Who knew Bunny had a softer side?
On Only Murders In the Building Season 2 Episode 3, we witness a day in the life of Bunny Folger.
It’s a day like any other, apart from the fact that she is killed at the end, which just goes to show how often death comes unexpectedly.
It begs the question — if we knew the day we were living would be our last, would we keep going about our routine? Would we do anything differently?
Jayne Houdyshell is a top-tier actor, but she hasn’t always (ever?) been likable as Bunny Folger.
I just got Bunnyed!
However, we’ve only seen her as an adversary to our beloved trio, so we never truly saw her good side.
Bunny’s life wasn’t exciting, but it was hers.
You’d think it would be difficult to get invested in Bunny’s arc — contemplating a move to Florida, deciding against it, and fighting to keep her position as board president — knowing how it would end without resolution, thanks to her death.
This was not the case. Jayne Houdyshell gave Bunny such depth and warmth that it made her death positively tragic. No one, not even a “cranky old bitch” deserves to go out like that.
I’m not going to let those fuckers see me cry.
There was a gentle poignancy here that reminded us to appreciate every moment, for connections are to be had all around.
Bunny, for all her viciousness, craved connection but didn’t know how to follow through. Her interaction with Ivan, the waiter at the Pickle Diner, showed that, though she was too proud to let him see. Ultimately, she made him think she was just a benevolent old lady.
What was Bunny giving Ivan the money for? A tip, but was it genuine, simply an act of charity on her part, because he treated her well and was her regular server? Or was there more to it? Something tells me the trio will be interviewing Ivan before too long.
Don’t let yourself only love one thing — because if you only love one thing and that one thing goes away, well, then you’re left with nothing. And that sucks.
Then there was her interaction with the hot food seller, who wanted to watch a Knicks game with her. She brushed him off but probably would have enjoyed his company.
Bunny’s best friend is Uma, as we know. Both are cut from the same stock, with difficulty expressing feelings without abrasion, keeping their guard up again people away who actually mean them well. It’s a defense mechanism.
You could sense Uma’s roundabout plea to ask Bunny to stay, and Bunny took it to heart. Bunny had connections in New York. She wasn’t a fan of the heat, the Arconia was always her home, and she knew how to do her job better than anyone, so why change?
Mabel Mora: Bunny, you’re a badass.
Bunny Folger: And I thought I was a cranky old bitch.
The trio’s “part” in Bunny’s death might be why Charles feels so guilty.
Mabel wanted to invite Bunny in, but Charles waffled. In hindsight, asking her in could have mended some fences. There was nothing to lose except some face.
It’s a reminder that the potential for an awkward interaction can be worth it if it could prevent someone’s loneliness.
Houdyshell’s performance gives dimension to the foul-mouthed Bunny, proving that you can’t know what’s going on with your neighbors and how a small act of kindness can potentially save a life.
The need for connection has always been one of this show’s strongest themes.
Throughout this episode, Bunny tried many times to reach out, but few reached back.
The sweetest, saddest moment came just before Bunny’s death. She and her beloved bird, Mrs. Gambolini, her parrot, as they watched an old detective movie together.
Animal companionship can be a boon to those who feel alone, especially long-term ones like the decades-old Mrs. Gambolini.
Unfortunately, the parrot does not know who killed her owner after all — she was merely reciting a line from the last film she and Bunny watched together.
This episode was all about character building. We didn’t get too many clues as to the identity of the murderer, who was present, albeit with their face obscured.
The assailant was a person clearly known to Bunny, and it seems to imply it is the same person who wanted to buy her art — she barks at them both the same way, but then, she tends to bark at everyone!
This could be a deliberate misdirect. For all we know, she could have been yelling at her mother on the phone. One thing is for sure — she did not want to give up that painting!
This episode also saw the return of Will, Oliver’s son, who is following in his father’s footsteps and directing a play. This chance meeting at the diner also served as a remember of how the Arconia truly is in Bunny’s blood. She remembers everything about everyone.
It’s a pity she’s not around to solve her own murder — she could probably figure it out quickly!
This is about you holding the Arconia hostage until you’re dead.
Nina Lin appears to be our “act one” main suspect. Someone this guilty-looking couldn’t be the real murderer, could they? It’s too obvious.
However, investigations into Nina may lead the trio to some answers or, at the very least, the right questions. Nina’s insistence on taking the job certainly seems a bit heartless, especially given that she and Bunny had established what appeared to be a warm relationship between mentor and protégé.
Did the pregnant protégé make a pernicious power play?
However, on Only Murders In The Building Season 2 Episode 2, Nina did not seem that broken up about Bunny’s death, which was surprising now that we know their history.
Howard likely suspects Nina, given how quick he is to talk smack about her.
Some things to note this episode:
A pause on Howard’s minutes from the meeting reveals his even-cattier side (and no, I’m not referring to Sevelyn).
Jan’s surname is canonically Bellows, perfect for a bassoon player.
Fun fact: Yellow-headed amazons can live up to 80 years in captivity! So Mrs. Gambolini could easily be decades old.
A perfect, understated performance by Jayne Houdyshell elevated the themes of this episode beautifully.
It served as a reminder that the people who are merely background players in our lives have starring roles in their own shows. Each individual is on their own journey, and the most important thing we can do is offer kindness when we see someone in need.
Check on an elderly neighbor or reach out to someone who might be lonely. Do it for Bunny.
How did you feel about this episode? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Mary Littlejohn is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.