Dollars to sourdough loaves (it’ll make sense), I think this episode of “My Life Is Murder” is the best-plotted mystery of the season. So far, obviously, but I think it’ll go the distance. It’s an outstanding whodunit, plus Lucy Lawless gets to be petty about her baking.
The episode opens with Ebony Vagulans and Joseph Naufahu watching a YouTube food influencer review Naufahu’s cafe, including Lawless’s sourdough bread. The influencer, played by Mirabai Pease, gives it an okay but unenthusiastic rating, which does not make Lawless happy. Especially not when Rawiri Jobe’s next case involves two rival bread shops. Pease rated Lawless’s bread in seventh, and these two shops are one and two; Auckland’s apparently got a competitive, vindictive bread market.
Star bakers Aidee Walker and Rick Donald were once a married team, but their legendary bickering eventually divorced them. Messily. They owned Donald’s family business together, and when they split, Walker got some of the intellectual property (the heirloom sourdough starter). So Donald opened a spite bakery a few doors down from the original, trying to confuse the customers (the businesses have the same name). It’s hilarious and petty, with Lawless immediately disliking Donald but then not warming to Walker, either.
See, Walker got a new fiancé, and then he died. He drove into a lake while on an early morning delivery run, but something doesn’t add up.
In order to solve the mystery, Lawless will have to buddy up with unlikely allies, bite her tongue about her bread baking, and put up with the unsophisticated bread palates of Jobe and Vagulans.
Because, thank goodness, bread plays into the solution.
Chris Hawkshaw gets the script credit; again, it’s phenomenal. Not just the mystery—but also the mystery. Lawless has great grating chemistry with all the guest stars; she’s got a fellow baker thing with Walker, but Walker’s kind of a dick, Donald condescends to her, she suspects pastry chef Greg Johnson, and then there’s the animosity with Pease. Donald can’t keep up with Lawless, which is the joke, but Walker and Pease return barbs. It’s fun. It’s a fun, good episode.
Even if a recurring guest star only seems to be in the episode to give Lawless her eureka moment. It has to come from somewhere, but the guest star makes it seem shoehorned. But it again pays off.
Nice direction from Kiel McNaughton, too; great timing for the cast, and the limited locations help. There are enough to keep Lawless busy, but they’re constrained enough to be familiar.
It’s a strong episode for Lawless too. Not all that heart she’s been showing this season, just the acerbic capability.