“My Life is Murder” has seven more episodes this season, and it’s entirely unclear how much more they can reveal about Lucy Lawless’s character by the end. In this episode, we find out not only does she have a brother (Martin Henderson), he’s a con man (a professional one like their dad), he’s in prison, and she moved from Australia to New Zealand to be some kind of a support system for him. All that information comes in one scene. Despite this episode going over all the mystery details twice like they’re trying to catch up with anyone coming into the episode late (seriously, was this practice a thing before streaming, and did I forget), the set-up on the brother stuff is phenomenally efficient.
Lawless isn’t much friendlier to Henderson than anyone else, and she’s just as cagey about what she’s filling her time in Auckland besides bringing him the occasional care package. “Murder” is usually a light, breezy, pretty mystery procedural, but Lawless is developing a rather interesting character this season. Though having a major backstory bombshell every episode helps.
The mystery this time is a dead drag queen (played by real-life drag queen Kita Mean), who may or may not have been murdered. It’s an unlikely electrocution situation, and copper Rawiri Jobe wants Lawless to figure it out, which means Lawless and Ebony Vagulans get to go clubbing. While Vagulans bonds with bartender Amanduh La (who’s delightful throughout), Lawless pisses off Mean’s widow, Elektra Shock, and her now promoted protege, Drew Blood, with all sorts of annoying questions.
The episode takes a really, really long time to answer the cause of death question, and a lot of it is just Lawless or Vagulans hounding someone with questions. Usually, the queens’ manager, Michelle Ang, who alternates prime suspect with Blood. See, Ang wanted Blood to replace Mean the whole time, but it’s Mean and Shock’s show.
Blood’s acting isn’t great, but Shock’s pretty good (the episode avoids having too many scenes with Shock to delay important mystery components), and Ang’s kind of great. Though only as a foil for Lawless. Ang tries being hostile to her; Lawless brings it back tenfold, always smirking through.
Not a lot of material for Jobe, other than an excellent flirtation scene.
It’s a rather good episode for “My Life is Murder;” Lawless getting character development is doing wonders for the season.