NOTE: This post contains spoilers for Only Murders in the Building season 2 episode 8, “Hello Darkness.” Read our previous Only Murders in the Building season 2 episode 7 recap right here.
A city-wide blackout provides the perfect cover for the killer to make their next move as Only Murders in the Building barrels close to its second season conclusion. While Mabel (Selena Gomez) thinks she knows who killed Bunny, there are still multiple loose ends, including the whereabouts of the original painting from Bunny’s (Jayne Houdyshell) apartment; Oliver’s (Martin Short) DNA results; and what Nina (Christine Ko) plans to do to the Arconia.
"Hello Darkness" opens at the Pickle Diner with the podcast super fans (known as the Arconiacs) sitting a few tables away from Mabel, Oliver and Charles (Steve Martin). Most of them are not as enamored with this recent investigation and they have even dabbled in listening to other podcasts. Marv (Daniel Oreskes) proclaims "OMITB for life" before launching into his 6th Avenue Slasher theory via voiceover.
Marv tries to tell the trio about the previous unsolved murders killer. Unfortunately, they have more pressing matters as they need to get back to Lucy (Zoe Colletti), alone in Charles’ apartment. Marv notes that a serial killer has a unifying effect within a community, but should we be concerned about his role in bringing people together?
It's chaos at the Arconia, as most of the residents are in the lobby panicking. It doesn’t help the overall mood that the elevators aren’t in action either. To Oliver's dismay, Charles’ apartment is on the 14th floor and he is quick to complain at every turn — about his knees (he is lugging a bay of heavy dips he was given at the Pickle Diner) and his fatherhood crisis. Mabel snaps Oliver out of his catastrophizing, reminding him that Lucy is in danger.
Mabel is handling the situation quite well considering what she has been through over the last few days. Alice’s (Cara Delevingne) name hasn’t come up in this or the previous episode, so while Mabel is happy to confront the past, she isn’t ready to address the artist's troubling interest in the murders at the Arconia. "Hello Darkness" excels at upping the creepy stakes and offering a closer look at some of the supporting players, but this season has a lot to cover in the final two episodes.
Arriving at Charles' apartment, alarm bells sound when they see a forced entry, an empty apartment and the entrance to the tunnels open. Luckily, Lucy knows the secret passageways. The maze-like layout offers an exhilarating game of cat and mouse, with a chase down the staircase to cap it off. Oliver’s dips are a handy weapon; "Is there nothing dips can’t do?" Oliver exclaims with joy.
The person Mabel strikes is Marv, who is playing citizen detective too. Marv knows all about this layout as he previously removed mold from this building. Some might call this a convenient excuse, but I buy this reasoning and his desire to crack this case is linked to the unsolved 6th Avenue Slasher. Marv is a classic case of someone who has fallen deep into true crime and wants to become the hero of this story by protecting Lucy. He is looking for validation and his presence reads as nothing more than wanting to get closer to the podcast he loves. Lucy backs his story and remarks that Marv scared the killer away.
When the power comes back on, Mabel runs into Detective Kreps (Michael Rapaport) in the lobby, claiming he was in the neighborhood. He noticeably winces when Howard (Michael Cyril Creighton) accidentally knocks him in the arm and Mabel spots red glitter behind his ear, a huge giveaway that he is Glitter Guy.
However, while we suggested last week that Kreps might be the killer, perhaps it is more likely he is trying to solve the case, or Only Murders is pulling a Scream and two people are working together. The show is keeping us guessing this season, as there are a lot of seemingly unconnected pieces of this puzzle at this time.
Amid the overall mystery, some lovely moments point to life in the co-op without the specter of death — it's hard to relax knowing there is a killer on the loose. Howard’s dating life gets a boost thanks to an impromptu date with a new sub-letter, Jonathan, although it is almost derailed by his cat allergies (Lucy mentioned she heard the killer sneeze). But not before Jonathan mentions hearing Howard practicing "Sound of Silence" the previous day.
What follows is a lovely group sing-along that ripples throughout the building, from the foyer to the hidden tunnels. Oliver should be more mindful of alerting the killer to his presence, but he can’t resist one of "the great breaks in folk rock history." Even Mabel joins in.
The song also acts as a lullaby for Nina’s crying baby, while the blackout gives her pause about building changes she has been contemplating. Talking with Lester the doorman, Nine is reminded how much Bunny loved everything about this building and its traditions. Lester represents the Arconia so well that Nina can’t help but give him a promotion to "Director of Resident Support."
With two episodes left, the list of suspects is still long. Yes, Detective Kreps is looking more and more likely but does he have a sneezing accomplice? Either way, Only Murders has made a strong case for why community is vital.