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Recap / Central Park S2E16 "The Lyin' in Winter"

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"Time to Close"
Original release date: April 8, 2022

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

Owen (Bitsy):
♫ Kill the one asylum (Yes, for the money)
Here upon this island (All for the money)
Strip away the meadows (Money, money, money)
Blow it up and bulldoze (It's time to close)
Central Park (Yes, for the money / All for the money)
Central Park (Money, money, money / It's time to close) ♫

Owen & Bitsy:
♫ All for the money
All for the money
All for the money
It's time to close ♫
"Time to Close"
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When Bitsy and Helen get stranded during a blizzard and they take shelter in the Tillermans' home, the Tillermans discover the deal to sell Central Park is happening today. Bitsy discovers the assets to the deal, which includes the Brandenham Hotel, will go towards her brother, Ambrose, so she has to team up with the Tillermans to stop the deal. Meanwhile, Birdie loses his violin, and without his instrument he lost his memory as the narrator.

    Songs 
  • Up to Here - Birdie, Owen, Molly, Cole, Elwood, and Park Goers.
    Written by: Kate Anderson & Elyssa Samsel
    Performed by: Josh Gad, Leslie Odom Jr., Emmy Raver-Lampman, Tituss Burgess, Rory O'Malley, Phil LaMarr, Gary Anthony Williams, David Herman, Yvette Nicole Brown, & Stephanie Beatriz
    Additional Vocals: Jessica Childress, Angelica Cox, Emily Goldstein, & Moorea Masa
  • Time to Close - Owen, Bitsy, Paige, Molly, Cole, Elwood, Fran, Glorious Gary
    Written by:' Kate Anderson & Elyssa Samsel
    Performed by: Leslie Odom Jr., Stanley Tucci, Kathryn Hahn, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Tituss Burgess, Rory O'Malley, Yvette Nicole Brown, Christopher Jackson, Phil LaMarr, & Kelvin Yu
    Additional Vocals: Jessica Childress, Angelica Cox, Emily Goldstein, & Moorea Masa
  • Own It (Reprise) - Bitsy
    Melody by: Kate Anderson & Elyssa Samsel
    Lyrics by: Josh Gad & Frank Ciampi
    Performed by: Stanley Tucci
  • A Walk in the Park - Owen, Paige, Molly, Cole, Birdie, Helen, Glorious Gary
    Written by: Wyclef Jean
    Performed by: Leslie Odom Jr., Kathryn Hahn, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Tituss Burgess, Josh Gad, Daveed Diggs, Christopher Jackson, Rory O'Malley, Amber Ruffin, Ester Dean, & Wyclef Jean
    Additional Vocals: Jessica Childress, Angelica Cox, Emily Goldstein, & Moorea Masa

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Tropes:

