Only Murders in the Building season 2, episode 9 recap – “Sparring Partners”

By Adam Lock
Published: August 16, 2022 (Last updated: July 25, 2023)
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In the penultimate episode, the series lays out many of its darkest secrets, with key players revealing their true identities. Expect plenty of twists and turns from the addictive comedy mystery.

This recap of the Hulu series Only Murders in the Building season 2, episode 9, ”Sparring Partners,” contains spoilers.

Read the recap of the previous episode.

The Hulu original begins to slowly show its hand, making some huge reveals in its penultimate episode. Expect some shocking twists in “Sparring Partners” as we hurtle ever closer to the finale and finally discovering who exactly killed Bunny Folger.

Only Murders in the Building season 2, episode 9 recap

Mabel believes Detective Kreps is the ‘glitter guy’ and the cranky policeman becomes the main focus of this week’s instalment. He narrates over the opening segment as he boxes at his local gym, hence the title reference. Kreps complains about his meagre wage and explains how he has to take on extra jobs to make ends meet, such as his security work over at Coney Island and small town investigations too. One of these small town cases led to Kreps falling madly in love with an unknown woman, which hints at a larger mystery we shall come onto later in the recap.

The trio ponder Kreps’ involvement in the murder case and his photograph makes its way up onto the chalk board of suspects. They question his possible motives and the likelihood of this fresh suspect being the actual murderer. Mabel just can’t seem to rack her head around the idea of the buffoon being a criminal mastermind, she just won’t buy it. Charles makes a new card titled criminal mastermind and adds this to the board. A photo will be placed under this title by the episode’s end.

Oliver arrives beaming after the DNA test results. He is happy to announce that he is Will’s father after all and apparently has a Greek heritage, not Irish as first thought. To celebrate, Oliver wheels in Bunny’s bird cage containing the irritating, chatty pet. He wants Charles to take the bird so he can finally get some sleep and the two aging gents tussle with the cage. This leads to a hidden door being released. Rose Cooper’s original painting is found within.

Having acquired the real painting, Charles decides to track down Bunny’s mother again, Leonora Folger, played by Shirley MacLaine. His snooping reveals that the woman actually tricked Charles, pretending to be the elderly mother, but is in fact artist Rose Cooper. They meet up once more and Rose is touched to have the painting back in her possession again after all these years. Underneath the original is a hidden painting of Charles and his father. She confesses that her own husband was abusive and she had to go into hiding, ditching both men and Charles in the process. Charles’ father died heartbroken at this betrayal, never knowing if it was all his fault. Before leaving, Rose’s final revelation is that Cinda came inquiring about the painting. Why is she involved?

Mabel’s own sleuthing leads her to Kreps’ boxing gym and the two decide to spar together, verbally assaulting one another and hunting for clues. Mabel blatantly accuses Kreps of being the killer, mentioning the glitter, the evidence drop-off and the matchbook clue. Kreps denies everything and says he’s actually quite a smart man, no matter what Mabel believes. He managed to land the smartest woman in the world and has an admiration for the original podcast classics. Is he somehow involved in Cinda’s original podcast series All Is Not OK in Oklahoma?

The ending

Teddy and Oliver meet in the Arconia lift and instantly fight. Oliver has lied to his son and friends, Will isn’t his biological offspring, Teddy is in fact the father. The two wrestle and then reflect back at the apartment. Teddy only slept with the mother twice on one occasion, but Oliver is still hurt. They discuss their own childhoods and fathers, with Teddy admitting he’s jealous of the relationship Oliver has with Will.

Mabel pays Poppy (Cinda’s assistant) a visit to try and join the remaining dots. What connects Cinda, Kreps and the old podcast to Bunny’s murder? Poppy seems on edge and warns Mabel to stay out of it. But she asks, how can the woman who solved the Becky Butler murder case be so intimidating? Well, Poppy reveals that she is actually Becky Butler. Then flashbacks reveal how Cinda and Kreps were working together on that case. Kreps was in love with Cinda and she is now rightfully the trio’s leading suspect. Her photograph is placed under the banner ‘Criminal Mastermind’.

What did you think of the Hulu series Only Murders in the Building season 2, episode 9? Comment below.

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