In “Poker Face” episode 6, “Exit Stage Death,” former sitcom star Kathleen Townsend (Barkin), who starred in a series called “Spooky and the Cop” in the 1990s, is trying to stage a comeback by way of local dinner theater. She asks her old co-star, Michael Graves (Tim Meadows), to join her for a performance of a play called “The Ghosts of Pensacola,” and while he’s extremely reticent, she manages to convince him. Graves doesn’t need the money, since his new wife Ava (Jameela Jamil) is independently wealthy and has more than enough for the both of them. It’s clear that both Graves and Townsend are bitter about where they ended up in life after the highs of their sitcom fame, and someone will have to pay.
Many of the villains in “Poker Face” have been minor or former celebrities with an axe to grind. Lil Rel Howery played a barbecue magnate/radio host who wanted to protect his money and fame in the third episode, too, joining Barkin, Meadows, and Sevigny as some of the best murder mystery show villains since Eddie Izzard graced us with her presence on NBC’s “Hannibal.”