  • All for Nothing: Paige's effort on stopping Mayor Whitebottom from making a deal with Bitsy to sell Central Park to her is for nothing. While the evidences she found from the previous episode is enough to make him resign from being mayor, he plans to use his final moment to make the park deal with Bitsy because he doesn't need to worry about his reputation as mayor anymore for re-election and the deal is made possible because Bitsy is able to get Ernst Von Guten to invest in the deal and other billionaires join him when they heard he's involved.
    Paige: Since he's resigning, he doesn't have to worry about his re-election, so he can do any shady deal he wants on the way out. Now all this dirt I got was for nothing. I worked so hard on this story. So many late nights. So few showers.
  • Call-Back: Birdie bringing up Ernst Von Guten's interest in investing in Bitsy's park deal from "Where There's Smoke" is the key for Bitsy's park deal to go through.
  • Continuity Cavalcade: "A Walk in the Park" features previous characters and nods to previous episodes:
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    • Brendan, Hazel, and Shauna return, with Brendan flying his kiting, and Hazel and Shauna drawing Fista-Puffs in the snow.
    • At the food stalls, Griffin, the narrator who temporary took Birdie's narrating job back in "Rival Busker", can be seen in the back.
    • The Great Dane from "Indecent Proposal" returns and Shampagne is ecstatic to be reunited with him.
    • When everyone is on the ice rink, everyone hold hands to form a circle like the roller skaters did back in "Skater's Circle".
  • Continuity Nod: The song "Up to Here" references moments from "Central to My Heart" and "Own It" from "Episode One": The song opens with Birdie playing his violin and singing and after he's done singing it zooms out to show the rest of the park, and when the party goers are singing how they hate the snow and they're in their own boxes, Birdie is seen in the background searching for his violin.
  • Creator Cameo: Wyclef Jean can be heard singing during "A Walk in the Park", a song that he wrote.
  • Crowd Song: "Up to Here" is about New Yorkers singing about how they like the snow until it becomes an inconvenience to them.
  • Dark Reprise: Bitsy sings her version of "Own It" when she learns that if the park deal goes through, Ambrose will take over the Brandenham Hotel, the hotel she worked very hard to make successful which she did on her own.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: After Paige fails to stop Mayor Whitebottom from going through with the park deal, she decides to drown her sorrow in mulled wine.
    Paige: Owen, I failed the park. I failed the city, and I failed the world. So I'm just going to get drunk on mulled wine and not fail at doing that.
  • Enemy Mine: After discovering the investment group that's investing in Bitsy's park deal is backed by Ambrose, who plans on taking over her hotel, she decides to team up with the Tillermans to stop the deal before it's finalized. After they stopped the deal, Bitsy lets Owen know that she still plans on buying the park and she'll find a way to get the money again, and Owen tells her when she does he'll be ready to stop her.
    Paige: You're not really asking for our help?
    Owen: That would obviously be insane.
    Bitsy: This kind of stuff happens all the time. Friends become enemies. Enemies become people who are going to help me. Life's a rich pageant, okay?
  • For Want of a Nail: Discussed and played straight.
    • Cole has a science project that involves looking over a caterpillar, that he named Oswaldo, that's going to become a butterfly (specifically, a mourning cloak butterfly), and he talks about the butterfly effect with Molly. After Bitsy and Helen crash in the snow and Bitsy sends Helen, along with Shampagne, to get help, they end up going to the Tillermans' home because Shampagne caught the scent of Cole and went straight to him, which makes Cole believe his decision to not shower last night "butterfly effected" Shampagne to save him from the snow.
    • After learning about the park deal happening today, Cole and Molly try to have Oswaldo do a butterfly effect to save the park after they remove the top of the cage, but its still inside a cocoon. When the Tillermans, Bitsy, and Helen try to go to City Hall to stop the park deal, Oswaldo emerges from its cocoon and flies outside and starts its butterfly effect: Oswaldo knocks a leaf off a branch, which lands on a squirrel that's holding an acorn, the squirrel drops the acorn which rolls onto a frozen lake, Glorious Gary is ice skating on the lake and kicks the acorn away, the acorn rolls down a hill becoming a snowball, a park goer picks up the snowball and throws it at his friend, the friend accidentally knocks his sled down a hill which goes inside an open manhole, the sled ends up blocking a drain that causes the pipes in the sewer to emit steam, the steam melts the snow on a manhole cover which reveals the key to the snowplow that Elwood lost, an amnesic Birdie finds the key and returns it to Elwood, and Elwood plows the snow in front of the Tillermans' home and gives the Tillermans, Bitsy, and Helen a ride to City Hall to stop the deal.
  • Hero vs. Villain Duet: "Time to Close" has Owen and Bitsy singing about the fate of Central Park. Owen begs Bitsy to not go through with the deal because he loves the park and raised his family there, but Bitsy doesn't care and sings about what businesses will be placed in the park.
