Everyone gets their hands dirty (or dirtier) on Mary Kills People Season 2 Episode 2 and it's a helluva wild ride.
No other show would even attempt to cram the Big Bad shooting a henchman in the head, the ex-partner setting up a new business venture, the Big Secret leaking (again), two clients crossing over, the undercover cop from last season reappearing, AND the teen finding a new love interest all into one episode.
And yet, Mary Kills People manages to take all that crazy hot mess and produce beautifully poignant moments of thoughtful humanity.
Heather: The way I see it, you have a choice. You can believe in nothing or you can believe in something. And I choose something. What about you?
Jess: I was raised by atheists. I'm a godless child.
Seriously, between Kevin leaving Louise to move back in with Mary and Jess choosing Heather over Naomi, the women of House Malick are gunning for Dr. Harris in a big way.
Heather: Do you believe in anything, Naomi?
Naomi: Well, I believe in Prada. Marrying rich. Dying a divorcee. But who care? We all end up as dust anyways.
Jess: That's bleak.
Naomi: I'm a realist.
For me, the sore thumb in the storytelling was Des' propositioning Annie regarding the "death retreat". Legalities aside, the last time she saw him, he was deep in the throes of drug withdrawal and STILL tried to hit on her. Why in the world would she agree to bankroll his business venture?
Simple answer: this was the easiest way to get the two characters together and have Annie pass on Joshua Yang's information. Similar to how Mary was able to open up to Morgan during Mary Kills People Season 1, Des finds a connection with young Joshua.
It seems that whenever we see Mary or Des assisting a suicide on their own, they dig a little deeper with the client.
The fact that Des is embarrassingly awkward with his preparations probably forces him to focus on Joshua more than if he had Mary there providing the comforting presence.
Des: Josh, I know this terrible diagnosis feels like it's the lowest of the low. I get it but there's still time for you to learn and grow. Go and live a little more. Get laid. All right?
Josh: Ok, what happens if I can't function anymore?
Des: Call me. I'll happily kill you then.
Of course, Des' bedside manner is a different beast altogether.
Because our "heroes" are constantly leaping from crisis to crisis, it's become the hallmark of the series that the terminally-ill clients provide the counterpoint of peaceful finality.
Don't be afraid. Love does not kill. It is life itself and it shines with heavenly joys.Client
The unnamed opera gentleman who chooses to end his life in tandem with the performance of Madame Butterfly is a study in calm confidence.
Estelle, played by the luminous Sonja Smits, is just as composed and regal in her final hours. She speaks of the life she lived, the loves she experienced, and the dreams she chased with gratitude and a joyful resignation.
She is a bright, spirited, and talented woman choosing to end her suffering on her own terms.
I think having both Mary and Nicole there with her at the end added to the comfort of her passing, building in the hope that she would see her own sister in the afterlife.
And how much did I cheer at the return of Nicole? Charlotte Sullivan portrays the PERFECT foil to the clinical, on-a-mission, Dr. Mary.
Nicole is just as intelligent as her sister but far less "compartmentalized" and is actually willing to explore her feelings about the things she experiences.
She isn't the first character to question Mary's motivations but she's the one that Mary listens to the most. She doesn't pull punches and isn't afraid to push Mary to admit her fears and flaws.
Nicole: I'm just curious.
Mary: You know what curiousity did to the cat.
Nicole: That cat was so stupid.
She also gets some truly awesome lines.
Meanwhile, Olivia continues to prove herself as the rightful heir to the Grady legacy of messing with Mary's head. Mind you, I'm a little confused by her use of Mary/Des to kill her husband in the first place. I have a theory.
I'm betting that she and Grady come from a crime family. My theory hinges on the fact that Travis isn't Maya's father and knows he's not her father and doesn't care much for Olivia, either, AND the fact that he is involved in drugs, as well.
Olivia: Do you ever feel like you're a bad person?
Des: I do bad things sometimes. But am I a bad person? I don't know. I'd like to think not.
I figure Olivia actually loved Maya's father, but she and Travis had a contracted marriage to cement a drug empire. She can't use her family's usual go-to professional killers since an in-house kill would presumably show up on their books.
I mean, she's obviously got cleaners she has no problem calling in since she'll need to get rid of the hapless Randall's body. Helpful that he fell directly into that appliance box.
Thus, she goes to Mary/Des. I can't imagine that she's going to be all that cool with the fact Mary put the pin back into the plan. It's such a shame to see all that gloating go to waste.
That brings us to the big BEN boom. I knew that Jay Ryan was credited with another season but had no idea how he was going to be brought in.
All of Olivia's talk of karma sort of blended with the Hollywood idea of irony in my head as I watched Ben inadvertently avoid the pento he'd been trying to get Mary to serve him all last season. It could almost make a bourbon drinker out of me.
Once again, I tip my hat to the production team here. In the final moments, as Travis, Ben, and Mary all head in different directions of the house for their different reasons, it has to be the tensest Benny Hill bit ever staged.
With everything that happened, it's worth taking a moment to watch Mary Kills People online and refresh your memory on Ben and Mary's history, the pathology of Casper the Cat (the First and Second), and perhaps even the magic of Maya who seems to be the only good in both Grady's and Olivia's worlds.
So what do you think of my Olivia theory? Plausible?
Does anyone else feel like Des is being overly optimistic about setting up his Death Retreat?
To be the pessimist for a moment, can Heather really be as amazing as she seems? If not, poor Jess. That kid can't catch a break.
Diana Keng is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.