blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

My Life Is Murder (2019) s03e08 – Gaslight Sonata

This episode seems to be setting up “My Life Is Murder: Season Four,” with Lucy Lawless unexpectedly getting an adorable niece played by Nell Fisher, who is apparently not related to anyone in “Murder” but is appearing in the next Evil Dead movie.

Lawless is married to one of the producers or executive producers or whatever. Rob Tapert. Is there a story? Maybe. Does it matter? No, because Fisher’s perfectly good. She’s ten years old and able to cyberstalk already, plus she’s sarcastic, so she’s just what Lawless needs in a protege. Fisher is Lawless’s brother Martin Henderson’s previously unknown little kid, whose mother wants to share custody now Henderson’s out of jail.

Fisher and Lawless have a great scene talking about Henderson. The show’s such an interestingly balanced ensemble this season, though Tatum Warren-Ngata has to sit this one out (to make room for Fisher, perhaps), and Rawiri Jobe again gets very little. Though Fisher does ask for a relationship update on Jobe and Lawless, which is maybe the first time this season they’ve remembered it was a thing.

While Lawless is hanging out with Fisher and doing acerbic but heartfelt bonding, Ebony Vagulans leads the field investigation. There’s a stretch of a camera brooch so Lawless can watch along, but the whole mystery feels stretched this episode. It’s too bad because Chris Hawkshaw, who wrote last episode, has a co-writer credit here with Stephen J. Campbell. The previous episode had a great mystery. This episode has similar trappings—all the suspects live in the same building, so Vagulans can quickly get from interview to interview—but the mystery’s not as good.

I think the death even involves another car.

Last episode, it was a car too. If Campbell wrote the Fisher stuff and they rushed Hawkshaw on a mystery… the episode makes a lot more sense.

Fisher’s a fine addition to the recurring cast; everybody—Lawless, Jobe, Vagulans, Naufahu–will be cute with a kid around. And Henderson’s struggling to do better ex-con makes for a nice character arc.

Really good direction from Kiel McNaughton, regardless of the pat procedural. However, the finale’s very tense, like Hawkshaw wanted to do a Rear Window homage, but there just wasn’t time. They couldn’t set it up and introduce Fisher.

So. Ho hum mystery, engaging characters; it’s a good episode for Vagulans and, of course, Lawless.

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