Poker Face: The Stall
January 28, 2023 9:29 PM - Season 1, Episode 3 - Subscribe

imdb: "Charlie takes a job at a family-run Texas BBQ joint and must use her skills of perception to sniff out the truth behind a shocking death."

Warning: a dog is beaten, but not killed.
posted by Pronoiac (22 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
And helps solve the crime!
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 4:39 AM on January 29, 2023 [2 favorites]

This is the episode where I've decided: fuck it, I'm all in.

It's become in vogue on Letterboxd to shit on Glass Onion, because any time you lock people in a room together they start to resent each other's opinions. And all of the criticisms are like: the dialogue is corny and too-knowing, the identity of the killer doesn't have many twists and turns, the political points are too on-the-nose... you get the idea.

I read those reviews and thought: "Well, duh." Because that's the thing. That's the story being crafted. It's a very particular kind of story and it's made immaculately well, and I don't find the point in complaining, "This movie is what it is!"

Similarly, I got to Fascist Dog and MAGA Impressionist Theatre Kid, and went: yep, I will watch all eleven seasons of this. This is extremely silly, it's "well-crafted" in the sense of all its scenes fitting together rather than in the sense that any of its plot makes any sense at all, and Natasha Lyonne accidentally lured a guy into getting his brother to murder him by giving him a copy of Okja. It is possible to critique this show on many levels, but I can't imagine why I'd bother.
posted by Tom Hanks Cannot Be Trusted at 5:06 AM on January 29, 2023 [31 favorites]

Natasha Lyonne accidentally lured a guy into getting his brother to murder him by giving him a copy of Okja

I had a hearty laugh at that scene where she starts pulling DVDs out of her trunk because I know a person who hasn't eaten pork in the past 27 years after seeing Babe.
posted by peeedro at 2:51 PM on January 29, 2023 [8 favorites]

Not sure which was my favorite mini-detail of this episode: the Peter-and-the-wolf synesthesia while Charlie is tasting the different woods, or the drive by reference of The Conversation that passes without comment

God this show rules
posted by thecaddy at 7:26 PM on January 29, 2023 [13 favorites]

The exposition on barbeque - I'm in love.
posted by porpoise at 8:04 PM on January 29, 2023 [1 favorite]

Is this show giving anyone else X-Files feels? In both directions - both Charlie as an X-File herself, a down-on-her-luck weirdo with an unexplainable gift that's both blessing and curse, but also Charlie as a sort of Mulder figure, showing up in American small towns and just paying attention to the people who live in them and the weird local happenings in a way nobody else is bothering to do. I love it, I truly loved that show and this one feels like a spiritual successor in a way I absolutely didn't expect.

I'm so glad the dog got to stay with his favorite hard-right radio host at the end. Truly the loud little fascist earned the privilege.
posted by potrzebie at 10:38 PM on January 29, 2023 [9 favorites]

I thought that actually meant that he wasn't a fascist, he just liked the guy's voice (who was only pretending to be a fascist) - the dog always knew more about the radio than everybody else.
posted by Grangousier at 2:30 AM on January 30, 2023 [9 favorites]

I noted that Taffy's DJ booth has a prominent Kenny Chesney album displayed -- an intended nod to the favorite artist of the killer in last year's The Patient? Or does Chesney just inspire that kind of fanbase?
posted by Theiform at 7:31 AM on January 30, 2023

Huh. I watched episodes 1 & 2 on Peacock on my LG tv and there were periodic ads. I just watched this episode on Peacock on my laptop and there were no ads. (I'm staying in my parents' spare bedroom tonight and possibly longer, no heat at my place since Saturday overnight when the super had to shut off my unit's boiler due to a burst pipe, plumber is coming tomorrow so hopefully they'll be able to fix the problem same day.)
posted by oh yeah! at 6:33 PM on January 30, 2023 [1 favorite]

One difference from the 70s Columbo-ish type shows is that in those you never really care more than vaguely about the victim, they’re a plot device to get the detection plot moving but in this episode and the last, the victims were a little too real.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 5:52 AM on January 31, 2023 [5 favorites]

What an ep! Loved the compact setting, too - you could totally do this as a chapter in a classic point-and-click adventure game.
posted by adrianhon at 3:03 PM on January 31, 2023 [1 favorite]

