charles and Oliver are unsure of whether or not they can trust Alice. They are being extra cautious because of all the chaos that is taking place in their lives at the moment, and they also find the timing of Alice’s arrival a little suspicious. It is important to say that it is Oliver who is more suspicious. Charles is happy for Mabel and he just wants what is best for her, however he does agree with Oliver’s questioning.
Personally, as an audience member, I agreed with Oliver’s suspicions.
I’ve said it already, but I want to say it again, I think that Cara Delavigne is doing a brilliant job. I think she is playing Alice very well. Alice is a slick, sexy, confident character and Cara delivers every line in a very intentional manner. She is a very engaging presence, especially when she is speaking to Mabel, and Cara has this very intense stare that is almost piercing. I just think that she makes such an impression every time she is onscreen. You cannot help but pay attention to her, so I really like Alice’s character, however I also felt the timing was questionable.
Mabel and her friends are being framed for murder, they are being questioned, Mabel in particular is trending on social media, there is a lot going on in her life. If I were Mabel, I wouldn’t exactly be jumping into a new relationship, and Mabel has opened up a few times this season about her trust issues. Mabel wants to explore art, she wants to become more of an artist. She wants her life to be about more than just violence and death. She wants to move on. Alice understands and shares her love for art. Alice makes her happy and makes her feel normal. Mabel enjoys her company, so she sees this new development in her personal life as a welcome distraction. Fair enough, however because at this point in time, the writers have kept Alice fairly vague, I’m still questioning if she can be trusted.
Oliver says no. He thinks that Alice is hiding something and to prove it, he gets everyone involved in a game of The Son of Sam.
This part of the episode is fabulous. Charles and Oliver have crashed Mabel’s artist party in her apartment and during the game, everyone is transformed into a 70s look. It’s a quick process of elimination, lights on, lights off, again and again, until only Alice and Mabel are left. Oliver accuses Alice of hiding something, he points out her “tells”, he puts her on the spot and she finally confesses her truth.
Alice has been lying to Mabel…about her background. Alice didn’t go to a fancy school or come from a privileged upbringing. She felt the need to embellish her life story in order to make an impression in the art world, in order to make a name for herself.
Oliver feels guilty as he thought he would be exposing something more murderous, however Mabel is still furious with him for embarrassing Alice in front of everyone.
Mabel makes Alice promise that from now on there will be no more secrets between them and Alice agrees, however the episode ends with the camera showing us, the viewers, the inside of Alice’s bag, where she has hidden the Son of Sam card.
This moment shows us that Alice managed to cheat in the game and hide that she was the “killer”. This indicates to us that she is still hiding something and not being completely honest with Mabel.
In the meantime, Charles has his own love troubles. He’s still visiting Jan in prison and he reveals how inept he is at relationships because he says that the two never officially broke up even though she went to jail for murder. He has mixed feelings because he’s lonely and despite everything, the romantic feelings he once had for Jan didn’t just disappear.
Deceit seems to be the common thread of this episode because Oliver is faced with a DNA test when he learns that his son may not actually be his biological son.
Let’s jump into episode 6.
This is another character episode. The show likes to give us an insight into different characters. This time, we got a glimpse into the world of Poppy. Cinda Canning’s overworked and extremely underappreciated assistant.
Cinda is determined to air a podcast that will get big numbers tuning in, she does not care about the truth, and she is happy to paint Mabel as a violent loose cannon with a history of snapping.
The gang face some more personal issues in episode 6, alongside putting together a plan to try to trap the killer and figure out at last who is trying to set them up.
Oliver takes his DNA test and anxiously waits for the results and Charles realises that he must end things once and for all with Jan.
This leads me to my favourite part of this episode. That’s right everyone. Jane Lynch is back. She is utterly brilliant in her role as Saz, Charles’ stunt double. I just love Jane Lynch. I think she is a fantastic comedian. The way she delivers lines with such a straight face always cracks me up. I love the running gag that Saz is a better Charles. Saz does what Charles cannot do, physically and emotionally, which leads me to discuss the glorious scene in which Saz goes to visit Jan in jail, to break up with her on behalf of Charles.
Jane Lynch commits to this bit. She embodies this role and everything is perfect, from her lines, to her mannerisms, to her costumes, it’s just brilliant.
I never once imagined that I would see a show in which Jane Lynch is acting as the stunt double for Steve Martin, but it has happened, and it is the bit that I didn’t know I needed.
I would imagine that these scenes were so much fun to film, and I’d like to think that the actors had a great time working together because the energy onscreen certainly comes across that way.
