Mabel Mora certainly knows how to put a puzzle together.
On Only Murders In the Building Season 2 Episode 9, several reveals (some more shocking than others) come into play, setting up the endgame of this season's mysteries.
Let's pick our jaws up off the floor and take a look at the evidence.
Michael Rapaport plays Detective Kreps as the typical New York cop. Rapaport is a great casting choice -- this is solidly in his lane. His monologues feel authentic, 100% New York.
He's jaded, a little dirty, crooked, scrappy, and lives in the Bronx because that's the only place he can afford on a cop's salary, even with supplemental income. He's like the anti-Brazzos.
That supplemental income is a vital part of the mystery, though just how much it will figure remains to be seen. As the Glitter Guy, he was the one picking up the evidence from Morningside Park.
The Chicken Chug logo connects him to Chickasha, Becky, and Cinda, so that was a sloppy move leaving those around -- but then again, he probably didn't expect Mabel to come snooping around his gym.
Also, Kreps said he wouldn't give anything away, but he clearly wants to brag about how clever he is and how he snagged the "smartest woman in the world."
But how did she change his life so dramatically? They clearly aren't on the best terms now, although he still feels entitled to demand she stops making podcasts. This request makes more sense now, in that Kreps has a sore spot regarding true-crime podcasts.
Every once in a while, you meet someone, and everything changes. You see a gal in a bar, or a guy, if that’s your thing, and you toss out some Cary Grant BS, like, “What brings someone like you to a joint like this?” And she, or he, if that’s your thing, they smile at you, and your whole goddamn universe turns upside down.Detective Kreps
Did Kreps and Cinda have an affair? What does she hold over him -- the knowledge that he planted evidence? How much did he tamper with? Is that why he's scared of her? Does Kreps know Poppy is Becky?
The most fun scenes came when Mabel confronted Kreps. Fearlessly, she insulted him, picking him apart and threatening him.
Who are you supposed to be? Rocky Zero? Great White Dope? Raging Bullshitter?Mabel Mora
Gomez's stature is diminutive up against Rapaport's towering 6' 2½" frame. Still, Mabel held her ground and never wavered, even in the ring (thanks to twice-a-week cardio boxing classes) as they sparred verbally and trained together.
With what Mabel's been through, he doesn't scare her because she knows how to get to him. These "sparring partners" scenes were gripping, with their interplay, and how they kept trying to intimidate and break the other.
However, Kreps is the cop, and the system will inevitably side with him since things look extremely dicey for Mabel right now (he's right about that). She's confident she can outwit him -- she has to.
Until Poppy's final warning, Mabel doesn't realize how dangerous the situation actually is.
The Mabel-Alice (#Malice) plotline has seemingly resolved.
Though we didn't get much explanation as to why Alice did what she did, we can glean the obvious -- she was obsessed with Mabel and her story, and she tried to make art out of Mabel's trauma.
There is still intensity between them, but Mabel made the right choice in cutting Alice off. With all the instability in her life, Mabel didn't need someone else around with whom she felt unsure.
I don’t want my life to be all about the worst parts of it. I have more to offer than that.Mabel Mora
Alice's parting gift, the Mabel puzzle painting, emulating the Frido Kahla portrait, wins the prize for the season's most beautiful painting. This brings us to…
The Rose Cooper reveal!
The woman claiming to be Leonora isn't Bunny's mother at all. Shirley MacLaine was the missing artist Rose Cooper.
It makes sense, though I didn't see it coming until it was right there. MacLaine has been so "out of sight, out of mind," and the painting plotline felt like an afterthought.
I hope that you charge rent to the people inside your head. You’d make a fortune.Rose Cooper
However, the hidden painting underneath it, which gave Charles some needed closure on understanding his dad's true nature, was touching. The elder Savage may have been a scoundrel, but he was trying to do better, and he was something of a hero despite his faults.
But why did Cinda want the painting? Was it worth killing Bunny over?
There is so much more to Poppy White than we could have imagined.
In another reveal that I did not see coming at all, it turns out that Poppy is, in fact, Becky Butler. Butler is the missing (presumed dead?) woman who was the subject of All Is Not OK In Oklahoma, Cinda Canning's true-crime podcast that bonded Charles, Mabel, and Oliver in Season 1.
This reveal was huge, but there have barely been any mentions of Cinda's original podcast this season, except in Only Murders In The Building Season 2 Episode 6.
It's an inspired bombshell but feels a little out of left field. This is the answer to a mystery we didn't even realize was a part of the puzzle, so how will it figure into Bunny's murder?
If Kreps was the Glitter Guy, was Poppy the texter? Was Cinda framing the trio? Was Poppy always a mole, working with Cinda because she's afraid but wanting to do the right thing? Or was Kreps the texter, and if so, why?
Who was looking out for Oliver and Charles as Bunny was getting stabbed? Was it merely Poppy with a conscience?
And how will the painting figure in all this? Will any of Ivan's co-workers be able to confirm the identity of Bunny's lunch date as Cinda or Kreps?
We need answers!
For those who care, the resolution to Oliver's DNA saga is revealed.
Oliver finds out the results and tells those closest to him -- Oliver, Mabel, and Will -- that he is Will's father. Only Teddy and Roberta know that Oliver is not Greek, and Will is Teddy's biological son.
I am so Greek I could go bankrupt, and no one in the world would help me.Oliver Putnam
Teddy was unaware and only found out when Oliver attempted to strangle him in the elevator (featuring Michael Cyril Creighton as Howard, ever the scene stealer!) which made them the second set of "sparring partners" in the episode.
The former friends hash it out and bury the hatchet over some wine. So, I guess they're friends again?
Aren’t we square at this point? You send me to jail, I fuck your wife.Teddy Dimas
It seems strange that Teddy wouldn't want a relationship with his biological son, but maybe his betrayal of Oliver weighs heavily enough on him to give that up.
Also, it's probably worth it to him to keep mending fences with Theo rather than start afresh with someone who already has a loving father.
It's debatable whether Oliver made the right decision in lying to Will (and that's being generous), but he's so afraid of losing that connection that he's probably not thinking straight.
Teddy Dimas: On your worst day, you didn’t drag your son into a criminal enterprise or cover up his involvement in someone’s death.
Oliver Putnam: True. But I did recently encourage him to get involved in the theater.
This plotline may rear its head again in Season 3, and Will will eventually find out, but we can let it lie for now.
It's hard to believe it's come down to this -- only one more episode remains in Season 2!
Who do you think will be the central figure in the season finale? Will we find out more about Poppy/Becky's past? And will we ever see Amy Schumer (or Oscar) again?
What are your theories on how this all shakes out, Arconiacs?
Let us know in the comments!
Mary Littlejohn Mary Littlejohn is a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She loves television, cinema, and theatre (especially musicals!), particularly when it champions inclusivity, diversity, and social justice. Follow her on Twitter.