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Excellent.
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The first three two episodes of season two have been released; accordingly:

* SPOILERS FOR S02E01 - S02E02 START HERE *

I've watched the first two so far. Overall a really enjoyable start to the season.

I read some reviews that said (spoiler tags since it assesses more of the season than has been released:

the show isn't quite as interested in the mystery this season as in season one.

I've seen no evidence of that in the first two episodes.

They seem to be constructing quite a puzzle box around the painting. I assume that will last until whatever buried secret related to the paining is revealed, but so far I like the classical-mystery feel of the subject. As they were carrying the canvas around and it wiggled and shook and obviously was not well-framed, I kept thinking "this does not seem like a milliion-dollar piece of art". That may have just been a set dressing issue but at least it's consistent with the painting actually being a print.

I wasn't a fan of Mabel keeping Bunny's last word -- "Savage" -- from the other two at the end of episode one. After all they've been through, she can't possibly doubt Charles or Oliver and there was no reason to keep it from them. Glad they took care of that right away in episode two.

As soon as they introduced the bird, I wondered in which episode it would be that it would say something startling that... sends the case in a whole new direction. Mentally I pegged it at episode four or five. Maybe it will have more than one thing to say, but episode two was certainly earlier than I expected. Looks like episode three dives into what the bird meant by "I know who did it."

Shirley MacLaine! Fun.

Cara Delvigne is quite striking. Whoa.
 

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I wasn't a fan of Mabel keeping Bunny's last word -- "Savage" -- from the other two at the end of episode one. After all they've been through, she can't possibly doubt Charles or Oliver and there was no reason to keep it from them. Glad they took care of that right away in episode two.
In episode one Mabel had only remembered Bunny's second to last word - "Fourteen" and told them. I don't think she remembered "Savage" until right before she told them in episode two. Charles Savage lives on the 14th floor. Bunny knew somebody was after the original painting (the greeting card Oliver found). Maybe Bunny had the print made as a decoy and hid the original. Maybe she was trying to tell Mabel where the original was hidden. The only reason she would hide it in Charles' apartment of all places would be if she knew Charles' connection to the painting.

Murder Board! Murder Board! Murder Board!
 

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Which in real story time was right before she rushed to Charles' apartment for the conversation about the painting which happened at the beginning of episode two. Granted, there was a flashback interlude about the history of Charles' father at the Arconia in between.
 

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Excellent.
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
* SPOILERS THROUGH S02E04 FROM HERE *

I was a little skeptical going into E03, "Bunny's Last Day", because I thought the specialty episodes in season one, where the lens was mostly on other characters than the main trio, were a bit up and down. This one was really good though, and did a god job of showing Bunny as a complete and fairly sympathetic person despite her abrasive side that we had mostly seen up until then. Not really surprised that Mrs. Gambolini's "I know who did it" was a red herring, although I won't be shocked if we haven't heard the last from the parrot. I watched this one over a week ago and don't remember much more to say about it, but it was a pleasant surprise.

E04, "Here's Looking at You", meanwhile, is one of my favorite episodes of the entire series. Funny, heartfelt, and some good development of the mystery. This one had it all. Lucy was a terrific character and I hope we see her again. The small scene with her and Mabel, where Mabel suddenly was the Charles/Oliver to Lucy's Mabel, was priceless. Selena Gomez was wonderfully flustered at realizing she had aged out of the demo she thought she was in. That was truly funny.

The secret passageways are maybe a teeny bit convenient for the plot but I can forgive that. I wasn't clear if Lucy actually told Charles about the guy she saw in there (or didn't quite see) following Bunny's murder or not. But I appreciated how Charles is no dummy and knew while they were standing at the car that she knew more than she was saying, regardless.

Nina's water breaking, to their horror, was another funny bit. Charles puts the tartan blanket down and Oliver is aghast: "That's Gertie's blanket!"

Nathan Lane saying the f-word about twenty times in threatening Oliver.

So Nina is apparently off the hook. We never did find out how (I forget his name) got that black eye. We'll be coming back to that for sure. It was a clever and funny distraction to have him stand under the knife in the ceiling so they, and we, would not pay attention to what he came to say, and let him leave without saying it.

Lots of good warm work between Charles and Lucy, Lucy and Mabel, and Oliver and his son. The show firing on all cylinders.
 

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Skin cancer I need like a hole in the head.
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I don't remember who Lucy is. Is she the daughter of Charles ex-girlfriend? And who did Charly visit in prison at the end of the episode? Her face looked familiar. Was she in the first season?
 

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I don't remember who Lucy is. Is she the daughter of Charles ex-girlfriend? And who did Charly visit in prison at the end of the episode? Her face looked familiar. Was she in the first season?
Ex-girlfriend or maybe ex-wife, but yes.

And that was Jan, the killer from last season.
 

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Ex-girlfriend or maybe ex-wife, but yes.

And that was Jan, the killer from last season.
Thanks for the info. To be honest, I couldn't remember anything about the end of season 1, including who the killer was. So I looked up a description of season 1 episode 10 and it all came back to me.
 

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So those were a fun couple of episodes. I like Lucy and hope we see her again. Her scene with Mabel was hilarious.

Teddy's back! I loved nathen lane's use of the F bomb so many time in talking to Oliver. Martin Short's expression had me and my GF cracking up.

I wonder how much of this is ad-libbed. there was one scene where Oliver was talking about something so off-the-wall I was sure it had to be ad-libbed.
 

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So those were a fun couple of episodes. I like Lucy and hope we see her again. Her scene with Mabel was hilarious.
I loved the fact that in this series where much of the humor is derived from the generation gap between Mabel & the Two Amigos, now Mabel is experiencing a different sort of generation gap with Lucy. I hope she comes back as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
* SPOILERS FOR S02E05 “The Tell” START HERE *

This was another strong episode in a strong season so far. I’m thinking back to the reviews I read at the start of the season, which were positive but also had an air of “something can only be new once”. Granted those reviewers got the first eight episodes and we’ve only seen five so far, but to this point I think season two is better than season one and I am enjoying it immensely. It feels completely self-assured and the creativity is even deeper.

For example, I really enjoyed the “blackout!” switching back and forth from seventies to present-day set dressing and costuming during the Son of Sam game. That whole sequence and the editing were really well done. Great showcase for Martin Short as well. The “he always knows when someone is lying” is a bit out of left field and would have come in handy last season, but that’s OK. If Cara Delvigne really was the Son of Sam, when and how did she switch out the card? I think she’s a red herring and not the killer, but they are making clever use of her character.

Speaking of Martin Short and Oliver, I think they are doing really good character work this season. I like how Oliver is in his own heightened reality a lot of the time, and this lets him deal with curveballs in actual reality much more easily. When Mabel said she had been on a couple of dates with Alice, it was great how that comment visibly stripped all of Charles’ gears, but Oliver understood immediately and rolled with it.

The one bit I am not sure about is Charles re-engaging with Jan. I thought his first visit with her in the prison was a good scene, with him at the proper reserve; but the more intimate subsequent phone call didn’t quite ring true. Even a lonely guy like Charles wouldn’t start falling again for the woman who tried to kill him, would he?
 
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