Every episode of Rian Johnson’s Peacock Murder Mystery starring Natasha Lyonne (so far).
The Peacock’s weekly murder mystery from creator Rian Johnson is halfway through its debut season — enough time for audiences to settle into the howcatchem format, episodic cast reshuffles and Charlie’s (Natasha Lyonne) innate ability to know when people are lying. It’s also enough episodes to pick clear favorites and rank the existing entries as we continue to wait for the final four episodes.
So who wins ‘Poker Face’? Which crime stole the show, which killer really did he was killed, and when is Benjamin Bratt coming back? We don’t have all the answers, but we definitely won’t lie.
Here’s every episode of ‘Poker Face’ (so far), ranked.
6. Part 2: “The Night Shift”
This is the first episode where “Poker Face” really shows its hand, with a promising plot if not the most impressive kill of the season. Sandwich artist and TikTok sensation Damian (Brandon Michael Hall) buys a winning lottery ticket from Sara (Megan Suri), who Jed (Colton Ryan) has been obsessed with. Jealous of their closeness, Jed throws Damian off a building and crushes him to death, leaving the body framed by Marge (Hong Chau). Marge was weird, but Charlie doesn’t buy it – and Jed is suspicious enough to know where to sniff from the start. While Jed is busy pretending He winning the lottery and ignoring Damian’s warning not to creep out on Sara, Charlie quickly solves the sloppy crime and confirms his suspicions: a jealous rage, a crime of passion, and more than $25,000 worth of trouble.
MVP: Hong Chau’s segment is mostly a departure from the rest of the episode and its central crime story, but it steals the show without breaking a sweat.
5. Episode 5: “The Time of the Monkey”
Right after subverting expectations for Charlie’s position in episode 4, “Poker Face” again tricks audiences by not telling the full story of Irene’s (Judith Light) and Joyce’s (S. Epatha Merkerson) mission to assassinate the former cult leader and lover Gabriel (Reed). Birney). Act 1 establishes Irene and Joyce’s friendship and the murder; Act 2 brings Charlie in to hear their story, but also fills in the plot holes without him as the women reconnect with Gabriel before his death.
This is the first time that Charlie feels personally exposed for the murders and when he realizes that Joyce and Irene are not who they thought they were. He admired their wit and tenacity, but not their plan to bomb the UN model meeting.
MVP: Joyce and Irene are a real treat as the villains, from the sassy boomer charm that wins Charlie over to wanting to beat him mercilessly in the final scenes.
4. Episode 6: “Exit Stage Death”
Tim Meadows and Ellen Barkin in “Poker Face.”
Performance rivals Kathleen (Ellen Barkin) and Michael (Tim Meadows) agree to put on a play together, and the endeavor looks set to end both of their sanity before it really begins. Their true motive is revealed only after Michael’s wife Ava (Jameela Jamil) falls fatally through a trapdoor on stage; Michael and Kathleen actually had an affair and killed to be together. The show’s various layers to their hostility and criminality wear on each actor, but Barkin and Meadows excel as actors who play more to get away with murder.
MVP: Barkin feeds off of Kathleen’s unflinching narcissism, whether playing Michael’s adversary, star, or passionate accomplice – and pairs wonderfully with Lyonne’s Charlie as they embody two wildly different individuals.
3. Part 4: “Rest in Metal”
One of the treats in Episode 4 will be learning where and how Charlie became a part of the new environment, and “Rest in Metal” is one of the best introductions to his role in what happened. Like “The Stall,” it makes good use of a seemingly insignificant character (Murder Girl podcast host Emily Yoshida) to catch the killers, along with some audio and electrical geekry. “Rest in Metal” emphasizes the killer’s egomania; While Ruby (Chloë Sevigny) and her band mates are busy finding new hits and plotting against Gavin (Nicholas Cirillo), they pay minimal attention to Charlie’s existence – let alone his observational and bullshit-calling abilities.
MVP: Charlie himself because he is the only person who loves or respects Gavin and makes sure he gets justice.
2. Part 1: “Dead Man’s Hand”
“Poker Face” raises the stakes in its opening hour, with a mysterious discovery, an innocent victim, and scene-stealing performances from Adrian Brody and Benjamin Bratt. It takes nine full minutes for the audience to meet Charlie at all, with no indication of who he is or how he’ll fit into the established events—and boy, is he right. Between his friendship with Natalie (Dascha Polanco), witnessing key moments at the casino, and being the ultra-comfortable in-house lie detector, Charlie Cale is a protagonist and a hell of an enemy for Cliff (Bratt), Sterling. and Sterling’s father (Ron Perlman). With powerful and angry people on his tail, Charlie takes off his phone, gets into his car, and puts as much space between himself and the Frost Casino as he can. The chase is on and Natalie’s murder is still not fully solved – but there’s more to come on the open road.
MVP: Adrian Brody as Sterling Frost, Jr., the annoying but intimidating casino boss who now holds Charlie’s life in the balance.
1. Episode 3: “The Stall”
Lil Rel Howery in “Poker Face” Episode 3
All seems fine and dandy at Boyle’s BBQ, run by brothers Taffy (Lil Rel Howery) and George (Larry Brown), until George has a crisis of confidence and refuses to grill the meat any longer. His wife Mandy (Danielle McDonald) and Taffy don’t take kindly to this epiphany and take him out of the picture, but Charlie smells something when they decide to keep the restaurant open in his honor. “The Stall” builds on the charming eccentricity of Part 2 (fascist dog! Not a fascist radio host!) while adding poetic significance to the crime and its resolution (they literally grilled George! Pecans!!). He also finds new and exciting ways to integrate Charlie’s gift, this time by recalling George’s last words and believing he would live to act on them. The episode weaves all of this together and more (Taffy and Mandy!) while subtly encouraging viewers to watch “The Reason”.
MVP: Shane Paul McGhie as Austin, the extremely talented radio jockey.