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Recap / Central Park S3E06 "A Matter of Life and Boeuf"

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"All this betrayal / Leaves a bad taste in our mouth"
Original release date: September 30, 2022

Written by: Francisco Angones
Directed by: Tom King

♫ It's a real whodunnit
A real whodunnit
Leaves a knot in your stomach
A real whodunnit
Yes, I know you done it
It's you who done ♫
Everyone, "A Real Whodunnit"
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The Tillermans visit Abby at her new job as a waitress at the Brandenham Hotel. But when a precious item goes missing in the restaurant, everyone is a suspect.

    Songs 

Tropes:

  • The Butler Did It: Technically personal assistant, but it was Anton who stole the steak and was planning on selling it to the black market, but he wasn't the one who tried to poison Ambrose; that was Kendra, who tried to inherit Ambrose's money.
  • Cannot Keep a Secret: Cole gives away that Abby is working for Bitsy to Owen and Paige, causing Owen to choke on his food from the shock. Earlier, Abby mentions how Cole also told on her for watching an adult movie (Erin Brockovich).
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  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: Another reason for why Bitsy isn't the one responsible for trying poison Ambrose is because if her brother is dead, then she wouldn't be able to brag about her successes to him.
    Bitsy: I tried gloating to a gravestone once. It just wasn't the same.
  • Conspicuous Trenchcoat: During Bitsy's fantasy on how she thinks Owen stole the steak, she fantasizes Owen in a trenchcoat and fedora. After Bitsy's fantasy, Molly points out her father is too skinny to pull off the trenchcoat look.
  • Disability Alibi: When Bitsy is accused of being the one poisoning Ambrose with the steak sauce when steak sauce packets are found in her pockets, Abby points out Bitsy couldn't do it because she's physically unable to due to being so fragile and needing to have others do things for her, as shown when she failed to cut the tag off the steak with the scissors, so she wouldn't be unable to open the steak sauce packets on her own.
    Bitsy: I have a tragic case of wealthy fingers.
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  • Everyone Is a Suspect: Everyone involved in the mystery of who stole the cote de boeuf is a suspect (minus Molly and especially Cole because he's too bad at being bad) with everyone having a motive: Helen accuses Paige because with the steak stolen she could write a story about it to make Bitsy look bad and win an award for it, Paige accuses Kendra because she doesn't want to kiss Ambrose after he drinks the steak, Kendra accuses Chef Jean-Luc because he doesn't want the steak to be ruined by having it liquified, Chef Jean-Luc accuses Ambrose because he loves making Bitsy look like a failure, Ambrose accuses Bitsy because of the fact she really hates him, and Bitsy accuses Anton because of the fact he's the butler. Owen and Abby aren't suspected because they both have alibis.
  • Food and Animal Attraction: Shampagne sniffs around Anton because he had a cheap steak that he was going to swap for the rare steak; at the fight when the steak goes missing, Shampagne jumps at Anton's leg. When Shampagne spits out a bit of the steak, it turns out Anton wanted to quiet him with a bit of the cheap steak, but accidentally dropped the expensive one instead.
  • Gasp!: Everyone gasps when there's a shocking twist during the mystery. When Paige reveals a twist that causes everyone gasp, she even gasped herself. Cole is constantly gasping at every plot twist, even at a moment where he isn't supposed to gasp, which gets Lampshaded.
    Cole: I haven't gasped this much in a while. I gotta sit down.
  • Good News, Bad News: Birdie explains to the audience that Abby is going to butter up Owen and Paige with breakfast to share a real "good news, bad news" situation: The good news: Abby finally found a job working in a fancy restaurant; The bad news: the restaurant is a part of the Brandenham Hotel, meaning she's working for Bitsy, the woman Owen and Paige hate.
  • Heist Clash: Anton and Kendra were both planning of doing illegal things during the dinner, but Anton wanted to steal the steak and sell it on the black market, while Kendra tried to poison Ambrose with steak sauce to kill him and inherit his money. They end up foiling each other's plan because they didn't communicate what they were doing with each.
  • Instantly Proven Wrong: When Shampagne is accused of eating the steak, Abby thinks Shampagne didn't do it and he's only guilty of being a "guh, guh" boy, until Shampagne immediately coughs out a piece of the steak.
    Abby: Maybe he's not that "guh, guh".
  • Job Song: During "A Positive Light", while Birdie sings explaining what the cote de boeuf is, Abby sings to the Tillermans how great it will be at the Brandenham's hotel restaurant while showing off her workplace to them.
  • Pet the Dog: Despite Bitsy being known for being an Ungrateful Bastard, she actually thanks Abby for being the only person to defend her when she's accused of poisoning Ambrose.
  • Secret Relationship: Aside from the money and hatred of Ambrose, Anton, his assistant, and Kendra, his current trophy fiancé, tried to steal and sabotage the steak respectively because the two of them are engaging in a romantic relationship behind his back and planned to share the wealth to live happily with each other. Bitsy quickly uses this scandal as an excuse to blackmail Ambrose out of the $20,000 his steak would’ve cost to keep her mouth shut.