I've had paid Peacock since the Olympics, so I can't check it, but before I broke down and gave them money ad blockers worked on it when I watched online. (I also wanted to see all of Rutherford Falls... wtf would they cancel the show that made so many people sign up at the time?)
posted by Quonab at 3:10 PM on January 31, 2023

I was all-in on this from the jump. But I was ALL-IN ALL-IN after the veterinarian's line reading of "What the fuck are you doing?" while Charlie was licking the wood fragment extracted from the fascist asshole dog's head wound. A++ no notes
posted by bcwinters at 7:31 PM on January 31, 2023 [30 favorites]

up to 25% jackal!
posted by vibratory manner of working at 12:52 AM on February 3, 2023 [7 favorites]

I’m liking this but also really hoping the victims stop being Black people very soon.
posted by jeoc at 12:38 PM on February 4, 2023 [1 favorite]

I'm doing a wood thing. Dog justice. You don't care.

I loved her big speech about how she knows Taffy is the killer being a time wasting exercise. Barometric pressure! The smoking point of hickory!

The theme song is really growing on me as well. This interview with Rian Johnson covers a lot of ground, including the score:
The music with Nathan, I had the idea of a banjo being like the lead thing for Charlie and they called me crazy [laughs]. The second you say the word “banjo” when you’re spending millions of dollars of a major corporation’s money you’re gonna get some questions. To be fair though, it was mostly Natasha who called me crazy ... But working with Nathan to find ways of using a banjo very delicately as Charlie’s theme, there’s something just so beautiful and grounding. There’s an element of Americana to it. There’s something warm about it. And then there are some times that Nathan uses the banjo as a menacing element that I find really involving.
posted by the primroses were over at 6:24 PM on February 6, 2023 [3 favorites]

Man, I got a good hard laugh out of the tossed-off reference to having only seen the first half of Okja
posted by DoctorFedora at 4:25 AM on March 12, 2023 [1 favorite]

Man, I got a good hard laugh out of the tossed-off reference to having only seen the first half of Okja

As someone who got the gist of that but hasn't seen the movie and knows nothing about it, cuold someone explain that joke to me?

I’m liking this but also really hoping the victims stop being Black people very soon.

Yep, it's not a good look with the protagonist being a white lady.

I agree with others, loved this episode (more than the last one) and trust the show a bit more because they could have made the dog-violence worse than it was and they didn't. I'm usually used to American teevee playing that stuff up for shock value. I was distracted by her hair a lot, like... who walks around with their long hair inside the back of a jacket? I liked that she got to stick around to watch the bad people get taken in this time.
posted by jessamyn at 8:00 PM on March 26, 2023

This was good fun and it's remarkable how well Natasha Lyonne sells it. Everything about her character is ridiculous and yet it all feels believable and relatable because of her performance.

Weird little thing that bugged me. In Episode 2 there's a heavy placement for Shiner Bock, a real brand of Texas beer that's somewhat iconic. (And quite good nowadays; it used to be awful.) But here in episode 3 about Texas and Texas BBQ, they drink this "Iron Spur" beer that is fictional, made up for the show. Why not use the iconic Texas beer on the episode about Texas? Maybe it's because the beer was used as part of the murder?
posted by Nelson at 2:03 PM on March 30, 2023

I loved seeing the little double-meanings that got tied up so neatly.

"The Truth Train"

The titular "Stall."
posted by BrashTech at 11:13 AM on June 7, 2023

I’m a bit behind everyone else. I really liked this episode. It made me laugh, it was well structured, tied together etc. It was nothing super special, but as an “ooh let’s watch” it does really well. I do wonder if this will be the high watermark of my affection for the programme. I suspect the magic bullshit detection is getting to get a bit old, and I’ll just wish she was really good at solving crimes instead, as that wouldn’t bug me as much. Or at least, make all the characters eat a biscuit every time they lie.
posted by Hartster at 3:43 PM on June 11, 2023 [1 favorite]

I am just now catching up on this! I loved the Peter-and-the-Wolf style musical cues for each flavor of wood.
posted by eponym at 9:22 PM on December 28, 2023 [1 favorite]

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