This episode’s a mad-libs of murder mysteries; the victim’s found in a statue, one of the suspects is a billionaire tech jackass, and there’s an environmental angle in addition to a jealousy one. None of those items listed actually have anything to do with the actual motive. I forgot why the killer did the deed. I had to go back and look it up. And even then, I had to go over it another time because the motive’s slimmer than any of the red herrings.
And even though there’s a lot of guest star Craig Hall—as the dipshit billionaire—who thinks Lucy Lawless finds him irresistible, which gives Lawless plenty of opportunities to talk smack to her pals about him, the real story is Tatum Warren-Ngata. She’s a gamer and hacker friend of Ebony Vagulans, who went to Paris on mysterious business between last episode and this one. Vagulans has a couple of scenes, FaceTiming with Lawless from her very much not in Paris, France flat, albeit with an Eiffel Tower establishing shot. Warren-Ngata’s good and annoying in the right way to be a techy sidekick to Lawless, but….
I really hope Vagulans isn’t leaving the show.
“Murder”’s got another seven episodes, plenty of time to do a subplot for Vagulans, but also plenty of time to exit Vagulans. Maybe have her back for the finish. The show changed some regular cast between seasons one and two when the action moved from Australia to New Zealand, but it wasn’t like the first cop was anything too special. He’s no Rawiri Jobe, but Vagulans has been with the show since the start, and she and Lawless’s chemistry is a significant portion of the film’s charm. Like twenty-five to thirty-five percent. A lot.
That worrying aside, like I said, Warren-Ngata’s good. It’s too soon to tell how she and Lawless will vibe, though.
The other suspects include Nisha Madhan as a sculptor who disagreed with the victim about environmental stuff, then Anna Jullienne as the victim’s assistant. They’re both solid, selling a lot in their exposition this episode. There’s not a lot of action, just a lot of Lawless going to different places and talking to the suspects.
The ending’s a mess, and Vagulans’s “vacation” is concerning, but it’s a solid episode otherwise. Lawless makes it enough fun.
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