Remember when I said that episode 5 implied that Alice is still lying?
Let’s talk about how episode 6 ended.
Our trio set a trap for the murderer. A glitter bomb, however the three are so busy chatting that they get distracted and they miss the murderer. Annoyed that they missed their chance to find out who this person is, Mabel decides to go home however when she gets to her apartment she is greeted by a strange scene. Alice has recreated moments of Mabel’s life, specifically tragic moments. There’s a party scene from the night Oscar was arrested. Alice herself is dressed up as Mabel from the night of Bunny’s murder, and she has an actor playing Bunny lying on the floor. Alice panics when she sees Mabel, because Mabel “wasn’t supposed to see it like this”. She starts rapidly throwing out an explanation, something about examining trauma through an artistic lens however her voice becomes muffled as Mabel drowns her out. She stops listening. She feels lied to. She leaves the apartment so hurt and so upset. A distraught Mabel is sitting on the subway when she sees a figure dressed in all black, and covered in glitter. It’s the one who got away from the trio earlier. Mabel decides to confront him. The episode ends with bizarre footage of Mabel supposedly stabbing this person on the subway, footage that ends up on TikTok so “Bloody Mabel” will be trending once more.
I enjoyed episodes 5 & 6. I’ll be honest, while I thought it was an okay story, I wish more was done with Poppy. I appreciated her storyline. Poppy represents so many people who are overworked and underpaid by arrogant bosses who will never admit that they could not do what they do without their assistance. I hope she decides to ditch Cinda and help our trio discover the truth. Maybe this moment of Poppy seeing Cinda’s true colours will be important later. I’m not sure yet. I enjoyed her as a character, it just felt a little side-tracked in my opinion. I will say, Tina Fey does a good job of playing an arrogant boss. She is not in the show too much but she always makes her mark.
I’m very interested to see what the writers do with Alice. It’s safe to guess that Mabel will feel used and betrayed. I’m curious about the angle that they’re going to take with Alice. Is she just an artist who had this grand idea and then she got swept away in it? Are they going to try to spin this as a positive thing? I hope not. I love art and I understand that acknowledging one’s pain can be a cathartic part of the creative process but Alice deciding to study trauma through an artistic lens by specifically studying and making a piece out of Mabel’s very personal trauma is wrong, especially when Mabel opened up to her about her trust issues. At the moment, I feel this move makes Alice’s character feel disingenuous. Did she reach out to Mabel because she liked her art and wanted to meet? Or did she reach out because she was fascinated by Mabel and wanted to make art out of her story but felt that she needed to get close to her to do that? Is this her only secret or is she connected to Bunny’s death? I want answers.
I’m also curious about Oliver and his son. It looks as though Oliver’s wife had an affair with Teddy Dimas and Oliver’s son might be Teddy’s son, but he’s still waiting on his DNA result to come back. I wonder where this storyline will go if Oliver’s son turns out to be biologically Teddy’s and whether or not this plot will have anything to do with the murder.
As I’m writing this review, I have watched episode 7.
I plan to write about episodes 7 & 8 together. At this point in time, I still don’t have a guess about who I think the killer is. I think it is a man, based on height, build, and the hands of the figure who Mabel was chasing, but I don’t know who it is. I don’t even have guesses about who that figure may be.
Is it someone we already know? Is it someone who we don’t know but they’re connected somehow? I’m determined to lock in a guess before the final two episodes, and by then I hope the clues start coming together.
If I’m remembering correctly, this time last season, I had guessed Jan. I didn’t lock it in until the second last episode but I always felt that Jan protested too much and tried to put the focus on others a little too often, and that made me wary of her. This time I don’t have an idea yet, but maybe others do so please, if you have thoughts and theories, let me know.
Oscar still has not appeared, nor has he been mentioned. I’m losing hope that he will appear.
I’m aware I could look it up and find out if the actor left the show, however I don’t want to look up anything about the show at all because I want my discussions to be based solely off of my thoughts after watching the episodes. If I found out now that Oscar isn’t in the show because the actor couldn’t come back for whatever reason, that’ll just disappoint me more, so I’d rather watch and hope he arrives, or at the very least, I hope he’s mentioned in more detail.
I’m planning to talk about my overall thoughts on season 2 once all the episodes have aired and I get my answers, but for now I’ll say that in my opinion, the show has done a really good job of building a suspenseful mystery in season two. I feel it’s more complex, and I think it has been much harder to guess this time, which is impressive as this demonstrates how the show has upped its game since season one.
What has been your favourite moment of season 2 so far? I’d love to know.