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Recap / Central Park S2E01 "Central Dark"

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https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cp_s2e1_central_dark1.png
Original release date: June 25, 2021

Written by: Dan Hernandez & Benji Samit
Directed by: Mario D'Anna

♫ Gimme, gimme, gimme reasons it's not you
Who among us went and chose the witch way?
Tell me, tell me, tell me what you say is true
We gotta point the finger soon, but which way? ♫
"W(h)itch Way"
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During a tristate blackout, Bitsy and Helen are trapped in New Jersey where Bitsy' hotel rivals are trying to steal her infrastructure plans. Meanwhile, the Tillerman family try to pass the time by playing a board game based on the Salem Witch Trials and things get a little too serious.

    Songs 
  • Middle of it All - Owen, Paige, Molly, Cole, & Birdie
    Written by: Kate Anderson & Elyssa Samsel
    Performed by: Leslie Odom Jr., Kathryn Hahn, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Tituss Burgess, Josh Gad
    Additional Vocals: Angelica Cox, Emily Goldstein, & Jessica Childress
  • Weehawken - Helen
    Written by: Supercommuter
    Performed by: Daveed Diggs
  • Come Into the Darkness - Birdie
    Written by: Tim Dacey, Steven Davis, & Kelvin Yu
    Performed by: Josh Gad
    Additional Vocals: Phil LaMarr
  • W(h)itch Way - Owen, Paige, Molly, Cole, Birdie, Helen, Elwood, Leslie
    Written by: Kate Anderson & Elyssa Samsel
    Performed by: Leslie Odom Jr., Kathryn Hahn, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Tituss Burgess, Josh Gad, Daveed Diggs, Rory O'Malley, & Thomas Lennon
    Additional Vocals: Angelica Cox, Emily Goldstein, & Jessica Childress
  • In the Dark
    Written by: John Cameron Mitchell
    Performed by: Jessica Childress

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Tropes:

  • Actor Allusion: At one point in "Weehawken", Helen mentions that the Burr-Hamilton duel took place there. Helen is played by Daveed Diggs who originated the roles of Lafayette and Jefferson in Hamilton.
  • Animation Bump: "Weehawken" contains some of the most fluid animation in the series.
  • Art Shift/Disney Acid Sequence: "Come Into the Darkness" has Birdie and his busker band portrayed in different colors with the backgrounds in black and white. At certain points, the camera zooms in to Birdie's mouth to reveal another Birdie, and another, and another, etc.
  • Big Blackout: A blackout occurs in New York City and parts of New Jersey and Birdie sings a song about how people will take advantage of the blackout. During the blackout, the several hotel owners that Bitsy pissed off try to steal her plans while the Tillermans play a board game to pass the time but it gets out of hand.
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  • The Cameo: Glorious Gary, Dmitry, Augustus, Ashley, Shart, Esposito and Zoom Abromavich make silent cameos during the opening number.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Elwood doesn't get that just because a blackout prevents them from using any item that runs on electricity doesn't mean the item is dead and he starts throwing out items such as a microwave, computers, and a fridge in the dumpster despite Owen telling him not to. When the power finally comes back, he realizes his mistake.
  • Cultural Translation: In the Italian dub of "Weehawken", during the part where Helen sung "And that lady who sang 'Love Shack'", they replaced The B-52s "Love Shack" with The Trammps "Disco Inferno" for some reason. (The Trammps are actually from Philadelphia, not Jersey.)
  • Fictional Board Game: Paige has the family play a board game called "Salem Witch Hunt", in which the players try to figure out which player is the witch. By accident, they had left the Witch card out and all the players got the "villager" card.
  • Fork Fencing: Leslie uses three fondue forks like claws to threaten Bitsy and Helen.
  • Honorable Marriage Proposal: During a flashback of the time Paige told lies, a lie that Paige told was to Molly when she said she and Owen got married and then they had her, but since it was a lie we know what really happened.
  • Ignored Expert: Despite Helen being a native of Weehawken, Bitsy ignores her advice on what direction they should take. This bites her in the butt when her competitors were able to get ahead of her when she tries to head towards the waterfront by following the sign instead of taking Helen's shortcut.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: At the end, when it looks like Bitsy does something unselfish and gives the development plans to one of her competitors in return for not harming Helen, Helen is shocked. Then Bitsy reveals that she hid the plans in her coat, meaning that she did not do anything unselfish at all. Helen even lampshades it.
  • Location Song: When Bitsy starts badmouthing Weehawken, Helen starts singing "Weehawkin" about why it's so great to her.
  • Musicalis Interruptus: Paige begins to sing a song about how great family is before the lights go out all over New York.
  • No, You: After Bitsy and Helen lose the hotel competitors by hiding in a dumpster, Bitsy tells Helen this place stinks. Helen points out they are in a dumpster, but Bitsy snaps back and tells her she's in a dumpster.
  • Poke the Poodle: Leslie reveals during the blackout of '77 he did terrible things, and that thing was pooping in a trash can.
  • Pun-Based Title: The song "W(h)itch Way" is said as the "witch way" and "which way".
  • Running Gag: Every time Birdie pulls out a flashlight while he narrates, he keeps attracting moths and isn't sure if they're moths or baby bats, not realizing that they are the former.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Show Within a Show: Gina Tracker: FBI, a cop procedural parody that the Tillermans, and to an extent Birdie, are fans of.
  • Special Guest:
    • "Weehawken" is written by Supercommuter.
    • "Come Into the Darkness" is written by Tim Dacey, Steven Davis, and Kelvin Yu.
    • "In the Dark" is written by John Cameron Mitchell.
  • The Stool Pigeon: During the game, as proof to back up his theory that Molly was a witch and liar, Cole reveals to their parents that she lied about only going to the concert with Brendan, and is instead also inviting over two friends, Clarissa and Ronnie, whom Owen and Paige knew brought booze at a party once. He does apologize in the end.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Despite Helen warning her it's a bad idea, Bitsy decides to brag and reveal her infrastructure plans to her competitors during the Hotel Owner Association meeting and then later insults them. When a blackout occurs, her competitors team up and use this moment to try to steal her plans (which she didn't make copies of).
  • Totally Radical: Portergrave dresses like a hipster despite looking in his 70s in order to attempt to youth culture.
  • Trailers Always Lie: The official trailer made it seem like Bitsy was showing her plans to buy Central Park, but it turns out it was her infrastructure plan.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: After Helen rescues Bitsy from her competitor and carried her all the way back to Manhattan, Bitsy never once thanks her.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Of the named hotel owners, only Portergrave and Dory Sterling take part in the mob. Marriott J. Courtyard is only seen at the convention and disappears afterward.

♫ In the dark, nobody knows your name
In the dark, everything is fair game
In the dark, nobody knows your face
In the dark, you're in a state of grace
Can't tell if you're a lad or a lass
Ain't no working, middle, or upper class
At last, pass gas with impunity
Grant that ass immunity
In the dark, nobody knows your name
'Cause in the dark, you're in a state of grace ♫
"In the Dark"
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Weehawken

When Bitsy starts badmouthing Weehawken, Helen starts singing "Weehawkin" about why it's so great to her.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

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Main / LocationSong

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