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Recap / Central Park S3E01 "A Star Is Owen"

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"I won't let you plant that seed."
Original release date: September 9, 2022

Written by: Nick Adams
Directed by: Tom King

♫ This place, this park
It holds all of humanity
I have to protect it
It's my job, it's up to me
You will not destroy
All this natural joy
No, I won't let you plant that seed ♫
Owen, "Plant That Seed"

The Tillermans are excited that their favorite TV show, Gina Tracker: FBI, is being shot at Central Park, but Owen isn't happy how the park is being portrayed. With Mayor Whitebottom resigned and being replaced by Interim Mayor Quincey Leeds, Bitsy needs to find a potential mayoral candidate to help her buy Central Park.




  • Animate Inanimate Object: During "Plant that Seed", the prop head Owen is holding sings along.
  • A Bloody Mess: When Owen tries to pick up the dummy corpse, all the squibs inside it go off, covering him in fake blood.
  • Brick Joke: While touring the filming area, the Tillerman family are informed that the pyrotechnics that will be used during filming include using squibs, to which Molly and Cole are unsure of what a squib actually is. But then later, Owen picks up a dummy corpse and multiple packs of fake blood burst around him, to which Molly realizes what squibs are.
  • Call-Back: Owen complaining once again about the inaccuracy of how Central Park is portrayed in fiction.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Among the disrespectful activities that the crew is doing around the filming area in the park that makes Owen irritated, he yells at a crew member who plucked blue lupine for the scene, yelling at him that they were wiped out from the area and he had them shipped from Pennsylvania. The crew member responds that his cousin Chris lives there.
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  • Continuity Cavalcade: "Room to Grow" features several nods and characters from previous episodes and reuses some scenes.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: When looking a new mayor, Helen has trouble because Bitsy wants someone easy to manipulate into buying Central Park but not someone that would definitely lend them in hot water with the police if they were exposed.
  • Failed Attempt at Drama: Fed up with how the filming crew is treating his park, Owen tries to stop the filming. But the trash can that he wanted to throw the trash on the ground in is actually a prop, the upended tree he wanted to remove is too heavy, and the prop corpse that he wanted to remove was full of squibs which leaves him covered in fake blood.
  • Ignored Expert: Owen keeps interrupting filming of the episode to point out inconsistencies in the episode. He mentions that the raccoons that are used for filming are scavengers, which means that they would not want to feed off a rotting corpse, and how they are also nocturnal, which means that they normally don't go out in broad daylight. The director, Mr. Turrant, constantly shoots back that Owen's just an extra, and therefore he does not have the authority to correct him.
  • Nature Tinkling: Molly tells the director that the whole family loves the area that they're shooting in, especially Cole, because this is where he pees.
  • Rage-Breaking Point: Owen already had issues with the crew for the way they were treating the park, but when he learns that they're removing important flowers that he worked hard to bring to the park as scenery, he loses it and demands that they stop.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story:
    • Owen is cast as an extra for the episode, to which he is first ecstatic towards, but grows concerned with the callous disregard that the filming crew treat his park. So he constantly interrupts filming to not only correct errors in the storytelling, but also stop the crew from wrecking the scenery. This gets him not only covered in fake blood in his attempt, he then does one final attempt by doing a heartwarming song about how the park should be respected. All of this results in director Mr. Turrant losing his patience, removing Owen from filming, and the family ends up watching the episode later with the scene that he was supposed to be in instead showing a different actor.
    • Bitsy has Helen look for a mayoral candidate that, if elected, could be manipulated into selling Central Park. After going through all the candidates, Helen decides that they are either too moral to be corrupted or are already too corrupt to work with. After watching interim mayor Quincy Leeds being interviewed, Helen realizes that the person who is already mayor is the perfect person to serve as a puppet for Bitsy, someone who isn't strong-willed and can be easily manipulated to her will.
  • Sidetracked by the Analogy: Upon picking Quincy Leeds as her next target, Bitsy refers to him as her new puppet to shove her hand up. Helen is disgusted by this metaphor because it sounds dirty.
    Helen: Is it too late to switch to a marionette metaphor?
  • Spaghetti Kiss: Bitsy is sharing a plate of foie gras with Shampagne. When they're down to the last piece, Bitsy decides to "Lady and the Tramp it."
  • Special Guest:
    • Supercommuter returns to write "A Person to Worsen".
    • Ingrid Michaelson returns to write "Plant That Seed".
  • Squee: The rest of the Tillerman family react this way when Owen announces to them that an episode of Gina Tracker: FBI is shooting in the park.
  • Terrible Interviewees Montage: "Person to Worsen" is Helen interviewing mayoral candidates to see which of them can help Bitsy buy Central Park. All the candidates are either too upstanding or too sleazy for their needs.
  • Trail of Blood: A version of this trope with fake blood. Owen is walking away after being fired, and the fake blood that's all over him leaves a dripping trail, which is how Quincy chases after him to chat.
  • Verbal Backspace: Upon being cast as an extra in the episode, Owen says that his two favorite things in the entire world have come together: Gina Tracker and the park. Paige then points out that he didn't include his family as one of his favorite things.
    Owen: Right. Three favorite things. The two things and my family.
    Paige: It's okay, sweetie. We know you're excited.
  • When Trees Attack: This trope is used in-universe for the episode of the show that's being filmed. The trees would fall over and randomly and kill people. But Mr. Turrant assures Owen that this is would be a Red Herring, as the killer in the episode is using the fallen trees to cover up the deaths.

♫ Eeny, meeny, miny, no
We need somebody to play ball
Eeny, meeny, miny, no
Want someone at her beck and call
No need to talk, not another word
Kickin' you to the curb
Just doesn't seem you qualify
Have a nice day, girl, bye! ♫
Helen, "Person to Worsen (End Credits)"


Video Example(s):


A Person to Worsen

Helen interviews mayoral candidates to see which of them can help Bitsy buy Central Park. All the candidates are either too upstanding or too sleazy for their needs.

How well does it match the trope?

4.33 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / TerribleIntervieweesMontage

Media sources: