blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

My Life Is Murder (2019) s03e09 – Staying Mum

This season of “My Life Is Murder” has had several outstanding mysteries; with one episode to go, I’m pretty confident giving the prize to this episode, though. The script, credited to Kate McDermott, effortlessly keeps the show’s almost ensemble cast involved (except for Joe Naufahu, who’s occasionally around) while unfolding a windy murder investigation. The episode does make a feint at character development for lead Lucy Lawless, leading to maybe Ebony Vagulans best performance on the show outside a suspense sequence, but it doesn’t go anywhere.

Maybe next episode.

Probably not.


The mystery this episode is dead male nanny Alex Walker. Ostensibly beloved by all, he went out into a thunderstorm and got struck by lightning. Only copper Rawiri Jobe (who’s got to be upset he’s gone nowhere as a character this season) doesn’t think so. Lawless is in a great position to investigate because her newly revealed (to audience and characters alike) niece, Nell Fisher, goes to the same fancy private school as Walker’s charge.

There’s the current set of parents, Melanie Vallejo and Jared Turner—both great—the jealous former boss, Tania Nolan, and the rival nanny, Sinead Fitzgerald. Some of the episode’s success in casting these supporting parts well. All of them are good, and most have a character arc playing out through their various reveals.

But then having Fisher at the school lets the episode bring in Tatum Warren-Ngata as her fake nanny, while Vagulans can concentrate on computer hacking and that unexpected character development arc. Of course, because that arc doesn’t go anywhere with Lawless, Vagulans gets stalled out too, but it’s a lovely way of integrating the sidekicks.

Playing up the ensemble aspect is Lawless, Fisher, and Fisher’s dad, Martin Henderson, having their family thing going on too.

It’s just a supremely well-balanced episode with exceedingly solid direction from Mike Smith. I’ve been hopeful for at least another season just in general, but I wasn’t expecting to want it for the procedurals. The show’s stalled out on Lawless’s character development; while this episode acknowledges matters unresolved, it still doesn’t do anything about them. They can probably get away with it for one more ten episode season.

Otherwise, they’ll have to address some things. Like what happened with Lawless and Jobe’s season two, “are they or aren’t they” becoming a season three “did they ever?”

But they can easily get through another season with just these excellent mysteries and delightful ensemble. And Lawless, of course.

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