Poppy (Adina Verson) and Cinda (Tina Fey) in Only Murders In the building

Mabel's Past Came Back To Haunt Her On Only Murders

She can't catch a break this season.

by Ani Bundel
Patrick Harbron/Hulu

Only Murders in the Building’s first season was a delight, but there was one detail some critics found irritating. Since Mabel, Charles, and Oliver are really bad at solving cases, they end up constantly following red herrings. For Season 2, the show has taken that complaint to heart. Instead of the show throwing in red herrings to distract fans, the characters do it instead — like Jimmy Russo, who Cinda Canning dredged up in Only Murders Season 2, Episode 6.

Warning: Spoilers for Only Murders In the Building Season 2, Episode 6 follow. Episode 6, “Performance Review,” is the first time the series has gone inside the Cinda Canning operation. Told from the point of view of Cinda’s assistant, Poppy, fans got a look at Cinda making her professionally recorded podcast Only Murderers In the Building episodes, in contrast to the main trio’s cobbled-together method for their show Only Murders In the Building.

Cinda’s current podcast episode for her rival show focused on Mabel, as it has done for the last few. This time, she managed to dig up a scuzzy weasel from Mabel’s past named Jimmy Russo. However, it wasn’t Cinda Canning who dug him up. It was Poppy. As became clear in the episode, Poppy is the brains behind the show, the one making it tick, while Cinda reaps all the glory.


The decision to pull up Jimmy Russo wasn’t one of which Poppy was particularly proud. He’s a misogynistic jerk clearly in it for the 15 minutes of fame and was already making passes at Poppy the first chance he got.

Jimmy claimed in Cinda’s episode that “Bloody Mabel” is a “bloody monster” who chopped off his middle finger when they were working together, for no reason at all. Mabel was outraged when she heard this. As she told Oliver and Charles, Jimmy was a handsy creep who thought he could feel up the female employees in the kitchen, and the first time she pushed back at him, he lost his balance and lost his finger in the deli slicer.

But no one ever said Canning let the truth get in the way of ratings. (Well, actually, Canning did, but no one believed her.) As Poppy warned Mabel toward the episode’s end, Canning was obsessed with Mabel. She saw Mabel as a threat to her empire that needed to be taken down, and a ratings magnet if shown to be a good-looking bloodthirsty young woman. These two goals are in perfect alignment, and Mabel better be careful before Cinda has the whole of New York City convicting her without evidence.

Only Murders In The Building Season 2 continues with new episodes streaming weekly every Tuesday on Hulu.