Directed by Laura Murphy, the holiday edition of the Murderville franchise, “Who Killed Santa? A Murderville Murder Mystery,” is here to entertain you and take you on a hilarious ride. Once again, Terry Seattle (Will Arnett) is at the helm of affairs, with murder suspects all around him. But this time, the crime committed is more blasphemous, it seems. The murderer has killed famous quarterback Johnny Blaze (played by Sean Hayes), who had decided to become Santa and distribute gifts to the orphans in a program organized in the city hall. Mayor Palmer tells Terry that he has a double responsibility this time: not only does he have to find the murderer, but he also has to save the spirit of Christmas.
“Who Killed Santa?” follows the same pattern as it did in its earlier installment, where the guests aren’t given any scripts and have to improvise their way through. The two guests who come on board as homicide trainees are Jason Bateman and Maya Rudolph. We saw in “Murderville” Season 1 that something that Terry Seattle is very particular about is taking all the credit for solving the cases. He wants to make sure that the trainees and others involved know who is in charge. The last time, a lot of homicide trainees undermined the authority of the fabled detective, and this time Seattle was cautious about it from the very beginning. So, Jason Bateman joins Seattle from the beginning, and Maya Rudolph joins them after some time. Seattle never liked celebrating Christmas, as we all know, and that is why his boss/ex-wife, Rhonda Jenkins Seattle, calls him and asks to solve the mystery, as nobody else was available during the holidays. Seattle might not have liked celebrating Christmas, but that didn’t mean that he liked working on holidays. He was enjoying a lazy December evening and was ready to put in a VHS and enjoy a movie when Rhonda gave him a call. Mind you, the VHS he was about to play had only the “cool parts” of the film, Die Hard, which showed how particular Seattle was about the way he wanted to spend his “me time.”
Seattle asked Bateman all sorts of questions before briefing him about his role and what he was expected to do as his trainee. Seattle was always curious to know the backgrounds of the people coming on board and if they harbored any evil intentions of taking over his job. Jason Bateman was put through a threat assessment where former trainee Marshawn Lynch came with a chainsaw inside the room and shocked him. Bateman didn’t expect the surprise attack, and Seattle told him that to be a successful investigator like him, he had to think outside the box and not leave out any probability. Marshawn Lynch had a fanboy moment when he saw the Ozark star, but Seattle wasn’t interested in what petty acting jobs he had done earlier, as, in Murderville, there was only one star: Supercop Terry Seattle. Mayor Palmer needed a person to be Santa’s elf, and Seattle put Jason to the task. They met Angie in City Hall, who was packing the gifts that had to be given to the orphaned children later. It seemed like Angie was quite good at packing gifts, and she was doing her job efficiently. Terry wanted to have those noise-canceling headphones for himself, but Angie was keeping such a close eye on the gifts that he couldn’t steal it. Mayor Jennifer Palmer came and met Jason Bateman and asked if he had any prior experience being a Santa’s elf. Mayor Palmer didn’t want any hiccups in the charity program, and she hoped that Jason carried out his responsibilities in an efficient manner.
Mayor Palmer didn’t want any negative PR, but she didn’t know what tragedy awaited her. Somebody turned off the lights, and there was utter chaos inside city hall for those few moments. When the lights were switched on again, Johnny Blaze, who was becoming Santa Claus for the night, was lying on the floor as he had been stabbed in the chest by, surprisingly, a candy cane. Terry and his team had seven hours and fourteen minutes, to be precise, to find the killer, as the gifts had to be delivered by Christmas morning. The kids had already arrived at the city hall premises, and there was no time to waste. Even before Terry and Jason could start interrogating the suspect, Angie got a panic attack, and she wanted to be around Mr. Whiskers, her pet cat. Jason came to her rescue and pretended to be Mr. Whiskers just to calm Angie down. Amber Kang, one of the forensics experts, came to the scene and said that the candy had a peppermint flavor and whoever sharpened it did so by licking it. Also, they found a name tag in the hand of Johnny Blaze. Though the name on the tag was smudged, they knew that it belonged to the killer.
The first suspect who was interrogated by Jason and Terry was the channel five sportscaster Jim Trentley. Jim had known Johnny for 15 years and was Johnny’s golfing buddy. Jim owed Johnny a sum of nine million dollars, as he lost every game he played against the quarterback. Jim had recently been divorced, and he had a new lady in his life who, as he said, had a pair of magical hands. Maya Rudolf came on board after Terry and Jason had interrogated Jim Trentley. They next went to Mia Briggs, who was Johnny’s personal assistant. Jason and Maya were told to play “good cop, bad cop” by Terry, as he wanted to know everything that Mia was trying to hide. Mia had signed an NDA, which is why she wouldn’t divulge a lot of information. Terry and his trainees had gotten to know that the killer also had an accomplice who was hiding somewhere in the vicinity. The third and last suspect who was interrogated was Dona Focaccia, who wanted to open an athlete-branded restaurant with Johnny, but her collaboration didn’t work due to some conflict she had with him. Maya, disguised as an athlete, together with Jason, who pretended to be her manager, went to the VIP lounge inside the City Hall to take out some information from Dona. Terry decided to hide inside the air vents and prompt his two trainees about the kinds of questions they needed to ask. Dona didn’t like her mint julep, and she also said that she hated Johnny Blaze. He had collaborated with her to open a barbecue joint, and she taught him everything he needed to know about the restaurant business. Johnny betrayed her and used the information to open his own place. The investigation was complete, and now all Terry and his team had to do was analyze the information they had gathered and find the killer.
Mayor Palmer didn’t have enough confidence in Terry and his team. That is why she called in another person who could help them with solving the case. Pete Davidson (yes, that did take us by surprise), who, despite knowing nothing about the case, was called in to guess who the killer was. After scrutinizing the evidence, Terry found out the killer was none other than Jim Trentley, who had killed the hall-of-fame quarterback because he didn’t want to return the nine million dollars he owed. He was assisted by his lady love, Angie, who had tried her level best to waste the time of Terry and his team by pretending to get multiple panic attacks throughout the course of the investigation.
“Who killed Santa?” “A Murderville Murder Mystery” ended on a happy note as the children got their gifts, and, more importantly, Terry was able to get his noise-canceling earphones, though the gift wasn’t meant for him, and it belonged to another orphan with the same name. The most humorous thing about a goofy spoof like “Who Killed Santa? A Murderville Murder Mystery?” is the amount of fun the actors have in the process. Because it is unscripted, the guests are free to say anything and lead the narrative in whichever direction they want. Jason Bateman, Maya Rudolph, and Pete Davidson had a blast of a time, as was quite evident by seeing them crack up in the middle of the scenes and break their characters. Will Arnett too had a lot of trouble this time in steering the script in a pre-decided direction as all the three guests tried their level best to make him go off course. It is the Christmas season, and “Murdeville” thoroughly entertains you with this improvised banter. The show has a great concept, and it would be interesting to see what the Murderville franchise comes up with next.
“Who Killed Santa?” is a 2022 Comedy Special directed by Laura Murphy.
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'Who Killed Santa? A Murderville Murder Mystery' Ending, Explained … – DMT