  • Skewed Priorities: When Bitsy accuses Abby of stealing the steak and tells her she'll prosecute her to the fullest extent of the law, Abby's response is she hopes it doesn't negatively affect her work at the Brandenham. When Helen tells Abby she'll also be fired, Abby screams a Big "NO!", which Helen lampshades her reaction.
    Helen: Would've expected a bigger reaction to the first thing.
  • Snooty Haute Cuisine: Bitsy has a very expensive dish, the cote de boeuf, that she put on the menu simply for the bragging rights. It is specially raised and aged and costs $20,000, and requires a specially trained chef to prepare. When someone orders it at last, she sets up a big presentation for the customer... who turns out to be her brother Ambrose, who ordered it just to see how badly she'll screw it up.
  • Spanner in the Works: Shampagne and Abby both ruined Anton and Kendra's separate plans due to being in the area:
    • For Shampagne: When Abby and Helen are trying to hold back Chef Jean-Luc from attacking Ambrose, Anton uses this opportunity to switch the cote de boeuf with a cheap steak, but Shampagne gets in his way and wasn't able to place the cheap steak in place before everyone notices the cote de boeuf is missing. When Shampagne starts sniffing around Anton because he has two steaks on him, Anton tries to feed the cheap steak to him, but accidentally drops the cote de boeuf and Shampagne eats it up, unknowingly revealing that the steak has steak sauce on it after coughing it out, which would have killed Ambrose if he had eaten the steak.
    • For Abby: In the kitchen, Chef Jean-Luc needs one of the waiters to help present the cote de boeuf, and because Abby is the only waitress in the kitchen, she is chosen to help. Because Abby is involved, the Tillermans also get involve when Abby is accused of stealing the steak with Paige's investigating skills coming in handy to reveal more of the truth. When Bitsy is accused of poisoning Ambrose because steak sauce packets were found in her pockets, Abby is the only one who believes Bitsy is innocent and proves she's innocent when she points out that her fragile hands are too weak to open the sauce packets. It all leads to Paige figuring out that Anton is responsible, but he confess he only stole the steak, and not wanting him to take the heat for the poisoning, Kendra confesses to covering the steak sauce on the cote de boeuf.
    • Of course, Kendra didn't anticipate Anton stealing the steak after she poisoned it, which prevented her plan from succeeding.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: After Paige correctly pins Anton as the steak thief, Helen says she never expected it because "assistants are totally loyal and wouldn't back stab their boss".
  • Troll: Ambrose gets under Bitsy skin by buying the $20,000 cote de boeuf at her restaurant and demanding to have the steak liquified due to his multiple dietary restrictions. He not only pissed off Bitsy, but also the chef who takes his love for the steak seriously. He only came to her restaurant just to see how badly she'll screw it up.
  • Two Dun It: At first, the mystery was who stole the cote de boeuf, and then it also became a mystery on who tried to poison Ambrose. It turns out Anton tried to steal the steak during the commotion, but before he stole it, Kendra applied steak sauce to the steak.
  • Varying Competency Alibi: Molly points out while anyone can be the culprit, it can't be Cole because he's too bad at being bad. Cole tries to prove he can be bad by spilling over a pepper shaker and then instantly regretting it, proving Molly's point. When Shampagne is accused of eating the steak, Cole tries Taking the Heat to save Shampagne, but nobody buys it at all due to him being too innocent.
  • Whodunnit: During the melee at the presentation of the cote de boeuf, it goes missing, and everyone on the private room is a suspect. The song "A Real Whodunnit" hangs a lampshade on this.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Discussed. Paige spends the entire episode trying to talk Abby out of working at the Brandenham, believing that her sister’s status as this is making her blind to the kind of person Bitsy is. However, Abby later admits that she knows Bitsy is the worst sometimes, but is willingly choosing to try and find the good in her and the Brandenham anyway- not just because of her experience with playing villains in her past plays by questioning what their reasons would be for being “evil”, but because she knows she’ll never make it in New York if she just goes around believing everything is the worst all the time instead of trying to find the good in something, impossible as it may seem.
    Abby: Okay, I'm sure this was all just some wacky mix-up, and whoever's responsible will feel really bad and come forward.
    Helen: You're new here, aren't you?
  • Your Favorite: Abby, Molly and Cole prepare a sumptuous breakfast for Owen and Paige to butter them up before informing them that Abby's new job is at the Brandenham. Paige is instantly suspicious.

♫ We can paint tonight
In a positive light
Positive light
Like this
Hey
Hold your focus tight
On what's going right
In the right light
It's bliss
Hey
Keep it warm and bright
In a positive light
Positive light
Like this ♫
"A Positive Light (End Credits)"

 
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Video Example(s):

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A Positive Light

While Birdie sings explaining what the cote de boeuf is, Abby sings to the Tillermans how great it will be to eat at the Brandenham's hotel restaurant while showing off her workplace to them.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / JobSong

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