Paramount + has more information to share with us on Why Women Kill… but Thursday’s Season 2 premiere is ultimately more concerned with why men kill. One man in particular, really.
The black comedy created by Marc Cherry returned on Thursday with two episodes – its first new episodes since Season 1 ended in October 2019. And this time, instead of the 60s, 80s and 2010s, the anthology takes place in 1949, where a simple housewife named Alma (Allison Tolman of Fargo) is desperate to be accepted into the luxurious and exclusive Elysian Park Garden Club.
When the aged founder of the Garden Club passes away, Alma hopes to be considered for the now vacant position, and she awkwardly chats with some of the club’s arrogant members over lunch one afternoon. Seeming to pity Alma, the gorgeous and elegant club president Rita Castillo (Once Upon a Time Lana Parrilla) invites her to a party at Rita’s this weekend, which will also serve as a memorial to the club’s late founder. Alma is delighted with the invitation, but her rude neighbor, Mrs. Yost, takes her breath away, explaining that the event will only be a fundraiser, Alma will likely even be responsible for attending and, like her Said it so viciously to Alma, “They leave no harm to the Elysian Park Garden Club.” Oh, hush, Mrs. Yost.
Alma’s husband Bertram (Into the Badlands’ Nick Frost) – more on him in a minute – gives Alma money to buy himself a spectacular dress for the party, but the cute fuchsia number that catches his eye is $ 800. Instead, she buys fabric of the same color and decides to make a similar dress. As she searches her attic for a new sewing needle, Alma curiously finds a brooch under a dresser in the corner of the attic; it’s a cameo with a label on it that says, “Enid Dolan, February 14, 1945.”
The next day, Alma wears both her pink dress (which Rita insults) and the newly discovered brooch at the garden party, and it is this latest gem that fellow club member Grace notices. Grace explains that her aunt Enid had one like this, but Grace found Enid dead on her couch a few years ago, and she assumed her aunt’s nurse had slipped the brooch. But after realizing that the inscription inside reads: “To Enid, Love Jack,” Alma returns the brooch to Grace, lying that she bought it at a clearance sale. church years ago, but Grace should reclaim her family heirloom. (And the good deed pays off: unbeknownst to Alma, Grace finds Alma incredibly sweet, and she wonders aloud to another club member if Alma might like to join the group.)
Later that night, intrigued by the brooch suddenly appearing in her attic, Alma returns to it and pushes the dresser aside, revealing a wall panel that opens. Inside is a sewing box full of similar trinkets – a comb, a pipe, other junk – all labeled with someone’s name and a date. Alma takes all the items out of the box and looks at them, a little confused and worried.
Meanwhile, there is her husband, a beloved veterinarian who takes great care of his furry patients. At the peak of the episode, her first patient of the day is an old puppy named Biscuit, whom Bertram lovingly lays down while “Clair De Lune” plays; As he explains to Biscuit owner Maisie, he wants to make the animals’ last moments enjoyable if he can. Maisie, in turn, is clearly seduced by Bertram, inviting her to the club where she sings at night and worrying that he claims to be married and happy.
That evening, after giving Alma the dough to buy a nice evening gown, Bertram clearly wants to go up to the bedroom with his wife, if you understand me. But Alma, too giddy for the garden party, is not interested – and Bertram goes to the club instead to hear Maisie sing. They share a few drinks, but when he brings Maisie home and she invites him upstairs for a nightcap, Bertram spots a curious neighbor peeking down the street through his blinds, and Bertram politely checks theirs. drink.
The next day, while Alma is at her garden party, Bertram walks by Maisie’s apartment with a bouquet of flowers. She lets him in and he notices overdue medical bills on his coffee table. When Maisie catches Bertram watching them, she reveals that her doctor has diagnosed her with cirrhosis and the doctor thinks she is dying. “I know,” Bertram responds, revealing that he’s noticed some disturbing symptoms in Maisie – fatigue, jaundice, bruising on her body from a mysterious “condition” she mentioned. But Bertram thinks Maisie should be having fun while she can still have it, and he uncorks a bottle of wine to share.
Shortly after Maisie has had a drink, she begins to feel dizzy… and Bertram casually shares that he put a sedative (!) In his wine. He pushes her over to the couch and within seconds she can barely move except for the tears streaming down her cheeks as Bertram reveals he is considering euthanizing her. His philosophy: If we take such good care of our pets and put them to the ground when they are in pain, why not do the same for humans? Especially when Maisie mentioned that she no longer had any friends or family? And Maisie is left to watch in horror as Bertram pull a syringe out of his bag, inject it through his fingers, then close Maisie’s eyes after she passes away. Then, as if he hadn’t just literally killed a woman, he casually sticks this bouquet of flowers in a vase, wipes everything he has touched in Maisie’s apartment, picks up a small folding fan that he finds himself in his living room, then leaves.
Coming home, Bertram checks to see that Alma is sleeping, then goes up to the attic… where he takes out this sewing box of trinkets. To the collection, he adds Maisie’s fan, tagging it with her name and date, then goes to bed with his wife. But, as we revealed in the last few seconds, Alma is not sleeping: she is wide awake on her side, and she looks horrified.
All right, it’s up to you! What did you think of the return of Why Women Kill? And did you see that Bertram twist coming? Vote in our poll below, then hit the comments with your full reviews!