  • I Can't Believe I'm Saying This: Bitsy reluctantly agrees with Helen when she asks Bitsy if she's willing to give up her hotel to Ambrose to buy the park so she decides to stop the deal.
  • Identity Amnesia: Birdie reveals without a musical instrument a busker doesn't have a story to tell, and after he loses his violin, he doesn't know how the story is going to turn out and he forgets that he's a narrator and has no memory of the Tillermans or even Elwood. But once the Tillermans and Bitsy stops the park deal from happening, he finds his violin, his memories start coming back, and he remembers that Tillermans and Central Park were going to be fine at the end. Early on, Birdie first thought his lost instrument is the reason why he can't narrate properly, but he believes Bitsy is the reason because she's about ready to make the deal to buy the park, and if the story ends with Bitsy buying the park and the Tillermans evicted from their home, then Birdie loses his purpose of being the narrator.
  • In Vino Veritas: Paige gets Helen drunk on her homemade mulled wine so Helen would slip up and reveal more details on Bitsy's park deal so she can use that information to stop her. Subverted by the end of the episode when Helen reveals she was never drunk and purposely told Paige the information because she didn't trust the park deal and if Bitsy lost her hotel she would have taken it out on her.
  • Near-Villain Victory: Bitsy came very close to buying Central Park, but the thing that stopped her was Ambrose being in charged of the investment group that's funding Bitsy's deal and he would have taken over Bitsy's hotel if the deal went through. Not wanting to lose her hotel, Bitsy decides to stop the deal with the Tillermans' help.
  • Never Gets Drunk: After Paige gets Helen drunk on mulled wine so she can accidentally reveal important info about Bitsy's park deal, Helen reveals later on that she's the daughter of dockworkers and mulled wine is basically apple juice to her and she was never drunk in the first place She purposely told Paige the info because she needed her help to stop the deal because she didn't trust it.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Near the end of "Time to Close", after Owen fails to convince Bitsy from buying Central Park by telling her how much he loves it and he raised his family here, he gives up and angrily tells her to go buy the park and destroy it for the money and hopes she enjoys it.
    ♫ I raised my kids here
    Made my home here
    Me and my family
    Still, you erase the place I love most
    In the world
    Well...
    One, go on, destroy it
    Two, hope you enjoy it
    Central Park
    Take this place and off it
    Sell it for profit
    Central Park ♫
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Helen tips Paige on Bitsy's investors because Helen didn't trust the park deal and if it goes bad then Bitsy would have taken her frustration out on her and it wouldn't be great for her long-term plan of getting Bitsy's money.
  • Properly Paranoid: Helen reveals she didn't trust the park deal so she tipped Paige on Bitsy's investors and her hunch is correct because the person who's backing her investors is Ambrose and he would have taken over Bitsy's hotel.
  • The Reveal: If Bitsy is ever successful at buying Central Park, Birdie will no longer be a narrator since there'll be no story to tell and he'll lose his memory as the narrator and the people he has known.
  • Save the Villain: Even after the past things Bitsy has done to him and the park, Owen still chooses to rescue Bitsy when she's stranded after her car crashed into the snow.
  • Season Finale: The final episode of Season Two.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Ernst Von Guten, the billionaire Bitsy got to invest in her park deal, proved to be a valuable investor because once Bitsy's rival hotelier, Dory Sterling, heard Ernst is onboard, she and her coalition of other rich investors joined the deal. Unfortunately, Sterling is part of an investment group called Tumbleweed Worldwide, which is backed by Ambrose, and if the deal goes through then all of Bitsy's asset will belong to him.
  • Snowed-In: Because a blizzard came to New York City, all the New Yorkers are struggling with the snow, with some of them unable to leave their home. By the end of the episode, the sun comes out and the snow is bearable for everyone that they can go out and enjoy the park.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Even after Owen comes to Bitsy's rescue and brings her to his home for shelter, she never thanks him or show any sign of gratitude.
  • Wham Line:
    Paige: I looked into Dory Sterling's new investment group, Tumbleweed Worldwide. And guess who backs them. Come on, guess.
    Bitsy: The North Koreans? The Mafia? A Super PAC that is anti-literacy? Believe me, it's all workable.
    Paige: Your brother, Ambrose.

♫ Hold hands in the park
This is where it all starts
Hey, now
Came with the gang
Cool like a fan
And we came to celebrate
I said, "Hey, now"
Tell me, is it me?
Or did you feel the same
When the love came and rained on us? ♫
"A Walk in the Park"

 
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Own It Reprise

Bitsy sings her version of "Own It" when she learns that if the park deal goes through, Ambrose will take over the Brandenham Hotel, the hotel she worked very hard to make successful which she did on her own.

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